The Itch to Switch

“Tricaster” is the new “Switcher.” Sort of like “Orange is the New Black.” Except that in addition to fading from one camera to another and bringing up graphics, the Tricaster can record video and play roll-ins and edit graphics and make coffee. And, it should be able to do all of that. It’s got more buttons than an elevator at the Empire State Building plus four twist knobs, two control arms, and a big joystick with another button on top. And if that’s not enough for you, you can use the mouse and menus for even more stuff. Unlike the old switcher, the “preview” buttons are on the bottom row and the “program” buttons are above it. Perhaps the Tricaster engineers were standing on their heads when they designed it. Dan Beaulier tells me he’s found the buttons for Mocha and Extra Foam. So how do you learn all about this new marvel and become a true Tricaster Master? Learn about all those buttons and knobs? Come now. The old switcher had a lot of buttons and knobs, too. Did you know what all of them did? Hmmm? I thought not. Neither did I. There’s a Tricaster manual. I suggest you read “War and Peace” instead. The latter has a better plot and more interesting characters, and you might learn almost as much about the Tricaster. Tolstoy was ahead of his time. Also, “War and Peace” is shorter. I think that the button on the joystick fires the phasers or the Tricaster blaster, in case Klingons invade the studio. Look in the manual’s index under “Klingons, invasions by.” Tricaster training starts soon. Now, where’s my latte?

Written by David Simon

David Simon is an instructor for the  Media Center’s Studio and Zoom In workshops. He is also a Producer and Director of the public access show “Peninsula Backstage”  To read more contributions by David please click here.

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