Custom Key commands

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live
Dallon426
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:08 pm

Custom Key commands

Post by Dallon426 » Sun May 02, 2021 5:44 pm

Hi, I just want to let you guys know, that I would purchase Ableton if it had Custom Key commands. That is the one issue I have with the software and it is the one thing that is holding me back. I am a logic user and a cubase user. Many times I have looked at Ableton, but I cannot hang with a company that does not allow me to edit my keyboard to my liking. Just for you guys to know. I hope this is something that will change in the near future! Thanks,

Dallon

jonljacobi
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by jonljacobi » Mon May 03, 2021 1:23 am

Long standing request. Over 100 votes currently on the Centercode site. Just in case you didn’t know, you can define a few primary key commands, and also use AutoHotKey or Keyboard Maestro to partially remedy the situation.

Dallon426
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by Dallon426 » Tue May 04, 2021 9:14 am

jonljacobi wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 1:23 am
Long standing request. Over 100 votes currently on the Centercode site. Just in case you didn’t know, you can define a few primary key commands, and also use AutoHotKey or Keyboard Maestro to partially remedy the situation.
Yeah, I hope it goes through, the problem I have is I want complete control, I do not want to be tied to ableton's key commands. And if I use the other software, then Ableton's commands are not over rideable. I cannot believe how long it has taken ableton to accept this! It is a must in all daws, IMO.

jonljacobi
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by jonljacobi » Fri May 07, 2021 2:34 am

I've just added what I really need using the keypad. That gives me enough for what I need one-handed when recording. No one would love it more if they opened up the environment and let us use our own commands.

Tarekith
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by Tarekith » Fri May 07, 2021 3:04 pm

I would love it more actually. :D

Been asking for this since Live 4.
Tarekith
Ableton Forum Administrator
Inner Portal Studio - Professional Audio Mastering

Dallon426
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: Custom Key commands

Post by Dallon426 » Sun May 09, 2021 11:50 am

Tarekith wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 3:04 pm
I would love it more actually. :D

Been asking for this since Live 4.
Pretty ridiculous that they've ignored it for so long.
The key commands in logic is genius. It let's you create them by location on the keyboard which allows for more precise commands. For those of us that have number pads it's quite fantastic👍

I really hope Ableton let's us override the global commands as well

jonljacobi
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by jonljacobi » Mon May 10, 2021 4:56 pm

There is a school of thought, believe it or not, that allowing custom key commands slows adoption of a DAW. I actually heard this from UA when reviewing Luna. This can't really be Ableton's thing, as they do allow some commands.

What it really seems to me is that the devs are a bit stuck on crafting the "perfect" solution of their own, rather than just saying "here, you do what you want". I have heard that they didn't like some of the hideous themes users put out there (and were shown on the Web) and backed off that.

Seeing what they've done, I can't completely disagree with their approach. Someone mentioned Logic, but an even better example is Reaper which even allows you to customize the menus. Cubase allowed this once upon a time, though that's long gone.

Also, if you notice, there was a way to show inserts on the mixer, and there's a whole pane that replaces the browser for the key commands you are allowed. It's a bit strange that they didn't just go all the way, and I can almost hear them debating performance and simplicity over customization.

Personally, as long as there's a reset switch, I don't see the harm of customizing key commands and menus, etc. That would indeed be my preference, but it just doesn't seem to be part of their vision. Maybe once...

Dallon426
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: Custom Key commands

Post by Dallon426 » Tue May 11, 2021 7:49 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 4:56 pm
There is a school of thought, believe it or not, that allowing custom key commands slows adoption of a DAW. I actually heard this from UA when reviewing Luna. This can't really be Ableton's thing, as they do allow some commands.

What it really seems to me is that the devs are a bit stuck on crafting the "perfect" solution of their own, rather than just saying "here, you do what you want". I have heard that they didn't like some of the hideous themes users put out there (and were shown on the Web) and backed off that.

Seeing what they've done, I can't completely disagree with their approach. Someone mentioned Logic, but an even better example is Reaper which even allows you to customize the menus. Cubase allowed this once upon a time, though that's long gone.

Also, if you notice, there was a way to show inserts on the mixer, and there's a whole pane that replaces the browser for the key commands you are allowed. It's a bit strange that they didn't just go all the way, and I can almost hear them debating performance and simplicity over customization.

Personally, as long as there's a reset switch, I don't see the harm of customizing key commands and menus, etc. That would indeed be my preference, but it just doesn't seem to be part of their vision. Maybe once...

I cannot understand why it would slow down the adoption of a DAW. Also with key commands they can just have templates. Standard, Empty, or custom and we can save our own custom key commands. Relatively simple. I think it would open up the program in more positive ways than negative ones. But I do think that it should be 100 percent editable. Minus the OS internal hotkeys

jonljacobi
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by jonljacobi » Wed May 19, 2021 1:05 am

I wasn't saying I believed that it would slow adoption. It doesn't. It's just an industry wive's tale and excuse that programmers sometimes use to just do what they want. There's no real reason not to allow it other than just not wanting to. It's absurdly easy to implement. I've done it back in my programming days.

Why it hasn't been done? Don't know. Maybe the programmers/designers who wanted to do it aren't there anymore. People get weird about their creations sometimes. But, after this last year, I no longer have any idea why anyone does anything.

