Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro/Autohotkey to enhance Cubase

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Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro/Autohotkey to enhance Cubase

Postby SteveInChicago » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:49 pm

A couple people asked about his so here you go-

Cubase macros do not test for conditions. So I use a couple apps that fill in the blanks.

Quickeys, and to a lesser extent Keyboard Maestro can see windows and has functions like "Wait for Window with name containing" and "If frontmost window is [named | type]" etc. (Keyboard Maestro can't see windows set to Always-on-Top)

Edit: Also, for PC there is AutoHotkey, arguably even more powerful.

For example, the current issue where you have to hit f3 twice to get focus to a mix console that is already open, can be handled by Quickeys, which works on both WIndows and Mac. I never used it on Windows, so I don't know whether this works there, but I would suppose it does.

Keyboard Maestro is cheaper and Mac only, and does almost everything QK does, plus it can send midi data to Cubase.

I use it as a Generic Remote, and have key commands that solo. select, mute and listen channels directly from the computer keyboard without having to manually interact with the Mix Console.

Attached is a Quickeys macro that makes F3 open Mix Console 1, and if it's already open it brings it to the front.

I'm happy to share the other macros I've made, let me know... Also, on Windows you have the amazing AutoHotkey, that does much of this and is free.

Both apps have a demo you can download.
Attachments
bring MC to front.qkmx.zip
Import this to Quickeys
(3.01 KiB) Downloaded 29 times
Last edited by SteveInChicago on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby billcarroll » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:38 pm

First, thank you! This is awesome. I've meant to get into Quickkeys anyway and this is a great reason.

Downloaded and did some initial testing. For some reason the macro seems to function just like the F3 key, and I need to play the macro twice when the mixer is behind the arrange.

I'll look more closely later tonight.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby ChrisW » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:55 pm

Thanks Steve - I've been thinking about Quickeys or Keyboard Maestro for a while so will download the demos and try this out.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby Rhino » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:41 pm

Many thanks, Steve !
I'll check out your macro with the demo version ...

Personally I'm thinking of a slightly different approach though, using the same great basic idea :
Replace every single one of my highly customised KCs by an AutoHotKey macro like this :
[bring window in focus] followed by [send keystroke]
hoping to get back a functioning palette of KCs like in happy pre-C7 times ...
This would be a huge task however :shock: , not sure I can justify that amount of time right now.

Two questions if you don't mind :
-- how do you set focus to the project page (in words, please)
-- have you found other important focus areas yet ?

Thanks, and have a nice WE,
Rhino
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby SteveInChicago » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:54 pm

Rhino wrote:Personally I'm thinking of a slightly different approach though, using the same great basic idea :
Replace every single one of my highly customised KCs by an AutoHotKey macro like this :
[bring window in focus] followed by [send keystroke]

Followed by returning to the previous window? Thats how I have Keyboard Maestro acting as a Generic Remote, and also for using the keyboard to scroll horizontally in Score Edit View.

I think it is a bit involved to get Autohotkey to send midi commands, but that might just be because I don't know anything about how Windows Midi works.

Rhino wrote:-- how do you set focus to the project page (in words, please)
-- have you found other important focus areas yet ?


The project window has it's own KC in Cubase, which does work "right".

I also use it for the setting and other windows in Score Edit.

Anyhoo, have a look at the macro in Quickeys, it is fairly self-explanatory.

But basically it's like this:

IF
window containing in title "Mix" exists
switch to it
ELSE
Open it.

AutoHotkey is excellent. I wish I knew of an equivalent for Mac.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby Rhino » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:39 pm

That's really great, much appreciated, Steve !
Exactly the initial spark I needed.
I'm certain Quickeys, Keyboard Maestro and AutoHotKey are all well thought out solutions, but I kinda like the open source concept ...
After getting two BCR 2000 controllers to play nice with completely custom made GR setups in Cubase (which required taming three erratic beasts, the GR itself, the BCR and the great but cryptic BC Manager) I feel brave enough to check out this external macro scenario.
Except for the window recognition it looks to be quite straightforward atm, we'll see.
All I need is to send standard qwerty commands to the proper windows, I don't think MIDI will be required right now.

I'll post back here once I have a working proof of concept, but it might take a week or two, gotta finish some other stuff first.
cheers,
Rhino
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby SteveInChicago » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:51 pm

Great!

