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Most Useful Quick Keys in ProTools

Most Useful Quick Keys in Pro Tools

Why is it important?

Being successful as an audio engineer requires you to be flawless in your designated DAW. These quick keys for Pro Tools, an industry standard, guarantees engineers speed and precision that provides a time-effective and proficient session for them and their clients.  Quick keys speed up your workflow, with accessible shortcuts that allow you to access tools and features right from your keyboard without having to click through lengthy menus or leave your workspace. 

These are some essential Pro Tools quick keys to learn quickly to hit the ground running!

The Essentials:

  • Spacebar: Start/stop playback
  • Command + =: Switch between edit and mix windows
  • Shift + Command + N: Create new tracks
  • T: Zoom in
  • R: Zoom out
  • Enter: Returns timeline selection point to the beginning of the session
  • 3(Numeric Keypad) OR Command + Spacebar OR F12: Record
  • Command + S: Save
  • Command + Z: Undo
  • Shift + Command + Z: Redo
  • Command + C: Copy
  • Command + V: Paste

Having a numerical keypad is a necessity that allows multiple quick keys to be accessible that would not be available otherwise.

Numeric Keypad:

  • Enter: Create new memory location
  • 0: Start/stop playback
  • 1: Move timeline selection point back 1 bar
  • 2: Move timeline selection point forward 1 bar
  • 3: Start record
  • 4: Enable/disable loop playback
  • 5: Enable/disable loop record mode
  • 6:Enable punch record mode
  • 7: Enable/disable metronome
  • 8: Enable/disable count-in
  • 9: Enable/disable MIDI merge

Quick keys used for editing greatly improves speed and functionality. A faster workflow can improve a client’s session by providing a smoother recording experience. 

Editing and Mixing:

  • A: Trims everything before the timeline selection point
  • S: Trims everything after the timeline selection point
  • D: Creates a fade from the beginning of a clip up to the timeline selection point
  • F: With a whole clip(s) selected, will add short fades to the beginning and end
  • G: Creates a fade after the timeline selection point to the end of the clip
  • Command F: Batch fade
  • P: Move the timeline selection point and/or a clip selection up a track
  • ; (semi-colon): Move the timeline selection point and/or a clip selection down a track
  • , (comma): Nudge a clip to the left (based on your chosen nudge value)
  • . (period): Nudge a clip to the right (based on your chosen nudge value)
  • Command + E OR B: Separate clip based on current selection
  • Command + H: Heals a separation
  • Command + T: Trims clip to the current selection
  • Command + B: Removes current selection
  • Command + U: Opens strip silence
  • Command + G: Group the selected tracks
  • Shift + Command + G: Suspend all groups in the session
  • Option + Command + G: Group selected clips together; opt + cmnd + U will undo the clip group

Other Favorites: 

  • Control + \(Backslash): New playlist for a selected track
  • Shift + Command + I: Import audio
  • Shift + Command + K: Export clips as files
  • Tab: Move to next clip edge
  • Option + Tab: Move to previous clip edge
  • Tilde: Cycle Though edit modes
  • Option + Shift + D: Duplicate 

We hope you take advantage of these quick keys to significantly enhance your skills in ProTools for your next recording, editing, or mixing session!

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