As a filmmaker and photographer who also dabbles in gaming, I sometimes have to look to gaming equipment to make post production a little more intuitive and personalized. At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference… and also treating yourself.
My first video/gaming purchase was a mechanical keyboard to replace the Apple keyboard that came with my iMac. Mechanical keyboards are not only satisfying to type on, but most models have has backlit keys so I can see what I’m pressing when working in the dark. I’ve also personally found it easy to hit the wrong keys on the Mac keyboard because they are set so low and don’t offer enough resistance when pressed.
My most recent peripheral purchase was the Razer Naga Trinity gaming mouse. I was hesitant to purchase this one due to the price (it retailed for $100 at the time of purchase) and the compatibility of Razer’s Synapse software on Mac OS. Synapse is required to be able to customize the buttons on the Naga. Luckily, there were a bunch of Mac gamers who had already ventured into this territory and assured me that the Synapse software does indeed work on Mac OS.
The big draw of the Naga Trinity for me is the side panel which can be customized and programmed to trigger keybindings that you would normally have to press on your keyboard. In Adobe Premiere, for example, you can assign your Blade tool, Arrow tool, any panels, even the export window, to its own button on the Naga. This allows you to work in your sequence and navigate around Premiere just with one hand.
A 3-in-1 mouse
The Naga Trinity is a 3-in-1 mouse with its 12-key (MMO gaming), 7-key (MOBA gaming), and 2-key interchangeable side panels. Each panel can have its own completely different customizations. The panels attach via a magnet and are very sturdy.
Multiple options for button assignments
Synapse offers multiple ways for users to assign button actions to the Naga. These can be as simple as making a center wheel click set to play or pause Spotify, launch an application, or assign a macro that sets off a series of actions with a single push of a button.
A cool feature that Synapse has is the ability to have multiple profiles linked to specific programs that you use, and the ability to automatically switch to these specific profiles based on the current program that you have open. For example, when I open up Adobe Premiere, or when Adobe Premiere is the active window, the Naga will automatically switch to my Premiere-specific settings and keybinds. The future is here.
Finding your preference
I like using the 12-key panel for video editing in Premiere, and I usually keep the 7-key panel on for everything else, including World of Warcraft where I programmed my Windwalker monk’s abilities to. I also prefer the 7-key panel to the others because of the thumb grip in the center of the keys that allows me to get a good grip on the mouse with my thumb, and pinky finger on the opposite side of the Naga.
Below is a screenshot of my current Naga setup for video editing in Adobe Premiere.
Not for small hands
The first issue, which might not be an issue for everyone, is that this mouse seems sized for larger hands. The biggest difference in size between the Naga and the Mac mouse is the height which you can see in the below photo. Someone with smaller hands might want to try this mouse out in person before purchasing just to make sure it’s a good fit for them.
Razer Synapse on Mac OS for gaming still needs some work
If you don’t plan on using the Razer Naga for gaming on a Mac, you can skip this section and go straight to my “Final Thoughts.”
The other issue I’ve experienced pertains to Razer’s Synapse software and with World of Warcraft specifically. I haven’t had any problems whatsoever using Razer’s Synapse software for video or photo work. This might not apply to video and photo people but the troubleshooting that I did might help you if you encounter any problems with Synapse on a Mac.
Shift key issues
The first part of this saga was when I tried programming keybinds that used the Shift key with Synapse’s “Keyboard Function” option, so Shift+1, Shift+2, and so on.
Anything I programmed using the Shift key would not register in World of Warcraft even though I could set it as so in Synapse. I did not understand why I couldn’t program such a simple thing into Synapse.
Doing a Google search, I found a thread on the WoW forums with Mac users who had the same problem and someone who had posted a possible solution. The solution was to open up Terminal and enter in a line of code which switches something on:
defaults write com.blizzard.worldofwarcraft disable-expose-fix -bool YES
The responses to the Terminal solution were positive so I tried it, and it worked; I could program keybinds that used the Shift key! Unfortunately, the next time I started my computer up, the mouse – or maybe Synapse, reverted back to NOT working with the Shift keybinds anymore. Feeling uneasy with leaving some weird code that I didn’t understand in my computer, I went into Terminal and undid that line of code that I got from the forums by changing the end statement from “YES” to “NO,” so:
defaults write com.blizzard.worldofwarcraft disable-expose-fix -bool NO
I was back at square one…
Next, I realized that I could try the Macros function within Synapse. Instead of using the “Keyboard Function” way, the Macros feature can “record” a series of keybinds, and you can then assign that macro to a button on the Naga. I programmed all of my WoW spells that aren’t on my main action bar into the Macros window using this method. Below is a screenshot of my monk’s Transcendence spell which was keybound to “Shift-V” in World of Warcraft.
This method worked right away for me – my mouse was functioning as I had hoped, finally. It was incredible to finally have the full functionality of the Naga in the game. Unfortunately, this method stopped working all of a sudden after about a week.
I don’t know how I got the idea to try and do the first method with Keyboard Functions with the Shift key again, but I decided to try that again, and it worked flawlessly. Yes, it’s confusing and I have no idea what is happening at this point, but this method has been working for a couple of weeks now, and after several computer start ups.
For now, I think I am good or can at least troubleshoot and have more than one method to get the Synapse software to function on a Mac. I’m thinking that the line of code that I put into Terminal maybe triggered something when I initially put it in even though I undid it later. I’m really not sure but I’m grateful for the mouse working (for now).
Despite the software issues when used for World of Warcraft, the Razer Naga Trinity is a flawless mouse for video and photo post production work on a Mac. Being able to assign editing tools, functions, and navigate programs at the push of a button makes for a more intuitive experience while editing.
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