BTW AutoHotkey is open source.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby Rhino » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:38 am

SteveInChicago wrote:Great!

BTW AutoHotkey is open source.


Lol, that's what I meant to say, but being in a hurry doesn't help you win the Pulitzer prize.
At least not me ...

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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby SteveInChicago » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:45 am

Yeah, you mean DIY...
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby orchetect » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:27 am

Funny you should mention it - I've harnessed Keyboard Maestro to do some pretty in-depth macros in Pro Tools and Cubase for what I consider to be missing functionality. Where there's a need, fill it, I say.

Here's a few things I've wrangled Keyboard Maestro to do:
  • Using an X-Keys button bank that trigger custom Logical Editors to normalize MIDI event velocities
  • Set up a custom key command to open the last-opened project file (like Pro Tools' Shift+Cmd+O)
  • To automatically give the Search field focus in the New Track From Preset window as soon as the window appears (I use a custom library of instrument track presets to build projects rapidly and it's irritating that focus is not defaulted to the search field - are you listening, Steinberg?)
  • Whenever the MIDI Key Editor window appears, automatically run the command to show all used CC automation lanes (again, irritating that there is not an option in Cubase to make this happen automatically)
  • Last but not least: a very convoluted macro that I use to archive projects which:
    • Analyzes the project window title and uses a regular expression to deduce the project name
    • Removes empty tracks
    • Adjusts window positions and conforms the workspace
    • Selects Back up Project
    • Uses keystrokes as well as the project name to select the destination folder to backup to

Takes time to set things up and debug the macros, but pays off in the long run!
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby SteveInChicago » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:13 pm

orchetect wrote:Where there's a need, fill it, I say.

Exactly. This started for me because I wanted to have the Listen and Mute functions in the Score Editor.

Now I have "partial solo mode" like Digital Performer, and consequentially, key commands to select tracks directly.

Using Keyboard Maestro, here are a missing functions I "added" to Cubase
  • a Suspend Snap function that does not interfere with with Tool Modifiers
  • "Find Next" in the Key Commands window
  • Activate Midi Input in Key and Score Edit only while key (or pedal) is held down
  • Same for step entry
  • nudge cursor right/left by quantize value in Score Edit
  • Key commands to scroll horizontally in Score edit view

Keyboard Maestro cannot see palettes such as Score Settings and other Score Edit windows, and in Cubase, key commands open them, but don't close them if they don't have focus, and, there's no way to give them focus except by clicking on them.

So I use Quickeys for that type of thing.

Makes Cubase much less "clicky".
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby lukasbrooklyn » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:21 pm

good stuff!

i use autohotkeys for quite a few things in cubendo/windows, including:
-- a macro that enables two separate key-commands for snap on, and snap off. so that 'snap' stops working in 'toggle mode' and you can always be sure that if you press the 'snap on' keycommand, snap will always be on, and you can edit fast without having to double-check whether the snap-icon is currently lit up (on), or off. took quite a while and it's doing this in a very simplistic way by sampling the colour of pixels where the snap button is supposed to be (the location of the button is different based on whether you are in the arrange, key editor, sample editor, and audio part editor).

-- pro-tools style trim automation. it's an advanced version of a cubase native macro i posted a while ago on the forum. takes whatever automation curve resides inside the selected range, creates arbitrary automation events on either side of the range, and selects it for editing / scaling.

any actual ahk code for your enhancements is very welcome btw.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby SteveInChicago » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Yeah. AutoHotkeys is great because you can just go in and type the command you want, and bypass all the UI stuff. In fact I was checking out switching to Windows just so I could to use it, but I could never figure out how to get midi includes to work with it...

Mac has Applescript but it is not as sleek, and much more verbose.

Anyhow, here's my applescript for launching Cubase to a recent files dialog (not the Hub) or automagically opening last saved project: viewtopic.php?f=181&t=43685

You can launch Cubase to that no-frills recent files dialog by holding down ctrl/command while cubase starts on both platforms.

Documentation is so light, everything's an Easter Egg. ;)
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby Rhino » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:51 pm

Hello Steve,
sorry to say, but I give up.
Ain't got the nerves and the time for fighting windmills any longer ...
It's back to 6.5 for now, and unless somebody at Steinberg finally clears up this mess before the end of the year and sets higher standards for future programming, I'll be gone.

