Improving Workflow with Palette Gear's Tactile, Modular Control System [Tech Tuesday]

July 14, 2015

By RF Staff

Combining the modularity of customization reminiscent of Legos® with the convenience and tactile approach of a mixing board, Palette Gear's new modular control system brings a whole new level of touch to the digital workflow for photographers, videographers and other creatives. With Adobe as a partner, Palette is good to go with most Creative Cloud apps including Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC. (Palette Gear currently offers a 20 percent discount off the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan when you purchase a Palette kit.)Palette Pro KitAt the heart of this clever system, the brainchild of Canada-based engineers, is the power module, which connects to Macs and PCs via USB. From there, you select an array of buttons, dials and sliders to create your own setup. The modules snap together magnetically and can be quickly and easily reconfigured to match different workflows and physical setups, working around a graphics tablet, mouse, cup of coffee and other editing necessities.

Palette can even be customized to facilitate a variety of different workflows by creating multiple profiles for each controller across different software applications. For example, a Lightroom slider can be assigned control of exposure in one profile and white balance in another, and so on. The same slider can be set to control other functions in Premiere Pro. And a single button can be assigned to switch between profiles in each application.

I haven't had any hands-on time with the system and know that I'll need to reorganize (clean off) my (messy) desk to make room if I want to incorporate Palette into my workflow. But if first impressions are on target, Palette may be just the motivation I need to purge less useful "stuff" from my work surface. Check out the video below for more details about setup.

Palette is available for pre-order (slated to ship in November) and offers several kit configurations as well as individual components. A starter kit costs $199 with one core, two buttons, one dial and one slider. Step up to the Expert Kit for $299 and get one core, two buttons, three dials and two sliders. The Professional kit (pictured above) will run you $499, with a gorgeous special wood edition running a hefty $899. Add-ons include buttons for $29 each; dials and sliders cost $49 each.