Computer Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Recording Music Easier


Recording music as a hobby or profession is sometimes very meticulous work. Editing the tracks is sometimes very tedious, and often It gets frustrating. The good thing that most Digital Audio Workstations have keyboard shortcuts to make the recording, editing, and mixing music quicker.

Keyboard shortcuts often depend on what DAW you are using and your computer operating system. Some DAWs allow you to create your keyboard shortcuts. By learning these shortcuts, recording music will become easier. Just like learning the shortcuts on Microsoft word and excel, it will take time to memorize.

Table of Contents:

GARAGEBAND

LOGIC X PRO SHORTCUTS

REAPER SHORTCUTS

FL STUDIO SHORTCUTS

AUDACITY SHORTCUTS

MAC SHORTCUTS

WINDOWS SHORTCUTS

Operating Systems

The two most known operating systems are Mac and Windows. Some prefer one over the other, but it does not matter because each of these operating systems, with the right specs, can record and produce good-quality music.

MAC

A Mac computer is a powerful tool for recording music in your home music studio. If you chose the right Apple computer, you could create full music albums. Apple computers are committed to bringing the best experience for creative professionals such as musicians, artists, and music producers.

Here are some examples of good MAC computers for recording music:

  • Apple iMac Retina 5k

(Price: $1,799)

A good reason for choosing an Apple computer is the multi-tasking capabilities it has to offer. The large 27-inch screen and retina display of the iMac will help you maximize your workflow. Most modern producers use Apple for recording because of the processing power it offers. Although Apple only offers and supports fewer music-recording software, the software they offer will surely work at its best.

Specifications:

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory that is good enough to run all your favorite Digital Audio Workstation software and numerous VST plugins all at once.

You can upgrade the RAM to 16GB for an extra $200 and up to 32GB for an additional $600.

  • 1TB Fusion Drive Storage so you can store tons of audio stems for your music projects.
  • Magic Mouse 2 that can you can upgrade to a Magic Trackpad 2 for an extra $50
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation with an Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo boost up to 4.1 GHz
  • 27-inch display
  • 5k resolution with Retina display
  • Apple MacBook Pro

(Price: $1,299)

If you want a smaller Mac Computer that is good for recording, the MacBook Pro is one of the best Apple laptops. The newer versions are much thinner than, the older models but still has the same powerful processor. The thinner versions, however, stripped-down CD drives and USB ports, which doesn’t affect the functions if you’re going to use the computer for recording.

Specifications:

  • 32GB RAM perfect for operating data-heavy recording software
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics
  • The 15.4-inch screen that suitable for a laptop
  • 4TB maximum storage to store all of your recording files and stems
  • 4.2 lbs. light so it is easy to carry around

WINDOWS

If users like MAC for over simplicity and user-friendliness, computer nerds unite for the fantastic features of a Windows computer. What computer enthusiasts love about windows is the maximum customization you can do in terms of hardware and software.

For recording, there is a lot of software and free software you can use on a Windows PC than a Macintosh. Another advantage of having a PC is the lower price. Many companies release their computers with Windows OS, such as HP, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, Dell, Samsung, etc.

For Windows, you can start from scratch and build your PC. Here is an example build of a suitable PC for recording music that will set you back about $800-$1,200:

  • CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor

This CPU is a Fast PC for gaming as well as music production. This computer is highly rated, and you can get it at a very reasonable price of $329. The maximum memory the Ryzen can support is up to 64GB.

Note that the CPU does not include the components when you are building a computer. You will have to buy the RAM, Operating System, Video Card, Sound Card, Hard Drive, etc. separately. In a CPU, you are purchasing the processor or from the name itself, the CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT.

Building computers are more common on Windows OS as Apple is the only company licensed to use MAC OS.

  • Motherboard

Asus PRIME X570-P ATX AM4 Motherboard

(Price: $169)

It has four memory slots, that can support up to 128GB of memory.

  • Memory

G. Skill Trident Z RGB 16 GB

(Price: $120)

These memory sticks come in two 8GB of RAM sums up to 16GB of DDR4-3600 memory that is enough for all your recording needs.

  • Storage

HP EX920 512 GB Solid-state drive

(Price: $69)

512 GB is enough for starting recording. Although you can always upgrade storage space when you are building a PC. You can also get external hard drives for easier data transfer.

  • Video Card

Sapphire Radeon RX 570 4GB PULSE VIDEO CARD

(Price: $120)

This video card is sufficient for recording purposes and more.

