Advertisement
Logic Pro

Saving Time with Logic Pro 9: Keyboard Shortcuts

by

Twice a month we revisit some of our reader favorite posts from throughout the history of Audiotuts+. This tutorial was first published in December 2009.

Imagine the precious seconds you lose every time you take a simple action via a menu option or clicking a button on the screen. Once you memorize a set of keyboard shortcuts and make new shortcuts for tasks you find yourself doing frequently, you begin to save a lot of time. You’d be surprised how quickly those seconds add up into minutes and hours. Here’s a cheat sheet of common keyboard shortcuts you should memorize, along with a quick primer on using the Keyboard Commands manager.

This is the third tutorial in a short series on helping you save time in Logic Pro 9. We’ll be covering:

  • Screensets — arrange Logic’s windows to suit your way of working, and reuse those settings for improved workflow.
  • Templates — you can create template sessions based on various needs for various situations — this helps you get into the creative action with a minimum of fuss. We’ll cover this topic in the next tutorial.
  • Keyboard shortcuts — the focus of this tutorial!

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

You can see all of Logic’s keyboard shortcuts in the Keyboard Manager. I’m listing them here because there are so many, you many have trouble figuring out which ones to memorize. The follow shortcuts are the ones that will really make working with your projects much quicker. Secondly, you can print this reference out and look at it as you use Logic — as far as I’m aware there’s no keyboard shortcut cheat sheet that comes with Logic.

We won’t cover the standard File menu shortcuts that you should know from using computers in general, though I will reiterate that Cmd+S is the shortcut to save your project and you should make it a goal to get this shortcut to become a subconscious habit so you’re saving your work all the time and don’t need to think about doing it.

  • Record Enable Track: Ctrl+R
  • Record: R
  • Toggle Mute Track: Ctrl+M
  • Toggle Solo Track: Ctrl+S
  • Play/Stop: Space
  • Rewind: ,
  • Fast Rewind: Shift+,
  • Forward: .
  • Fast Forward: Shift+.
  • Create Marker: Ctrl+K
  • Rename: Cmd+Return
  • Toggle Cycle Mode: C
  • Open Mixer: Cmd+2
  • Open Arrange: Cmd+1
  • Close Window: Cmd+W
  • Toggle Bin: B
  • Bounce: Cmd+B
  • Zoom Window: Shift+Cmd+M
  • Import Audio: Shift+Cmd+I
  • Learn New: Cmd+L (for learning hardware controller signals)
  • Toggle Zoom: Z
  • Quantize Selected Events: Q
  • Select Previous Region: Left Arrow
  • Select Next Region: Right Arrow
  • Select Previous Track: Up Arrow
  • Select Next Track: Down Arrow
  • New Track: Option+Cmd+N
  • New Track with Duplicate Settings: Cmd+D
  • Hide/Show Track Automation: A

This is by no means a comprehensive listing of shortcuts. It’s not meant to be — these are the ones that are actually useful in a day-to-day project setting, with none of the more obscure and less useful shortcuts in the way.

Apple Remote

One of the reasons that set of keyboard shortcuts is so useful is because it allows you to record-arm a track, start recording, stop recording and playback, and navigate. In other words, there’s no reason to reach for your mouse when you are tracking.

Logic’s designers realized that the most useful shortcuts are the ones that enable the user to do things easily reaching over for the keyboard while standing at a MIDI controller or microphone, so they made the Apple Remote work with Logic. If you managed to get in on Macs while they were still shipping with the machines themselves, or have bought one separately, here’s what you need to know, in the format of Button: Function:

  • Rewind: Rewind
  • Forward: Forward
  • Play/Pause: Play or Stop
  • +: Previous Track
  • -: Next Track
  • Menu: Record
  • Rewind long-hold: Fast Rewind
  • Forward long-hold: Fast Forward

Keyboard Stickies

With hundreds of preset key commands and hundreds more unassigned commands, you can’t be blamed if you feel you need an aid to remember what everything does. Fortunately, you can get overlays for your keyboard that help you remember keyboard commands.

You can get these in varieties for most Apple keyboards and Apple laptop keyboards here. There isn’t much support out there for non-Apple keyboards, which is unfortunate as their keyboards and mice are utterly horrendous from an ergonomic perspective, but you might get lucky with some research.

