Key Commands!

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 :slight_smile:

Some of these are great, moving plugin to mouse cursor could be a huge time saver.

Agree100%: shortcuts are better than mouse actions. Shortcuts for plugins are now very limited.

I’d like to add two more.

Comp Tool when Alt Key is Held (Slicing Comp Tool) should be key command assignable and should appear in Generic Remote
The Comp Tool has a shortcut. But the Comp Tool can be assigned a shortcut but the Comp Tool when the Alt key is pressed does not and does not appear in any key command lists. This means, I need my keyboard just to press the alt key all of the time when I can assign the Comp Tool to be triggered by Cubase generic remote, I can’t get it to trigger a slice other than slicing the entire Cubase project or with the scissors. The Comp Tool Slice, can’t be selected or assigned by a control surface. This is annoying as a I assign every other function in Cubase that I commonly use to the control surface but I can’t put the keyboard aside because I need to keep pressing Alt on it all the time.

Also Cubase seems to ignore 3rd party midi to keystroke software for some reason so if your key command is not in the list, you can’t assign it.
So there should be…

User assignable macro keystroke buttons in the lower zone.
Selectable via touch screen, clicking, or pressing another keystroke (single key) and/or able to be triggered via Generic Remote.

Good shout! Regarding the macro section in the lower zone - if you have a spare tablet lying around you should give the metagrid app a go (if you haven’t already) - not exactly what you’re describing I know, but it might provide the functionality you’re after.

While I’m here - here’s another one - a mouse modifier for split (ignore snap) would also be good - I use the alt modifier for quick splitting all the time, and it would be nice if I could hold alt+shift for example to split ignoring snap - I know you can get this by switching to the scissor tool, it just require a lot more clicks.

Hi Joe, I’ve heard of MetaGrid. It looks cool. I think it just uses generic remote commands, which I can already assign to things. I tried a midi to keyboard macro app on Win 10 but Cubase seems to ignore the output of it even though it works for other applications like word and notepad. Not sure if Cubase would accept a key command macro from Metagrid or not on Win 10? Unfortunately, there is no room for an ipad. The desk is covered in physical control surfaces and midi controllers. There a bunch of buttons free that I can assign to things. I just wish there was a way to assign the Comp Splitter Tool. I might try Metagrid in a smaller studio that I’m setting up but I’m pretty happy having physical buttons labeled for things as I work long hours and touch screens aren’t the best to use for long hours if you can avoid it.

Please also add a keycommand to switch on/off the option of “Window always in front” of the plugin windows and the marker window.

I support this heartily, and I agree that key commands are often faster than drag n drop – but not always.

Cheers. That’s true - stuff like routing/copying sends, or copying and pasting a specific plugin from one insert slot to another is absolutely better with drag and drop, for example. (Having said that, if there was a key command for ‘copy currently open/focused plugin including settings’ and another for ‘paste plugin with settings to next available slot on selected track’ - I do think I’d actually use that).

On a side point - I think what’s interesting is that many of these requests are not asking for new functions, they are just faster methods of implementing a function that already exists - so I’d like to think it wouldn’t require TOO much time/effort at the programming end to implement. In fact, many of them could probably be replicated with complex autohotkey scripts if you are advanced enough to program them (I’m not).

90% of the times I like to have the same name in description field and name field in info line of audio events.

It should be nice to have 2 new KeyCommands:

1- Copy name field to description field of all events of the selected track
2- Copy name field to description field of all events of the project

Here’s another - midi ‘trim to contents’ sometimes called ‘crop to contents’.

Simply crops a midi event at either end, around the data it contains, including CC.

Great suggestions! +1

A key command to ‘loop cycle markers’ is also needed. I don’t understand it’s not already there.

Edit: And one to ‘Toggle Fader (Inspector)’. Its a pain in ass having to click your way to that fader on Instrument Tracks.

Good shout.

I’m one of those people who’d like to see an actual pan/volume fader/knob on every channel like protools/S1/Reaper - as this makes these adjustments so much easier, but that’s a subject for another thread.

It strikes me that if we had a global ‘all floating windows appear at mouse cursor’ then you could just select the channel, press the key command to open the channel edit window (where you can see the fader, inserts, sends, strip, eq and routing all together) and it would appear at the mouse cursor ready to adjust anyway, and you wouldn’t need to go digging through that bloody inspector panel (which I agree is cumbersome).

Oh - and how could I forget one of the most important ones - mousewheel+modifier for VERTICAL zoom!

Come on Steinberg… we’ve been asking for this one for ages! I am aware that it took up until version 10 until we actually got a shortcut for vertical zoom at ALL, so I’m not holding out too much hope unfortunately.

I’ve been a Cubase user for about 15 years but I’ve been testing the waters with Reaper for the last couple of months, and when you start to realise the workflow advantages that these basic things bring, it really opens your eyes. Not to mention that since I’ve been using it I’ve noticed maybe 5 or 6 little niggles like the ones I’m talking about here, extra modifiers I need for existing functions, that kind of thing, I’ve posted on them the forum, and at least three of them have been addressed, often within DAYS there’s a new version of Reaper uploaded with a fix!

If you want to know what I mean, take a look at this vid, it shows some of the key commands I referenced in my first post as well as other things (some of them are actually features I loved in Cubase that scripters have recreated in Reaper).

If we don’t start seeing some of this stuff for 10.5 then I expect Reaper will become my main DAW, and I expect Steiny will keep losing users to S1 and Reaper.



At least we got discrete snap on/off commands I guess.


Yes. I was hoping for lots more of keycommands like opening the channel editor of the instrument track that is from a midi channel

you can speed up the workflow with cubazen and a touch screen. there is a demo version for cubase and nuendo. A solution with a cheap touch screen. macros and icons to work better.

try it!

I agree with everything you’ve written here! Have been testing Reaper waters, too, and Cubase would do well to note exactly the kinds of things you mention.