  • Case

Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case

(Price $90)

It is a nice case that has excellent ventilation. The all-black design is very sophisticated and simple.

  • Power Supply

EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650 W

(Price: $100)

The SuperNova is a modular power supply that makes cable management more accessible and neat. It is efficient and quiet and suitable for heavy-duty CPU use.

Note: This build only includes most hardware and processors needed to run the computer functions. You can choose the monitor, keyboard, and mouse of your choice.

  • Operating System

Windows 10 Pro

(Price: $130)

The current Windows OS is most capable of fulfilling your applications such as recording, editing, mixing and mastering music, as well as pictures and videos. Make sure you get the Windows 10 Pro version for more advanced features and applications.

If you do not want to go through the hassle of building a computer, you can always go for pre-built computers or laptops. Here is an example of a powerful Windows laptop suitable for recording purposes.

PC AUDIO LABS MC MOBILE 10

(Price: $2,899)

This laptop is quite an unknown brand in the mainstream world. However, this is an excellent example of a Windows PC that has enough processing power to match an Apple Computer.

The design of this computer looks like it came straight from a science fiction movie. If you are into high-tech looking gadgets from the future, this is a suitable choice for you.

Not only does the design look futuristic, but the specifications are also quite remarkable.

Specifications:

  • 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H Processor (2.6GHz) with 6 Cores that can be upgraded up to 8 Cores
  • Intel HM370 Express Chipse 15.3
  • 13.6” Full HD Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6
  • RAM is 16GB that can be upgraded up to 64GB
  • 250GB SSD Storage
  • Window 10 64-bit
  • Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
  • Full-Size Color Illuminated Keyboard
  • 6 in one Card Reader
  • Weight 5.8 lbs.
  • Size 14.13” x 10.15” x 1.18”

DAWS

Here are some DAWs and their essential keyboard shortcuts to optimize every recording session. Some apps are MAC exclusive and Windows.

GARAGEBAND SHORTCUTS

Main Window Shortcuts

Command Shortcut
Start recording R
Start playback Enter
Stop playback 0 (Zero)
Start and stop playback Spacebar
Move the play head one bar back Comma (,)
Move the play head one bar forward Period (.)
Start playback from the selection Shift + Spacebar
Move the cycle range forward by cycle length Command + Shift + Period (.)
Move the cycle range backward by one cycle length Command + Shift + Period (.)
Go to the beginning of a selection fn + left arrow
Go to the end of the last region Option + Return
Go to Beginning Return
Turn the cycle area on/off C
Turn solo on/off for tracks Control + Option + Command + S
Turn the metronome on/off K
Turn count-in on/off Shift + K
Open Preferences window Command + Comma (,)
Show/Hide the Musical Typing window Command + K
Show/Hide the Smart Controls window B
Show/Hide the Score Editor N
Show/Hide the Piano Roll Editor P
Show/Hide the Loop Browser O
Show/Hide the Library Y
Enter/Exit Full-Screen mode Control + Command + F
Close the current window or project Command + W
Select the next higher track Up Arrow
Select the next lower track Down Arrow
Hide Garageband Command + H
Hide other apps Option + Command + H
Quit Garageband Command + Q
Create a new project Command + N
Open existing project Command + O
Save current project Command + S
Save the current project as Command + Shift + S
Change focus to next window area Tab
Change focus to previous window area Shift + Tab
Minimize Garageband window Command + M
Minimize all other application windows Option + Command + M
Next patch of effects and instrument setting ]
Previous patch of effects and instrument setting [
Mute/ unmute selected track M
Solo/ un-solo selected track S
Turn on/off monitoring for selected track Control + I
Undo Command + Z
Cut Command + X
Copy Command + C
Paste Command + V
Delete selected Delete
Select All Command + A
Horizontal zoom out Command + Left Arrow
Horizontal zoom in Command + Right Arrow
Page up Function + Up Arrow
Page down Function + Down Arrow
Page left Function + Left Arrow
Page right Function + Right Arrow
Show/ hide automated lines A
Create new track Option + Command + N
Create new audio track Option + Command + A
Create new software instrument track Option + Command + S
Create new drummer track Option + Command + U
Delete selected track Command + Delete
Select the previous region on the selected track or event in the editor Left Arrow
Select the next region on the selected track or event in the editor Right Arrow
Loop selected region continuously L
Quantize selected events Q
Undo quantization Option + Command + Q
Paste and replace current selection Shift + Command + V
Join regions or notes Command + J
Split the selected region at the playhead position Command + T
Turn snap to grid on/off Command + G
Delete automation on selected track Control + Shift + Command + Delete
Turn record enable for selected track on/off Control + R
Cut the selected arrangement marker into sections Option + Command + Delete
Rename selected track Shift + Return
Add selected region to Apple Loops library Control + Shift + O
Rename selected regions Shift + N
Configure track header Option + T
Show/ hide editor pane E
Show/ hide note pad Option + Command + P
Show/ hide browser pane F
Show/ hide master track Shift + Command + M
Show/ hide the alignment guides Option + Command + G

