Creating Custom Logic Key Commands – Speeding up your workflow

12 March, 2011


Key Commands pic (Small)
  • SumoMe

In Logic there is an incredibly versatile key command setup where there is hundreds of available and customizable key commands. Some of which are already setup for you and others are begging for you to go into the key commands menu and set them up. Having key commands setup for all the tasks you perform regularly will exponentially speed up the time you spend on all types of tasks in logic and may mean you can finally go with your friends for a beer after all.

I have made a post of my Top 10 Basic Key Commands in Logic, click HERE to view it.

So lets get started and take a look at how we can access these magical settings.

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With Logic open, go to Logic Pro/Express > Preferences > Key Commands… , or hit ⌥(alt)+K. You will then see the Key Commands box appear.

I will quickly explain the items at the top. The first drop down menu is the ‘Options’ menu and this is the place where you can Import/Export commands, Initialize all commands, change to one of the preset command lists if you are using a different keyboard, i.e. for a different country, and expand/collapse all. Next is the ‘Show:’ menu which allow you to show only used,unused or all key commands. Last on the right hand side is the ‘Search’ box where you can search for commands.

The global key commands are always functional, regardless of the currently active window. Non-global commands require the corresponding window to have key focus (in the foreground, or on top of other windows). This allows you to assign the same key command (or combination of keys) to different functions in different windows.

Firstly lets take a look at what key commands are currently setup. In the ‘Options’ menu select ‘Expand All’ and in the ‘Show:’ menu select used. This will bring back a list of all the key commands that are setup. The first few include Record = R and Play or Stop = *space bar*. If we use the search bar to search for ‘piano’ we can see that Toggle Piano Roll = P. So every time we hit P on its own the piano roll will appear, or disappear if it is in view which means we don’t have to reach for the mouse and click the piano roll button every time we want to view it.

The great thing about logic is that we can setup Key Commands for almost anything within the program (there are over a thousand available!). So now I am going to show you how to do that.
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One of the first Key Commands I setup which has saved me a lot of time is ‘Merge Regions/Notes’ which can merge 2 or more regions into 1 without selecting the glue tool and highlighting the regions then clicking the region to merge. So in the ‘Show:’ drop down menu select all and search for ‘merge’, Highlight ‘Merge Regions/Notes’, click the ‘Learn by Key Label’ button on the right hand side which will stay highlighted until you press a key or combination of keys, I chose to use ⌃(ctrl)+M. When I do this Logic does the clever thing and tells me this combination is already assigned to ‘Toggle Track Mute’ and in the window pops up we can either click ‘OK’ which doesn’t assign the Key Command or we can choose ‘Replace’ which then assigns that Key Command for us.

The ‘Learn by Key Position’ works by using the actually position of the key on the keyboard, so if you changed to a keyboard set to a different language the key would still perform the same command.

The ‘Learn New Assignment’ button allows you to assign a control surface function to the command. e.g. a button to the Play or Stop command.

To Save you command set (which I suggest you do every time you edit key commands) Select the ‘Option’ menu and Select ‘Export Key Commands’, type in the desired name (I usually put the date and my name) and hit Save.

As you can see with over 1100 commands at you disposal the amount of time and effort you could save instead of moving your mouse and clicking through 5 options could seriously mount up.


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