In part one of this series we covered: The Most Basic Keyboard Shortcuts, The Focus Key Command, Viewing Categories and Manufacturers in you Plug-In List, Naming Tracks Using Shortcuts and Duplicating Tracks.
Here is part 2 where we are going to look at even more ideas to keep in your production toolkit. This set will contain some tips that include videos in order to explain them more in depth. So lets have a look at 5 more simple and efficient methods to speed up your production.
1. Learn the F keys
This is something I commonly try to push new users to focus on.
F keys 1-4 on your PC keyboard changes the edit window's grid mode behaviour between Shuffle, Slip, Spot and Grid
F5-10 changes the tool (Zoom, Trim, Selector, Grabber, Scrubber, Pencil)
If there are multiple options for any of these, repeatedly hitting the F key for that function will scroll through them. I am not a smart tool user (not sure why it never grew on me?) and I move quickly through these tools by using the proper F keys.
2. Create zoom levels
On the Pro Tools Toolbar across the top of the screen, contains a LOT of functionality to the point of almost being overwhelming for newer users. Zoom levels (numbers 1-5) are tucked away in the midst of all the options here. It lets you quickly save and recall zoom settings. They also correlate with the numbers on the keyboard (not the number pad).
To create a zoom preset, have the zoom level set where you want.
hold Ctrl and click the number (1-5) on the screen that you want to save the preset to.
To recall the preset, click the number on the screen, or hit the correlating number on your keyboard.
3. Use the Scroll Wheel:
It sounds obvious since you use the scroll wheel to move vertically. There are also some other useful functions in there.
Horizontal scroll: to move horizontally, hold down the Shift key when using the scroll wheel.
wheel to zoom: to zoom in and out on the cursor location, hold down the Alt key when zooming.
wheel to shrink-enlarge wave form. To change the waveform size, hold down Shift-Alt when using the scroll wheel.
4. Track Presets
The (now) well known track presets or known as "track hack" is a way to pre configure individual or sets of tracks to pull into a session quickly. Its as simple as creating a new track. You can have a VI setup, routed to individual outputs, and sets of aux’s all created. Routing configured, faders and panners set, and other plugins instantiated on those tracks. This can save you TONS of time.
Above is a video from Neil on how to set it up within Windows. My Trasher application contains a shortcut to create the necessary folders and to backup and restore the presets to save you even more time.
5. Use and Create Session Templates
Session templates give you a way to start a session with everything pre configured. You can create templates for different music styles, track layouts with volume, plugins, panning, routing, etc. all configured, along with VI's setup and routed. Above is a video to explain it.