EDITOR SHORTCUTS

Command Shortcut
Preview selected audio Option + Space
Transpose selected notes up one semitone Option + Up Arrow
Transpose selected notes down one semitone Option + Down Arrow
Transpose selected notes up one octave Option + Shift + Up Arrow
Transpose selected notes down one octave Option + Shift + Down Arrow

LOGIC X PRO KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Logic Pro is an extension of Garageband, so most of their shortcuts are the same. Here are some shortcuts that are exclusive for Logic X Pro users.

Modifier Shortcuts

With the use of particular tools on Logic X pro like the pointer, hold down the specific keys to achieve what the command states.

Command Tools Shortcut
Change to the zoom tool Any Ctrl + Alt
Drag a region to create a copy Pointer Alt
Create crossfade between two regions Pointer Ctrl + Shift
Select automation nodes Pointer Shift
Adjust curves Pointer Ctrl + Shift
Create marquee selection for selected region Marquee Alt
Add marquee to a section Marquee Alt + Shift

All Commands

Command Shortcut
Rename track Shift + Return
Rename take Shift + T
Name regions by track name Alt + Shift + N
Name track by region name Alt + Shift + Command + N
Show/ hide color chooser Alt + C
Select equal colored regions/ events/ channels Shift + C
Color regions by track color Alt + Shift + C
Color tracks by region color Alt + Shift + Command + C
Join Regions J
Join notes Command + J
Split region at playhead Command + T
Nudge left Alt + Shift + Left Arrow
Nudge right Alt + Shift + Right Arrow
Set nudge to tick Ctrl + Alt + T
Set nudge to division Ctrl + Alt + D
Set nudge to beat Ctrl + Alt + B
Set nudge to bar Ctrl + Alt + M
Shuffle L Alt + [
Shuffle R Alt +]
Trim note to remove overlaps Forward slash (\)
Force legato Shit + Forward Slash (\)
Transpose up one semitone Alt + Up arrow
Transpose down one semitone Alt + Down Arrow
Transpose up one octave Alt + Shift + Up Arrow
Transpose down one octave Alt + Shift + Down Arrow
Create two automation points on region Ctrl + Shift + Command +2
Delete visible automation on track Ctrl + Command + Backspace
Delete all automations on track Ctrl + Shift + Command + Backspace
Create track stack Shift + Command + D
Create folder stack Shift + Command + F
Create Summing Stack Shift + Command + G
Flatten Stack Shift + Command + U
Toggle track on Ctrl + R
Toggle touch automation Ctrl + Alt + Shift + T
Select All Command + A
Deselect All  Alt + Shift + D
Invert Selection Shift + I
Select all auxiliary channel strips Shift + F
Select all inside locators Shift + L
Select overlapped regions/ events Shift + O
Select Similar regions/ events Shift + S
Select muted regions/ events Shift + M
Scroll to selection Shift + apostrophe (‘)
Select same channels Shift + H
Select highest notes Shift + Up Arrow
Select lowest notes Shift + Down Arrow

Toggle/ Show/ Hide

Command Shortcut
Musical typing K
Mixer X
Editor E
Inspector I
Tool menu T
Library Y
Loop browser O
Audio file editor W
All plugin windows V
Global tracks G
Track automation A
List editors D
Media area F
Notepad Alt + N
Key commands Alt + K
Control surface learn mode Command + L
Controller assignments Alt + Shift + K
Project settings Alt + P
Preferences Command + Comma (,)
Hide track H

REAPER KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Reaper has so many shortcuts, so I picked out the most useful keyboard shortcuts for optimizing workflow for both Windows and MAC.

