Along with the much-heralded improvements in performance, Pro Tools 11 has added a raft of new features, which while less headline-worthy, are going to improve the quality of life and hopefully the musical output of producers and engineers. A new set of keyboard shortcuts has been added (and Pro Tools is all about keyboard commands so just add these to your memory bank – what do you mean you need an upgrade?) enabling what Avid refer to as ‘power mixing’ – a grand term, but essentially the ability to bypass sets of insert plug-ins by category so that comparisons and checks on effectiveness can easily be made.
Here is a list of the eight keyboard shortcuts, and the category of insert plug-in that they bypass:
(Keyboard shortcut/Effect category)
Shift-1 Inserts A-E
Shift-2 Inserts F-J
If keyboard shortcuts really aren’t your thing (maybe you have a lot of time on your hands) then you can also bypass these categories by choosing Bypass Inserts from the Track menu.
Shift-A bypasses all insert plug-ins.
Each bypass command is a toggle - so repeat Shift-A to un-bypass all insert plug-ins.
The bypass commands only work on selected tracks. This is the effect of using Shift-A with one track selected.
Using Shift-1 with all tracks selected.
Using Shift-2 with all tracks selected. An effective use of Shift-1 and Shift-2 can be used to great effect (if you‘ll pardon the pun) is to compare two effects chains, one set up in Inserts A-E, the other in Inserts F-J.
Using Shift-E - note that the EQ section of the Channel Strip plug-in is deactivated but all other sections remain active.
Using Shift-C - note that the dynamics section of the Channel Strip plug-in is deactivated but all the other sections remain active.
Using Shift-V - note that the sends remain active while the insert plug-ins in the aux tracks that they sent to are bypassed.
Using Shift-W - note that despite the name, the ModDelay plug-in is not bypassed as Pro Tools has this in the Delay category.
You might be wondering if there is an equivalent for sends? No, not as such, but there is a keyboard shortcut that ‘bypasses’ sends, except that you don’t bypass sends, you mute them of course, since they are not a process, simply a routing.
To mute a send, Command-click the send selector
To mute all sends to the same bus, Option-Command-click a send selector