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Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?

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Scott Clements
Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 20, 2015 at 10:29:24 am

Hi,

I know I will get all sorts of comments like "Don't try to make it Avid, etc.", however, the reality is that I work predominantly in Avid and Premiere (with an Avid based keyboard setup) and I can't afford to memorise and forget multiple keyboards. I edited a project in FCP X, using its default keyboard setup, about a year ago and now have completely forgotten everything and almost have to start learning the software from scratch. I have decided that all of my keyboards must be as closely aligned to one another as possible if I want to hop around NLEs confidently. I am finding remapping to a basic Avid setup in FCP X to be extremely difficult, because almost all of the terminology is different. Is there anyone else out there who may have mapped their FCP X keyboard to an Avid-style, who may have any helpful tips? Anywhere I can download an Avid-style setup?

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 20, 2015 at 3:25:47 pm

It's not just a matter of terminology, but also that many of the functions have changed or don't exist in the others. For example, none of them have the equivalent of "Q" to create a connected clip. In the case of MC, that would involve both track patching and an edit command. I think you can get close for some, like a simple overwrite or insert, but a lot of the rest will be tougher.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 20, 2015 at 7:16:01 pm

Yep I would instead invest in a labeled custom FCPX keyboard. Remapping everything to Avid would be dicey at best plus everytime you go edit on a stock install of FCPX you'll be completely lost. That said if you *insist* on the square peg into round hole approach- I'll bet a Google search for Avid FCPX key mappings might yield something.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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David Powell
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 20, 2015 at 9:53:08 pm

Actually , I find that FCPX lines up like Avid better than Premiere of FCP7. I find it very easy to jump from MC to X than any of the others the way I have my Keyboard setup. For instance, in media composer "890" will patch Video 1 audio and audio 2. In FCPX 8 will patch Video/audio, 9 will give me video only and 0 will give me audio only.

I have "p, [, and ]" switch trim sides like MC, and U will give me a roll trim like MC. "V and B" insert and overwrite "E and R" for I/O...you get the idea. I Use "C" for connecting clips, "W" for range, "4" for disable, "esc" for clip animation "5" for match frame. My FCPX keyboard is exactly like my MC keyboard with a couple differences. But my MC keyboard is also customized and working with FCPX gave me better ideas on creating a better Keyboard for MC.

Also you'll find that FCPX is extremely mouse reliant. For this reason I switched the transform to the left hand side ala Steve Cohen, but the JKL remained the same as well so when I went to using a Wacom Tablet (I pen with my left hand), nothing really changed on my keyboard. Of course I had to take quite a bit of time to program my Wacom to work seamlessly between MC, Premiere and FCPX. But now its a breeze.


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David Powell
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 20, 2015 at 10:10:31 pm

If you're interested shoot me an email, and I'll send you my FCPX Keybord setup. I think its quite intuitive and crosses over extremely well for Avid Editors. I'm a keyboard Jockey so pretty much everything you'd use in Avid on the keyboard is mapped. Its a good baseline and you could switch a few commands that I left FCP (like I don't use "\" for transitions in X) back to original Avid spots. Though I generally have a good reason why I didn't cross it over to FCPX.


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Scott Clements
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 21, 2015 at 9:11:04 am

David, I would love to get your FCP X keyboard setup...how do I email you? I can't find an email or message link. Thanks!

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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Andy Neil
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 21, 2015 at 3:32:20 am

As Oliver said, it's going to be difficult because there are plenty of edits in X that are not compatible with Avid. Connected and appended edits do not exist in Avid, and track patching doesn't exist in FCPX.

However, you can get a few key ones down that might make the switching curve easier. If you're right handed, and use E and R for IN/OUT, you can map those easily enough. Make V Insert, and B overwrite. For Connect, make it SHIFT+V and Append can be SHIFT+B. Then at least the majority of your edit functions are on keys you're used to hitting. Personally, I almost never use overwrite on FCPX so I'd probably make B=connected, but YMMV.

Remap zoom in/out to the pg up and down. There's no toggle between source and sequence monitors because there's only one monitor, but you can make the ESC key into a shortcut for the event browser so you can jump back to your clips after messing around in your timeline. You can move the Select Edges shortcuts so they're at P [ and ] instead of [ ] and \.

And though there's not a "trim mode" like in Avid, you could map U to the Precision Editor and trim that way.