Command PC Shortcut MAC Shortcut
Auto Crossfade on/off Alt + X Option + X
Copy selected items Ctrl + C Command + C
Cut selected items Ctrl + X Command + X
Paste selected items Ctrl + V Command + V
Group items G G
Open items in external editor Ctrl + Alt + E Command + Option + E
Insert media item Insert Insert
Pitch item down one cent Shift + 7 Shift + 7
Pitch item down one semitone Shift + 9 Shift + 9
Pitch item up one cent Shift + 8 Shift + 8
Pitch item up one semitone Shift + 0 Shift + 0
Select all items Ctrl + A Command + A
Record Ctrl + R Command + R
Split items S S
Toggle items mute Alt + M Option + M
Undo previous action Ctrl + Z Command + Z
Go to next track Ctrl + Alt + Down Command + Option + Down
Go to previous track Ctrl + Alt + Up Command + Option + Up
Insert new track Ctrl + T Command + T
Show master track view Ctrl + Alt + M Command + Option + M
Loop set begin point Shift + [ Shift + [
Loop set endpoint Shift +] Shift +]
Toggle gridlines Alt + G Option + G
Toggle locking L L
Toggle snapping Alt + S Options + S
Move contents of items left Num 1 Num 1
Move contents of items right Num 3 Num 3
Move items down one track Num 2 Num 2
Move items up one track Num 8 Num 8
Show FX chain for selected take Shift + E Shift + E
Switch items to previous take Shift + T Shift + T
Switch items to next take T T

FL STUDIO KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS FOR MAC AND PC

Command PC Shortcuts Mac Shortcuts
Open file Ctrl + O Command + O
Save file Ctrl + S Command + S
Save new version Ctrl + N Command + N
Save as Ctrl + Shift + S Command + Shift + S
Export Wav file Ctrl + R Command + R
Export Mp3 file Ctrl + Shift + R Command + Shift + R
Rearrange windows Ctrl + Shift + H Command + Shift + H
Delete selected channels Alt + Delete Option + Delete
Clone selected channels Alt + C Option + C
Toggle mixer track selectors Alt + M Option + M
Start/ stop playback Spacebar Spacebar
Fast forward Zero (0) Zero (0)
Stop sound (Panic) Ctrl + H Command + H
Toggle editor Ctrl + E Command + E
Toggle typing and piano keypad Ctrl + T Command + T
Toggle blend notes Ctrl + B Command + B
Toggle metronome Ctrl + M Command + M
Toggle recording pre count Ctrl + P Command + P
Toggle wait for input to start recording Ctrl + I Command + I
Cycle through windows Tab Tab
Open plugin picker F8 F8
Close a window Esc Esc
Toggle piano roll F7 F7
Show/hide mixer F9 F9
Show/ hide MIDI settings F10 F10
Show/ hide song info window F11 F11
Close all windows F12 F12
Toggle peak meter Alt + W Option + W
Rename selected mixer track F2 F2
Consolidate audio tracks Ctrl + Alt + C Command + Option + C
Delete space Ctrl + Delete Command + Delete
Select time around selection Ctrl + Enter Command + Enter
Move selected channels up Shift + Up Arrow Shift + Up Arrow
Move selected channels down Shift + Down Arrow Shift + Down Arrow
Shift steps left Shift + Ctrl + Left Arrow Shift + Command + Left Arrow
Shift steps right Shift + Ctrl + Right Arrow Shift + Command + Right Arrow
Next Bar Asterisk (*) Asterisk (*)
Previous Bar Backslash (/) Backslash (/)

AUDACITY SHORTCUTS

File Menu Shortcuts

Command PC Shortcut Mac Shortcut
New Ctrl + N Command + N
Open Ctrl + O Command + O
Close Ctrl + W Command + W
Quick save Ctrl + S Command + S
Save as Ctrl + Shift + S Command + Shift + S
Import audio files Ctrl + Shift + I Command + Shift + I
Export audio files Ctrl + Shift + E Command + Shift + E
Export multiple audio files Ctrl + Shift + L Command + Shift + L
Exit application Ctrl + Q Command + Q

