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Old October 2nd, 2005, 12:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Jackson, WY/Steamboat CO
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the key to keyboards...

This is a topic that I posted on an excellent FCP site but the thrust of my question was never fully answered as the thread moved circuitously off course, around its edges...

I know this seems a goofy question from someone who has edited as long as I, but I am wondering what keyboard is that which is the most efficient FCP tool. I see hardware, software and workflow discussed in the most vital and excrutiating detail, but rarely a mention of the one tool which most directly translates all of the power and creativity...the keyboard. Any thoughts on new or old technologies, what works and what's hype? What do you use and why?
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 12:14 AM   #2
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I use the Apple keyboard, that came with my G5, and I have not seen or tried anything that would make me switch. For me, the only important feature of the keyboard is single-hand accessibility. For almost all of the operations I do in Final Cut, I have the mouse in my right hand, so I need to be able to reach any key quickly with my left hand. This is why I don't use ergonomic keyboards; as far as I'm concerned, those just eliminate efficient access to half of my keys. I have never seen any point in getting any of the FCP keyboards I've seen on B&H and in other places because they have only two features: labeled or color-coded keys and jog shuttles. The labeled keys are no good to me or anyone who wants to edit as efficiently as possible. If I have to look at my keys for the shortcuts then I am not being very efficient. I also dislike that these keyboards inevitably place the jog shuttle on the right side of the keyboard. I don't like having to take my right hand from the mouse unless I have to type something other than a shortcut, so I don't like the location of these shuttles. Perhaps they are excellent for left-handed editors. Instead, I use a ShuttlePro v2, and I place it to the left of my keyboard. When I'm logging or cutting, I use the ShuttlePro and mouse, and I don't touch the keyboard too much. I love the ergonomics in this. I find the ShuttlePro just as comfortable as an ergonomic keyboard. When I'm doing anything else, I can always grab the shuttle without losing my mouse. Now that I've figured out at least a few sets of good hotkeys to program into the ShuttlePro, I'm much more efficient in repetitive tasks, and I never have to reach too far because I just kept the smallish Apple keyboard. The same thing goes for me when I'm using my pen and tablet with After Effects or Photoshop. I just want to be able to access all the keys quickly with a single hand and not have too far to go between the keyboard and my other input devices. If someone offered a keyboard with a truly innovative feature like a control surface for the 3-way Color Corrector then I would consider plopping something bigger on my desk. Otherwise I'm quite comfortable with what I have.
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Old October 5th, 2005, 10:26 AM   #3
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I use the Apple Pro Keyboard that came with my G5, but I replaced the keys with LogicKeyboard's FCP keys. I tried the Bella FCP keyboard (which I am about to sell on eBay, finally), but it had the notchy tactile feel of a PC keyboard. I did like, however, having the shortcuts on the keys. Using them really speeds up your workflow, and it makes learning them MUCH easier. So now I have the nice Apple keypress with the marked keys.

I also use a Contour ShuttlePro and a Kensington Expert Mouse.

As an aside, I also have an iSkin keyboard protector. You only have to spill coffee on your keyboard once during a time-sensitive project to appreciate the protection it affords...
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Old October 6th, 2005, 12:18 AM   #4
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I too use the Apple keyboard that came with my G5, and the logicKeyboard FCP keys (not all of them). Then I map a bunch of stuff I use to the other keys. Makes editing very fast. Default favorite transitions to the F-keys (except F9 on down) and all sorts of other stuff on the other keys. Mainly an Avid layout, as that is where I migrated (well, still work in Avid) from.
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