Machinesworking
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Location: Seattle

Re: Custom Key commands

Post by Machinesworking » Wed May 19, 2021 5:05 am

I've argued for more, and user definable, key commands since I started using Live in v3.
My biggest gripe about Live since I started using it has always 100% been the lack of speed you start to notice once you master the basics of Live, because, well, interface wise, beyond the basics, there's nothing. You mouse all over the program, the difference when you use other DAWs VS Live is shocking.
The same UX that allows a new user to figure out the basics, doesn't allow for advanced users to start flying around. Don't get me wrong, the basics are brilliant, but I really do believe Ableton rely too much on this clean beginners user experience and it hinders you when things start getting complicated. To put it bluntly, the initial creation of a verse and a chorus etc. can't be beat, editing, mixing or arranging that into something like a song is where Live falls down a bit. The lack of key commands, the general navigation limitations start to mess with the experience. I've never mixed and mastered a song with more than 16 tracks in Live, I always end up exporting it to another DAW for the simple fact that the whole UX of live is just not conducive to large projects.

I feel that it's not going to change, it's been 15 years, Ableton have a total WYSIWYG philosophy, keyboard shortcuts and heavy reliance on them goes against that, and it's like changing religion to them. I understand to a degree, there's a huge section of the audience that literally use Live because it's uncomplicated interface is more to their liking, but it's entirely possible to add these things in without ruining that experience. For instance both Bitwig and Digital Performer have a search/run pop up window for keyboard shortcuts, so it's possible to offer something that has a user friendly UX and offers some level of complexity.

The Rabbits
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by The Rabbits » Wed May 19, 2021 7:28 am

There at least a hundred existing keyboard shortcuts, so no, you don't have to do "everything" with a mouse.

There are a few things you can't do, but they tend to be things that require a selection of multiple objects?

I agree that there are limitations in defining your own to replace existing shortcuts with your own. It is typically something I like to do myself, but having worked through and learned or found by trial and error, I'm not bothered.

Their strategy seems to be, if a function already has a keyboard shortcut, don't allow the user to change them. One major reason is so training, whether ableton or any other source, is consistent. You can teach/learn the shortcuts and be confident they will work for everyone.

Those items that don't have an existing shortcut or allow you to create one can usually be midi mapped. For example, individual controls in devices, track selection, though there are keyboard shortcuts for that, and device selection, again this is possible with the existing shortcuts.

I'm not saying these will fulfil every individuals desires. But it covers more than most users are aware it does.

Again, you are mostly right regarding how easy it is to add keyboard shortcuts to the code. The trouble then is that you have to find a way to work out whether the user means to use a built in command or something they've mapped. Not insurmountable, but not simple either.

In my opinion, ableton lock it down because they understand that a lot of their customers are not computer experts, and many are not at all comfortable with customised shortcuts. Combined with complications from redefining existing shortcuts and the training issue, I think they made generally the right choice.

Having said that, they have added a couple to v11 that were on my wish list.

There are also other solutions for those who can't abide the existing shortcuts. AutoHotkey will cover most of it.

jonljacobi
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Re: Custom Key commands

Post by jonljacobi » Wed May 19, 2021 11:20 pm

Gee whiz, back to that training/adoption argument? Allowing key commands to be customized is not the same as forcing someone to customize them. If not utilized, they have no effect whatsoever on training or adoption of the program. Train to the defaults and leave them alone if that's what you want.

Not only that, but very program I know of that implements custom key commands allows you to revert back to default set at the click of a button. There's zero danger of someone not being able to use the program no matter what's been done to the commands or where they run into it. Unless of course, they're badly trained.

Custom key commands are simply a convenience for those that need them and a nod to the fact that not everyone uses the program the same way or has the same needs. All the lack has done is force me to use third-party apps (AutoHotKey and Keyboard Maestro) so I can add single key commands for various functions. I do this so I don't have to precariously balance my guitar in my lap while I remove both hands to employ some of the defaults.

The real mystery is why they would convert the browser to a list of key mappings, then allow so few. I'm betting completely user-definable key commands were originally the plan, then someone shot down the idea. I've never heard anyone complain that there were user-definable keys in any program that supports them so lord knows why.

That they will hurt training and adoption of the program is a specious argument.

Machinesworking
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Location: Seattle

Re: Custom Key commands

Post by Machinesworking » Sun May 23, 2021 3:03 am

The Rabbits wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 7:28 am
There at least a hundred existing keyboard shortcuts, so no, you don't have to do "everything" with a mouse.
You have to do more things with a mouse, not "everything", I never said that, this is a typical straw man tactic.

Off the top of my head, there's not even a way to expand the MIDI piano roll editor to full screen in Live.
Those items that don't have an existing shortcut or allow you to create one can usually be midi mapped. For example, individual controls in devices, track selection, though there are keyboard shortcuts for that, and device selection, again this is possible with the existing shortcuts.
? Yeah, that's been in Live since day one, I think we all know this. I literally cannot think of a DAW that doesn't allow you to save a MIDI mapped template.

Anyway, we get that you think it has enough shortcuts, and needs no improvement in this area.
I mean it's not like every other DAW out there has hundreds of possible shortcuts. :)

The Rabbits
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: Custom Key commands

Post by The Rabbits » Sun May 23, 2021 3:46 am

I explained what I think their strategy is. No where do I say I don't want more options.

"Ableton have a total WYSIWYG philosophy, keyboard shortcuts and heavy reliance on them goes against that, and it's like changing religion to them."

Looks a lot like your saying it's totally mouse based to me. I responded to the words you used.

Anyway I've found out how to set up shortcuts for all the other stuff so I'm happy now.

jonljacobi
Posts: 663
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Custom Key commands

Post by jonljacobi » Sun May 23, 2021 6:39 pm

AutoHotKey and Keyboard Maestro? If you know of others, I'd like to hear. Not that those don't work well. ;-)

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