Shortcuts: Pro Tools vs. Hindenburg

Keyboard Shortcuts

Downloadable Pro Tools vs. Hindenburg Shortcut Commands for Mac

Downloadable Pro Tools vs. Hindenburg Shortcut Commands for Windows

The secret to developing speed and efficiency in digital audio editing is getting used to common, repetitive actions, so that they become automatic. Keyboard shortcuts can speed up your workflow significantly, especially when you can do them without stopping to think about them. But they can also trip you up if you start using another program, and be dizzying if you switch back and forth.

Here at Transom, we find ourselves using both Pro Tools and Hindenburg to edit and mix audio. Inevitably, we end up using a keyboard shortcut meant for one program in the other, but more often we just can’t remember how to do common functions in both programs.

It’s probably impossible to avoid the occasional unconscious, muscle-memory mistake when using multiple programs, but we’ve created a comparison chart of our most commonly used shortcuts, a cheat-sheet that might help jog our memories when jumping back and forth between programs.

Both programs include extensive lists of shortcuts, but each contains so much information, more than any given user needs to know, so it’s hard to find and remember the ones that are most helpful. So we’ll concentrate on our most-used shortcuts, showing equivalents, or alternatives, in the other program.

You may want to add some of your favorites. The full list of Hindenburg shortcuts can be found here:

http://hindenburg.com/support/shortcuts/

When you install Pro Tools, a .pdf file listing shortcuts is created alongside the program files, in the Documentation folder.

Here are the shortcuts that we use most often:

 

Macintosh Key Commands:

Session Set-Up and Navigation

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
New Session ⌘ N ⌘ N
Open Session ⌘ O ⌘ O
Save Session ⌘ S ⌘ S
Save Session As ⌘ shift S ⌘ shift S
Zoom In ⌘ [ ⌘ + (or ⌘ mousewheel)
Zoom Out ⌘ ] ⌘ – (or ⌘ mousewheel)
Zoom to Entire session ⌘ control [ No equivalent: use ⌘ – to zoom out
Zoom to Selection ⌘ control ] (or option F) ⌘ H
Increase Track Height Control up arrow Shift ⌘ +
Decrease Track Height Control down arrow Shift ⌘ –
Adjust waveform height ⌘ option [ or ⌘ option ] Waveform height is set automatically
Play/Stop Spacebar Spacebar
Play half speed Shift spacebar Adjust varispeed at bottom of screen
Preroll ⌘ K P
Loop playback ⌘ shift L (or Control-click on transport play button) Shift spacebar
Scrub Audio Control then click and drag mouse ⌘ click and drag mouse
Skip to next edit Tab (if Tab to transients is disabled) Tab
Skip to previous edit Option Tab (if Tab to transients is disabled) Shift Tab
Go to Start of session Return Home (or Fn ⌘ Left Arrow)
Go to End of Session Option Return End (or Fn ⌘ Right Arrow)

Recording/Importing/Exporting

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Arm track in Record-ready mode Shift R
Start Record Command spacebar, or F12, or 3 on numeric keyboard Control Spacebar
Stop Record Spacebar Spacebar
Import Audio ⌘ shift I ⌘ T
Import Session data Option shift I ⌘ T (select session file)
Export Mix Highlight in and out time then press ⌘ option B to bounce-to-disk ⌘ E (exports all clips in the session)
Export Selected Audio ⌘ K (or use bounce as above) ⌘ shift E

Editing

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Set Edit In point Down Arrow ⌘ 1 – or – I
Set Edit Out point Up Arrow ⌘ 2 – or – O
Split audio at Cursor (or spilt selected area) ⌘ E ⌘ B
Cut Selected Area and close gap ⌘ X or Delete (in shuffle mode) ⌘ X
Cut Selected Area and leave gap Delete (in slip mode) Delete
Insert Audio ⌘ V (in shuffle mode) ⌘ I
Copy ⌘ C ⌘ C
Paste Audio ⌘ V ⌘ V
Replace highlighted audio ⌘ V (in shuffle mode) ⌘ shift V
Duplicate highlighted audio ⌘ D ⌘ D
Make Crossfade from selection ⌘ F (opens fade window), ⌘ control F (uses default fade) ⌘ F
Fade Out from cursor to segment end Option G ⌘ F
Fade In from cursor to segment end Option D ⌘ F
Consolidate Clips Option shift 3 No equivalent – use grouping
Nudge Clip Fn control < fn control > (on compact keyboard) + or – (on extended keyboard ) ⌘ left or right arrow
Change Nudge value ⌘ option +/- Zoom in or out – nudge value correlates to zoom level. Zoom out for coarse nudge, Zoom in for fine nudge.
Move clip vertically to new track Control drag with grabber tool ⌘ up or down arrow
Auto-Level selected clip No equivalent ⌘ L

