Unify Manual

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts available in Unify. Keyboard shortcuts are quick ways to access alternative functions by holding down one or more “modifier keys” on your keyboard while clicking a GUI element with the mouse.


The mouse:

  • Most computer mice have at least two buttons: left and right.
  • “Click” (aka “single-click”) means “left-click” unless otherwise specified
  • “Right-click” means to click with the right button instead of the left one
  • “Double-click” means click the left button twice in rapid succession.
  • “Drag” means press the left button down and hold it down while moving the mouse.

Modifier keys aka “shortcuts”:

  • ALT is called “Option” on the Mac; CTRL and SHIFT are the same on both Mac and PC
  • We don't use the Mac CMD (“command”) key, because the corresponding “Windows key” on a PC is technically equivalent, in practice it is hijacked by Windows to open the Start Menu, and hence not available for other uses.
  • We don't distinguish between the SHIFT/ALT/CTRL keys at the left and right ends of the keyboard.

Ordinary single-clicking (without holding down any key) is used to select items in a displayed list, activate an on-screen button, or to open a pop-up menu.

  • It is even more commonly used as the start of a “drag”, where the left button is held down while the mouse is moved, e.g. to adjust on-screen knobs/sliders, or re-order plug-ins on a layer.

Right-clicking (clicking the right mouse button instead of the left one) is always a shortcut to the “most common” operation, e.g.

  • Right-clicking on menu icons (i.e., right-clicking in a place where a left-click would open a menu) selects the most common menu choice, without even displaying the menu.
  • Right-click operations are always harmless, and usually open some kind of pop-up window.

CTRL + Click (hold down the CTRL key while left-clicking) serves as an alternative to “right click” because

  • Many Mac users have a traditional single-button mouse, and
  • Users with limited hand mobility find the right-click operation difficult

ALT-click (PC) or Option-click (Mac) is most commonly a “power-user shortcut”

  • On menu icons, selects a non-harmless operation, e.g. removing a loaded plug-in.
  • If you're not absolutely sure what holding down ALT/Option will do, check this list first!

Third-party plug-ins

  • The shortcuts described here apply only in windows which are created by Unify itself, e.g.
    • The main Unify window
    • Linked-parameter windows
    • Built-in (as opposed to bundled) plug-ins
  • Third-party plug-ins (including all the bundled ones like OB-Xd, Digits, etc. have been programmed by other people, and most have their own entirely different shortcut conventions, over which we have no control.

INIT button

  • ALT + Click the INIT button to delete all INST layers except the first
    • (Useful when working with PolyBox

Selecting patches in the patch browser

The upper half of the patch browser is called the selector.

The lower half of the patch browser is called the chooser.

  • Click (no modifiers) any patch to load that patch, replacing any previously-loaded patch
  • Right-click or CTRL + click any patch to pop up a menu of available operations (shortcuts below provide quick access to some of these)
  • ALT + Click any patch to add its layers to the current patch
    • Not all layers will be added
    • The new patch's Master Effects layer will never be added
    • INST and AUX layers will be added, up to the point where Unify's layer limitsare reached.
    • CTRL + ALT + Click adds ONLY the INST1 layer to the current patch.
  • SHIFT + Click any patch to load it as a new “Unify layer” (INST layer with Unify as the instrument)
    • CTRL + SHIFT + Click is the same, but automatically suppresses pitch-shift settings in any MIDIBox: MIDI file player instances (useful for drum grooves)

After clicking any patch to load it:

  • The cursor-down key on your computer's keyboard selects and loads the next patch in the chooser
  • The cursor-up key selects and loads the previous patch
  • The F key toggles the “heart” icon (favorite status indicator) for the currently-loaded patch

Icon strip

  • ALT + Click the “gear” icon in the icon strip to enable the display of rarely-used or experimental settings

Ops (operations) buttons

“Ops” (operations) buttons, displayed as a small icon of two concentric circles, are used throughout the Unify GUI; clicking them always pops up a menu of available operations for the part of the GUI in which the ops button appears. Holding down ALT (Option) when clicking most ops buttons provides a shortcut to selecting a specific menu item. (I.e., these are true shortcuts. Every function accessible by using ALT/Option is also available on the ops menu.)

Plug-in ops buttons

In Unify's layer-stack view, plug-in instances are indicated by colored boxes containing the plug-in name, an ops-button on the right and (effects only) a “bypass” button on the left.

  • ALT + Click to immediately delete the plug-in (effects only)
  • SHIFT + Click to paste plug-in state from clipboard
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Click to copy plug-in state to clipboard
  • SHIFT + Click to paste plug-in state from clipboard

Layer ops buttons

A layer ops button appears at the far right end of each layer, and its operations apply to the whole layer.

  • ALT + Click to immediately delete the layer

Curve editors

In any “piecewise curve editor”, where a custom curve can be built from multiple segments (e.g. velocity curve editors):

  • ALT + Click and drag to drag a control point up/down only (left/right position locked)
  • When vertical and/or horizontal grid lines are present, holding down SHIFT while dragging control points activates snap-to-grid.

Number boxes

A number box is any small box in which a number (e.g. -12), or note-name (e.g. C#5) is displayed.

  • Right-click (or CTRL + Click) to pop up a “value editor”
  • ALT + drag in any transpose box to adjust up/down by 12s (octaves)

Parameter sliders/knobs

Parameter sliders includes most kinds of sliders and knobs available in Unify, including layer level, pan, and aux-send controls, and most parameter knobs in built-in plug-ins.

Layer level sliders

  • ALT-drag any one layer level slider to adjust all others by the same relative amount
    • “all others” = level sliders for all INST and AUX layers (if any)
    • “same relative amount” = same number of dB

Macro parameter knobs

NOTE THESE SHORTCUTS HAVE CHANGED IN UNIFY 1.10.x See Using Unify's Macro Knobs for real-time control.

  • Right-click (or CTRL + Click) any knob or its ops button to open the linked-parameters window for that knob
  • SHIFT + CTRL + Click“ the ops button to Copy the knob's name and links to the clipboard * SHIFT + Click” the ops button to Paste from the clipboard to another knob
  • ALT + Click selects the “INITIALIZE” menu item, clearing all linked parameters for that knob, and removing any user-assigned name.

Parameter knobs in built-in plug-ins

In all of Unify's Built-in plug-ins, you can hold down CTRL while adjusting a knob to make fine adjustments.

Show MIDI view

The Show MIDI view displays colored sliders to indicate the state of the MIDI pitch-bend and up to four selected MIDI CCs (defaults 1, 2, 4, 67).

  • Click/drag in any of these to send the corresponding MIDI messages into Unify
  • Right-click (or CTRL + Click) in any CC indicator to pop up a menu of available MIDI CCs (with standard descriptions where applicable) to change the corresponding CC number.

Multi-selection lists

A multi-selection list is any scrolling list in which it is possible to select (highlight) one or more items. The main examples are in the Plug-in Subsets view and the top half of the patch browser.

  • Click (no modifiers) to select an item, and simultaneously de-select all others
  • CTRL + Click (CMD + Click on Mac) to toggle an item's selection
  • SHIFT + Click to select a range of items (click 1st item, Shift+click last in the range)
shortcuts.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/13 13:36 by shane