After discussing things like Liam’s Macros for Quick Sampler, or FloMouse, there has been questions about Keyboard Maestro and what it is. The aforementioned macros, while being free themselves, requires a licensed copy of Keyboard Maestro, Which is a popular 3rd party Mac app for creating custom key commands, macros and otherwise speeding up frequent and common task via the keyboard. This isn’t an accessibility specific app, however its ability to automate repetitive tasks lends its self well to creating macros that are useful for accessibility. Below is an audio demonstration on downloading and installing, Keyboard Maestro, as well as importing Macros. This is a sneak peak of a course on using MacOS and VoiceOver, so join the mailing list to be the first to know when it’s available.
So What are Macros?
Anything you can do on your Mac, Keyboard Maestro allows you to automate. So case in point if you always have to move the mouse to a specific spot on the screen and then perform a single click to bring up a menu, then navigate to specific option on that menu and click it, to then bring up a button that needs to be double clicked to perform a function, this is the sort of thing a macro in a simple form can perform. In fact this is a lot of what some of the macros that allow us to access plug ins like Quick Sampler is doing. It’s moving the mouse to a certain spot on the screen and clicking on something that’s visible in the UI that even though VoiceOver can’t see, a sighted mouse user can.
Once someone captures these movements and clicks and save them, this is what Keyboard Maestro refers to as a macro. Something like Liam’s Macros for Quick Sampler is a few of these saved out into a single macro file. I created something similar myself to help make using the software for the Bosss GT-1000 Guitar Amp Modeller and Multi FX unit more useable as well.
So How Do You Use These Macros?
Most of these Macros usually are distributed with a read me file which explains how to activate the macros. To install the macros, you will first need to download and install Keyboard Maestro. Once installed and set up,. Whenever you download macros such as Liam’s Quick Sampler macros, or my Boss GT-1000 macros, you will just have to open the macros in finder like you do any other file. It will then Launch Keyboard Maestro and import them.
Once imported into Keyboard Maestro you will need to enable them. You can also import the macros directly from within Keyboard Maestro. See the previously mentioned demonstration above for details on either of these methods..
After importing/enabling the macros, you will need to load the app in question. Lets take the Quick Sampler macros for example here. So first load Logic and instantiate the Quick Sampler on a track. Once you have the Quick Sampler file Loaded up, then its a matter of pressing the key to activate the macros, and then you can issue the different commands outlined in the read me such as importing a file or etc. Once you are done with the Quick Sampler interface, you can press the key command used to activate the macros, to deactivate them, so that those key commands won’t continue to override any Logic key commands that are the same.
In the case of my Boss GT-1000 macros for example, those are set to automatically activate when Boss Tone Studio app is open and the front most window but deactivate automatically when its not. This makes more sense in the context of that app since the macros are used in the entirety of the app. However in the case of the Quick Sampler macros, since they are only useful when the Quick Sampler is active and the Quick Sampler is a plug in in Logic, and not a stand alone app, it wouldn’t make sense to have the Quick Sampler Macros activate and deactivate automatically when Logic is open and in focus. This is why there is a Key Command to activate and deactivate the macros in the case of Quick Sampler.
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