Editing Shortcuts

Command PC Shortcut Mac Shortcut
Undo Ctrl + Z Command + Z
Redo Ctrl + Y Command + Shift + Z
Remove audio or cut Ctrl + X Command + X
Remove audio labels or delete Ctrl + K Command + K
Split cut audio labels Ctrl + Alt + X Command + Option + X
Split delete audio labels Ctrl + Alt + K Command + Option + K
Silence audio Ctrl + L Command + L
Trim Audio Ctrl + T Command + T
Split track Ctrl + I Command + I
Split into new track Ctrl + Alt + I Command + Option + I
Join tracks Ctrl + J Command + J
Detach tracks at silences Ctrl + Alt + J Command + Option + J
Copy Ctrl + C Command + C
Paste Ctrl + V Command + V
Paste text to new label Ctrl + Alt + V Command + Option + V
Duplicate track Ctrl + D  Command + D
Select all Ctrl + A Command + A
Select playback position left [ [
Select playback position right ] ]
Select track start to cursor Shift + J Shift + J
Select cursor to track end Shift + K Shift + K
Select in all tracks Ctrl + Shift + K Command + Shift + K
Select in all sync-locked tracks Ctrl + Shift + Y Command + Shit + Y
Find zero crossings Z Z
Move cursor to selection start Left Arrow Left Arrow
Move cursor to selection end Right Arrow Right Arrow
Move cursor to track start J J
Move cursor to track end K K
Preferences Ctrl + P Command + Comma (,)
Selection to start Shift + Home N. A.
Selection to end Shift + end N. A.

Transport Menu Shortcuts

Command PC Shortcut Mac Shortcut
Loop play Shift + Space Shift + Space
Pause P P
Record R R
Timer record Shift + T Shift + T
Append Record Shift + R Shift + R
Play/stop Spacebar Spacebar
Play one second 1 1
Play to selection  B B
Play Cut Preview C C

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MIDI KEYBOARDS

Having Midi keyboards helps a lot when recording. You can assign specific controls from your DAW to the Midi controller such as tweaking levels and adjusting effects. Adjusting the levels on your DAW with a mouse will take a lot of time because there are several levels you need to tweak to get a particular sound. The good thing is that there are specific tools that can help.

AKAI MPK MINI MK II

(PRICE: $89)

This device is useful for DAWs on a computer or Apps on mobile devices. You can assign the pads as trigger pads and sequences depending on the software you are using.

  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys
  • Eight fully assignable trigger pads with two banks
  • 16 fully assignable knobs
  • Four user programs
  • Octave switch
  • Modulation and pitch joystick
  • Free software included

NOVATION LAUNCHKEY MINI

(Price: $89)

The Launchkey Mini is an excellent choice for more electronic-driven music. It is a combination of a midi keyboard controller and Novation’s Launchpad. 

  • 16 fully assignable, LED indicating trigger pads
  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys
  • Eight fully assignable knobs
  • Free Software included

MAC SHORTCUTS

  • UNDO PREVIOUS COMMAND: Command + Z
  • HIDE FRONT WINDOWS: Command + H
  • QUIT OPEN APP: Command + Q
  • MINIMIZE FRONT WINDOWS: Command + M
  • OPEN SPOTLIGHT SEARCH: Command + Spacebar
  • SWITCH BETWEEN OPEN APPS: Command + Tab

TRACKPAD

Apple laptops have a cool trackpad that can work wonders with the use of gestures. You can swipe through screens and multiple windows with just using your fingers. The Magic Trackpad is built-in most apple laptops and can be bought separately for iMacs.

The features of the Magic Trackpad are similar to gestures on an iPhone. You can click, double click, scroll, zoom-in, rotate, and many more. Features like this are helpful for multi-tasking and recording.

MAGIC MOUSE

The Magic Mouse for Mac is another helpful creation. It works just how a regular mouse would, but with more features such as gestures like the Trackpad. It has Bluetooth connectivity for convenience.

WINDOWS SHORTCUTS

  • RUN PROGRAM: Windows + R
  • OPEN FILE EXPLORER: Windows + E
  • SWITCH BETWEEN OPEN PROGRAMS: Alt + Tab
  • OPEN TASK MANAGER: Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  • HIDE/ DISPLAY DESKTOP: Windows + D
  • SWITCH BETWEEN OPEN PROGRAMS IN THE ORDER THEY WERE OPENED: Alt + Esc
  • QUIT PROGRAM: Alt + F4
  • MINIMIZE ALL WINDOWS: Windows + M
  • RESTORE PREVIOUS CLOSED WINDOWS: Shift + Windows + M

ASSIGN SHORTCUTS

In most DAWs, you can assign the shortcuts you want to whatever key that you prefer. Certain DAWs allow you to change, edit, and remove shortcuts. Enabling shortcut assign is much to remember because you yourself created the keyboard shortcuts.

CONCLUSION

Keyboard shortcuts can be a real lifesaver when it comes to deadlines, especially if music production is your profession. Either you record music professionally, as a hobby or for your band, these shortcuts will help optimize every recording session. I hope this article can guide both beginner and intermediate producers to make their work easier.

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