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Now You See It...

Can you honestly say that you use all — or even most — of the features that appear in your DAW’s drop‑down menus? I’ve heard it suggested that 90 percent of all DAW users use perhaps only 10 percent of the entire feature set of their chosen DAW in their day‑to‑day work!

I’ve been primarily a Logic Pro user for many years now, and I have to admit that whilst Apple have greatly streamlined eMagic’s original, somewhat idiosyncratic menu structure in Logic, I still feel that most of the menus present me with too many functions that I practically never use. Indeed, many of these items are for functions I would have little intention of ever exploring unless a specific need arose.

Paul White in his studio, 2017.Of course, different types of user, working on different styles of music or audio production will have differing needs and may well be accessing different functions to myself, but I don’t think I’d be far wrong in asserting that the majority of the items in most of the menus don’t get used much, if at all, by any one single type of user. So, why can’t we select the ones we don’t need to see all the time and apply some kind of Hide function to remove them from view?

Many DAWs have a track Hide function that lets you remove certain tracks from being visible in the arrangement without deleting them. This can be very helpful in cleaning up the workspace, particularly when working on a smaller screen, and you typically only need to click a single button to make all the hidden tracks visible again.

Logic lets me choose which items appear in its Control Bar, the Display window and the Track headers, so why not the menus? If at some later time any of the hidden items seem like they might be useful, then I should be able to bring them back on an individual basis, just as I can with all the above areas of the program. Actually, I’d even like to be able to do a similar thing with plug‑ins and hide all the ones that I don’t use on a regular basis, so that they only pop into view when I need them.

We’re encouraged to de‑clutter our homes, studios and computer desktops for efficient working and a clear mind, so it seems to me only logical that streamlining the DAWs in which we spend so much time would be beneficial. Now, if only I could have a Show/Hide button for all those extra guitars and pedals I have lying around my studio!

Paul White Editor In Chief

Published November 2018