This keyboard is a necessity for any pro tools user. Forget the overlays or stickers for standard keyboards and use a dedicated colour coded Pro Tools keyboard.
The colour coded keys come with a picture on the top of the key which relates to the function on screen and copy precisely the button that you would click with the mouse. On the underside of each key is a description of what the key does i.e. zoom toggle, zoom out, nudge frame forward and back etc. Finally the usual qwerty keyboard layout is written on the key to make standard typing possible.
All usual keyboard function are present and the colour coding/ labelling does not in any way distract from the function of the keys. Pro tools editors should be familiar with all the functions and it takes very little time to establish what short cuts do what. There are several hidden key strokes that can be accessed by using the command button and these can be found in pro-tools itself.
Design wise, the keyboard is a little ugly but I suspect future incarnations will improve upon this. This is a must buy for any pro tools editor as it makes using the program so much easier and quicker.
Ok let me start by saying im an experienced user of Digidesigns pro tools software, i'm pretty much working with audio every single day and pro tools is always my first port of call to get a track mixed and finished!
For those of you who don't know what pro tools is, it is basically a software audio production platform which lets you work with audio in more ways then just playing it! Almost all of the music you listen to today will have been through pro tools at some point!
* Keyboard Relevance! *
Ok so now we know what pro tools is! To control elements of the pro tools software, such as zooming options for example, digidesign set up a large number of shortcuts or 'key commands' meaning that hitting a single key on your keyboard would trigger a change within pro tools, now as you can imagine there are a lot of keys on a keyboard and now try and think how it would be to remember what every key of the keyboard would do in pro tools...... its hard!
This is where this keyboard comes in to play, this specifically designed keyboard by Avid to help get rid of the confusion of these key commands by simply presenting them in front of you! Each section of the keyboard is colour coded depending on which type of command you are trying to control, sections such as zooming, trimming audio and even which specific window you want to look at.
The clever colour coded design used on this keyboard is what gives pro tools users the opportunity to spend more time actually mixing and less time trying to remember which key does what!
From being a pro tools user myself and having purchased one of these keyboards i can say from my heart that it has definently sped up the time in which its taken me to work with sessions! Just one glance down and i can easily acknowledge which section i need to be looking at and from there which key i need to hit.
I rate this keyboard very highly but unfortunately i do think that they are very over priced for what is realistically a standard keyboard with a few keys that are a different color and have certain words on. Don't get me wrong this is a very handy piece of kit but i just dont think it is worth as much as it is curently being sold at!
To finalise, if your a pro tools user and find it a pain to remember all of the specific key commands then save up a bit and go and buy one of these keyboards and you will certainly cut down the editing time! Time is money!