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Using Key Commands

While the mouse remains your primary source of interaction with Logic, key commands provide an alternative way for you to control the program. Key commands give you access to most of Logic's functions directly from the keyboard, which saves you having to search through Logic's menus to look for the function you're after. Becoming familiar with Logic's key commands—and using them—will save you time as you arrange your songs. In fact, there are many key command functions that just plain aren't available from Logic's menus—if you don't know these key commands, you can't use the functions! (You'll learn several of these secret key commands over the course of this book's lessons.)

Restoring the Default Key Commands

To make sure you are working from the same page as the steps in this book, it's a good idea to restore Logic's default key command set before continuing. This is particularly true if you've upgraded to Logic 7 from an older version of the program, because installing Logic 7 may automatically load the older version's key commands.

  1. Choose Logic > Preferences > Key Commands (in Logic Pro, you can press Option-K).

    The Key Commands window opens, and you are presented with a large list of key commands, along with their functions.

    The Key Commands window breaks Logic's key commands into several sections. Global key commands (the ones that affect all of Logic's editing windows) are listed first, with subsequent sections listing key commands unique to each type of editing window.

  2. From the Key Commands window's Options menu, choose Initialize all Key Commands.

    Logic 7's default key command set is loaded, and you can now be sure your key commands match the ones used in this book.

Changing Key Commands

Logic lets you assign any function you want to any key or combination of keys. If you don't like Logic's default key commands, feel free to change them. But keep in mind that this book uses Logic's default key command set, so if you change any of these commands, you may experience some differences between this book's results and your own.

Bearing this warning in mind, let's go ahead and assign some new key commands—the important word here is new, because we are not changing any of the default commands. Instead, the following exercise adds a few new key commands to the Next Plug-In Setting and Previous Plug-In Setting key commands—two functions that come in handy when you want to audition Logic's plug-in presets without constantly visiting the plug-in's Settings menu.

  1. In the search field in the top right corner of the Key Commands window, type Plug-In Setting.

    The Key Commands window updates to list only the key commands that have the words Plug-In Setting in their function names. In the Global Commands list, the Next Plug-In Setting and Previous Plug-In Setting functions are now listed.

  2. Click the Next Plug-In Setting function to select it.

    The Next Plug-In Setting function currently has no key command assigned. Let's change that now.

  3. Click the Learn by Key Label button.
  4. Press Option-Cmd-N (think of it as Option-Cmd-Next).

    Option-Cmd-N appears to the left of the Next Plug-In Setting function, alerting you that the key command has been assigned and is now ready for use.

  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 to assign Option-Cmd-B to the Previous Plug-In Setting function (think of it as Option-Cmd-Back):
  6. Close the Key Commands window.
  7. In the Arrange window, select the Audio Instrument 1 track (the one playing the bass line).

    The Arrange window channel strip updates to show the track's settings. There are a couple of plug-ins inserted into this track.

  8. Double-click the Comp plug-in to open the Compressor.
  9. Press Option-Cmd-N.

    The next plug-in setting is loaded into the compressor.

  10. Press Option-Cmd-B.

    The previous plug-in setting is loaded into the compressor. Keep these key commands in mind, because they are not only handy but also invaluable!

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