Playback hot key controls?

I recently showed the software to my dad as something he could use to back up his solo performances and his first question was “How can I loop a measure or section while I talk to my audience?”. That got me wondering whether any thought has been given to future support for various hot key combinations controlling playback behaviors during live performance. Executing the various hot key combinations could be mapped to a midi controller and it would enhance the usability of the software for dynamic live performances. Examples of helpful key combinations could be for things like loop/release current measure, loop/release current section, toggle instrument on/off, tempo +/-, volume +/-, next/previous song in playlist, etc… Just something that’s been rolling around in my head and wondering if there’s any community/developer interest in this as a future feature. :slight_smile:

99.99% of us don’t need such a feature. It’s a program for practicing, not performing.

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@AlanKaneIt’s a program for practicing, not performing.”


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I started out using it as a practice tool and found it has a lot of features , I use it with our men’s Church vocal group. it is great because of the ability to instantly change keys, tempo but it is great for the visual aspect, our group is very untrained and the moving highlight above the chords is just what we need to help everyone come in at the right spot. I’ve been using midi and a;ll things associated with it since 1986 and Strum Machine files a big hole in what i needed. Bonus is it’s cross platform so almost any device can use it. I would like to see the hotkey developments added . Just my vote !!

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With all the other quality enhancements being added in beta, it’s easy to see that the software is actually evolving closer to being suitable for a solo artist to use as backup for live performance. Relegating it to staying only a practice tool because that’s how it’s currently used might actually be limiting its full potential. I have seen the product evolve quite a bit recently and supporting hot keys for midi mapping would only move it closer to being suitable for live performance, which is why I asked about it.

Logically, if every extra feature you 1% would like to have were actually added, the subscription price should rise. I don’t feel like paying more for bells and whistles many of us don’t actually need.
I’m still wondering why on some Androids, I hear pops and crackles using it just as it is now.

I originally wrote something really sarcastic that was probably taking it a little too far… I really prefer not to seem adversarial on forums because of differing opinions so I removed it. But I just want to point out that there could be plenty of users who would appreciate more capability for a hands free approach to controlling the software, even if limited to practice. I personally detest fumbling around with a device or computer while I’m trying to practice and holding an instrument+pick/bow… It’s especially inconvenient when practicing fiddle and/or standing away from the device.

I use the software for practicing several instruments, but it’s actually only limited to practice because it has lacked some key features and quality in areas that are getting much better! I don’t see myself ever wanting to use something like it at say, a festival! But would I use it playing solo at the local retirement home to back me up while entertaining the old folks there? You bet! There is a place for that. I can think of a lot of small, background music, solo applications which it is actually edging toward becoming more suitable for. So maybe let’s not just put it in a box and speak for other people who have varying interests and use cases. The price is likely to go up anyway for other reasons. Hey! Maybe you can suggest subscription tiers on this forum to help make sure you can always use the cheaper version with more limited features? :smiley: :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I have thought about using StrumMachine for performances, but never explored it deeper. It seems that performance enhancements are also practice enhancements, so I would welcome them. After all, 99.99% of us are probably aspiring to perform in some little way. For example, training/practice video exchanges on ArtistWorks (or for any other purpose) are actually performances.

Related is a device called the Elmore Pedal, which came with my ArtistWorks subscription. This pedal (can be used as a foot pedal) has 2 large buttons and can be used to control training videos. It would be helpful if this device (or similar devices) were mapped to SM.

Thank you for your ideas and for keeping the discussion constructive! Let me jump in here with a few comments:

  1. Strum Machine is indeed designed for at-home practicing first and foremost, and that will always remain my focus. That said, I’ve heard from many, many users over the years about how they’re using Strum Machine as accompaniment while busking on the street, playing small gigs like wineries and retirement homes, broadcasting live-streams, etc., and I think it’s very cool that folks are doing that. I’m happy to add functionality to support these users as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the practicing experience.

  2. I am a big fan of customizable keyboard shortcuts, and keyboard controls in general, and I’m excited to add many more key bindings for various functions in Strum Machine in the not-too-distant future, along with the ability to change which keys are bound to which functions.

  3. Once I have a nice keyboard shortcut customization interface, adding support for non-programmable pedals like the Elmore will be much easier. (Strum Machine already supports Bluetooth “page turner” pedals and programmable keystroke-emulating pedals, as long as they can be set to emulate useful keys like the spacebar.)

  4. Not sure why you’re hearing pops and cracks on Android, Alan, and I’m sorry to hear that. Strum Machine is doing some pretty intensive audio processing under the hood (and in real time), and sometimes certain devices struggle with that. I wish I had a solution but right now I don’t, other than turning your device off and then back on again which has a 50/50 chance of resolving the issue…

  5. I’ve said before publicly that I will never raise the price of the subscription for existing users, and I stand by that because it feels like the right thing to do. After all, your subscriptions are funding the development of these new features I’m working on, so you should be able to use them! I will probably raise the price for new users at some point, but y’all will be “grandfathered in” to the existing price if/when that happens, so don’t worry about that. And yeah, subscription tiers are an option, but honestly I like the simplicity of “everything for one price” that I will probably only do that if I release something MAJOR like melody playback (which, as I’ve said, would be both a technical and a legal quagmire… but never say never, right?)


Thanks so much for your time providing this response and details, Luke! I really appreciate all the amazing improvements you continue to make and your forethought and dedication to making Strum Machine such a great tool for practice and beyond!

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