When Grant Petty introduced DaVinci Resolve 17 recently, he also demonstrated a new editing controller device , the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor . Blackmagic Design was kind enough sent us a loaner unit . I had the pleasure of using it for close to two weeks . Let me share with you what I think about the device .
The DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor is a specialized keyboard ( also called a controller ). It puts a lot of functionality on dedicated keys and a wheel . The controller is supposed to be used alongside a regular keyboard or laptop . The device is designed to speed up your editing workflow by putting frequently used functionality on dedicated keys and the beforementioned dial .
43 keys — some of which have LED status indicators are arranged in five logical groups or sections . Some buttons have secondary functions that can be accessed by double - pressing and / or holding . A Jog / Shuttle / Scroll wheel sits in the bottom - right . The metal dial turns buttery smooth and has a nice weight to it that makes using it quite pleasing . You can bump the wheel and it will keep spinning for a while , because of it 8217 ; s momentum — very nice .
There is no haptic feedback when you switch the wheel to SHTL ( shuttle ) mode like in some similar controllers . This makes it hard to find the 8220 ; neutral 8221 ; or 8220 ; pause 8221 ; position of the wheel , as well as gauging how fast forward or backward you are going . However , a little indicator beneath the viewer appears ins SHTL - mode and tells you which way you are going and at what speed . I guess the haptic feedback feature fell victim to bugetary constraints . Unfortunately this makes the SHTL - feature a bit fiddly to use .
The buttons have a long key - travel and are easy to feel , which reminds me of using old PC keyboards or even the legendary Sony BVE - 900 A / B Edit Controller on which I started editing in the early 90ies . ( I 8217 ; m dating myself there , I know , but what the heck .)
While long - travel keys might be unfamiliar to people using modern laptop keyboards , it is actually very satisfying to be able to literally 8220 ; punch 8221 ;- in your IN and OUT points . Longer travel also reduces erratic keystrokes .
Because the device is meant to complement a normal computer keyboard it needs to sit somewhere within easy reach . I used the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor on a desktop computer with a standard - sized keyboard . What worked best for me was to put the edit controller between me and the actual computer keyboard . Because it 8217 ; s not as wide as the normal full - size keyboard it was easy to reach around the Speed Editor , when I needed to use the normal 8220 ; claviature 8221 ;.
The device has a single USB - C port to plug it into the computer , but thanks to the built - in Bluetooth and battery , it does not need to be physically connected . That has an advantage : The cable does not get in the way when putting it in front of the keyboard . I charged the device overnight and did not have to charge it again for the 10 + days I used it . No idea how much longer it would have lasted .
No drivers need to be installed and there is no power switch on the device . I just opened the Bluetooth settings in System Preferences on my Mac , the Speed Editor showed as 8220 ; DaVinci Keyboard 8221 ;, I clicked 8220 ; Connect 8221 ; and that was it . When DaVinci Resolve is launched a few of the LEDs in the keys lit up and the controller simply worked .
There is no configuration or keyboard - mapping necessary ( nor possible ). All the keys have their function permanently assigned . The Speed Editor is solely built for DaVinci Resolve and does not function with any other software . This is not very likely to change in the future .
Make no mistake — before you gain any speed while editing with the Speed Editor ( or any other control surface for that matter ) you will edit way slower for a while . That is until you got all the keys and their functions programmed in your muscle - memory . Setting and clearing ( double tap ) IN - and OUT points is easy and using the SHTL / JOG / SCRL wheel intuitive . Doing more complex tasks had me pause and think more often than not . Tasks that would take me 2 seconds with a mouse , often took minutes to figure out with Speed Editor .
After using it for a while though it gets easier and easier . When I popped back to Final Cut Pro for a paid job , during the time I did this Review , I missed the controller ! That told me I had broken through the 8220 ; Learning Wall 8221 ;. So be prepared to be frustrated for a while . No pain no gain , I guess .
While most Keys / Functions of the Speed Editor do something in the Edit Page most of the more advanced functions don 8217 ; t make sense with the Edit Page 8217 ; s traditional track - based timeline . The device works fine as a JOG / SHUTTLE , to set IN - and OUT - points and simple stuff like adding a transition . Finessing an already finished edit , by ( with active Trim Edit Mode ) moving through the edits and trimming them also worked . Although I had to lock a couple of tracks not to mess things up . Everything more complex has you reaching for the mouse and the normal computer keyboard . For me , that makes it largely obsolete in the Edit Page .
If you use the Cut Page in Resolve to edit Multicam content all day long — the Speed Editor can be a real timesaver . You don 8217 ; t need to take your hands off the Speed Editor to switch camera angles , add transitions , look for - and add cutaways , replace shots , and trim edits . It 8217 ; s a joy to use under these circumstances .
It also works great in non - Multicam situations , if your workflow allows you to use the 8220 ; Source Tape 8221 ; mode on Resolve 8217 ; s Cut Page . This is the feature where Resolve strings together all clips in a bin into a single virtual 8220 ; Tape 8221 ; and lets you navigate that without having to open individual clips .
I grew especially fond of the RIPL O / WR ( Ripple Owerwrite ) function : switch to SOURCE mode , set your IN and OUT points and press RIPL O / WR – the timeline - clip under the playhead gets replaced by the source - clip and the other clips rippled accordingly . This is awesome to quickly try out stuff .
If you are working predominantly in one of the other Resolve Pages , the Speed Editor not a device you need . Functionality is more or less reduced to navigating the timeline with the wheel , play / pause , and setting IN / OUT points . Most other functions are too specific to the Cut Page to make sense anywhere else .
That being said , I can tell right now , I 8217 ; m going to miss the Speed Editor in some situations . Especially in the early stages of an edit , when scrubbing through tons of footage and quickly banging together the first rough cut .
If you want to see the Speed Editor in action , check out the DaVinci Resolve 17 presentation :
I think it would be great if Blackmagic Design could add the possibility to map your own commands to the keys especially outside the Cut Page of Resolve . The device could be much more useful for more people .
If you are interested in the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor , Blackmagic Design has a special offer going for a limited time : If you buy the Studio - version of DaVinci Resolve ( dongled or code - activated ) you get the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor for free .