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Testing the Editors Keys Illuminated Final Cut Pro X Keyboard

Editors keys illumiated FCPX keyboard banner

Editors Keys very kindly lent the site a backlit illuminated FCPX keyboard to try out. So why not take it out on a real job and use it under pressure? What was the verdict?

 

I've been using a standard low profile Final Cut Pro X keyboard from Editors Keys for a while now. (Purchased) In fact it gets so much use, the E, C, A, S and nudge right keys have quite a bit of wear on them. 

Not too sure what that means about my editing skills, but interesting to know which keys get the most battering.

So when Editors Keys asked me if I'd like to borrow one of their new illuminated FCPX keyboards I said 'of course.' Especially as I was working on a job in the next few days where I knew I'd be in a dark OB environment.

The illuminated keyboard was made possible by a Kickstarter campaign that was oversubscribed by 100%. The model tested is priced at £99 on the Editors Keys website.

Once I got over how impressive and sturdy the box was, out came the new black keyboard. Nice to see that they have added labels for every FCPX function on the extended or right area. This gives you labels for keyword tags, timecode and the go to functions. These were missing on the previous model.

The keyboard also comes with a long 6 foot USB cable which makes plugging it in to a computer under a desk or behind monitors easy. It is made entirely of plastic, not like the aluminium slab of previous keyboards. They seem to weigh about the same. Although I can twist the new model slightly, it is more than robust enough.

And then the big moment. Plug it in! It works as expected, however there are instructions included to run an Editors Keys app that I never really got around to.

So how does it perform?

Under lights, you still see the lights around the keys, but not much through the actual keys themselves.

Editors keys illumiated FCPX keyboard 01

 

It's a different story with low lighting as the whole keyboard lights up!

Editors keys illumiated FCPX keyboard 02

 

FCPX purists out there might say that you should know where all the keys and shortcuts are. I disagree and anything that helps me edit better or faster is welcome.

I started off thinking that the backlight was just a gimmick, but after the end of a busy three days doing 12 hour shifts for broadcast TV, I rather liked it. I also like the fact that it is more tactile than the previous keyboards, giving a good feedback on clicks and audible clicks.

Downsides?

If you use this in a bright office, you won't get the benefits from an illuminated keyboard. Also the keyboard draws more power down the USB cable and a couple of times I got the message saying there wasn't enough power on the USB bus. Lastly and probably related to the previous issue, there are no USB ports on the keyboard to plug your thumb drives into.

Conclusion?

I really like it, I'm surprised, I think the backlight is great, but the overall 'feel' of the keys is even better. Coming from a background of 'clicky' Sony keyboards from the tape editing days (BKE 9400 anybody?) I prefer the key action to the previous low profile aluminium models. They also have backlit keyboards for Avid, Premiere, DaVinci Resolve and Edius along with sets for image and sound production programs.

Shame I'm going to have to send it back.

 

Disclosure: The keyboard was borrowed free for testing with no caveats. FCP.co get a small commission on the affiliate link should you choose to buy one which all helps to go towards the hosting costs of the website.

 

peter wigginsPeter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X. You can find him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.

 

 

 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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