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controller recommendations

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Zach Gold
controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 3:07:13 pm

I've been using fcp for about 7 years and am considering purchasing a controller for the first time. I typically use fcp for rather basic editing tasks along with other applications as part of my workflow as a video artist. This often involves scrubbing through 10-60 minute sections of very repetitive footage to pick out the few seconds that I'm looking for. I've found this to be one of the most time consuming and tedious parts of my workflow and decided it would definitely be worth spending money on a controller if it could speed it up significantly.

I don't have a great idea what's out there, so was hoping I could get some suggestions. Given that I'm just working with short clips rather than traditional narratives, I'm not sure I need a full featured editing station (also might take up a lot of room on my desk). I'm not sure if one of those special mouses meant for scrubbing is worth trying as I'm not totally sure how they work. I should mention that I'm using Final Cut Studio 6 and doubt the multitouch support in 7 would help me out since all I really do with that thing is accidentally make all my windows disappear.

Thanks,
Zach


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David Roth Weiss
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 3:32:32 pm

There's a jog/shuttle knob on my Bella keyboard, but I hardly ever use it. THE J-K-L controls are what the majority of editors use and what what most typically find to be the most efficient. I certainly prefer J-K-L, however some do like the Contour jog/shuttle controller. Google jog/shuttle and you'll quickly see all of what's out there.


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Zach Gold
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 3:48:31 pm

So you think it'd definitely be better for my purposes to get a standalone jog/shuttle knob rather than something like the Bella keyboard?

Is Contour pretty much the standard for those? Any advantage in getting the Shuttle Pro over ShuttleExpress? And what about the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator- overkill for just video?



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Scott Sheriff
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 4:39:33 pm

Hi,
I'm an old school CMX guy, so I'm really used to having a jogger when I edit.
I have the Contour ShuttleXpress, and it works just fine. I have a friend with the Pro on her system, it has the same feel, just more buttons to map.
My only complaint is that the Contour doesn't have the big weighted knob like most of the linear systems had. Another choice is the Euphonix MC Transport. I haven't got my hands on one yet to try, but if it had the classic jogger feel, I might consider it.
Do I use the jogger a lot? It depends on what I'm doing. I like it most for screening and logging. The ShuttleXpress is only 50 bucks, so your not risking a lot if you don't like it. The MC Transport is in the 3-4 hundred range.
The other controller you might consider is a good tablet. I have a Wacom Itous3. For some tasks it is superior to the mouse, keyboard, or jogger. If your a heavy Motion user its a must have.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Zach Gold
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 5:00:16 pm

So, the tablet is really for scrubbing on the most macro level? I don't think it would be good for me then. Do most jog/shuttle knobs all you to accurately move between individual frames as well as going faster than playback speed? Ideally, I'd like one tactile control that would work on both levels. The MC Transport is out of my price range, since I'm not a pro editor.



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Scott Sheriff
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 9:14:39 pm

"Do most jog/shuttle knobs all you to accurately move between individual frames as well as going faster than playback speed? Ideally, I'd like one tactile control that would work on both levels."

The Contour does fine. You can fine tune the jog and shuttle speed to suit your taste. The main difference between the two Contour models is the number of extra buttons. The Xpress has 5, and the Pro has 15. These are mappable on both. On the Xpress I use the standard In/Out/Play fwd/Play bk/Stop for the 5 buttons.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Zach Gold
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 9:24:16 pm

Thanks, Scott. Sounds like the Contour Xpress is the right tool for me.



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walter biscardi
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 3:47:06 pm

Can't recommend a WACOM tablet enough. Greatly speeds up your workflow once you get used to it. Been using one since about 1996 first with Media 100, now with FCP.

Since your entire desktop is relative to the tablet, it makes scrubbing and such a breeze.

I used to have Bella keyboards with jog / shuttle wheels on them, but we stopped using those and everyone here just uses the tablets.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Zach Gold
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 4:01:05 pm

Thanks, Walter. So the use of a stylus on the Wacom tablet gives it a big advantage over the Apple multitouch trackpads?

I should mention that my specific problem is that I need be able to quickly scrub through lengthy video, while having precision down to the frame. Not sure if this differs significantly from traditional editing tasks. Imagine you have a 20 minute slow motion clip of someone repeatedly shooting a basketball, the same each time and maybe lasting only 10 seconds each, and I need to pick out the exact shot (of the ball) that I need. The differences between them would not be so apparent when watching the footage as a whole, but it's the frame by frame difference that would make it work with my edit or not.



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Scott Sheriff
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 4:44:43 pm

The tablet is great for zipping thru really long clips when the jogger isn't fast enough. I'm divided in thirds on use Mouse/Keyboard, Jogger, Tablet. Sometimes it's just nice to have the option to change devices to give your hand a rest.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Lee Warner
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 8:53:53 pm

I just bought an Euphonix MC Transport control surface. Jog/Shuttle with macros buttons and keypad. I just installed it yesterday but it seems like a solid product.

Lee
SAMDOG Digital Post



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Zach Gold
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 9:28:33 pm

One last thought: can anyone speak to the performance of the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator when used as a jog/shuttle knob for video? If it is pretty much equal to the Contour stuff, I might get that so I could also use it for 3d applications, but wouldn't want to sacrifice performance for video.



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Scott Sheriff
Re: controller recommendations
on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:15:36 pm

"One last thought: can anyone speak to the performance of the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator when used as a jog/shuttle knob for video? If it is pretty much equal to the Contour stuff, I might get that so I could also use it for 3d applications, but wouldn't want to sacrifice performance for video."


Yeah, me too. Love to hear more from folks that have one, and the MC Transport also.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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