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Anybody using a dedicated controller for macros? Control Surfaces
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
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Anybody using a dedicated controller for macros?

Anybody with a dedicated controller ( Novation Launchpad, Korg Nanopad, a midi keyboard with pads etc... ) to launch macros programmed with Quickeys or similar programs?
Could one somehow use another normal computer keyboard?

...or how about these:

Keyboard Maestro 5.0.1: Work Faster with Macros for Mac OS X

X-keys Programmable Keyboards and Input Devices by P.I. Engineering


I was very impressed about the macro keys and possibilities on the Euphonics MC5 pro controller...so looking for something similar in a simpler and cheaper form.

Thanks.
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
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JSt0rm's Avatar
I'm torn about such things. The reason is if you relearn and get fast on one of these custom controllers you really can only work on your own rig. I think the best course of action is to use the keyboard and make your own custom macros with applescript or quickkeys. This way you can speed up those hard to reach things and keep yourself proficient on the keyboard that you will find in any studio you work.
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
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I agree.

I have a S5MC 32 fader system in our big room and a stand alone MC in another. After spending a lot if time in those two rooms I'm definitely getting slower on a standard keyboard/mouse setup.

Otoh I also use a extra keypad a Logitech G13 (a gamers tool really) when in a regular room. Having direct acces to my favourite key commands on a dedicated controller is great in itself as well.

Pros and cons.
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
I use an Ergodex controller to trigegr Quickeys (although not as intensely as keyboard shortcuts) - more info here:
Music of Sound

but a friend tipped me off to a cheaper option that I wasn't aware of: Quickeys 4 allows you to use a second USB keyboard:

Music of Sound

Most people have a second keyboard lieing around (a wireless one would work too) so if you use Quickeys then its an immediate way to have a dedicated remote!
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by subbasshead View Post
but a friend tipped me off to a cheaper option that I wasn't aware of: Quickeys 4 allows you to use a second USB keyboard
Thanks, I didn't know that!
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
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macro controllers

Thanks Tim! That was a good tip about Quickeys4.
I think one feature in P.I.engineering´s x-keys products is worth mentioning though - you can make your own legends and put them under the clear keycaps. Sure is nice if others are using the same controller...
Now I just need to find out if x-keys are compatible with Quickeys.

In ProTools, what are your favourite/most used macros?
Since I don´t have any controller yet, I´ve been trying to think of different macros and how many keys I ´ll need?
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
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I just bought an X-keys pad; haven't started programming it yet.

I did think about the supposed downside of not being able to work as fast without it on a non-equipped system, but I decided that was a non-issue. Without access to more macro keys, I work at a given speed right now. If I accelerate my flow with a new tool, that's only an improvement....and if from time to time I have to work without a macro keypad, I won't be any worse off than I am right now, before using this new tool. I'm excited about it...I have all sorts of ideas for ways I can speed things up. I've already used up all the buttons on my Kensington trackball....
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

Back in 2002 I was using this this macro keyboard:

FLEX

I programmed it for Nuendo but of course it can be used with any software.

The concept is fine if you work mostly in your own studio. It speeds up work a lot because you don't have to use both hands for complex shortcuts anymore.

I also programmed macros for menu commands that din't have any shortcuts assigned by the software. Macro strings can be of any lenght and you just program navigation to a specific menu item.

Peter
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
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Jesse Peterson's Avatar
 

I'm a big fan of this, but like others are saying, it's only speedy when you're on your own system.

I personally believe that this will be changing as the year go on. With the adoption of Eucon in PT, the day where you carry your macros and layouts on a key chain and just plug in where ever you go.. could be a reality soon.

In the meantime, I'm using the MC control and eucontrol to program macros for nuendo and pro tools. I'm working on a custom app set that is universal to both programs so the equivalent functions are always found in the same place. In Nuendo these sort of things are old hat and very easy to do, eucon adds this to PT. My new favorite is to kick out the region 1frame on either side and place 2 frame fades on either side with on button.

The MC transport is actually pretty cool also. (you can also do this with the wheel on the MC control) I have a custom wheel command that just fires of + and - depending on the direction.. left hand handles modifier keys, right hand on the wheel.. Editing is pretty fast.