Wherever your special shortcuts for things like matchframe and such, just map them to the same place in X. That'll get you some of the way there.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Scott Clements
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 21, 2015 at 9:06:01 am
Last Edited By Scott Clements on Jun 21, 2015 at 9:15:04 am

Thanks for all the great feedback, guys. If I was going to completely jump ship and go FCP X all the way, I would just learn all the FCP X shortcuts, but I basically want to jump around all the NLEs and maintain muscle memory...no matter how much time passes between projects. I basically have my Premiere set up like my Avid and it's very helpful. FCP X is trickier, but I want to get it close.

Film Editor, London UK
http://www.scottclementseditor.com


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David Powell
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Jun 22, 2015 at 5:12:35 pm

davidpowelledits@gmail.com


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Phil Lowe
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 13, 2015 at 11:09:34 pm

I've spent the past 20 years using and building Avid systems (Xpress Pro, Media Composer, and Newscutter.) I continue to use Media Composer today, but am having to learn FCPX, as this is the NLE my new employer will start using in December.

I've read the cautionary tales about remapping the FCPX keyboard to resemble a Media Composer workflow, but - at least in my case - I've found remapping my most frequently used keys has made the learning curve so much easier. More importantly, it's made me more productive sooner than I would've been had I tried to "tough it out" learning a purely "X" workflow. And, since I intend to continue working with Media Composer in the future, keeping the keys consistent across both systems means I can continue to be fast in both as needed.

Bottom line: do whatever makes you productive and proficient as fast as you can be. After all, that's why they put keyboard remapping in all these NLEs in the first place. ;)

P.S. I never liked the default Avid keys either, and have always imported my own keyboard layout on every machine I use.


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Bill Davis
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 14, 2015 at 1:33:02 am

Of course you should do what works best for you.

That said, I suspect that in the long run, you'll significantly slow your mental transition - so you've just got to accept that you'll be a slower X editor longer - the longer you *think* like an AVID editor, the less you mentally migrate to thinking like an X editor.

Part of it (my opinion only) is that in X - since I can precision pre-trim so much in the browser via range keywording, I end up doing a LOT less timeline trimming that I did on FCP Legacy. So those traditional NLE skills - to the extent they are focused on just getting clips "in the timeline" and THEN ding all your trimming and editing there - will keep you thinking in that orientation.

Basically, the quicker you fully embrace the X centric keys like the X "home row" AQWERT - which is focused on both switching modes (Select Mode, Range Mode, Trim Mode) and "insert" modes - (Connect, Insert magnetically, Append magnetically) etc. the slower I suspect you'll fully adapt.

I recommend new editors study these "single key" commands first, then move to the double key commands later - Does AVID do that? (I'm not an AVID editor) but if not, re-mapping those functions to something else, means won't be editing with X the way editing with X was designed.

Again, it's absolutely up to you to do things the way you like. But most of us feel that Apple didn't change the editing paradigms just for fun - they re-thought how it needed to work in a magnetic system with new thinking.

To make it work as much as possible like AVID might be to significantly rob it or working like FCP X.

And if you go that way, just understand that you'll NOT really be making the entire mental switch.

Good luck with whatever you decide. And I hope it works out for you.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Phil Lowe
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 14, 2015 at 7:25:31 am

"...the longer you *think* like an AVID editor, the less you mentally migrate to thinking like an X editor."

Which is quite fine by me. I will be editing news in FCPX, but production-oriented pieces, especially green screen work, in Media Composer. My MC keyboard was originally created to cut news on Xpress Pro and Newscutter systems, so my muscle memory is adapted to having all my most frequently used keys under my left hand. I have the 1 & 2 keys mapped for back and forward 10 frames, the 3 & 4 keys mapped for back and forward 1 frame, the E & R keys mapped as Mark In and Mark Out, and the V & B keys mapped as Insert & Overwrite. I don't use the JKL keys because between the mouse and left hand, I can navigate precisely to any point I want very quickly. I have maintained most of the native FCPX keyboard mapping, but only because I probably won't use many of the features in FCPX for cutting news: straight cuts with occasional dissolves are about all I'll ever need in this app.

That said, I'm frustrated that I have not found a way to mark takes while voiceover recording on the fly. And the lack of a quick effect (dissolve) key that works for audio as it does for video, a la Avid, is disconcerting.

