TourBox is a video and photo editing controller that works with programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, SAI, and other image processing software.
TourBox started off as a Kickstarter way back in October 2018, and it has been around for some time. Given a lot of people are now working from home and using their computers due to the Coronavirus, I thought it would be a good time to look more closely at this editing controller.
TourBox was designed for photographers and designers who want to improve their work efficiency and experience a new way of editing content. The whole concept is to free users from endless repetitive tasks such as drawing, editing, and retouching.
I’m only going to be looking at the TourBox in its capacity to be used with NLEs for video work.
- The TourBox controller is designed to make photo, video, & audio editing faster & easier.
- Features a knob, wheel, scroller, and multiple buttons, and is designed for use alongside a tablet or mouse.
- TourBox’s controls can be precisely calibrated for ideal speed, and accuracy.
- Each button is completely customizable for the creation of personal presets.
- Compatible with both Windows and macOS.
- Completely customizable button layouts for use with any software.
- Ergonomic design.
- Designed for use with any editing software: PS, LR, SAI, PR, AU, Davinci Resolve, and much more.
The TourBox is fairly compact and small. It is just a little bit smaller than an Apple Magic Trackpad 2. The TourBox has been designed so that you use it with your left hand while you use your right hand to operate a mouse or trackpad.
The TourBox is encased in an ABS plastic shell. Despite its small size, it does carry a little bit of weight. While it does feel quite sturdy, some of the buttons and control dials feel more tactile than others.
What can it do?
TourBox is a fully customizable device, users can assign different functions for Photoshop, Lightroom, or SAI. TourBox can also be adapted to suit any software, even FCPX, Premiere Pro, or DaVinci Resolve.
FULL BRUSH CONTROL
No more extra keystrokes or moving back and forth to complete complicated key combinations. TourBox is intuitively designed to work with your mouse and your tablet. You can control the size, flow, opacity, and hardness of your brush while you work.
TourBox is a fully customizable device. In addition to Photoshop, Lightroom, or PaintTool SAI, the product will further integrate recommended presets for other popular software such as Capture One, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, and many others. Of course, you can also adapt any knob, dial, button, or even a combination of them to the shortcuts you choose to suit any software.
FAMILIAR CONTROL WITH FEWER MOVES
The layout design of TourBox makes shortcuts easy to handle. You can easily switch between all tools of PS, LR, and SAI instantly. This is designed to replace having to use keyboard shortcuts.
TourBox isn’t plug and play and you have to go through quite a few steps to get it to actually work. Below I’ll detail how I set it up.
The first thing you have to do is go to the TourBox Download page to download the driver that is required.
This involves a few steps, but it isn’t too complicated.
Once you launch the TourBox Console from your applications you will be greeted with the above screen. Now, I did just this and nothing happened.
I tried doing the install again and still nothing. I then had to email the company as there aren’t any troubleshooting guides listed on their website.
I contacted the company and after a few days, they replied with some help. Eventually, I found out that a Legacy System Extension for Silicon Laboratories needed to be check in order for it to work.
This whole process was very tedious and I wish it was a little easier.
Once everything was complete you will be greeted by this screen that is above.
TourBox comes with two layout presets for Photoshop and Lightroom. I wanted to try out the device with FCPX and DaVinci Resolve so I needed to download a software preset to be able to use it with FCPX. Unfortunately, there are no presets for DaVinci Resolve.
Below you can download the various software presets:
- Premiere Preset
- Premiere Preset with Tags
- Photoshop Preset (Deutsch)
- Photoshop Preset 2 (Deutsch)
- Final Cut Pro X Preset
- Affinity Photo Preset
Working in FCPX
Once you download and add the FCPX preset you will see the above screen. This is the default configuration for the TourBox controller when using FCPX.
Now, I can choose to customize the buttons and controls in any way I choose. This is a fantastic feature and one that allows me to set up features or functions that I commonly used. Everyone works differently and it would be pointless using any system like this that doesn’t allow you to do customization.
The TourBox works pretty well, but it does take some time to set up all the buttons and dials if you want to customize it. This is something you need to take into account. You also have to get used to the controls and remember what each one does.
What is nice is you can bring up some handy reminder screens of what button does what. Unfortunately, this screen only shows you the default settings and not the ones you have customized. If you want to see the customized controls you need to go into the main console window.
You can also access tips and instructions directly within the app and visit a forum.
I would have liked to have been able to use the dials for color correction within FCPX, but what you can do and assign is fairly limited.
I did also find that the controls were a bit laggy at times and were not quite as fluid as using a mouse or Magic Trackpad.
Even though there aren’t any presets available for DaVinci Resolve, you can still configure TourBox to work with it. This is a slow process and unfortunately, it is a little difficult to set it up and then use it to do fine color correction adjustments.
If you are looking for a controller to do finite color correction adjustments in Resolve you would be better off getting a dedicated controller from Blackmagic.
How much does it cost?
TourBox retails for $169 USD.
There are quite a few other controllers on the market that can be used to achieve similar results, such as tablet surfaces, but these are more general-purpose controllers that could be used for anything. The TourBox is built specifically for visual artists.
The Loupedeck CT is probably the closest competitor for anyone using Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, or Ableton Live. It is larger, but it does have a nice digital display and a friendly user interface.
Loupdeck also comes with a ton of presets for various programs, but just like the TourBox you can customize the buttons and functionality.
Loupedeck CT is way more expensive than the TourBox and it retails for $549 USD.
There is also the more affordable Loupedeck + Photo & Video Editing Console ($249 USD), but it is the size of a normal keyboard.
Is it worth buying for video use?
That is a tough question to answer. While it does work and you can set it up with NLE and color correction software, I kept reverting back to using my mouse and trackpad. In saying that, I think I was doing this more from years of muscle memory than having any real issues with the TourBox.
I can certainly see how it may be useful for a lot of creatives, but I don’t think I would be purchasing a TourBox if all I was going to be using it for was video. It really is a device that is tailored more towards photography applications. However, If you were someone who was doing a mix of video and photography you may find its versatility suits your requirements.
At the end of the day, it isn’t an expensive device, and if you buy one I don’t think you are going to feel like you were spending unnecessary money.
Control devices are always going to be very much a personal preference and it depends on how the user works and operates as to whether they would find a particular one useful or relevant.
I am a little old school and I actually just prefer using a mouse and trackpad for my work, but others may like the idea of an inexpensive controller.
I also personally prefer devices with displays so that you can see exactly what adjustment or function you are using. As the TourBox doesn’t have any labels or display it really relies on you learning and remembering what each button and dial does.
The TourBox works as advertised and if you are doing photo and video work and you travel a lot and want a controller that doesn’t take up a lot of space, then it is worth considering.