It's a common problem we've all experienced... "what's the keyboard shortcut for duplicate region / select material in a loop / Tempo Operations / etc." It's easy to forget the shortcuts, especially if you use more than one DAW. Sure, there's keyboard covers but those are per DAW...
Back in early June 2016 we covered (sic) the Pio One keyboard as an input device which might well do away with those helpful, but static, keyboard covers and stickers we’ve seen over the years. Where keyboard covers are helpful for remembering which keys do what in your chosen software, but aren’t able to adapt or be customised to your workflows easily.
Enter Pio One. Looking to shake up the keyboard market, this futuristic keyboard can be customised for the software of your choice. You’re not stuck with it working with one piece of software or one set of key commands. And now Pio One is rolling out support for Ableton Live, Logic Pro & Pro Tools.
We were a bit hazy about what the final production version of Pio One will be. So, we chatted with Euan Colley from Pio Design who gave us some interesting information about how the Pio One could fit into your computer / studio workflow.
In the images above you can see the Pio One has been setup to run with Ableton Live, Logic Pro and Pro Tools respectively. The display screen at the top of the Pio One “can live screen grab a section of your computer’s screen and show it on the Pio screen. This can also be context aware. So if you happen to change to a different view or use a different tool it can display something totally different.”
That explains the display capabilities, which puts my brain into overdrive thinking of the possibilities. What about the keys themselves? Colley tell us, “these can be rearranged as suits. Some feedback we got was that audio production tends to be a mouse + keyboard affair, so having to stretch for a Ctrl + P with only your left hand can be a bit unnatural, you can assign hotkeys that require multiple key presses. e.g (CMD + Shift + E) to insert silence in ProTools, can be assigned to a single key.”
Furthermore, Pio will be equipped with client software that would allow users to easily make their own keysets without ANY coding. Then people can easily search for a keyset they want through the software and see what other people have made, then download it, tweak it, customise it etc. In short we’re talking about sharing Pio One presets across the cloud.
We’re not sure on the price for Pio One yet. There’s still a little way to go for the company to see how economically they can price it depending on manufacturing costs. But, I can tell you they are looking to make this as accessible as possible. And from the figures they told me were possible I could see Pio One appealing to a wide range of music and non-music computer users (that’s like everyone, right?)
Pio One will be released on both Mac and PC and Euan and colleagues are constantly looking into new software that the Pio One could work with.
If you’re interested in Pio One check it out!