Tangent Control Surfaces: Use in DPL Suites


The DPL Suites are equipped with Tangent Wave 2 Control Surfaces to assist with your Color Correction and Color Grading work. These control panels are compatible with DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro. This article will help you understand the basic controls of the device. For assistance setting up the device in your software settings, see our other article: Tangent Control Panel Setup in DPL Suites

Playback Controls

On the bottom right corner of the panel, you will see 5 buttons designated for playback controls. 

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The two buttons on top allow you to move the playhead between clips with the click of the button. The left button will move the playhead to the first frame of the previous clip. The right button will move the playhead to the first frame of the next clip in your timeline.

Below, you will see the standard rewind, stop, and play buttons. These perform the same function as the J, K, and L buttons on your keyboard. Using these buttons on the control panel will save you time since you don't need to move back and forth between the keyboard/mouse and your control panel.

The rewind button (left) will play your timeline backwards. The stop button (middle) will pause the playback. The play button (right) will play forward in your timeline.

Tangent_playback dial.jpg

Above these 5 buttons, you will also see a dial. Spinning this dial will shuttle through your timeline.

Adjusting Color Wheels

At the bottom of the panel, you will see 3 red trackballs. From left to right, these trackballs control the Lift (Shadows), Gamma (Midtones), and Gain (Highlights).


As you roll the trackballs in any direction, you will see the corresponding color wheel follow along in your software.

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This can be a great time saver since you are able to control all three color wheels at once rather than clicking between the color wheels with your mouse.

Adjusting Contrast

Directly above the trackballs, you will see three dials. From left to right, these dials control the Lift (Shadows), Gamma (Midtones), and Gain (Highlights).

Tangent_contrast dials.jpg

Rotating any of these dials clockwise will raise the luminance (brightness) of the corresponding channel. Rotating and of these dials counter-clockwise will lower the luminance (brightness) of the corresponding channel.

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If you are not happy with the changes you've made to the color wheels or the contrast, you can reset a particular channel. 

Directly above each contrast dial, you will see two buttons. There are 6 buttons total, two for each channel (Lift, Gamma, and Gain).


For each channel, the left button is labeled with the outline of a circle. Press this button to reset both your color wheel and the contrast for that channel.

The right button is labeled with a filled-in circle. Press this button to reset your color wheel for that particular channel, but not your contrast. 

Display-controlled Knobs

The knobs at the top of the panel are multi-purpose. 

On the screen of the panel, the control for each knob will be displayed directly underneath on the top row.


For example, the default startup menu will offer you the following controls on the top knobs from left to right:

Lift Luminance (Lum Lift), Gamma Luminance (Lum Gamma), Gain Luminance (Lum Gain), Contrast, Pivot, [unassigned knob], Saturation, Hue, and Lum Mix.

You can scroll through different menus on the control panel by using the Up and Down arrow buttons to the right of the screen.

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These menus offer many different controls for these knobs including but not limited to sizing, blur, color offsets, etc.

Display-Controlled Buttons

The buttons underneath the display are also multi-purpose.

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Like the knobs, you can use the Up and Down arrow buttons to the right of the screen to scroll through different menus and controls on the display.

The command for each button is listed directly above it (on the bottom half of the display).

F buttons

All of the F buttons are programmable using software on the computer.

Tangent_F buttons.jpg

By default, they perform the following functions:

F3 - resets all settings (color wheels, contrast, etc)

F4 - Takes a still and adds it to your gallery

F5 - Toggles Split view (half the image in your display will show your image as you manipulate it and the other half will show your most recent still from the gallery)

F7 - Undo


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