Flame Keyboard

I’ve searched around the interwebs and only seemed to find keyboards with the smoke hot key layout.

Do any keyboard makers sell a keyboard with Flame hot keys?

@fredwarren Do you happen to know?

I am not ware of any. Logic Keyboard made some for Smoke but I don’t think they did one for Flame.

Yeah, its because everybody knows that Smoke Hotkeys are far superior to Flame Hotkeys so why would anybody make an inferior keyboard for inferior hotkeys?

happy the prodigy GIF


Oooh, a keyboard thread on Logik!

Regarding the lack of a Flame-specific keyboard, I think the roots of it stem from the worlds of online video editing vs. videodesign applications.

A typical linear online (as opposed to offline) video edit bay would have at its center an edit controller which was comprised of a rack-mount unit of custom hardware and a custom keyboard to run it. The edit controller allowed one editor to control a room full of VTRs, disk recorders, character generators & still stores, audio mixers and video switchers.

The custom keyboard had custom keycaps with related functions grouped by color. Something like this would have been in every online bay around the world at that time (1980s-mid-2000s):

Avid Media Composer comes along in the early '90s and goes with a similar concept for its keyboards, although with a pastel palette for its keys:

Maybe they cribbed the colors from Sony’s BVE-9000 editor?:

Move ahead to 1997 when discreet logic announces Fire 1.0 (from which Smoke derives). It was then marketed as a replacement for those online video editing bays – and it’s driven with a keyboard customized for the purpose. No colored keycaps, but every key is custom printed with it’s primary, SHIFTed, and ALTed function in three different colors, all in jaunty Discreet Italic (RIP).

I don’t have inside knowledge here but it’s not a stretch to think that discreet customized Fire / Smoke keyboards to make the transition easier on editors moving to Fire.

The concept continues to now – in 2019 Blackmagic announced their DaVinci Resolve keyboard with traditional color-grouped keys.

In contrast, most videodesign applications (as they were called at the time, the term now is “motion graphics”) of the same time shipped with standard QWERTY keyboards. Quantel Henry, Parallax Matador and DF/X Composium were probably the most visible when Flame arrived in the mid-‘90s. AfterEffects became competitive about five years after that. Standard keyboards were the norm.

Going back to the thread topic, I think it’s just a quirk of image-processing history that Fire/Smoke developed to have customized-keyboard options while Flame always got a standard QWERTY board.

BTW, who looks at their keyboard these days anyway?


Pretty much correct Chris but Fire 1.0 had it’s own keyboard layout. They didn’t do a custom keyboard set for it. All of the sudden with Fire v2, the keys were changed to more closely mimic a linear edit controller (it’s very BVE-9000 like), since most companies acquiring Fires were doing so to replace their old linear bays.

As I recall, from back then, Discreet gave Fire buyers a keyboard with all the correct hotkeys printed on them. Later on, LogikKeys also started making the Smoke keyboards and I think Barry Goch was selling stickers that you could place on the keys of a generic keyboard. I think this was around the time Smoke was being released on Mac for the first time.

Thanks everyone for the responses!

Totally makes sense with Smoke having the keyboards since it was originally an Onlining NLE and keeping it inline with other NLE offerings.

I remember when FCP 1 came out and they shipped with the stickers for your keyboard (probably to make it feel like Avid keyboards). Helped me learn that like the back of my hand. 20 years later, add in learning hotkeys for Premiere, After Effects, and Resolve. My brain only has so much more room as I’m learning Flame, haha


I remember getting a baggie full of keys with our smoke 1.0 that I had to replace by hand, but that might have been just garden variety hazing on the part of discreet Santa Monica.

Time to learn the Smoke hot keys!:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Get a smoke keyboard and learn smoke keys. I keep a separate user set-up with flame keys so that if someone describes a process that way I can cross reference

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Totes… People talk smack about smoke hotkeys but they have a long history and a reason why they still exist… Especially when anniversary edition came out and the UI looked exactly like FCP7…total coincidence :wink:

I thought when the AE came out it looked exactly like Smoke.

I’ve been working with the flame keys only because it was the default when I opened it for the first time.

I might as well give smoke keys a try and see how they feel.

Thanks everyone!

Ok, wow, this does revive a few memories MLandon!

I very much remember the original Fire/Smoke keyboards with each key screenprinted with its letter in white, SHIFT function in green, and ALT + SHIFT function in amber.

As I recall these keyboards were either HP or Logitech boards with unimpressive key feel and had the revised, lowercase “sgi” logo screened above the FKeys.

I did work at one shop (perhaps more) that had those stick-on key labels! Not one of them bothered to make sure they were properly aligned and that alone was a good indicator of the standards-level of that house.

Smoke keys are the best.

Still wondering how the shortcut keyboards are a thing. Especially for Avid and so on, as I doubt you look to the keys while pressing and when you have to look to find it, using the cursor would be as fast as that.

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Ya know I’m kidding right? Do what you know and what makes your world a better place. I just love talking trash about Flame Hotkeys and New York Floppy Soggy pizza.

100% :slightly_smiling_face:

The one thing I’ve learned reading on this forum, is the quickest way to get a debate going is talk flame or smoke hot keys or which direction your reels are :joy:


If the Flame vs Smoke shortcuts debate creates too much animosity I can settle that pretty quickly by simply removing both and keeping only the Smoke FCP user profile. :crazy_face:


What is Smoke :face_with_monocle:
Second exit on the dodo way.