Selecting

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Select from current segment to end Option shift return Shift END (extended keyboards) Shift Fn right arrow (compact Keyboards)
Select from current segment to beginning Shift return Shift home (extended keyboards) Shift Fn left arrow (compact Keyboards)
Select all segments on track ⌘ A
De-Select all segments Escape
Group Tracks Shift-click
or command-click on track names to be made a group. Press ⌘ G
Shift-click or command-click on track names to be made a group. Control-click on any track name, choose “link tracks”
Ungroup Tracks Shift ⌘ G to suspend all groups deselect group name in groups window Control-click on any track name in the group, choose “unlink tracks”
Select contiguous clips Shift-click on last adjacent clip Shift-click on last adjacent clip
Select non contiguous clips ⌘ click on clips ⌘ click on clips
Group highlighted clips ⌘ option G ⌘ G
Ungroup selected clips ⌘ option U ⌘ G
Mute/Unmute clips ⌘ M No equivalent
Lock/Unlock clips ⌘ L No equivalent
Play selection Option [ Shift spacebar

Markers

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Add marker Enter (on numeric keyboard) fn Return (on compact keyboard) ⌘ Enter
Go to marker . marker number . (on numeric keyboard) Enter numbers 3-9 (and zero) double-click on marker name in marker window

 

 

Windows Key Commands:

Session Set-Up and Navigation

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
New Session Control N Control N
Open Session Control O Control O
Save Session Control S Control S
Save Session As Control shift S Control shift S
Zoom In Control [ Control + (or Control mousewheel)
Zoom Out Control ] Control – (or Control mousewheel)
Zoom to Entire session Control start [ No equivalent: use Control – to zoom out
Zoom to Selection Alt F, Control start ] Control H
Increase Track Height Shift control +
Decrease Track Height Shift control –
Adjust waveform height Control alt [ – or – ] Waveform height is set automatically
Play/Stop Spacebar Spacebar
Play half speed Shift spacebar Adjust varispeed at bottom of screen
Preroll Control K P
Loop playback Shift Control L (or start-click on transport play button) Shift spacebar
Scrub Audio Start – click and drag mouse Control click and drag mouse
Skip to next edit Tab (if Tab to transients is disabled) Tab
Skip to previous edit Alt Tab (if Tab to transients is disabled) Shift Tab
Go to Start of session Return Home (or Fn Control Left Arrow)
Go to End of Session Alt return End (or Fn Control Right Arrow)

Recording/Importing/Exporting

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Arm track in Record-ready mode Shift R
Start Record Command spacebar, or F12, or 3 on numeric keyboard Start spacebar
Stop Record Spacebar Spacebar
Import Audio Control Shift I Control T
Import Session data Alt shift I Control T (select session file)
Export Mix Highlight in and out time then press Control alt B to bounce-to-disk Control E (exports all clips in the session)
Export Selected Audio Control K (or use bounce as above) Control shift E

Editing

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Set Edit In point Down Arrow Control 1 – or – I
Set Edit Out point Up Arrow Control 2 – or – O
Split audio at Cursor (or spilt selected area) Control E Control B
Cut Selected Area and close gap Control X or Delete (in shuffle mode) Control X
Cut Selected Area and leave gap Delete (in slip mode) Delete
Insert Audio Control V (in shuffle mode) Control I
Copy Control C Control C
Paste Audio Control V Control V
Replace highlighted audio Control V (in shuffle mode) Shift control V
Duplicate highlighted audio Control D Control D
Make Crossfade from selection Control F (opens fade window), Alt control F (uses default fade) Control F
Fade Out from cursor to segment end Alt G Control F
Fade In from cursor to segment end Alt D Control F
Consolidate Clips Alt shift 3 No equivalent – use grouping
Nudge Clip Fn start < fn start > (on compact keyboard) + or – (on extended keyboard ) Control left or right arrow
Change Nudge value Control alt +/- Zoom in or out – nudge value correlates to zoom level. Zoom out for coarse nudge, Zoom in for fine nudge.
Move clip vertically to new track Start drag with grabber tool Control up or down arrow
Auto-Level selected clip No equivalent Control L

