I know the trend right now is all about drag and drop functionality from a big row of fancy plugin gui’s, but every fast working professional I know does not work this way… They utilise key commands/shorcuts/hotkeys (call them what you like) at every opportunity they can, because it’s MUCH quicker and easier than drag and drop, especially if you are a half decent typist (i.e. can fire off key commands without needing to look down at the keyboard). Not to mention the wrist strain that can occur from the repeated drag and drop movement, because it requires finger pressure for the whole drag… sounds silly I know, but when you’re doing this 8-10 hours a day, every day, it matters.
Cubase is a bit lacking in the key commands area IMO, here are some options that I’d love to see -
’Bounce and Replace’ - A no brainer as far as I’m concerned - simply a bounce without the the annoying dialog that needs clicking. Useful for macros too.
’Open ‘insert’ menu for selected track’ - This would simply be the same menu you get when you click in a blank insert slot, except it would float at the mouse cursor, so you can hit the key command, type the first few letters of your plugin as normal, hit enter, and it’s loaded on the currently selected track, in the next available slot… this sounds trivial but trust me it’s so much quicker when your workflow involves loading a lot of plugins.
’Add plugin ‘X’ and load preset ‘X’ for selected track’ - Again it would load in the next available slot for the selected track. See Studio One’s implementation of this for a good example, it’s elegant… when you setup the key command it brings up a dialog that allows you to select the plugin, then select a preset from it’s list of presets, you can then name the key command what you like, and assign it. This would work especially well with the ongoing request for plugin renaming - as you can load up an instance of your favourite EQ, set up a HPF, save it as a preset called ‘HPF’, then rename the plugin instance to ‘HPF’. Then when you save that preset to a key command, it will always load as ‘HPF’ and appear as such in the mixer… you can see how this would speed up your workflow.
’Insert Track with Track Preset ‘X’’ - using this you could create a variety of key commands/mid cc’s/metagrid buttons for different VSti’s, already setup with your desired drum map/expressions maps/quick controls/inserts etc… and load them from one key/button. Would also be helpful for quickly loading your standard vocal recording track for example, rather than digging through the track presets menu, where all these things are stored in separate folders.
’Move plugin window to mouse cursor’ - this makes life so much easier on large/multimonitor setups… again it’s one of those things that you don’t realise how helpful it is until you use it. While we’re on the subject - I’d love an option to make all plugin windows appear centred at the mouse cursor whenever opened. This request also pairs well the next one -
’Open plugin ‘X’ window on selected track’ - This could work by name or by insert slot, both would be useful. I use this in Reaper to (for example) always open ProQ on the selected track, which I use as my main ‘channel EQ’. This means that whichever channel is selected, i only need to press my shortcut (ctrl - E) and my ‘channel EQ’ appears straight at my mouse cursor… again this would pair well with the request to rename plugin instances and save them with the new name.
’Toggle Grid between Relative/Standard’ - Self explanatory.
Separate ‘Snap on’ and ‘Snap off’ commands - again, self explanatory.
’Focus Main Window/Mixconsole’ etc… - Shortcuts for toggling focus between different windows, mainly useful for macros.
Separate key commands for toggling the different right zone media sections, VST Instruments, User Presets, Favourites etc.
Key Commands for applying the various ARA extensions - Melodyne/Vocalign etc.
I’m sure there are more but these are off the top of my head. Feel free to chime in if you think of any more - hopefully if we get some momentum on this thread someone might take notice for 10.5