Since I started my video editing explorations in the mid-1990s, I have played with, tested, reviewed, written tutorials and pulled apart just about every NLE (non-linear editor) and associated plug-in and ancillary package ever invented. From AVID Media Composer to Z-Brush, I have used ‘em all.
But until recently, I only ever used two NLEs for my own editing, Adobe Premiere Pro from around 1997 to 2000-ish and from then on Vegas Pro.
In the last few months, however, I made the switch to DaVinci Resolve. The reasons are many and varied, but simply for the things I now want to do, and the equipment I use (Blackmagic Pocket Camera 6K, Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro etc) it made sense. Another major factor is that having a huge library of clip and images, using Kyno as a library system, I can easily and quickly search for assets and once found, direct them straight into DaVinci Resolve.
There is though one legacy I have stuck with that goes right back to the last century; for both Adobe Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro, I used a Logickeyboard dedicated keyboard.
These are available from Australian distributor Adimex and have colour coded keys showing groups of commands for the editing package. I have always found using short cut keys far more effective than the mouse for fast editing, and these keyboards are simply brilliant for that purpose.
Two days ago my brand new one for Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve finally arrived (like so many things it had been held up by “supply chain” issues for a number of weeks.
It is fractionally wider than my previous Vegas Pro one, but the keys are similarly placed and have the same feel to them. They are backlit which is a major asset in a dark editing suite, and you can change the level of the lighting intensity by pressing a key at the top right. There are 6 levels available from bright to off.
To the left of that key are three more for controlling audio levels; one each for volume up and down and one for mute.
On the back edge of the keyboard and adjacent to these media keys is a single USB port (the old Vegas Pro keyboard had one each side and was very useful to plug in my DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor on one side and the Loupedeck CT on the other).
As you’d expect, with so much functionality, this keyboard draws a lot of power and so the cable to plug it into the PC splits into two meaning you need a pair of spare USB ports on your PC.
Another major difference between the DaVinci Resolve keyboard and the Vegas Pro one is the way the colour coding is applied.
For example, with the Vegas Pro keyboard, for commands that affect moving clips on the timeline or any navigation of the timeline, the relevant key caps are coloured green. That is, the whole key is green and the alpha-numeric designation and the shortcut commands are etched on the keycap.
Conversely, with the DaVinci Resolve keyboard, only the bottom half of the key cap has the colour coding along with the letter designation of that key. The rest of the key is black and contains in white a text reference to what it does as a shortcut key. Additionally, the SHIFT, CTRL and ALT keys are also colour coded (Pink, Magenta and Cyan) and coloured dots on any key explain what that specific key will then do if either of these is pressed in conjunction with the alpha-numeric key.
So for example, the alpha-numeric key “I” is colour coded Yellow and by itself as a shortcut key acts as a media player key for “go to end of clip”. But as the coloured dots show, if pressed in conjunction with either SHIFT, CTRL or ALT, then the function changes to Go To In, Clear In or Import respectively.
I admit this confusion of colour does take some getting used to, especially when just using the keyboard for typing in Word say (unless you are a touch typist of course), and it has taken me the two days of pretty solid use to get au fait and comfortable with it.
Using the shortcut keys with DaVinci Resolve similarly takes a bit to adapt, but once you get your most used keys off pat, it becomes a breeze. Throw in the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor and you have a brilliant setup. Add a Loupedeck CT into the mix with he SideshowFX shortcut key for DaVinci Resolve and its icons, and it is a dream setup.
If there is one criticism, and the Vegas Pro keyboard also lacked here, is that there is no way to adjust the keyboard height as there are no adjustable “legs” to raise or lower the rear. A second USB port would also be useful.
The Logickeyboard for DaVinci Resolve retails for around $260 and is available online at Digistor.
Other colour coded Logickeyboards are also available for applications such as Ableton, Adobe After Effects, Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Avid Media Composer, Autodesk Maya and many more programs.