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so as we upgrade our studios in the coming months I'll be looking to upgrade the one piece of gear that I come into contact with more than any other - my keyboard.

as such, here are my specific needs:

  • silence. I'd like the keyboard to be relatively quiet so that I can do regular setup type things with the talkback mic open. ultra silent would be magical, but I don't exactly know how heavily I weight the silence thing in my needs vs other things. The biggest plus of the standard mac keyboard is the silence of the thing.

  • mac specific. forget about remapping keys man, the mac market is big enough that I can certainly find what I need with the mac functionality designed in.

  • seperated F keys. my biggest beef with the stock mac keyboards is that all of the F keys are too small and that the separator gap doesn't exist. I use those F keys constantly, and I do it by touch, so I think it'd be huge to have the F keys be the proper size and have the separating gaps in place.

  • usb hub - we swap dongles a fair amount in the studio, and its nice to be able to just look at the keyboard and see who has what.

  • durability - I'd like a keyboard that can take heavy use for years on end without struggle.

things I don't care about:

  • macros. I use quickeys, so macros don't really matter to me.

  • look. Most good keyboards look fine IMO. I'm not really picky.

In my searches I've come across the das keyboard S professional silent model for mac, and the Matias Tactile Pro 3.

any other suggestions or any experience with either of these would be appreciated.

thanks!

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My two cents is that you find a keyboard you can use for a long time. It can be detrimental to switch keyboards. Switching keyboards can slow production down a lot - I have seen it many times. I get mad when someone changes my mouse acceleration speed... Editing for 12 hours a day gets you comfortable with computer lag and keyboard sensitivity. It's important!!!

I find that for me, the grooves of the older Mac keyboards that still had grooves in the keys for your fingers make my sound editing go way faster than the newer flatter keyboards. So much so that when I broke my old one, I bought a new standard issue one and took off all the keys and replaced them with the colorful pro tools keyboard shortcut keys and I've done this twice now since 2005. I find my sense memory of what key is where is dependent upon the grooves and the feel of the older keys and the new ones slow me down a lot!!!

UPDATE: The keyboard I use and love is an oldschool (from around 2002-2003) Macally iKey with the Pro Tools colored keys. It works like a charm for me and can get around shortcuts pretty fast. It's fairly silent and I've recorded it many times for generic typing SFX as well!

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Good question!

Im also trying to find alternatives.

We used to have the old standard Mac keyboards and many editors found it hard to change to the newer low profile mac keyboards. Also they dont seem to last as long as the old ones did. Neither of them are very quiet though. Not really a big issue for me/us. Really the tactile feel is what is important.

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You could stick with the standard slim Mac keyboard and use a cover. I've used this for years now and am very happy. Plus if the keyboard breaks or stops working you can quickly replace it without it affecting work.

http://www.kbcovers.com/servlet/Categories?category=Pro+Tools

Ian

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