The novation zero SL mkii can also fire off macro commands and it pretty flexible.
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
I have to mention Contour Designed Shuttle ProV2. I have one and have really enjoyed it. They can been found pretty cheap online, both new and used. It comes with software for writing macros that is very easy to use. Its application aware, just like the Artist series that Jesse mentioned. As well you can program multiple pages of keystrokes for each application. The MC Control screen is nice to have as it updates visually with what is on the soft keys and touch screen. The Shuttle Pro's keys pop off and come with things to make labels. But that's only useful for one set of keys. Still for the price, I can't complain.
Old 6th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Peterson View Post
....My new favorite is to kick out the region 1frame on either side and place 2 frame fades on either side with on button....
I would find this one very handy. In PT, is there some key sequence I may not be aware of to extend region boundaries like that? You don't have to tell me what it may be, I don't mind doing the legwork. heh Just wondering if your macro is firing off some particular keystroke or is substituting some sort of mouse action.
Old 6th September 2011
  #12
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Its just key strokes but not just a few...
Extend before an after is 2,
Move cursor two frames and fade head is 3,
Jump to end of event move cursor back two frames and fade tail is 4.

So that's nine keystrokes in PT.
In Nuendo it's six keystrokes instead.
You can do the macro in Nuendo itself no need for a macro program.
And another bugger in PT is that you have to use two hands on the keyboard to do it (as with so many things PT). So you do save time and actual body movement during the course of a day.
Old 6th September 2011
  #13
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One advantage to the X-Keys line of products is that they can also be "hard programmed" in something called Resident Memory Mode, where you actually send your macros to the units EPROM and it looks just like a normal USB device to your computer, requiring no extra software.

Makes it dead simple to bring your X-Keys with you, whatever room you'll be working in. I first got their Desktop version, and now use their Stick.
Old 6th September 2011
  #14
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Hard programmed?!
That sounds like a bloody good idea!
I never liked the previous models of xkeys as they don't look very ergonomic. Perhaps it's time for another look at them?
Old 6th September 2011
  #15
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I've been using Launchpad and MidiKatapult to have 64 function buttons in Cubase. Works nice, but in order to get a nice colors and functionality you'll have to spend sometime learning MidiKatapult, however it's simple to use.
Old 6th September 2011
  #16
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Jesse Peterson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
I would find this one very handy. In PT, is there some key sequence I may not be aware of to extend region boundaries like that? You don't have to tell me what it may be, I don't mind doing the legwork. heh Just wondering if your macro is firing off some particular keystroke or is substituting some sort of mouse action.

I'm not infront of my machine right now but I believe it something like this..

ON A PC
1. region has to be selected
2. Ctrl + num+
3. Alt + num-
4. Ctrl+tab
5. num+
6. num+
7. D
8. tab
9. num-
10.num-
11. G

Too round it out I add more commands to select the entire region again including the new fades.. I cut BG's right on the pic cut and just sail through the scene.. then go highlight the bits and checker board them (macro for that too) then go through and do the fades macro.

In nuendo it's even better because you can do the fade kick out trick on all the selected regions at the same time.
Old 7th September 2011
  #17
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Jfriah's Avatar
 

Excellent topic, folks! I have a Nostromo unit on the way as I type. Those are great macros you guys have been mentioning--yeah, total time savers; I'm back into a series DIA edit and grinding my teeth at all the extending, etc.

Jeff
Old 7th September 2011
  #18
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macros in ProTools

Is there a way in ProTools to make a selection between two markers without using the marker list at any given point in the timeline?

So, let´s say I would like to program a macro that when launched would make a selection in edit window from the start of any scene ( first marker ) to the end of a scene ( second marker ) on a selected track.
Add to that cuts and fades to the beginning and end of the region and you have a very fast macro for editing backgrounds...

Here´s a short list of ProTools macros I ´ve been thinking of ( please notice that I don´t have any controller or macro programming software yet, so I don`t know if these are even possible)
/ = two or more macro keys:

-suspend automation
-region volume up / down 3dB / 6dB
-make a selection between markers
-make a selection between markers, cut and fade
-1 frame fades to region start and end
-create new track ( all choices from mono to 5.1 )
-solo track / mute track / input monitor on / rec ready
-snap region to next / snap region to previous
-mute region
-increase / decrease nudge value
-increase / decrease track size
-extend region start and end by 1 frame and create fades
-copy / paste all automation to selected
Old 7th September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurooppa View Post
Is there a way in ProTools to make a selection between two markers without using the marker list at any given point in the timeline?

So, let´s say I would like to program a macro that when launched would make a selection in edit window from the start of any scene ( first marker ) to the end of a scene ( second marker ) on a selected track.
Add to that cuts and fades to the beginning and end of the region and you have a very fast macro for editing backgrounds...

