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Colour Coded Keyboards – worth the expense?

For many years I used colour coded keyboards on Avid editing systems. They were the old school chunky key type, and one Producer I worked with jokingly referred to them as the ‘Fisher Price’ models. They had a serious job to do of course making keyboard interfacing between hands and eyes faster, but when I started cutting on FCP the coloured keyboards seemed to be less frequent. Indeed, in my own setup I ended up using a plain white Mac keyboard as I knew the shortcuts with my eyes closed. But when I started using Adobe Premiere in 2013 I was determined to use it natively and not set up as FCP, feeling that I was more likely to see the full potential of the software this way. So, I started thinking about colour coded keyboards all over again. There seemed to be limited choice for Premiere users, and I knew that I didn’t want stickers on the keys as past experience taught me that they end up grubby and eventually start peeling away from the keys. Then I came across Manchester based company Editors Keys (www.editorskeys.com) who specialise in audio equipment and custom colour coded keyboards. Their products looked great, but I really wanted to see a keyboard close up, and these are not really the kind of items you find in PC World! As luck would have it I was heading to BVE North, and Editors Keys had a stand there. I met company director Mark Brown who was more than happy to show me one of their Premiere keyboards for Mac. What I really liked is that the company takes genuine Apple keyboards with blank keys, then prints using a heat process that creates a smart and durable finish. Best of all, they were offering a trade show discount. Not only has the coloured keyboard helped to make editing in Adobe Premiere faster, but it also creates a stylish and professional finish to the edit desk. All round an excellent acquisition, and one of my favourite workplace toys. That and the Lego X-wing…I do really love that as well… Check out the Editors Keys Premiere Pro keyboard here.

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