Cube and TurboCube- Making an old editing box do new tricks
By Warren Baker

I've been editing non-linear for several years, and I'll always remember my first. It was a beauty. I used and abused it. Expected so much of it, and it rarely complained. My Mac 7100 did most of the complaining. It's still chugging along with the TLC of another editor, but I miss it. It was reliable and strong and a little on the loud side. It was a TurboCube. If you've either inherited one or are still plugging along with the original real-time non-linear box, I offer these keystrokes of kindness that you can bestow on your Cube.


That darn playhead. Every time I needed to zoom in to a particular segment of video, I would lose track of where my playhead went. Usually when this happens, I've selected a clip somewhere on the timeline, and the zoom-in would center on the selected clip. If you hit the enter key on the numeric keypad, you will automatically center your playhead in the middle of the timeline.

Another concern I had when editing on the Cube was resetting the sliders that controlled the various real-time effects. If I were moving this slider and that slider in my Transforms palette and I needed to reset just one of the those sliders, I would click on Unity. When you click on Unity, it resets all of the settings in the Transforms palette. Then you need to go back into Transforms and start from scratch; a really frustrating experience. I could always click and drag the slider back to 0, but that seemed pretty tedious at times.

About a year or two ago, I met a Sphere editor who showed me the light. If you put your cursor anywhere on the slider bar you wish to reset and click once while holding down the Option key, the setting returns to its default. This made me especially happy since the default settings for cropping are neither 0 or a whole number. I was tickled. You'll be tickled. If you use either a Cube, Sphere or Affinity, this nifty resetter is available for your editing pleasure.


One of the pleasures I enjoyed on the Cube was its simplicity. The Cube allows you to plug in numbers anywhere in your tracksheet. You can easily highlight any of the Time fields in the upper left corner of the tracksheet and type in whatever number value you want. What you might not know is that you can copy and paste these numbers.

Let's say you want Clip A to be the same length as Clip B. You can either go into the Vaudio editor and trim that sucker right on up or you could divide the clip until you get the proper length. Those trimming options are all good and fine, but there's an easier way. Highlight the clip that has the length that you want, and you will see its length posted in the Duration box. Click in the Duration box to highlight it, and copy the numbers (Apple-C). Highlight the clip whose duration you wish to change. Click in its duration box and paste (Apple-V). I think we have a match! Woohoo! Exciting stuff!

You can copy and paste any of those numbers in the upper left hand part of the tracksheet. You can also and add and subtract frames, seconds, and minutes to each of those boxes. Let's say I want to add 2 seconds and 15 frames to trimmed clip. I highlight the duration box and type the number 2, a period, the number 1, the number 5 and a + sign and that will add the additional length to my clip. I can also subtract that time by using a minus sign. Try this technique when you want to precisely position this clip.

You can also cut and paste clips out of the Footage Viewer. Simply open the viewer, select the clip or clips you want, go back to your tracksheet, and paste. Mercy!


Let's say you were editing right along and you've got a nice sequence of shots. There's a hole in between two of the clips that needs to be filled with another clip. Chances are you'll put a clip in the background track just below the hole created by the two clips and you trim accordingly. Next time this happens, simply move your cursor over the hole created by the two clips. If you look in the upper left hand corner of your tracksheet you will see "Hole" listed as the clip name. And if you look in the duration box, you'll see just how big that hole is. Plug those numbers into the duration field of your new clip, and slip that clip into the space formerly known as "Hole." In fact, as you move your cursor over any part of your tracksheet, you are given feedback on what your cursor is touching, how long it is, and its in and out points.


The Cube and TurboCube are wonderful machines, and I hope the above tips can help make them more wonderful for you. Occasionally, late at night when the stars are out and the quiet of the evening envelops me, I can still hear the faint roar from my TurboCube's fans. Sigh.