Community Tip - Using A Kensington Expert Trackball

09-04-2013 10:00 PM

With the support of iLok, more tips & tricks from the community. Here is one from Alan Hardiman…..
Here’s a community tip regarding using a Kensington Expert Mouse trackball for Windows and Mac. I have been using a large trackball for 25 years, since the Abaton came out for Mac around 1988. These are similar sized trackballs to those found on some hardware audio consoles and video editing controllers. I find that rolling a large billiard ball sized trackball under my fingers is way less fatiguing than using a small golf ball sized trackball, and way better for my arm than a conventional mouse day in and day out in digital audio sweatshop use.
The Expert Mouse has four buttons around the trackball that can be programmed to execute keystrokes and mouse clicks, among a host of other functions that are not relevant to ProTools. I leave the lower left and right buttons for default left and right mouse clicks. I’ve programmed the upper right button to scrub (F9), and the upper left button to return to the Smart Tool (Ctrl + 7).
This speeds up my workflow incredibly, as my fingers are already on the trackball when I need to scrub, and a quick click of the appropriate button toggles me in and out of scrub seamlessly. You can also chord by hitting two buttons simultaneously, and I have programmed a chord of the two lower buttons to execute Shift + S (toggle solo), which again speeds up my workflow seamlessly and keeps my eyes on the screen.
Many more routine tasks can be programmed by using the modifier keys in conjunction with keystrokes and mouse actions (Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Win, Cmd, etc.) although this entails the use of two hands to execute.
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Mike - I tried one a while back but it didn’t suit me personally, I sucumbed to RSI quite quickly. But if it works for you I know alot of people who love these beasts. In my experience using a range of different devices helps so it isn’t always the same muscles being used.
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