We are always on the lookout for different methods to control Final Cut Pro X as an alternative to our Magic Mouse with its Multi-Touch. These customisable controls from Palette are very different from the normal jog wheels and sliders on existing control surfaces.
We will say right from the start again that the fastest way we have found to operate FCPX is with a Magic Mouse. We have tried the trackpad, but keep coming back to the mouse and to think that we were inseparable from our Wacom tablet with FCP7 too!
So when we see new products we are sceptical, but willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to usefulness.
Initially funded through Kickstarter, Palette is a collection of switches, knobs and sliders that click together magnetically to form a custom control surface that talks to the Mac via a USB core unit. The initial run was targeted at Photoshop & Lightroom users and now they are expanding with the ability to interface with FCPX.
The new packs available range from $199 for the Starter Kit (1 Core 1 Dial 2 Buttons 1 Slider) to $499 for the Professional Kit (1 Core 4 Buttons 6 Dials 4 Sliders)
The controls come with a default or preset pack for FCPX which is currently in beta. You can of course customise the tools to your needs in the PaletteApp. We think our first task (as the video hints at) would be to assign three knobs to the colour board to give colour correction granularity that would take a lot longer by dragging a mouse. (Or even having to gear it down!)
Now the bad news. None of the products ordered now will ship until this November. It looks like the first batch of happy customers who tweeted their satisfaction came from the Kickstarter round of manufacturing.
One to keep an eye on, in the meantime, be sure to check out their blog which goes into great detail about the manufacturing process.