But the people who have never used any of the old edit controllers might not care so I think this is worth some effort even if I never get the hang of it. Something cheap like a Bamboo Pena and Touch tablet could be used for the control surface, then jump into Photoshop and grab the pen to do something.
Again while I'm having trouble grasping everything that would need to be done, I think it is worth some time spent in thinking of alternatives. All us oldtimers may end up with something like this in the next couple of years. FYI I started editing on the oldest Umatic controller Sony made, there was no jog/shuttle knob on these systems with the old top loader decks. Getting a jog/shuttle controller was pure magic back then. I've also used quad tape too but not as much as some of you guys, and was taught how to splice edit the stuff just for the oddity value.
I was just reading this thread - and this is just a random thought - but we shouldn't forget that these days we're not controlling tape. We have instant, random access. Of course, sometimes the way tape works is more suited to how we think: the way mechanical tape responds (the "ballistics") is actually very intuitive because there is a proportionality between where an item is on the tape and the time it takes to get there. To use an old analogy (and it really is old - I've used it on this forum before): if a cowboy had never seen the controls of a Jumbo Jet, he'd ask the pilot where to attach his reigns.
I just figured there needs to be a possibility to create your own gestures and map them to your own commands. But here is my proposal.
One and two finger gestures are used to navigate the timeline and to mark and cue. Three finger gestures are mostly used for inserting and switching to the source viewer. Four finger gestures are all about trimming and five finger gestures are Undo, Select All Tracks etc.
One important thing is the thumb. Since the thumb is no finger in the strictest sense It will work like a modulator key. Allowing the same gesture to be recycled for a related command.
I left jogging and shuttling out of this list because they are special and one of the most important things for this to work properly. I will post about this later on. Basically they are circling for joggling and two fingers wiped to the left or right and then holding for shuttling.
When you are required to wipe in a certain direction I use capital letters (e.g. DOWN). To announce that you have to lay your thumb down, I wrote T hold. The number in the front indicates how many fingers you need to perform the gesture. The entries in this list marked with an asterisk (*) require a macro or are not possible yet this way but I think it’s worth thinking about them anyway.
1 Tap - Mark
1 UP - Unmark
1 LEFT - Swap
1 RIGHT - Swap
2 Down - Play
2 Tap - Stop
2 UP Reverse
3 LEFT - Jump Left
3 Right - Jump Right
T hold + 3 LEFT - Start of Timeline
T hold + 3 RIGHT - End of Timeline
2 Pinch - Mark All
2 Unpinch - Mark All from start of clip*
T hold + 1 Tap - Cue
T hold + 1 UP - Uncue
3 Tap - Switch to Source/Rec Viewer
3 DOWN - Insert
3 UP - Delete (and Empty Cut)
Hold ring and point finger + middle finger DOWN - Replace
Hold ring and point finger + middle finger UP - Remove
T hold + 3 UP - Pop out original and load in source viewer*
T hold + like Replace - Backtime
T hold + like Insert - Fill
4 Tap - Preview
4 LEFT - Trim last out
4 UP Trim in
4 DOWN - Trim out
4 RIGHT - Trim next in
4 Pinch - Join/Unjoin
4 Unpinch - Move cut (roll edit)
5 LEFT - Undo
5 RIGHT - Redo
5 Pinch - Select All Tracks
5 Unpinch - Delselect All Tracks*
5 UP - Move Track
What makes this easy and special? Imagine you want to make a slip edit. All you do is combining UP and DOWN with four fingers and there you are. My favourite is the possibility about a top and tail edit. Unpinch with two fingers and wipe 3 finger UP. This is very fast and all you do is combining gestures you use a lot anyway.
So you don’t have to reach for far lying key combinations. And most of all: You certainly don’t have to look down and miss an important frame. Also: Gestures like mark and stop are the easiest so these will be very responsive by design.