The SSL UF8 Control Surface with FL Studio – The SSL 360 “Soft keys”

I hadn’t anticipated that this would be quite so easy to use so thought I would do this second post just to show this functionality in FL Studio as it stands now. Essentially it is the same as with the supported DAWs and might just be the stand out feature of the UF8!

I can see two uses for this functionality – the first is as shown in the video below – just using it to replicate existing keyboard shortcuts. (Like some other DAWs, keyboard shortcuts are a big thing in FL Studio so this is a nice feature to have on your Control Surface.)

The second is more powerful (and an engineers dream – and lets face it, we are all engineers these days!). Just imagine a common routine that you frequently do that is both boring and time consuming – essentially anything that can be done on a keyboard using multiple strokes can be automated and assigned to a single soft key – wowser!

But for me what really makes the soft keys special is that you don’t have to remember which key does what – you can label them yourself!

In this example I created buttons reflecting different Windows in FL Studio – selecting the button works like a toggle to bring the window up or close it back down:

  1. Plugin Window
  2. The Playlist / Song Window
  3. The Step Sequencer
  4. The Piano Role
  5. Sample / Browser Window
  6. Song Info Window
  7. The Mixer
  8. Midi Settings

Setting this took me around 5 minutes and would have been less if I had the shortcuts already memorised – here is what it looks like in the SSL 360 App (it is all automagically transferred to the UF8 in real time as you type – it’s a very nice implementation).

Video Walk Through

Conclusion

While keyboard macro recorders have been around for years it is a stroke of genius to integrate them in to the control surface in this way – and pretty compelling 🙂

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