Over the years, I’ve become somewhat of a shortcut master, I edit video almost daily, and those keyboard combinations have become second nature. However, they still don’t feel natural.
Enter the Monogram Studio Console, a modular control board that enables me to scrub quickly, change tools and access all the common control and features I want.
From Photoshop to Premiere Pro, Monogram supplies deep integration with the tools that enable me to work more naturally and effectively. This has been great for applications with deep integration into the Monogram way, but any applications that don’t have that full support suddenly feel archaic.
One of those applications is Final Cut Pro X, and while I can customise the Monogram modules to boost some areas of productivity within the application, there are many others that I can’t.
Now Monogram has announced full Final Cut Pro X integration, and it’s quite an integration.
In order to make this possible Monogram has teamed up with CommandPost, a company that specialises in advanced software integrations with control surfaces, and the result is groundbreaking.
Once installed, you can access physical control tools that mimic those you would find in a professional video edit suite.
Using the Monogram Creative Console Studio Kit, the new integration can be found through the Creator software. Once installed, you get the usual Creator Software visualisation of the monogram layout. You can then select a Final Cut Pro X profile Edit, Highlight, Mid tones and Shadows for example and next to the illustration of each of the modules you can see the command allocation to each button, dial or Orbitor.
Taking the Edit Profile integration as an example, the Orbitor by default enables you to jog through the timeline 10 frames at a time, then tap the first of the essential buttons, and it will blade all. This combination of functions instantly accelerates the speed and accuracy of your edit.
The Essential buttons enable to switch between tools quickly with the dials making it far easier than using the mouse or cursers to adjust settings.
When it comes to essential editing, using the orbiter to position the play head and then being able to cut clips and delete at speed makes for an intuitive editing experience.
Further enhancing the basic edits is the fact that the dial modules let you interact with various video elements. So, scroll to the clip you want and select, then use the dial to increase or decrease the scale or even move position.
The Monogram modules are fully compatible with keyframing, so as you can imagine an incredibly powerful editing tool.
But the real power comes with the Orbiter; the big dial with pressure-sensitive disc enables precise control. Skip frame by frame or scrub through the footage. It’s incredibly intuitive and fast to use; unfortunately, once you use the single orbiter in the Creative Console Studio set, you quickly see the potential and require more.
One of the biggest assets of the Monogram system is expandability. Start with the basic set, and then buy more modules as you need.
I’ve used the Monogram creative console through the initial test and ordered two additional orbiters for ease.
Using the Creative set, however, enables you all the fast editing you need. With one of the buttons assigned to profile changes, this enables you to quickly swap the function of the Orbiter from timeline editing to grading.
Essentially video production times are greatly enhanced, with a good 10-25% time saving on edits. That time saving, although good, isn’t the main benefit; that comes with accuracy.
Using the physical buttons makes everything feel more fluid, especially when you switch to grading.
When colour enhancing, the ability to adjust exposure, temperature and other parameters with the orbiter and dials again make a huge difference.
With the Creative Console Studio kit, again, profiles are loaded for the highlight, mid-tone and shadow adjustment and a quick tap of the button switches from one to another.
If you spend a lot of time grading or trying to get the look, then having two additional orbiters is essential and once you’ve tried it there is no going back.
The new Final Cut Pro X Monogram Control Surface integration makes your editing life infinitely easier. The default assignments are good, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to adjust, reassign and move modules and options around until you find your ideal setup.
In the past, with things like this, the setup and design have been so close to perfection but just missed by the smallest of margins. Here, the integration is tight and ultimately speeds up your edits, but, more importantly, enhances your workflow.
If you’ve looked at Monogram before and have been undecided, then nows the time to make that leap. Monogram is excellent, and with this latest integration to Final Cut Pro, it’s by far the best control surface available at any price.
Download and install the Monogram FCPX integration
- Update the Monogram Creator, and an FCP icon will appear.
- Click the FCP icon, which is a link to download Command Post
- Go to CommandPost > Control Surfaces > Monogram, then select both Monogram-related checkboxes (enable Monogram support and automatic profile switching, respectively
For more details check out the Monogram website