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Tangent Introducing the Element Control Surface.

This past April while at NAB I got an interesting phone call from Chris Rose of Tangent Devices. “Where are you?” “I’m in the South Hall why?” “Come meet us outside, we want to show you something.” And just like that, I’m walking out the door to find them.

I found Chris along with Andy Knox and Andy proceeds to pull out the prototype of a brand new control surface. It’s obvious they have listened to all of the feedback from folks on what we wanted in a new control surface for color enhancement.

Personally I’ve said all along a combination of the Tangent Wave and the MC Color would make a great, reasonably priced control surface. By that I meant the extra controls of the Wave (knobs and buttons) with the smooth trackball / rings of the MC Color. Tangent has delivered and much much more.

You don’t like the plastic of the Wave? It’s gone, replaced with a very nice metal finish.

You like the feel and touch of the MC Color rings and trackball? It’s there.

You want gobs of knobs and buttons. The Element is modular, so you can literally design a control surface that is completely customized to your workflow, your desk, your applications.

You want a lightweight control surface that can travel with you to various jobs? Did I mention Andy had the prototype in a backpack?

Most of all, we want a solid, very professionally built control surface that responds well to the touch. Tangent has designed this entire new surface from the ground up. This is not simply the Wave knobs and buttons just ported over to the Element. Tangent went to colorists and editors who do a lot of color correction and asked, “What do you think?”

I loved the trackball / ring configuration but most of all, I liked that everything felt solid, not plastic. The surface feels good and quiet, not quite as loud as the Wave when you push the buttons and knobs. There will be OLED displays across the top, though the prototype I saw was not powered.

Tangent tells me the the pricing is not firmly set, but they are looking in the $3,000 – $3,500 range for a base four panel set that will get you a good solid control surface including:

One bank of 12 knobs

One bank of 12 buttons

One set of three trackballs, with ring contrast controls

One combination panel with a fourth trackball, transport controls, and another bank of 12 buttons

Now I have not had a chance to play with the final production model but Tangent has sent me images of the final product and I’m ready to play with it further once it’s shipping. The Element will be revealed at the IBC in Amsterdam. You will find them at stand 7.B16

If you’re headed to the show, be sure to stop by and check out the new surface. I’ll post a full review once I get a chance to play with the production model.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 23, 2011 at 7:23:55 pm Apple Color, Color Grade

Why you do not want to miss the August Atlanta Cutters Meeting.

Ok, so Digital Asset Management is the topic. Some of you might be thinking “well that’s not nearly as sexy as having the ‘four A’s’ on stage at the same time like you did last month.” No, quite honestly it’s not but if anything, this month is even MORE important to the stability and longevity of your work. Whether you shoot / edit tape or digital cards, we are in a digital world and how you protect those digital assets for the long haul will literally make or break you.

As many of you know, I’ve been a forum host on the communities since 2001. If I had to pick ONE topic that comes up more than any other, year in, year out, it’s storage. In fact I believe I’ve tested and reviewed more storage products than anything else in the 10 years I’ve been writing for the Cow.

Post always starts off with, “I’m about to start a new project / build a new system / open a new facility and I’m just not sure what storage to buy.” There are literally hundreds of storage combinations out there these days, it’s a veritable alphabet soup of FW, eSATA, USB, SAS, iSCSI, FibreChannel, Ethernet, Thunderbolt and so on. 1TB, 2TB, 3TB spinning platter drives plus Solid State Drives with no moving parts. RAIDS that go from 2TB to 100TB and more. RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10 hut one, hut two, hike! It always amazes me just how many people really don’t understand what any of this means, but they just go along with what someone else tells them is the best option.

You are going to have a very rare opportunity to meet the guy who in my opinion is simply the most knowledgeable person in the industry who not only understands the inner workings of that entire alphabet soup above, but also understands how to explain it to all of us. Steve Modica from Small Tree Communications is one of those guys who is a rarity in that he understands the inner workings of many of the computer models we all use and how best to pair up the right storage solution to give that particular system / facility the best performance. He just gets it and I’m so thrilled he’s going to be there.

He’s going to give a presentation that should help all of you better understand all of the various elements of the alphabet soup. From there you should be able to make very informed decisions moving forward as to what will be your best option for storage for your systems, from video editing to sound design to graphics and animation. This is not a sales pitch for Small Tree, this is going to be your opportunity to get that basic knowledge that you never get from a sales rep or an online forum or that latest email blast. In the long run, having the right knowledge before you purchase any storage system will end up giving you the best bang for your buck.

Now if you’ve been in the industry for even a little while, you’ve heard the name Quantum. They’ve been doing long term archiving since before it was cool. Everyone I’ve ever asked about fail safe, long term storage always points to Quantum and LTO. Now I know LTO is a tape based archive format, but that’s about the extent of my personal knowledge and quite honestly I really don’t know of any other options. Once again, this is going to be a GREAT opportunity to learn about long term archiving and what options are out there these days. Where is the archive industry headed moving forward?

Do you shoot with digital media these days? Are you absolutely, 100% certain that you will able to access your material 2, 5, 10, 20 years from now if you needed a shot for a project or needed to bring an entire project back? Remember, if you’re archiving camera originals, that’s it. Your shots are entrusted to the digital ether, either you protect correctly or it’s gone.

