dedicated fcpx keyboard

It is now ten years since we bought our first dedicated keyboard for FCP, how things have changed since then. We still have coloured keycaps but we now have a very, very different layout!

Working an NLE should be a bit like driving a car, concentrating on what is happening in front of you without having to look down at the controls. Also keyboard commands are the quickest way to edit, shorcuts can take away a lot of the repeated mouse clicking needed to navigate around the interface. To get that muscle memory you need to know exactly what key does what and using a dedicated keyboard speeds up the learning process by a large factor. 

So this week we took delivery of a brand new dedicated keyboard for FCPX, the two older keyboards you see in the picture are not in retirement just yet! But what a revelation, a dedicated keyboard could be the single most useful tool for quicker and better editing in FCPX. 

The new model we chose was the thin aluminium style Apple keyboard from LogicKeyboard, chosen because our previous keyboards from them have never let us down. That includes one unfortunate episode in a car park when the old style keyboard got dropped and all the key caps popped off leaving us in the rain wondering what the layout was to get them all back on again correctly. We didn't get them all back in the right places, but not far off.

LogicKeyboards are not the only manufacturer of multicolour flavour keyboards. Bella also produce a range of dedicated keyboards for NLEs including FCPX. From what we have seen at trade shows though they seem to be fairly chunky and jog wheels don't seem the same unless they have the ballistics of a Sony tape machine knob. Editors Keys also have an FCPX keyboard, slightly cheaper than the other two and the same slim form factor as the Apple keyboard, but in black this time.

dedicated fcpx keyboard 2

dedicated fcpx keyboard 3

As pleased as we are with our purchase, there is an alternative to a dedicated keyboard and that's using flexible overlays or stickers that go on the key caps themselves. Not only is this a cheaper option, but they will also work on MacBook Pros.

Amazon and Ebay are awash with different silicon overlays and sticker packs. If you go down this route just make sure you buy the product for the keyboard you own. Remember there are two sizes of the thin Apple aluminium keyboard - with or without the number pad.

Next on the list for us will be experimenting with a Magic Trackpad. We are still inspired by Jason Chong's video and as a Wacom with FCPX isn't really working out for us, the combination of a dedicated keyboard and trackpad just might be a winner.

So what do you use? Let us know in the comments below as we are always keen to find out how other editors work!



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.


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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