A shortcut to shortcuts

As laptops get smaller and smaller, numerical key pads are getting rare. An increasingly common question is how to control the Reason play, stop and record buttons without a full size keyboard. This month we'll take a look at Keyboard Control through Remote and how to customize keyboard shortcuts for the Reason transport controls.

If you haven't got a spare USB port for an external num pad, Remote mapping the Play, Stop, and Record buttons is a good way of saving yourself from getting RSI (mouse arm). Here's how you do it:

1. First you need to enable Keyboard Control from the Options menu. This allows us to control Reason from the computer keyboard.

2. From the Options menu, select "Keyboard Control Edit Menu". The rack now gets a grey overlay, and if you click on a device all parameters that can be controlled via Remote will get a yellow arrow icon.

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3. Click on the Transport panel to activate it.

4. Since the QWERTY keys are used for selecting different tools in the sequencer, I want to use the ASDFG keys to control Stop, Play, Forward and Rewind.

5. Double-click the Stop button to activate it for Remote mapping and then press A on your keyboard to assign it. Continue with the rest of the buttons to assign them to different keys. When you're done, press Escape to exit Keyboard Control Edit Mode.

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Note that you this way can keyboard control features that aren't normally accessible through shortcuts, such as Precount on/off and the "Quantize During Recording" button.

Keyboard mappings are document specific. When you've finished mapping the controls, save the document as a Reason song file and select it to be your Default Song in the Preferences.

A list of all keyboard shortcuts in Reason version 4 can be found in this PDF.

Words From the Wise