Widely known as the first ever affordable color grading surface for aspiring filmmakers and enthusiasts alike, the Tangent Ripple color correction panel already sells for a third of the price of other popular color grading professional solutions such as Tangent Wave or Avid Artist Color. But, what are its pros and cons and does it actually worth the price of $350? Casey Faris has put together a quick video overview sharing his experience and initial insights on the performance of the Tangent Ripple. He also reviews the integration of the surface with DaVinci Resolve 12.5 and Premiere Pro CC by showcasing a few real-life examples regarding the functionality and built-in features of the unit.
According to Casey Faris, the hardware surface seems sturdy and well-built. There is a little a bit plasticky, toy feeling but it’s expected considering the price of the unit. The dials on the top are easy to turn, the tracks balls move smoothly, and the buttons have a nice click to them. The size is small and compact, but it does offer just enough room to access the controls without being too bulky. The cable runway on the bottom of the unit lets you run the USB cable from the center of either side which is another nice feature to have.
You should be very careful while adjusting the dials on top, though, because it’s relatively easy for your fingers to slip off and hit one of the trackballs by accident. Speaking of trackballs, keep in mind that these aren’t attached to the unit and come out quite easily. That could be an issue when cleaning the unit, especially when turning it upside down. Even though the buttons placement is logical and makes sense, it’s easy to hit another control accidently when you are reaching for a different one.
The integration with Resolve 12.5 and Premiere Pro CC seems to be on par with most users expectations, however, it’s a bit of a shame that you can’t remap the controls in Resolve. For instance, by default the B button is assigned to bypass grades, but the A button doesn’t do anything at all.
The Lumetri tool within Premiere Pro CC, on the other hand, offers better integration. You can utilize the Tangent Ripple to control the three-way color corrector in Lumetri, plus you can remap the A and B buttons to multiple functions in Lumetri by using the Tangent Mapping software.
If you have more experience with some of the more advanced control surfaces, you would probably lack some of the features on the Ripple Tangent platform, but it’s quite normal for an entry-level piece of hardware. Faris concludes that if you are looking for a control surface for an occasional grading project, the Ripple Tangent probably would be a feasible option for your workflow. However, if you are a professional colorist working on more advanced projects you should considering the possibility of getting hardware surface with more controls.