Often, when a company releases a product, it is for a very specific use. Photo editors buy a stylus specifically for their photo editing and musical engineers buy MIDI controllers specifically to control their musical software.
One company, however, has released some gear that can be used across different types of media – something that is increasingly important in this world.
The company is called Palette Gear, and it has released a series of modular faders, buttons and knobs that are designed to work across media. This is perfect for the media professional today, who might need to have basic audio editing, photo editing and video editing skills.
"While in school, I was researching various hardware interfaces in the world. It also happened that one of my best friends was a DJ," said Palette founder Calvin Chu, who first came up with the idea for the device, in an email with Tech Times. "At the same time, I just came back from traveling in Sweden and was frustrated at how annoying it was to retouch my photos using a keyboard and mouse. This unlikely intersection was the source of inspiration. Our group realized that most interfaces in the world share the same common elements; buttons, dials, sliders, and a few other inputs."
Of course, using Palette isn't limited to someone who needs it for multiple applications. Those looking specifically for an interface to use for audio, for example, could make good use of the hardware. From the perspective of an audio engineer, even the starter kit offered by the company could be good for creating basic first mixes. With one slider, a user could go through and set levels for each track one-by-one. The buttons can work as "next" and "previous" buttons for tracks, and the dial could be used to set the pan. One of the great things about Palette is the fact that it is modular. While you may want to start with one of the kits available, if you need to be able to control extra features, you can easily buy another separate module.
"We think music studios may use Palette as a complementary or take-home device. Initially, Palette is aimed at pro-sumers who may also work across creative disciplines – perhaps they are also doing a little video editing or photography as well," said Ryan Van Stralen, marketing director at Palette, in an interview with Tech Times. "It's really about flexibility."
Of course, the real question here is what Palette can bring to the table that other controllers and devices cannot. Palette, however, doesn't see it like that. It's less about replacing gear already being heavily used in a studio and more about complementing the gear and streamlining how a studio, both professional and home, might work. It could be argued that Palette would be better suited to a home studio than a professional one, however, with so much customizability it could find a use almost anywhere.
"There is some great music-specific gear out there, and for the most part, we see Palette fitting in as a complement to those dedicated boards and devices, or for those who are looking for something unique, customizable and a bit more portable," continued Van Stralen.
Palette offers a number of different kits, starting at $199 and ranging up to $899. Palette seems like a great option for those who work across multiple media, and it could be great for someone who only works in one type. Stay tuned for a review of Palette from a musician's perspective in the coming weeks.