Using Triggers - Audio Design Desk
How Can We Help?

Using Triggers

One of the most powerful features of ADD is the ability to Trigger sounds for your project in real-time. In the Triggers Menu there is a list of keys that will send sound design, music, and sound effects directly to your timeline.

To use any of these triggers, simply move the playhead to the correct moment in the timeline and press the corresponding letter for the desired sound.

For definitions of the triggers listed below, go to Sound Definitions.


Preset Triggers:

Below is a list of the hard coded (can’t be changed) keys used to trigger Sound Design:

H = Hit

R = Rise

T = Transition

D = Drone

Q = Pulse

B = Bed

P = Rhythmic

X = Textural

W = FX

U = Pitched Singles

Y = Pitched Other

Z = Full Mix Music


Below is a list of the hard coded (can’t be changed) keys used to trigger Music:  

Ctrl-1 = Beat

Ctrl-2 = Bass

Ctrl-3 = Chord Progression

Ctrl-4 = Line

Ctrl-5 = Melody

Ctrl-6 = Vocal

Ctrl-7 = Percussion

Ctrl-8 = Fill

Ctrl-9 = FX

Ctrl-0 = Full Mix Music


Below is a list of the hard coded (can’t be changed) keys used to add Empty Markers:  

G = Empty Sound Marker

N = Comment Marker


**Currently these Trigger hotkeys are locked and can not be modified. The ability to customize these triggers will be a feature in future release of ADD**


However you can assign these Preset Triggers to specific keys or pads on your MIDI Controller. For more information on how to set up a MIDI Controller and assign Preset Triggers see MIDI Controllers.


Customizable Triggers:

In the Triggers Tab of the Triggers / Metadata Window, you are able to assign any sounds in ADD to one of 20 separate customizable triggers [1-10 & (Shift 1-10)]. You can also use a MIDI Keyboard or Controller the same as a Customizable Trigger. For information on setting up a keyboard see MIDI Controllers.


Create a Custom Trigger:

There are several methods in which a user can assign sounds to a trigger. Here is a list of all the possible ways so you can find what works best with your workflow.


Assign Type:

If you want to assign multiple sounds of the same type (i.e. Footsteps/Grass/Sneaker) to the same Trigger it’s very easy to do so.

Find the type of sound you would like to assign to a trigger and (Right-Click) it.

Now select “Assign all matching…” and then select a number from “1 to 10” or “⇧-1 to 10”. You could also select a MIDI key.


The sound, and its relative subtypes will populate the trigger pool window.


Drag to Trigger:

You assign a specific group sounds from the search pool to a trigger by selecting and dragging.

To start, select a trigger number from (1-10) or (⇧1-10) at the top of the Triggers Window.

Then go to the Search pool and select several sounds in a row by clicking the top sound and (Shift-Clicking the bottom sound.

Now drag your desired sound(s) into the pool under the selected trigger number.


You can also drag the sounds on to the number of the trigger itself.


If there are very specific sounds you would like to add to a trigger that are scattered throughout the search pool, you can select the sounds using (CMD-Click) before dragging them down on to a trigger.


Load Sounds:

You can “Load” sounds onto a trigger from a specific location or folder of ADD sound packs.

Click the “Load” drop down menu to see a quick list of further specifying drop down menus to pull from.


If you select “Pull From” you’ll get this menu where you can:

  • Assign Playlists of sounds to the trigger
  • Add any currently selected sound(s) either in the Library or on the Timeline to the trigger
  • Replace all sound on the trigger with any currently selected sound(s) in the Library or on the Timeline.


Or you can use the remaining drop down menus within the “Load” drop down to assign sounds to a trigger based on:

  • Category
  • Sub Category
  • Type
  • Sub Type


Assign from Timeline:

If you have already placed sounds on your timeline by dragging them from the Search Tab or using the Magic Marker and you decide the you now want to create a trigger using those sounds or type of sounds, you can easily assign them from the timeline.

Right click the sound(s) you wish to add to a trigger on your timeline.

Now select either “Add # file(s) to Trigger” or “Assign all matching…” and select a number (1-10) or (Shift 1-10).


Adjust Triggers:

ADD gives you a few options and features within a trigger to further customize your creative flow.



You can create duplicates of triggers or rearrange your triggers by dragging a trigger over to another.

Simply (Click-Drag) a trigger number over to the desired trigger number. Then release and you trigger will be duplicated.



By default, using triggers is set to “Random” meaning that when pressing a trigger you will randomly place one of the sounds in the trigger on the timeline.

While this can be useful for sounds such as “Sword Clashes”, sounds such as “Footsteps” will sound better when “Sequential”.

To change the setting from “Random” to “Sequential”, click the Mode drop down menu.

Now select which trigger mode you prefer. The mode with the “Checkmark” next to it is the currently selected mode.

“Sequential” mode will work in “Round-Robin” fashion when reaching the end of a trigger pool


Save Triggers:

If you want to save any set of triggers you have created, you can save a preset by clicking on the “Presets” drop down menu.


A list of all previously saved Trigger Presets will open as well as the options to:

  • Save – Overwrite your currently opened preset.
  • Save As – Create a new preset.
  • Delete – Trash currently opened preset.

Click “Save As” to create a new one.


Now name your preset and choose a location. By default, Trigger Presets are saved in “ADD > Presets > Triggers”. Now click “Save” and your new Trigger Preset will be created.


Clear Triggers:

Removing sounds from a trigger is as simple as selecting the desired sound to be deleted and pressing “Delete”.

You can delete all sounds on the trigger by pressing (CMD-A) in the trigger pool to select all sounds and then press “Delete”.

Or if you would like to delete all triggers, rather than manually deleting all of the sounds on each individual trigger, the most effective way to clear your triggers is to click “New” in the Presets drop down menu.

Careful! If you have not “Saved” the current Customizable Triggers setup, you will not be able to recall it once cleared.


Table of Contents