07 Feb 2013

When is a console not a console? Featured

  • Written by 
ProCutX iPad App ProCutX iPad App ProCutX/RedShark

With the arrival of an iPad app intended to be a Control Surface for FCP X, the debate about touch versus physical controllers starts here. Neil Roberts kicks it off

I found the announcement of the ProcutX iPad control surface from Pixel Film Studios interesting. It allows control of FCPX from an iPad using a simplified user interface based on “High-end film editing consoles” including a jog/shuttle wheel.


But to me the whole point of a console is its physicality; the tactile feel of the jog wheel or the shuttle control makes the console and the media an extension of your hand.
I was part of the team that developed the Lightworks console and we spent months getting it to feel right. The weight and the drag of the Jog wheel, the variable spring tension of the shuttle levers, even the shape of the buttons, were all adjusted to create the most ergonomically designed console I’ve ever had the pleasure to use.

Almost every other control surface I’ve ever tried has been flimsy and lacked the physical feedback to make me feel “connected” to my media. I certainly don’t see how it can possibly work with the touch screen of an iPad.


Lightworks Console


Neil Roberts

I started out as a Video Tape Editor in the 1980’s and was one of the first editors to embrace non-linear editing at the beginning of the 90’s

I then went on to work for Lightworks and was instrumental in the development of their Heavyworks and Newsworks systems, sharing in the Technical Emmy that was awarded to the Heavyworks system.

After Lightworks I moved to Discreet logic (now part of Autodesk) where I was the European product specialist for Smoke and Fire.

I am an accredited Smoke trainer, I also do DaVinci Resolve training and I am an Independent Certified Expert for Sony.

Twitter Feed