How to control OpenTZT

The the main method to control openTZT is by keyboard. It's also the only method that provides all (except for clip scratching and BPM dragging) functionality. So openTZT is basically a keyboard controlled program. It is recommended to use a full 101 keys keyboard since the num pad plays a major part in using the effects. Laptop users who have problems with the slightly different keyboard layout should try the keyboard_lang=ENG_LAPTOP option in the tzt.ini (read section "Configuration" for further details).

For better and easier work with openTZT, you should get a grasp of it's basic idea of using the keyboard to control a video performance. You should think of the keyboard as the keys of a piano, then your performance becomes a real performance. You "play" openTZT like a music instrument. But it's a lot easier to learn than a music instrument.

The main idea is to have groups of keys for different functions, like the letter keys basically for choosing clips and effects, the number keys for parameters and speed and the function keys to select a palette of clips, effects or presets. With the control keys (Shift, Ctrl, Alt) you tell openTZT which function you actually want to use.
Now check the table below, you can see that the most effects stuff is in colums Left CTRL and Right CTRL. There are other interesting things to find in this table.

Controlling by Keyboard

Hinweis für deutsprachige Anwender: Um openTZT mit einer QWERTZ Tastatur vernünftig bedienen zu können, sollte die Option keyboard_lang in der tzt.ini auf keyboard_lang=GER gesetzt werden.

The following table shows the combination of standard keys (ABCDE ... 1234 ... F1 F2 F3 ...) with the openTZT control keys (Ctrl, Shift, Alt). If there are more than one key listed in one of the blocks in the left column, this means the whole range of keys is used for that particular function (like 1 to 9 for nine different playback speeds)

Download a detailed keyboard map (keys.pdf).

  Single Key Left SHIFT Left CTRL Left ALT Right ALT Right CTRL Right SHIFT Arrow UP
load clips

load layer efx

load left efx

load right efx


start/stop APP


start/stop APP &
set loopmode

U I O P [ ]
set overlay mode
mode 1 .. 7
overlay mode
mode 8 .. 14

overlay mode
mode 8 .. 14

M , . / layer transition transition speed

` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - = alpha value
value 1 left efx

value 1 right efx
value 1 layer efx

value 2 left efx

value 2 right efx

value 2 layer efx
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
set reverse speed

set forward speed

toggle BPM sync

loop mode


ping-pong mode


one shot mode

# swap clips swap clips & efx

swap clips & efx
F1 – F9 material page preset page efx page

efx page preset page

change all banks

change all banks
F10 material bank preset bank efx bank

F12 toggle
output recording

Arrow keys
select player

ESC change play layer

BACKSPACE hide clip reverse
play direction
hide left efx

hide right efx reverse
play direction

TAB change edit layer

ENTER pause/play clip retrigger clip

SPACE change play layer
apply last used
layer transition

Numpad 0 – 9 apply temp efx save preset load preset toggle APP

Numpad / prev. temp efx page

Numpad * next temp efx page

INS resync bpm

HOME teach bpm (press 5x)

This table shows the english keyboard settings only. For german mapping download the keys.pdf (see above).

The following sections will show the keyboard assignments like this: A B LShift+4
This means a feature uses a group of keys consisting of the "A" for one function, the "B" for another function and the left "Shift" and "4" pressed together for a third function. In case of Shift (no leading L or R), both Shift keys can be used for this shortcut. Some features also use three keys pressed together. (LCtrl+LShift+4 sets value 2 of the left effect)

Controlling by Mouse

Even though many funtions can used by mouse, there are some major functions that cannot controlled by mouse (e.g. activating multiple players). On the other hand, some functions can controlled solely by mouse like clip scratching or BPM dragging.

It's also possible that using the mouse slow's down the program a little (only after clicking) since the calculation where a mouse click has occured is more complex than recognizing the key that has been pressed.

Controlling by MIDI

to be written