TourBox is a controller specifically designed for photographers and digital creators who want to improve and speed up their workflow. The main concept is really straightforward: to free its users from endless repetitive tasks minimizing and simplifying the editing workflow.
Generally using a keyboard for shortcuts is better than using the mouse to click on every command at all times but a controller as TourBox could really help you save time to create instead of continuously looking for keys and icons.
We all know that Adobe Photoshop can be overwhelming at times and clicking all the endless options and tools needed can be rather inconvenient, especially for someone who’s starting and needs to memorize the right shortcuts.
TourBox is mainly recommended for photographers and other creatives however I think that anyone who uses the same keyboard shortcuts over an over again would benefit from it. I think CAD users may like it too.
The controller is suitable for Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and any other software you use to create, in fact I’ve tried it with Luminar 4 too.
First Impressions – How It Looks
TourBox controller comes in a small black box complete with a USB-C cable (it needs to be plugged in to function, there is no wireless option) and a little pouch for protecting the device while on the go. What I liked at first glance is that TourBox is a small console that easily finds its place even on the tiniest workspace. However, I have to admit I found it surprisingly heavy (386g) for its size (117x100x30mm). This is good to keep it sturdy on your desk but, as a traveller, is a downside for me.
As you can see from the images there’s a knob on top, a radial dial, a scrolling wheel plus 11 additional buttons, all arranged for one-handed use. Each control function is pre-programmed to replace a combination of keyboard strokes or shortcuts.
While using it I found the scrolling dials to be particularly sensitive and with minimal resistance. This can be a problem when making detailed adjustments.
Setting up shortcuts in TourBox Console
TourBox comes with a lot of common Lightroom and Photoshop shortcuts pre-programmed. This way you don’t have to spend ages program it yourself. But if you want, you can do that too and personalize it. Everyone works differently and it would be pointless to use any tool that doesn’t allow you to do customization.
You can add a new preset and program the buttons and dials as you like. It’s very simple and it works with every software on your computer, not only creative ones.
If your memory fails just like mine you can bring up on the screen a handy reminder that shows 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.
- TourBox controller is designed to make photo, video and audio editing faster and easier.
- Compact in size and designed to be used alongside a tablet or mouse.
- Each button is completely customizable for the creation of personal presets.
- Ergonomic design.
- Designed to be used with any editing software: Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, Luminar and much more.
What I Use It For
I’ve talked about some of TourBox’s features and here is a quick recap of what I use it for:
- Change the size, hardness, flow and opacity of a brush in Photoshop;
- Zoom in, zoom out, drag, and resize with one hand;
- Undo, redo, forward, and backward functions further reduce keystrokes;
- Adjust all the various sliders and parameters in Lightroom and Luminar.
It surely works well for Photoshop, however I don’t feel the urgency of using it in Lightroom since this sofware is not heavy in shortcuts but it’s mainly based on sliders adjustments.
Is It Worthy?
I can recommend this tool, but it’s not for everyone. The first time you use it, you’ll probably be frustrated, and that’s totally normal. Just like any new tool, you have to use it. You should spend some time forcing yourself to use your TourBox constantly. As you do, you’ll learn to use it in its most efficient way and you’ll learn which shortcuts you need to add to make it work with your style.
As far as I know, there are two other consoles on the market that are designed with the same philosophy of TourBox. However, Loupedeck is the size of another keyboard and doesn’t work with Photoshop, and the Palette Gear, while compact and customizable, is more expensive. TourBox instead was designed to be compact, affordable and effective.