Selecting

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Select from current segment to end Alt shift return Shift END (extended keyboards), Shift Fn right arrow (compact Keyboards)
Select from current segment to beginning Shift return Shift home (extended keyboards), Shift Fn left arrow (compact Keyboards)
Select all segments on track Control A
De-Select all segments Escape
Group Tracks Shift-click or command-click on track names to be made a group. Press Control G Shift-click or command-click on track names to be made a group. start-click on any track name, choose “link tracks”
Ungroup Tracks Shift control G to suspend all groups deselect group name in groups window Start-click on any track name in the group, choose “unlink tracks”
Select contiguous clips Shift-click on last adjacent clip Shift-click on last adjacent clip
Select non contiguous clips Control click on clips Control click on clips
Group highlighted clips Alt Control G Control G
Ungroup selected clips Alt Control U Control G
Mute/Unmute clips Control M No equivalent
Lock/Unlock clips Control L No equivalent
Play selection Alt [ Shift spacebar

Markers

Shortcut Pro Tools Hindenburg
Add marker Enter (on numeric keyboard) fn Return (on compact keyboard) Control Enter
Go to marker . marker number . (on numeric keyboard) Enter numbers 3-9 (and zero) double-click on marker name in marker window

 

Unique Functions:

There are a few helpful commands that have no equivalent in the other program. Here are some thrones we find useful: (we got lazy and just listed the Macintosh key combinations – on Windows, simply use Control instead of  ⌘, and Alt rather than Option.) 

Hindenburg

Auto-level Hindenburg automatically adjusts the level of your clips when you import them. You can turn this on or off, and change the reference level in the Menu: Hindenburg>>Preferences>>Advanced. We highly advise that you leave auto-leveling on, it’s a very handy tool. Leveling is automatically applied when a clip is imported into the timeline, or a recording is made; but that adjustment is made based on the average levels of the entire clip. After editing a clip, the resulting average level might be different, especially if you’ve removed any significantly loud or quiet sections. You can re-apply loudness normalization to a highlighted clip by pressing ⌘ L.
JKL scrubbing You can play audio forward or backward at high or low speeds by using the J,K and L keys. KL held down together will play the audio quickly in the forward direction. JK held down together will do the same thing, but moving backward.

Holding the SHIFT key while using JK or KL will cause the audio to play back slowly, which is often an easier way to find precise audio events by ear than scrubbing by clicking and dragging across the audio while holding the ⌘ key.

Select gap between clips: Triple Click with the mouse. This is very helpful for selecting a region into which you can paste ambience or other audio that will smooth the transition between clips.
Insert Silence ⌘ right arrow
Delete Silence ⌘ left arrow –
Rehearse Edit Control Shift Spacebar
Clipboard The Hindenburg clipboard is one of the most powerful components of the program. It allows neat organization of clips, and efficient movement of clips in and out of the timeline.
Move clip from timeline to clipboard ⌘ drag clip
Copy selected clip to clipboard (each clipboard has its own number) option ⌘ (clipboard number) –
Copy selected clip to Favorites option ⌘ 0 (zero)
Copy top clip in clipboard to timeline (at playhead) option (clipboard number) –
Markers Control 3, control 4, control 5, up to 9 (and zero) – set markers numbers 3-0. You can then jump to markers 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 0 by simply pressing that number.

Markers 1 and 2 are always the most recently set in and out points. If you ever get lost, not sure where in the project you are, pressing 1 or 2 will zoom to the most recent edit.

⌘ shift enter – make chapter marker (at playhead).

Pro Tools

Hold option key to apply changes to all tracks.
Hold ⌘ key when making fine adjustments.
Edit Modes You can switch between the four edit modes by using the function keys (go to your computer’s System Preference and make sure you have your keyboard set to use those function keys as function keys, not as system shortcuts)

F1: Shuffle Mode

F2: Slip Mode

F3: Spot Mode

F4: Grid Mode

Tools Similarly, you can select the editing tools with function keys as well:

F5: Zoomer Tool

F6: Trimmer Tool

F7: Selector Tool

F8: Grabber Tool

F9: Scrubber Tool

F10: Pencil Tool

F6 and F7 together will activate the Smart Tool.