Been working with your F3 and other suggestions for 3 hrs again today, what you shared works fine, no problem there.
I haven't even touched AutoHotKey yet, only messed with (properly locked) workspaces in Cubase so far.
Macro [WS 0x > F3 > F3] works like you said, the mixer is in focus now.
I can also bring the project in focus via KC, again, like you said.
As long as I was working on my main workspace, project on screen 1, mixer on screen 2, all was fine.
Then I added one of my other WS, basically a big mixer across both screens plus a small arrange top left, mixer channels exactly the same width as in the above example. When triggering the same macro for the new WS, the mixer channels went Kermit on me, full width, and they stayed that way. Back to the previous WS, it has adopted the same froggy style.
Mind you, that's with properly locked workspaces, I've been using WS for a decade now ...
And nothing brings back the saved channel width, not even a program restart.
I had not noticed this so far as I never used F3 before, the mixer is either present in a WS or it's not, that's what multiple screens are for.
Oh well, guess I'll go and make coffee and popcorn for the elections tonight, trying to forget about another great day in Cubase wonderland. :cry:
Thanks again for your help,
Rhino

I'll keep investigating AutoHotKey though, I can already see some other cool little tasks for it !
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to fix UI focus issues

Postby SteveInChicago » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:38 pm

Sorry to hear that Rhino.... Hope you get it sorted down the line.

In other (Mac) news, here's an applescript to launch the last saved project. You load it into Keyboard Maestro, or use Applescript Editor to make it into a double-clickable app.

Code: Select all
if application "Cubase 7" is running then
   tell application "Cubase 7"
      activate --bring cubase to front if it's running already, then exit script.
   end tell
else
   tell application "Cubase 7" to launch
   tell application "System Events"
      key down command --press command key
      set timer to 1 --to permit script to timeout gracefully
      repeat
         delay 1 --wait 1 second
         if (window 1 of process "Cubase 7" exists) then
            exit repeat
         end if
         set timer to timer + 1 --increment timer value
         if timer > 10 then --script will release command key after 90 seconds in case Cubase couldn't launch or something else goes wrong You can adjust this value to suit. My system has an SSD, Cubase launches in about 8 seconds.
            exit repeat
         end if
      end repeat
      key up command --release command key
      tell application "Cubase 7"
         activate --bring cubase to front
      end tell
      keystroke return
   end tell
end if


edit: (and this is assuming Cubase is not already running...)
Last edited by SteveInChicago on Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to enhance/fix various iss

Postby orchetect » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:19 pm

This is the way I get Cubase to load the most recent project. It's assuming that Cubase is already running.

Create a macro in Keyboard Maestro, add Execute AppleScript event, and fill in this code:

Code: Select all
tell application "System Events"
   tell application process "Cubase"
      click menu item 1 of menu "Recent Projects" of menu item "Recent Projects" of menu "File" of menu bar item "File" of menu bar 1
   end tell
end tell

You can then assign it a global keyboard shortcut. I assign it Cmd+Shift+O which is Pro Tool's open recent command.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to enhance/fix various iss

Postby Doctor Zeus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:31 pm

I'd never come across AutoHotKey - it's very useful, thanks, Steve! :D

Here's what I've done with it so far:

Code: Select all
;>>>>>>>>>>> Cubase macros and key commands: <<<<<<<<<<
;<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

;<><><><> Functions to check for and change conditions <><><><>

focusCubase(inputKey) ;Checks if Cubase is running and brings to front.  Passes key command and exits if Cubase not found.
{
IfWinExist Cubase 7
   WinActivate
else
   {
   send %inputKey%
   exit
   }
}

focusProjectWindow() ;Brings Project Window to front.
{
IfWinExist, Cubase 7
   WinActivate
else
   return
}

focusMixer() ;Checks if Mix Console is open (opens it if not) and brings to front.
{
IfWinExist, MixConsole
   WinActivate
else
   {
   send {F3}
   WinActivate
   ;msgBox Opened mixer for you
   return
   }
}

focusKeyEditor() ;Checks if Key Editor is is open (opens it if not) and brings to front.
{
IfWinExist, Cubase, Key
   {
   ControlFocus, Key, Cubase
      ;MsgBox Key Editor already open. I've brought it to the front for you.
   return
   }
else
   {
   send ^e
   ControlFocus, Key, Cubase
   ;MsgBox Opened the key editor for you
   return
   }
}

