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Pro Tools Keyboard Shortcuts for Creating, Playing, and Recording a New Track

Part of the Pro Tools All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Recording audio is what Pro Tools does best (well, that and editing it). This article guides you through the keyboard shortcuts for creating and recording a new track, as well as playing it back.

To create a new track: Press Apple Command+N (Mac) or Ctrl+N (PC).

To start or stop playing a session: Press the spacebar.

To enable tracks to record:

  • To record-enable a single track: Click the Record Enable button in either the track’s channel strip (in the Mix window) or the track menu (in the Edit window). The button blinks red when engaged.

  • To record-enable all tracks: Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (PC) the Record Enable button on any track.

  • To record-enable selected tracks: Shift-click to select the tracks you want in the playlist and then Shift+Option-click (Mac) or Shift+Alt-click (PC) the Record Enable button for one of the selected tracks.

To start recording in your session (instead of clicking Record and then Play):

  • Press the F12 key.

  • Press Apple command+spacebar (Mac) or Ctrl+spacebar (PC).

  • If you have the Number Keypad mode set to Transport in the Operations tab of the Preferences dialog box, press the 3 of the numeric keypad. Choose Setup→Preferences from the main menu to access the Preferences dialog box.

To stop recording the session: Press the spacebar.

To place a track in Record Safe mode: Apple command-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (PC) the Record Enable button for the track.

To place all tracks in Record Safe mode: Apple command+Option-click (Mac) or Ctrl+Alt-click (PC) the Record Enable button for any track.

To toggle between Record modes (Non-destructive, Destructive, Loop, QuickPunch): Control-click (Mac) or right-click (PC) the Record button in the Transport window.

To enter and exit recording while in QuickPunch Record mode (while the session plays): Press Apple command+spacebar (Mac) or Ctrl+spacebar (PC).

To set and enable a pre-roll: Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (PC) the track’s playlist where you want to put the pre-roll.

To set and enable a post-roll: Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (PC) the track’s playlist where you want to put the post-roll.

To stop recording and cancel a take: Press Apple command+. (period; Mac) or Alt+. (period; PC).

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