Pressing those Function keys repeatedly will change tool modes, such as standard trim, time stretch or loop for the Trimmer Tool.

Enable or Disable “Tab to Transients” This determines whether the tab key jumps to next transient, or to next edit boundary: ⌘ option Tab
Heal Separation Pro Tools can remove edit breaks if clips have not been moved or otherwise altered relative to one another. Click and drag to make selection across the edit, then press ⌘ H
Strip Silence Identify quiet sections of audio to remove: ⌘ U
Clear meter “over” indicators If your levels are a little hot, and you’ve gotten red “over” indicators on several track volume meters, showing that your levels are too high,  it gets tedious to click on each one to clear the red light, so you can start again and see if you’ve fixed the problem. You can clear all of the red dots with one keystroke: Option C

Please let us know in the comments if you’ve found other shortcuts that you find especially helpful. The most speed and efficiency can be attained when these become totally unconscious, but that’ s very hard to do when moving between programs, so we hope these charts might help jog the memory, when you find yourself pausing over the keys, not quite remembering which combination will do what you need.

Jeff Towne

About
Jeff Towne

Jeff Towne has been producing radio programs since he was a teenager, back then with a portable Marantz cassette deck and a Teac four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder, and now with digital recorders and computer workstations. After honing his broadcasting skills at high school and college radio stations, Jeff has spent over two decades as the producer of the nationally-syndicated radio program Echoes. At Echoes, he has done extensive recording of interviews and musical performances, produced documentary features, and prepared daily programs for satellite and internet distribution. As Transom.org's Tools Editor, Jeff has reviewed dozens of audio recorders, editing software, and microphones, and written guides for recording, editing and mixing audio for radio and the web. Jeff has also taught classes and presented talks on various aspects of audio production. When not tweaking audio files, Jeff can probably be found eating (and compulsively taking pictures) at that little restaurant with the unpronounceable name that you always wondered about.

Comments

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  • Adam

    10.29.15

    Reply

    Oh, bless you magnificent people. This could not have been better timed. Nice work.

  • D. Brent Miller

    10.29.15

    Reply

    This is great. Could you also add Adobe Audition? I have Hindenburg and Audition.

  • yoob

    10.29.15

    Reply

    And now DigAS 😉

  • Flawn Williams

    10.29.15

    Reply

    This could be one of the most useful aggregations since we made time-versus-mechanical-tape-counter charts for five different popular portable analog cassette recorders!

  • devtank

    10.30.15

    Reply

    Do you have a (working) link to Hindenburg?

    • Samantha Broun

      10.30.15

      Reply

      The link should be working now. Thanks for pointing that out to us!

  • Peter Johnston

    10.30.15

    Reply

    You missed one for Hindenburg.
    To zoom to the entire session: Shift ‘ (comma key)

    Thanks for the listing; I found a few that I’d forgotten

  • Peter Johnston

    10.30.15

    Reply

    Sorry, not comma, but single quotation mark.

  • Bekah Johnson

    11.02.15

    Reply

    Thank you so much for doing this! I switched from Pro Tools about a year ago and had the workflow down. I feel clunky using Hindenburg but I’m sure this, and some practice will help.

  • Brian Morris

    5.24.16

    Reply

    My favorites in Pro Tools (on a Mac) are the single-key commands you can use after pressing that small “a-z” button in the upper right-hand corner of the edit window. “t” zooms out, “r” zooms in, “e” zooms in vertically and horizontally at the same time. Also, the “m” “,” “.” and “/” keys move the cursor ahead or back at slow or medium speeds. “a” deletes everything to the left of the cursor position; “s” deletes everything to the right of the cursor position. “-” switches between regular view and volume edit view.

    • Jeff Towne

      5.24.16

      Reply

      Those are good ones, thanks Brian!

  • Sophie Harper

    6.21.16

    Reply

    Another one on Hindenburg on a mac:
    Alt Command Click (on a clip), to select all clips on all tracks from that point.
    I use it all the time.
    Thanks for the list, this will speed me up!

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