The Keyboard Commands Manager

Many of the commands that can have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them do not, by default, have any shortcut bindings. For any of the more advanced commands, you’ll need to assign your preferred key combo. Let’s take a quick look at how the manager works.

The Options menu provides you with the ability to select preset key command lists based on your keyboard type, or import someone else’s set. You can also export yours. Once you’ve got a custom setup perfected, I recommend you export your key commands and back them up — you won’t know until you lose them how important they can become to your workflow.

The list box shows you all possible commands, grouped into areas of relevancy. This is where you select the commands you wish to create or replace shortcuts for.

Once the desired command is selected, any keystrokes you make will be interpreted as the new shortcut. Be careful about overwriting shortcuts by accident! Unless I have missed something, there’s no Undo option.

There are three buttons on the right:

  • Learn by Key Label setting tells Logic to ignore the placement of the key on your keyboard, and just pay attention to the label. This means if you have one key on your keyboard in two different places — the numbers, for instance, on a keyboard with a numpad — the shortcut will work using both keys.
  • Learn by Key Position is the opposite — if there’s a duplicate button, Logic will remember which one you used and will only work with that particular key.
  • Delete does what it says — deletes the existing shortcut!

Beneath those buttons is the Learn Assignment section which is for setting commands from a controller. You can read more about this process here.

Related Posts
  • Computer Skills
    Productivity
    Why a Finder Replacement is Still a Good IdeaFinder2x
    Until OS X Mavericks, a replacement Finder application was a must for most power users. Basic features like tabs were missing from OS X’s default application, so to get an improved Finder experience you had to turn to third parties. With Mavericks, however, Apple has finally brought tabs to Finder. In this tutorial I’ll show you what replacement Finder applications are out there, what they can still add to your workflow and why they're still worth getting.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Hardware
    How to Check and Enable TRIM on a Mac SSDTrim preview retina
    You probably know that solid state drives (SSD) differ from Hard Disk Drives (HDD) in how they store information, and you may have heard that something called TRIM can maintain their performance. In this tutorial, I’ll not only show you how you can enable TRIM support for your SSDs, but also understand what the term means and how it fits into the functionality of solid state storage.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    OS X
    Finding Hardware Faults: Exploring AHT & Apple DiagnosticsAht preview retina
    Alongside the tools provided for identifying software issues with your Mac, Apple also makes sure that you can examine your hardware for possible faults. These hardware diagnostic tools have evolved over the years, so in this tutorial I will cover the two incarnations that exist: the venerable Apple Hardware Test (AHT), and the newer Apple Diagnostics tool that replaced it. In this tutorial I'll show you how you can use these helpful utilities to keep an eye on the components that make your Mac tick.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    OS X
    Knowing Your Startup Key Combinations for Intel MacsStartupkeys400 1
    Whilst the idea of the computer mouse (essentially an inverted trackball) has been around since the 1960s, many people were still using keyboards as the sole input method some twenty years on. Even after the mouse became a standard computer accessory in the mid-1980s, many programs relied on keyboard shortcuts to perform particular functions. Even with new input devices, in addition to mice and trackpads, there is still a place for keyboard shortcuts. In this tutorial, I will show you the various keyboard key combinations that perform particular tasks when starting up your Mac.Read More…
  • Computer Skills
    Productivity
    40 More Essential Keyboard Shortcuts to Improve Your WorkflowShortcuts retina
    Keyboard shortcuts are essential for any Mac user looking to quicken the speed of their workflow. By giving you quicker navigation they make the whole process of using a Mac far easier. Recently, on Tuts+ Computer Skills we covered 40 Nifty Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier, a tutorial which explained everyday OS X keyboard shortcuts. This tutorial covers some more advanced shortcuts which you can incorporate into your workflows.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Audio Production
    Quick Tip: Logic Pro Key Commands by Dennis DriesschenLogicprokeycommands 400
    Using keyboard commands in Apple's Logic Pro X can significantly speed up your workflow and make using Logic Pro fun and intuitive. But with literally hundreds of keyboard shortcuts, it can be difficult to find the ones that will speed up your unique workflow. In this quick tip, I will introduce you to a great website that will help you quickly and easily reference every Logic Pro keyboard command to help you in your production workflow.Read More…