;<><><><> Key commands <><><><>

; >>>>>>> Search for track in Project Window (ctrl+F)<<<<<<<<
$^f::   
inputKey = ^f
focusCubase(inputKey)
focusProjectWindow()
send %inputKey%
return

; >>>>>>> Search for channel in Mix Console (ctrl+alt+F)<<<<<<<<
$^!f::
inputKey = ^!f
focusCubase(inputKey)
focusMixer()
send ^f
;send {#}{space}
;I use the above line because I have all my VSTi outputs named with the "# " prefix to filter out all the other channels when I search - remove the semi-colon if you like this.
return

; >>>>>>> Open channel editor (alt+E)<<<<<<<<
$!e::
inputKey = !e
focusCubase(inputKey)
focusMixer()
send %inputKey%
return

; >>>>>>> Open VI editor (V)<<<<<<<<
$v::
inputKey = v
focusCubase(inputKey)
focusProjectWindow()
send %inputKey%
return

; >>>>>>> Open Key editor (ctrl+E)<<<<<<<<
$^E::
inputKey = ^E
focusCubase(inputKey)
focusProjectWindow()
focusKeyEditor()
return



Hope it's of some use or gives some ideas to others.
Last edited by Doctor Zeus on Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to enhance/fix various iss

Postby rbowlin » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:45 pm

I've been using Keyboard maestro with and X-Keys controller for a while. It greatly enhances work flow. Glad you started this thread!

-Rich
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to enhance/fix various iss

Postby SteveInChicago » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:35 am

Doctor Zeus wrote:I'd never come across AutoHotKey - it's very useful, thanks, Steve!

Nice addition. If you write others do share! Maybe include a description for those who aren't (yet) fluent in codespeak...
rbowlin wrote:I've been using Keyboard maestro with and X-Keys controller for a while. It greatly enhances work flow. Glad you started this thread!
Those look really solidly built.

In the spirit, here are a couple Keyboard Maestro macros that enable horizontal scrolling in Score Edit view via keyboard commands (or any other trigger KM can use)

You can get a demo of it at keyboardmaestro.com.

Unzip these files and import them in KM.
Attachments
Scroll Score Right.kmmacros.zip
(1.29 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
Scroll Score left.kmmacros.zip
(1.29 KiB) Downloaded 3 times
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro to enhance/fix various iss

Postby Doctor Zeus » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:34 am

SteveInChicago wrote:
Doctor Zeus wrote:I'd never come across AutoHotKey - it's very useful, thanks, Steve!

Nice addition. If you write others do share! Maybe include a description for those who aren't (yet) fluent in codespeak...


I've made some improvements (changed the code block in my post above) and also commented what I've done better. I've set it up now so that the first thing that happens with any AutoHotKeys keycommand in the script is that it checks if Cubase is open and brings it to the front if it is. If Cubase isn't running it passes the key stroke through with no action - so that key commands in other programs will do what you expect if Cubase isn't running.

I have got separate functions for "focus project window", "focus (or open) the mixer" and "focus (or open) the key editor so that others can easily use those as part of other macros. Hope it's useful. BTW, I'm in no way a proper coder so what I've done may not be very elegant... but it does seem to work fine.
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Re: Use Quickeys/Keyboard Maestro/Autohotkey to enhance Cuba

Postby SteveInChicago » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:05 am

Posted By AndrewW in the thread about Pro Tools style automation trim (thanks lukasbrooklyn and Winter Rat) viewtopic.php?f=181&t=38182&p=301630#p301696
AndrewW wrote:So I tried to program this very micro in Cubase 6.5 and 7.06 and sadly it did not work. The Selection was getting lost somewhere in the mix and I was getting inconsistent results.
However I did program this shortcut with Quickeys where I'm automating keyboard shortcuts - and it's working great.
Here are my steps:
- Copy
- Paste
- Locate Selection End
- Nudge +1 Frame
- Right Selection Side to Cursor
- Locators to Selection (this step is here on purpose)
- Locate Selection
- Left Selection Side to Cursor
- Copy
- Paste
- Select - In Loop

Thanks guys for initially figuring this out. This is one of the features I with was built in to Cubase, and is something that is very, very useful in ProTools. This will save me a lot of clicking!!!
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