It’s fair to say that good video editing is all about precise timeline trimming and color grading. TourBox Elite, a Bluetooth editing controller now provides rapid wireless access to many of the editing tools in Final Cut Pro.
TourBox Elite is compatible with almost all programs on macOS and Windows. This compact gadget has 11 clickable buttons and 3 rotary dial, scroll and knob controls, all in different shapes. The novel layout means you can control it without looking using just one hand. It doesn't take much to memorise the unique shape and location of each different button so you'll be up and running controlling Final Cut Pro within minutes.
A peep at the features
- Built-in algorithm allows timeline navigation and video scaling at configured speeds.
- Advanced integration supports color board adjustment via rotary buttons, without mouse cursor or keyboard.
- Faster and more intuitive video preview, play, content trimming, ripple delete, audio leveling etc.
- Total flexibility to create your own configurations to fit your workflow.
- Export or import personal configuration setups or interact simultaneously with dual devices, with the dual-host Bluetooth controller.
- Wide-ranging software compatibility, many built-in features, extensive configuration and responsive interaction.
Expanding built-in features in video production
The new model inherits all the features of its previous version when using Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Lightroom. The TourBox Elite expands those controls into Final Cut Pro, I tested it with FCP and was very impressed by the way it worked and more importantly, responded.
Customized linear control
The built-in algorithm allows customized linear control via the rotary buttons. Instead of moving the timeline back and forth at constant speed through the keyboard, I could navigate at a different speeds. The faster I spun the Dial, the faster the timeline was scrolled.
Apart from manual control via my hand, the linear control can be pre-configured in the software, the TourBox Console. There are 3 speed modes, standard, slow 1 and slow 2 for these scrolls. Standard being the most responsive, and Slow 2 being the least of all. Think of it as if you’re changing the scroll settings on your mouse, the speed and sensitivity control will do exactly that.
For any other linear adjustments, like zooming in or out on the timeline, calibrating the color board, or rotating the video, the configurations in the pre-installed presets work pretty well. You can still configure these as you wish using them as a starting point for your own settings.
Instant color board adjustment
In FCP, another enhancement brought by TourBox Elite is the precise adjustment on the color board, all achieved via the scrolls, without the mouse cursor or keyboard. I mapped the Knob to tint the “color angle”, the Dial to change “saturation percentage” and the combo of Knob and Side button to adjust “highlight angle”. Since I prefer more precise calibration, I changed all speed modes to Slow 2. Then I just simply hit the buttons or turned the scrolls on the TourBox Elite. Colour correction without clicking!
Making it smoother and faster
Being the first dual-host Bluetooth editing controller in the industry, TourBox Elite provides total flexibility to create my own configurations to fit the workflow.
Featuring auto switch and full configuration on each button, it automatically calls out the corresponding preset or allows me to toggle among the various presets created for the same program.
To apply the shortcuts I need, I created a preset for color board adjustment and another preset for the rest of commands. After simple mapping, I could just scan the video clips in the browser by scrolling the wheel up and down. I mapped the frame-by-frame preview on the Knob in this second preset. Then the C1 button for the in point selection and C2 button for out point. Then with a hit on the Side button via my pinky, the selected clip was inserted in the timeline. All buttons are situated close to each other, but not too close to cause mistouch. I can control all the buttons and knobs without too much wrist movement.
Besides flexible timeline navigation, the TourBox Elite allows me to leverage content trimming and clip adjustment in a more intuitive way. Commands like trimming, ripple delete, audio leveling, video zooming and rotation, full screen playhead etc. are all easy. I could literally wave goodbye to the jerky movements you get with the keyboard and mouse!
The most versatile performer
TourBox is not only for Final Cut Pro. Based on its wide software compatibility, the team keeps expanding the built-in features. For digital illustration, painters can have instant access to brush type, size, flow, opacity and hardness via a single turn of the Knob. Canvas zooming in and out are just as marvellous as they are in FCP. For photographers, image organization and editing are made more straightforward with the stock configurations . In Lightroom, for instance, I could just hit the Up button on the kit (directional pad), and thus call out the exposure slider. I could map whatever to it, of course. Then by spinning the knob left and right, the exposure gets calibrated exactly to what I need. All sliders altered via the same Knob!
Haptic touch, TourMenu and macro command
The haptic touch is an added feature on the TourBox Elite, which for me, essential for precise linear adjustments.
The haptic touch refers to force feedback on the Knob, Dial and Scroll. That means it delivers configurable force feedback every time the rotary buttons work, bringing more engagement and intuition in editing.
TourMenu is a clever menu tool developed by the TourBox Tech Team. It is more like a shortcut menu that appears upon user interaction, such as a right-click mouse operation, but fully configurable. To act as an extension plugin on the TourBox Elite, the TourMenu can be mapped on almost all buttons.
While macro command is nothing new on a keyboard, macro scrolls are not that common. But the new TourBox Elite gains these controls. The setting up is straightforward, it automates all the repetitive and complex tasks in the editing workflow via one click. Configurable actions include keyboard shortcuts, mouse action, delay, text input, file and folder opening and link directing. I could build commands together as much as I want with the macro. I can’t tell you how much I love it!
Edit intuitively and effortlessly
Hotkey mapping is not the biggest reason why this gadget stays around. The wide-ranging software compatibility, many built-in features, extensive configuration and impulsive interaction are what make it worth every penny. With all the tedious and repetitive keyboard workload being replaced, not only is efficiency boosted, but also I am thinking less of the buttons and shortcuts, and focusing on the trimming and content adjusting.
Just so you know, the TourBox Elite is now available on kickstarter.com. It is $178 each, a very competitive price in the market. And you have only a few days left to grab an early bird ticket.
About the team
The team that invented this innovative controller are called TourBox Tech Inc., which was founded in Silicon Valley, USA back in 2017. Facing the fact that there were many creative apps with complex settings and that the keyboard and mouse were not efficient or intuitive at all for digital content producing, the TourBox Tech team studied carefully about the needs of the content creators and developed the TourBox Elite.