How many of you have have had a hard drive fail? Raise your hands, I’ve got mine up. It’s a fact of life, hard drive DIE. Often without warning and ALWAYS at the wrong time. This 2nd meeting will go a long ways towards giving you some great strategies and options to not only give you peace of mind for your main working environment, but also for the long term health of all those digital assets you’ve accumulated and will continue to accumulate moving forward. I’m actually really excited to have Quantum presenting because I really need to get up to speed on what the latest options are for archiving.

Beyond all of this we have two great presentations from Founding Members of the Atlanta Cutters.

Kris Merkel will do a DSLR Best Practices Workflow. Who doesn’t like playing around with the DSLR cameras these days, but how you handle the data can be the difference between losing information and safely protecting it for future use. This demo cuts across all NLE workflows.

Clay Asbury will kick off the 2nd half of the meeting with some Adobe Tips and Tricks from the Production Premium suite. He’s a certified Adobe Trainer and this will be the first in our series of quick tips and tricks for each meeting.

So sign up today as this is one of those rare opportunities to gain a wealth of knowledge in one of the most important aspects of all of our businesses. Protect yours and your client’s assets, you keep happy clients and grow your business. Oh and don’t forget, we have awesome food from Endive Catering so if nothing else, you’re gonna have a great dinner!

See you next week!

Register here today! Seating is limited.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 16, 2011 at 6:43:04 pmComments (3) User Group, Post Production

FSI launching new affordable 21" and 23" HD Broadcast Monitors

EXCLUSIVE! (always wanted to say that!)

When I get an email from Dan Desmet at Flanders Scientific asking “do you have any time available? I’d like to show you something” I always MAKE the time. One of the awesome benefits of being literally 15 minutes away from FSI is we get to see a lot from these guys. It’s also a great chance to get together for lunch, or dinner in this case.

Well, what he had to show were three truly incredible monitors, one of which you already know about,the LM0950W (WOW!) and the other two they are letting me spill the beans a day early. FSI is releasing two new monitors at a more affordable price range for everyone. These are 1080 Native monitors with the following standard connections: 3G/HD/SD-SDI/Component/Composite/DVI-I. Yes, you read correctly, 3G is standard on these new monitors and these are 1080 native display monitors and they accept 4:4:4 and 2K sources.

Let me first say, my photos don’t do the monitors justice quite honestly but I was a bit rushed and took what I could. But here’s what the 3 larger monitors look like sitting in my suite, you can ignore the old 0750W there at the bottom.

The LM-2140W and the LM-2340W are priced $2,495 and $2,995 respectively. That’s the 2340W on the left and the 2140W on the right with the original LM-2461W in the back. The 2461W is what I use every day in my Edit 1 suite at Biscardi Creative Media.

First off, I have to say wow, on the connectivity at this price point. Very sweet. Second, wow on the image. Is it identical to the $4995 priced LM-2461W? Well, no, but then they’re not designed to be. These are designed to very high quality, very cost effective monitors for those who either don’t need the absolute best color critical picture of the 2461W or who simply can’t afford to drop $5,000 on a monitor right now.

When you take $2000 off the price of the top of the line 24″ model, something has to give. In this case, the Color Fidelity Engine that powers the absolute “correctness” of the 2461W is absent in the new models. So you will notice that the 21 and 2340W’s are slightly warmer than the 2461W. The image displays a little more red overall and a touch of purple in the blacks.

Now comparing the 1760W to the 2140W, what you’re gaining is an extra 4″ of real estate. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot but there’s a definite difference in terms of the viewing experience plus remember, it’s now a 1080 native display vs. the 720p native of the 1760W. And of course FSI has gone ahead and made the 3G option (about $1,500 on the 1760W) standard on the 2130W.

Both monitors come with LED backlighting which means there is no warmup period so the colors are accurate from the time you turn them on. This also decreases the weight dramatically as well, just 9 pounds for the 2130W, 10 for the 2140W.

Could you actually do a color grade on these monitors and submit it to a broadcaster without fear of rejection? Well if you know what you’re doing in the color grade process, sure. I sat there with these monitors in my suite up against the LM-2461W and it was clear that the 21 / 2340W’s were warmer as I said originally. But, if I didn’t have the money for the 2461W or the need for absolutely color critical judgement, yeah, it would be no problem to do a nice color grade with it. Would a broadcaster reject your work solely because you did a color grade on this monitor? I would highly doubt it. If they do, it would be because of the operator who did the color grade……

LM-2340W foreground, LM-2461W background

These monitors will definitely fill a great need, particularly with the economy the way it is around the world, for those of you who need a really really good monitor, but maybe not the “best” monitor.

FSI re-defined the standard of the “best” monitor out there by giving us a super high quality, color critical monitor for just $4995. Now they’ve done the same by bringing us two incredibly good options at a much more affordable level for everyone. Something that is “good enough” to meet your needs yet much better than other monitors at the same or even higher price point.

Keep an eye on the Flanders Scientific page tomorrow morning because not only will they announce the new 2140W and 2340W, Dan hinted you’ll find special introductory pricing too.

UPDATE 8/4/2011

Official Press Release came out today with the introductory pricing information.

Posted by: walter biscardi on Aug 3, 2011 at 7:17:33 pm Editing, Monitors

Professional Video Editor, Producer, Creative Director, Director since 1990.

Credits include multiple Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and CableAce Awards.

Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific and GP Studios, Atlanta. Former Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media. The show you knew us best for was "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I developed the HD Post workflow and we also created all the animations for the series.

Favorite pastime is cooking with pizza on the grill one of my specialties. Each Christmas Eve we serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian seafood meal with approx. 30 items on the menu.

If I wasn't in video production I would either own a restaurant or a movie theater.



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