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First Thoughts: Avid Color Panel + Resolve

First of all, I got a Droid. The new Charge. With an Otterbox case. I love it. Awesome phone. Very pleased. This is not an advertisement. But you should go get one 🙂 For what it’s worth, I was using a Blackberry Tour which, after 2 years, was replaced no less than three times. RIM is dead if you ask me, but that’s for another time. With Media Composer 5 and the death of FCP (legacy edition), Avid’s not going anywhere with their entrance into the hardware business and last year’s purchase of Euphonix.

I just got my Artist Color panel today. So, needing to update to some other beta software and take a look at a couple new projects I’m working on, I took the time to install and play a bit in Resolve with the panel. Formerly of a pro audio background, I’ve always liked the Euphonix panels; flying faders, digital readouts, small desktop space, nice feel, and sexy to boot. The Color meets all my expectations in this case. I wasn’t totally sure how’d I’d feel about it since I’ve never laid so much as a finger on one, but I’m an MC Control user for both Avid and Nuendo and really like it.

It’s replacing my Wave. So I’ll start there with my impressions. The Wave is needlessly chunky and plasticy compared to the Color. The Color is much more solid feeling. The rings by themselves are smooth and nicely weighted, much like the larger Film Master console I used a few weeks ago in class and the Baselight console I demo’d last year. That expensive weighted feel. The Color’s trackballs are smaller but no less as nice. So no complaints there. The buttons have that annoying spongy feel of old DAT decks back in the 90’s but they’re firmer and provide solid satisfaction that you pressed the button. I do kinda like the Wave’s pots a bit better feeling mildly smoother.

Enough of the panel comparison. How’s it work with Resolve? I have the “new panel unfamiliarity”. But that’s expected. The panel’s integration with Resolve is very similar to the Wave, in fact, I’d venture to say they took the same file and reprogrammed it. But the Color has more buttons, banks and pages than the Resolve does. As a result, there is more control mapped to the Color than to the Wave. You have both left an right shift buttons, multiple banks and additional pages. In practice, it means more access with less buttons and faster results. You’re still going to have to page through a few menus but I find I page through less and access more. But for the most part, it’s very similar to the Wave’s setup.

We’re all asking about EuCon customization. It’s there but only keyboard shortcut mapping. In truth, I haven’t actually mapped anything and tested it (which I’ll do tomorrow) but it appears to be all there as normal. But the panel doesn’t use the basic EuCon controls as indicated in the manual from Avid. The only options that show up are the ones that I’m assuming BMD has programmed there. I’m going to test as well, mapping a shortcut or three to my Control and see if that works.

Speaking of the Control, my jog control doesn’t do anything in Resolve, but I’m going to look into that as well. So you’re losing the Jog wheel the Wave provides when switching to the Color. With the push of a Shift and play key (both forward and backward) you can get frame by frame which is what I end up using anyway. I found the wheel not terribly useful anyway except for my wipes. It was useful there.

Okay, I’m rambling. There’s my first thoughts. I’ll take the Artist Color all day over the Wave.

Oh, one last thing. Resolve posts the controls and mapping to their panels under “Resources” on the support page for Resolve. Here’s the quick link to the PDF layout with the Artist Color.

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©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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