We have a pair of those. They're interesting, my partner uses his but I cannot tolerate the thing. It's not Contour's problem, it's mostly Apple's lame software. FCP is not smart enough to discern that the presence of a device should override the data entry. That is, a field like fast forward can simply fill with lllllllllllllllllllll.
Ye Olde Media 100 was smart enough to know the difference between tape and clip transport and text or field data entry. I've never understood why FCP has the gumption to presume to know where I want a clip to go (via the thrice-damned autoselect) but can't figure out I want to jog or cruise through a clip.
I grew up using sony's ultracool jog wheel systems. They were massive steel knobs and wheels with ballistic-like feedback and inertia. Nothing has ever replaced that feeling.
You will like the Contour, it's a nicely designed and stable unit with flexible software.
Thanks for the thoughts.
I'm not completely sure that I understand all of the usage cases you're describing here, but I'll think about them.
What I'm mostly looking for is something more ... tactile ... than the mouse-manipulated thumbwheel in the Canvas window.
From looking at the picture, I see that it has a wheel, which is the most important for that purpose. It also has a lot of buttons, and I'm not sure what the buttons are typically intended for. Any thoughts on that?
Ah, I thought you knew what you were looking at.
I've not used the controls in the FCP window for several years, I use the keyboard shortcuts, j-k-l and i-o. Those cover 80% of my jog and shuttle and in-out setting requirements.
I fully expected FCP, by the time it had reached version 7, to know when a control surface has been installed and to be able to understand the signals form that device intelligently. Sadly, FCP does not. To fast forward in the FCP interface, you can hit the lower case L key multiple times to make the clip move faster. You can reduce the speed and eventually go backwards by hitting the j key. All the Shuttle does is send a bunch of J or L keystrokes so if you want to shuttle a clip but are not in the mode to move the clip, whatever text filed was active will be filled with Js or Ls. It's an incredibly stupid oversight and inconvenient as heck if you happen to be editing a marker, file name, or a text generator.
The buttons are all programable. You can set them to do in and out points, splits, enters, selects, nudges. The software for the device is quite flexible and it comes with presets for all Adobe, Apple and dozens of tools for which a linear motion wheel is applicable.
A a few eons ago, I had an ol' VHS VCR with "editing features" built-in. (Not very extensive editing, but heck, it was just an early-1990s consumer-grade critter.) It did have good controls for those editing features, however.
The controls relevant to positioning consisted of two concentric knobs: An inner one looked like the wheel I see in the picture of this "Shuttle Xpress" device. The outer knob was a wheel around/below that one.
The outer knob was lightly sprung to center, and it was "derivative" control: That is, it adjusted the speed of playback, forward or backward, at pretty fine resolution. If you let go of it, it sprung back to center, thereby freezing playback.
The inner knob was a "proportional" control - you turn it a few degrees clockwise and it advances to the next frame, turn it another few degrees, it goes to the next frame. Turn it counterclockwise a few degrees and it goes back a frame, another few degrees counterclockwise and it goes back another frame.
I would think that sort of a thing would map nicely to the FCP Canvas' thumb-wheel on the left, and the forward/backward speed control on the right - the former of course being like the inner knob described above, and the latter being the ourter knob.
Do you (or anybody else out there) know of a USB controller of that nature?
The state of the art in og wheels is JL Cooper. $$$$! Very slick, only played on one.
Bella makes something integrated into a keyboard. I have no experience.
Euphonix make some dials.
Griffin makes the simple PowerMate.
I have both the Shuttle & the Bella keyboard with integrated jog wheel. Whether or not they actually achieve jog/shuttle in the same way, I find the operation, ballistics, lag times, etc very similar, with the Bella wheel a tiny bit more responsive when one wishes to stop the jog or shuttle operation. The dedicated programmable/assignable function buttons on the Contour are very cool & very useful. Having said that, I'm in the market to sell my almost-new Contour. No need to have both.
Just got a note from Contour Design which suggests more information is available at their website or product support site.
They apparently have new setting for Adobe CS5.5. This implies they've got additional information on how to set it up for FCP.
Message was edited by: David Bogie Chq-1