Request: Range Tool as Tool Modifier for Selection Tool


The idea of the combined selection tool is good, but in practice it’s not very practical. Everything that relies on precision of the mouse pointer is a workflow slowdown, so it should be minimized. Also, it requires the track to be large enough, so if you have a big project, and want to i.e. select multiple tracks with the range tool, you can’t without switching tool.

On the other hand, the precise mouse positioning is causing me to constantly do the wrong operation just being a pixel off, when working fast.

Instead of switching between Selection/Range based on mouse position, the natural way of working would be a tool modifier key, like holding Alt to get Range tool. Adding Range tool as a tool modifier for Selection Tool would be perfect, and it would still keep the Combined tool for those eho wish to work that way.

1 Like

I have been working with this combined selection tool for 15 years. Before it was introduced in Nuendo, it was exactly the same in Cakewalk Sonar back then. I immediately missed it when I switched to Nuendo.
You can break the combination at any time and switch between the functions with a hotkey. In the 2 years when I missed the combined selection tool, I switched between the Range Tool and the Selection Tool with the hotkey “T”. “Alt” does not work because this is the split tool.
But I’m so used to the combined selection tool that I don’t want to be without it.

I’ve tried finding a single toggle key between Selection and Range, but haven’t been able to. What is that shortcut called in the list of key commands @THambrecht ?

I have the German version here. And translated into English this is under “Tool”:

  • Object selection tool
  • Tool selection area on/off
    This allows you to switch between the two modes with T and B.
    Haven’t used that in years though since this is combined. Hope it still works.

Is this on Nuendo 12? I can’t find such a function as “Tool selection area on/off”.

There is a “Toggle Range Selection”, but that just shifts between the A/B ranges (which is something I hate personally, but others might have use for it). There is a “Range Selection Tool”, but that needs another key.

From what I can see, there is no function to toggle between Object Selection and Range Selection with the same key. You can have two separate keys, one for Range and one for Object selection, but all keys comfortable around the WASD is filled with other shortcuts, so I can’t add another one.

Basically what I do now is Toggle “Combined Selection Tool” on off all the time (because I accidently start creating ranges if permanently enabled), and that “kind of” has the function you mention, but it still just gives me Range Tool on half of the track.

You say the Split tool is on Alt, but that is customizable, and I don’t use that. Would much rather use Alt to temporary select Range tool instead.

But what would this really get you? If you make a selection with the Range Tool, and then switch to the object selection tool, you lose the selection.


Aug-29-2023 14-10-06
I’d request the exact same function as if you transition from upper/lower part of the track using Combined Selection Tool. So releasing “Alt” would still keep the Range until you click with object selection somewhere. Holding Alt + draging would move the range.

In the example, pretend that I’m not moving the mouse between upper/lower part of the track, instead I’m pressing Alt every time the Range Tool is activated.

The benefit compared to the current “half track” solutionis that you
a) don’t need the precision of the mouse, increasing control and reduces misstakes/slowdown due to mouse positioning, and
b) can activate it on tracks with narrow width the same way that would otherwise require larger track zoom.

The seamless switching between Selection and Range using the Combined Selection Tool is a great feature, so imo it would be the best of both worlds.

I do not see what you mean. What are you demonstrating?

edit - I see what you’re saying. Maybe someone would want this, but to me it doesn’t fit in with the gestalt of the tools.

On the other hand it would fit in with the concept of having keystrokes that temporarily activate any tool, but not as a modifier key, for example holding a a key that activates the Pencil (or whichever tool) until it’s released, and then it reverts to the previous tool.

Why doesn’t it fit in? The Draw tool is a separate tool as well. The functionality is already there as Combined Selection Tool, the only difference is that it now triggers based on mouse position instead of a function key.

Adding it as a possible tool modifier (it isn’t even necessary binding it per default) would not change a thing for those who prefer the current workflow. I have no use for the Split Tool, it’s far too slow using the mouse for that (I use keyboard navigation and splitting with the cursor instead, which is more accurate and frame perfect). I’d much rather assign Alt to Range selection.

This is how Pro Tools function if I understand correctly, I don’t see any reason for Nuendo to function differently.

Toggle button is better than nothing, but there are issues with that as well that is for another thread. In short, I’m my workflow is designed based on two simple philosophies:

  1. Minimum amount of key presses.
  2. Mouse accuracy and usage should be reduced to a minimum.

This is because:

  1. I work very fast, with complex orchestrations and game sound design, and all extra moments blocks the flow, and:

  2. Eventually I will – as many others – develop issues with ergonomics using the mouse, so I’ll be transitioning to track ball. This is not possible using the current Combined Selection Tool, it would take too long to constantly adjust the upper/lower part of the track.

I’m saying that what you described is a good idea. But instead of being implemented in a piecemeal fashion, what is needed, in my view, is a function that would work with all the tools, and a wide range of workflows.

In Nuendo there is further complexity due to the A/B selection allowed in the Range tool

I’ve been using a trackball for decades, I find it better for small adjustments.

I have found that adjusting the speed of the mouse cursor solves the problem you describe regarding fine movements of the mouse cursor.

I see your point, even though it doesn’t suit my workflow.

I’ve managed to create a workaround now using the side-button on the mouse. It switches to Range Tool (Range A only, I never use A/B) when pressed down, and switches back to Object Selection (normal sizing) when releasing the button. It works as I’ve decribed above. When releasing the button, the Range selection disappears (as you said), but pressing the button again, the selection comes back. A workaround that is good enough for me.

I’ve assigned the other button to the Draw tool. As a bonus, KM detects which window is underneath the mouse pointer and automatically activates that window when the button is pressed. This is something that annoyed until some helpful people in the KM-forum helped me write a window detector function.

Regarding the trackball: I believe we have different philosophies here. I’m not using the mouse for fine adjustments, instead workflow is built around rought movements with mouse and trackball. Fine adjustments is done with the keyboard for almost everything, exception being the CC curves in Key Editor.

I guess you’re on Mac and use Keyboard Maestro?

You can do just what you asked for, use a key to temporarily switch tools, just as you’ve found using mouse buttons, and more.

This is the best solution for this kind of customization, and mimcs exactly what I proposed, albeit for the Range tool only.

1 Like

Yes. Only limitation is that KM cannot listen to modifier keys alone, so Alt can’t be set up as a trigger. But I can live with that.

Great. I did mean a letter key key though, not a modifier.

1 Like

I understand, thanks.

I’ll leave the request up, since I believe it’s still a good suggestion (albeit our difference in opinion regarding the concept of “tools”), and this workaround doesn’t work exactly as Combined Selection Tool.