More on the JL Cooper control surfaces...

In a follow up to my previous post - if you visit the links in that post, you'll notice that the layout of the Eclipse ($7,000) and the MCS-Specturm + MCS-3000 ($5700) are exactly the same. They are both combo colorist + transport panels. Knobs, displays, and buttons are identically laid out. Last week I went a few rounds of email with Danny O'Donnell, National Account Exec at JL Cooper, and asked him, "What's different?" Here's his response:

  • "The MCS/3000/MCS-Spectrum was our first controller for advanced color correction.
  • The Eclipse CX is a newer generation of this same functionality.
  • The complete button/function layout is consistent between both designs.
  • The Eclipse CX has added lighted buttons for every control, Aluminum side panels and an overall lighter design.
  • The rings on the Eclipse CX are sealed and mounted with rubberized ring surface for more precise control.
  • The Eclipse CX uses just one power supply unlike the MCS-3000/Spectrum.
  • We have also finished it off with brushed aluminum knobs and a new grey and black finish.
  • Oh, we also made the front of the Eclipse with a single piece of metal top and also one piece bottom.
  • Finally, we have added a power supply with a locking connector."
Danny also sent along the software for customization of the control panel - looks very powerful... and immensely useful inside Final Cut, extending the utility of this hardware beyond Color. Essentially, any keyboard command can be mapped to a button. I'm still skeptical about using the panel for actual transport, though. I find JKL to be much more responsive than any outboard jog-wheel that I've tried.

Over the next two weeks I plan on demoing both the CX and the MCS-Spectrum. I'll report back my findings...

- pi

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