Muscle memory is the key to speed in any NLE, and keeping the keyboard mapped consistently across platforms and programs is where I feel I will be most proficient. YMMV. ;)


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Bill Davis
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 5:17:43 am

[Phil Lowe] "Muscle memory is the key to speed in any NLE, and keeping the keyboard mapped consistently across platforms and programs is where I feel I will be most proficient. YMMV. ;)"

Oh well.

I kinda think you're insisting on mentally welding a set of training wheels on your brand new racing bike, but you're the only editor who you need to make happy.. So I wish you good fortune with your chosen approach.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Phil Lowe
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 9:58:37 am

Thanks. From my perspective, however, Avid is my racing bike. ;)


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David Powell
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:01:18 pm

I'm going to have to completely disagree with Bill on this. Remapping your keyboard has nothing to do with thinking like an Avid Editor. Apple keyboard layout was never fantastic. F9 and F10 for a repeatable function like overwrite and insert? Pleeez! Many of the Apple commands are laid out for mnemonic memory ("C" for Connect, "T" for Trim") and have nothing to do with actual muscle function. Avid layout is not that way, but still Avid editors (like myself) remap their Avid keyboards as well as it is not perfect. I've been using FCX every day for the last 3 years. I learned their keyboard first, and it's not great for me. One of the great things about Apples design is how deep the keyboard customization is compared to the competition. And Avid and FCX function surprisingly similar modally which makes it easier to bring the commands from Avid to FCX than it would be to Premiere, which has that worse command execution of all the NLE's imo, though it's been improving.


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Bill Davis
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:29:48 pm

[David Powell] "I'm going to have to completely disagree with Bill on this."

Extremely pleased to be civilly disagreed with.

That's what debate is supposed to be all about.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:45:53 pm

Keyboard mapping is such an idiosyncratic and personal thing and I've gone through a lot of it! When Avid first came out, the only keyboard mapping anyone cared about was that of linear controllers, like CMX. At the time I questioned why Avid mapped it the way they had, since completely new editors would learn anything and people who were experienced video editors would know CMX (or GVG, Sony, or Paltex, which were similar). Of course, Avid didn't listen and editors are probably better for that ;-)

The basic Avid MC layout is designed as a two-handed typing operation. Mark in/out/clip are repeated on the left and right side, with JKL used to drive the timeline. Then either thumb or the left hand can hit insert or overwrite. In addition, mapping is largely limited to keys (including function keys) and the shifted keystroke - not nearly as many as was introduced with FCP "classic". Yet somehow MC's "limited" approach seems just right while the multitude of option in FCP seems more confusing than helpful. Of course, opinions will vary on that one.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:39:32 pm

[David Powell] "Many of the Apple commands are laid out for mnemonic memory ("C" for Connect, "T" for Trim") and have nothing to do with actual muscle function."

Seems to me that some thought went into making the cluster of "mode and operation keys" left hand accessible (and to allow the right hand to remain free for mouse targeting.) And all of that might be a part of the X command layout design?

QWERTASD all do "global level" type of operations. Right hand honors the original AVID tape days transport stuff (whether you use it or not) and then it's kind of a mish-mosh of fitting the rest where they make at least some sense - sometimes.

I don't think the fact that it doesn't "fit" muscle function is any weirder than the fact that we still largely rely on the inefficiency of the QWERTY layout overall.

And so it goes.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:50:45 pm

[Bill Davis] "I don't think the fact that it doesn't "fit" muscle function is any weirder than the fact that we still largely rely on the inefficiency of the QWERTY layout overall. "

Just for you ;-)

http://mentalfloss.com/article/27938/why-qwerty

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Setting Up FCP X keyboard for an Avid Editor?
on Nov 16, 2015 at 4:17:02 pm

Thank you!

I had read (or been told) long ago that QWERTY was designed specifically to slow down typists so that mechanical keys wouldn't get stuck together - but I didn't have the entire back-story until you posted it.

This paragraph in the story also struck a chord with me...

"SO WHY DON’T WE USE THE DVORAK KEYBOARD, THEN?
Same reason we don’t use the metric system. We embrace its inefficiency and prefer it to the pain of switching to something better. By the time the DSK was introduced in 1932, several generations of typists had been using QWERTY. It was by far the most readily available layout, and the one that was taught in most typing schools. So even after technological advances solved the key jamming issue, we kept the relic of the problem – the QWERTY keyboard."

Seems like in the middle of all our NLE arguments - history rules.

In for a penny, in for a Euro, after all. : )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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