A decade ago, we featured Palette, a modular controller system that adds buttons, knobs, and sliders to your PC editing console, giving you controls that are much more suited for creative applications, such as video editing and music production. The company has rebranded to Monogram since then and continues to create modular editing consoles for creative professionals. While these specialized controls are excellent, they do take up a whole lot of space next to your favorite keyboard and mouse, making it less-than-viable for those who work on a more space-starved setup. So why not just integrate those controls into your core peripherals? That’s exactly what the outfit did with the Monogram Keyboard.
Billed as an “input console around a low-profile mechanical keyboard,” the device combines your standard tenkeyless layout with various elements found in the outfit’s input consoles. No, it doesn’t really replace a proper modular layout that uses the outfit’s controls, but it does offer an alternative for those who don’t have room for it right next to their keyboard and mouse.
The Monogram Keyboard comes with the usual set of keys found in standard tenkeyless keyboards, with each key using Gateron Low-Profile 2.0 Brown switches. It’s hot-swappable, so you can plug in your own choice of switches if you’re not a fan of the brown ones, but either way, this should provide that satisfying click that mechanical keyboard users love. One big change here, by the way, is the fact that they moved the function keys to the row of number keys, which allowed the keyboard to use the top row of keys as part of the integrated input console.
The top row features an Esc key, along with 11 action keys labeled M1 to M11, with a mini OLED display above each of the action keys. Basically, the OLED panels display the function for each key, depending on what application you’re using, complete with the ability to switch to different toolsets for the keys on the fly. The idea is the keys will replace all the shortcuts and keyboard combinations required for different functions, which should help simplify your overall workflow.
The Monogram Keyboard has a control dial on the left side, so you get one control you can use for software elements that require precise adjustments, along with two additional action keys below it. All the controls should be programmable using the outfit’s OS6 software, where you can also create and edit toolsets to customize your own workflows. There’s also an OLED display on top of the Esc key, by the way, which is strictly cosmetic, as you can, basically, use it to display whatever the heck you want.
For users who want a number pad, the outfit offers the Multipad, which can either be connected to its own USB port or attached to the either side of the main keyboard (they both have built-in connectors). It has all the standard number pad keys, but adds a trio of action keys with their own OLED panels on top, so you can program it for additional controls as you see fit.