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Could the JLCooper MCS5 be the best Final Cut Pro X control surface we have seen so far?

JLCooper MCS5 FCPX banner

At first glance we think it just might be. Chunky transport buttons, an optically encoded jog wheel and two banks of assignably keys. We like.

When we caught a glimpse of a couple of screens showing FCPX on the side of Hall 7 at IBC, like a moth to a flame (or a bug) we made a direct line for them.

It was a stand showing JLCooper products, including the new $499 MCS5 which was controlling Final Cut Pro X.


We have worked with JLCooper panels before and they have always been robust, this new model isn't an exception. The five chunky transport buttons and solid jog wheel all sit in a low profile case with a back that rises up to house the buttons and LCD panel. Very comfortable to get your wrist over the edge from the keyboard to operate without putting it in an awkward RSI inducing backward tilt.

 JLCooper MCS5 2 FCPX

On the tilted panel are eight assignable buttons that activate the command corresponding on the LCD panel. The bank buttons swop between two banks of eight. Yes that is the clip name displayed in the middle!

The surface works by communicating with the MC5S software running on the host Mac. There is a default set of commands for Final Cut Pro X and most vendor's pro applications that you can think of.

Should you want to customise the unit, all the FCPX commands that you see in the keyboard assignment menu show up in the application. Up to you what function you want where.

JLCooper MCS5 3 FCPX


We like it and the customisation will bring some of the deeper FCPX operations to only a push button away. The jog wheel won't click into a shuttle transport, but the back and forward keys do the same as the J and L on the keyboard - a second press increases the speed.

The unit can be bought online if you live in the States or ordered from the European distributor.



Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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