I’ve seen a lot of people asking in forums and on other sites how to cycle focus between your open windows in Cubase. Since Cubase will process your keyboard shortcuts in the window that currently has focus, keeping track of where you are in the DAW becomes essential for a fast and smooth workflow.
On a PC you can step through an applications open windows using Alt+Tab, but on Mac its not that simple. So, here’s how I solved it for my setup.
First open up the Keyboard settings.
Next witch to the Shortcuts tab at the top of the settings window.
Next find the group called Keyboard, and the setting called ‘Move focus to the next window’.
I have it set to Command+=, which at least in my english installation of Yosemite does not collide with any other setting.
Voila! Your all set cycle through your open windows using the keyboard. One less annoyance to slow down your workflow.
I’ve been on the fence for some time, going back and forth on Logic as a DAW.
I like how simple it is to get going with a melody and a groove, and how snappy the UI of the actual DAW feels, but at the same time the state of the built-in instruments and effects really drags the whole experience down.
It’s not that they sonically sound bad, but the design and presets are really starting to feel old. I’m sure this is great for old time users, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with the engines under the hood, but for me the design and look and feel of a creative is just really important to get in the zone…
With this in mind, and after carefully looking into other DAWs at the market, I’ve decided to finally give Cubase a chance as well. I’ve only just recently installed it, and at the moment I’m plowing through the manual while finding my way around the UI.
So far though the impression is excellent. I really think Yamaha / Steinberg has made a fantastic job with laying out the controls while retaining a super fast response and a very logical workflow.
There are some things that require a bit of un-learning, such as Instrument Tracks and how the mixer and internal signal routing works, but it all makes sense once you open your mind to it.
Given the above though I’m uncertain if I will manage to pull a whole track together for Feb, but I’ll try…
Right, one more thing! The other reason I’m really excited about Cubase is because it will allow me to run the Hatsune Miku vocaloid plugin natively on the Mac. The standalone editor is only available on PC, and the plugin only works in Cubase…
I mentioned before that I’m using the down time in Japan to study. It’s turning into a mixture of music theory, composition and software techniques, and I wanted to particularly highlight a book (Logic Pro X – Professional Music Production) that I found used on the Japanese Amazon store:
This book is part of Apple’s Pro Training Series, and is certified by Apple as part of their official certification program. This is important because it means you can expect a certain level of quality and accuracy in the material, and the book certainly does not let you down.
It takes the form of a series of lessons which all work out like tutorials complete with all the necessary content. The book starts off with a tour of the UI and leads you through all the major ‘features’ and workflows (think mixing, arranging, editing, working with Midi and Audio files, setting up instruments and so on).
It’s a beautiful, full color book with a very well paced and pedagogical language that requires basically no prior knowledge of Logic, though it does assume you are familiar with the basic concepts of audio editing and production.
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the depths and capabilities of Logic Pro X, and especially to anyone making the jump from another DAW to Logic.
The lessons are just about long enough (60 to 90 min )to check off one a day, which means you’ll work through the entire book in about 10 days.
Read more about why I decided to move over to Logic here.
I mentioned briefly in a previous post that the reason I was upgrading to Mavericks was to explore Apple’s Logic Pro X. Having lived in Ableton Live for the past 2-3 years I knew it was not going to be an easy switch, but the inherent workflow of Live with Sessions / Arrangements and so on just never felt right to me. Live is super powerful, especially for electronica and for improvising live over an arrangement, but for straightforward, linear composing it always felt like forcing a round peg in a square hole…
It’s now been 4 days since I purchased and downloaded Logic from the Apple App Store, and I have to hand it to Apple. Even with no prior experience using the software it was incredibly easy and intuitive to get up and running. Even with a complex setup as mine with lots of outboard gear, hardware synths, control surfaces, mixers, effects and interfaces I had a complete template set up within just a couple of hours.
I’ve already started work on a new track which is a lot more traditional electronic pop in flavor, and I can feel how Logic just lends it self to easily getting the structure of a song down in a linear fashion. Of course its not going to work for everyone, and part of my new found inspiration might just be the lure of an exciting new acquaintance pulling me in, but regardless there is nothing as energizing as feeling inspired.
Also want to point out that despite the title of this post, buying Logic is not really a ‘switch’ away from Live, it is just an addition to the toolbox for a different way of working. Sometimes when you feel stuck or blocked creatively, changing the tool or environment can really help in my experience.
Let me know if you have any questions about the transition, or if you are considering the same move!