Here´s a short list of ProTools macros I ´ve been thinking of ( please notice that I don´t have any controller or macro programming software yet, so I don`t know if these are even possible)
/ = two or more macro keys:

-suspend automation
-region volume up / down 3dB / 6dB
-make a selection between markers
-make a selection between markers, cut and fade
-1 frame fades to region start and end
-create new track ( all choices from mono to 5.1 )
-solo track / mute track / input monitor on / rec ready
-snap region to next / snap region to previous
-mute region
-increase / decrease nudge value
-increase / decrease track size
-extend region start and end by 1 frame and create fades
-copy / paste all automation to selected
Addressing a few of the above:

For selecting between markers; the keystrokes are:
• [decimal point] [marker numeral ID] [decimal point] -- to select first marker
• then hold SHIFT while selecting the next marker with the same combo above

The problem in making a macro for that is that the specific marker ID numerals would be locked into that macro. Just executing the above keystrokes is quick enough I think.

-----

Jesse Peterson, in an earlier post here, showed his macro for extending region boundaries and applying fades.

-----

There is a key command for increasing/decreasing nudge value; I don't remember it but want to find it again myself.

-----

I don't think there's a keystroke to suspend automation. Kinda sucks. I use the button on the control surface to do that, but it would be nice to incorporate that command into a macro.
Old 7th September 2011
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
-suspend automation
It's possible in QK. You just have to tell QK to check if the automation panel is already open; if it's close, let QK open it and then click on the suspend automation button (the coordinates have to be relative to the automation panel).

Quote:
-region volume up / down 3dB / 6dB
It's easy with the gain audiosuite plugin.

Quote:
-make a selection between markers
-make a selection between markers, cut and fade
never tried. It's possible if you know the markers' number

Quote:
-1 frame fades to region start and end
yes

Quote:
-create new track ( all choices from mono to 5.1 )
possible

Quote:
-solo track / mute track / input monitor on / rec ready
mmm: there are already shorcuts for that: SHIFT+ S, M, I, R, respectively (PT 8 and 9)

Quote:
-snap region to next / snap region to previous
yes


Quote:
-extend region start and end by 1 frame and create fades
One of my favorite!!

Quote:
-copy / paste all automation to selected
I made it a quick shortcut just for the PAN automation: so useful!

And for some of those you don't need a macro software: just use the OSX System Preferences menu to assign keyboard shortcuts to any menu command in ProTools that you need.

Cheers

Davide
Old 7th September 2011
  #21
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I use QuicKeys a lot and love it.
My main concern is the lack of a proper iPad companion app.
The official Quickeys app is quite limited, so I've build a few layouts in TouchOsc on the iPad and via Osculator (that convert OSC data from TouchOsc to MIDI data or keystroke) I can control the Quickeys macros.
Trying the TouchOSC setup for ProTools I made yesterday. on Twitpic

Not so convenient (3 pieces of software needed) but works pretty well.

Still dreaming of a scriptable Pro Tools! That would be awesome!
Make Pro Tools applescript (or any other script lang) enabled - Pro Tools Feedback Community - by IdeaScale

Best
Davide
Old 8th September 2011
  #22
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JSt0rm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by macaholic View Post
One advantage to the X-Keys line of products is that they can also be "hard programmed" in something called Resident Memory Mode, where you actually send your macros to the units EPROM and it looks just like a normal USB device to your computer, requiring no extra software.

Makes it dead simple to bring your X-Keys with you, whatever room you'll be working in. I first got their Desktop version, and now use their Stick.
ooo now that interests me. If I can take ti with me anywhere then it would be functional.
Old 8th September 2011
  #23
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Jesse Peterson's Avatar
 

I recently set up a custom command for the MC transport.. 1 button activates this custom wheel command where Right=+ and Left=-.

Same PT modifier keys apply but now instead of hitting your +- keys 1000 times you just spin the wheel.

you can also use the wheel to slip audio, change nudge value, change grid value, trim head, trim tail, waveform height, move regions, track selection.. goes on and on. I've got another command that just fires of TAB. and another that fires off R and T. 6 buttons right above the wheel and each one tells the wheel to do something different.

The only thing that gets annoying is that you can't work this fast with more than one region at a time unless they are grouped. Hopefully that will come soon.

Truth be told, it is much fast than the keyboard.. and I still find myself using the keyboard anyway haha
Old 9th September 2011
  #24
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Nudge / grid values.
Excuse me, not at my PT rig and horrible at key commands unless I can "do" it, will verify in morning but muscle memory in left hand I think says

Ctrl opt keypad + or -
Opt Cmd keypad + or -

I use it all the time.

Jeff
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