You know what really isn’t fun? Being in the dark with the lights out, and having a hard time seeing your fader positions. You know what really is fun? Having your fader knobs glow in the dark! You know what else is fun? Having your fader knobs be different colors!
As I find myself sitting here in a hotel room, between shoot days out on a snowy winter location, my idle hands have turned to the fun and convenient offerings from Coga Sound.
I cracked open my recently arrived set of Coga Glow Pots, as well as a set of custom Blue Pots for my Sound Devices 833. Each of these combo sets for the 633 and the 833 come with 3 full size knobs and 3 mini knobs, however you are able to order them in any configuration that you’d need for a larger device such as the 888, 664, 688, or Scorpio. They also make knobs for the Zaxcom Maxx and Nomad.
I want to start right off the bat by stating that the blue knobs DO NOT glow in the dark. Pesky chemistry gets in the way of that, as the white Glow Pots need to be comprised of a special material to be able to absorb the light. That being said, I still love the blue knobs. I mean take a look at how deep that the color is. It’s just plain fun and makes your rig feel a whole lot more personalized. But that also being said, the Glow Pots have that extra element of being functional beyond just personalization.
Isn’t that incredibly satisfying? The great thing about glow in the dark knobs is that they only glow enough to look cool and to show you where they are. But they aren’t going to burn your retinas or cast light into the room. It’s a win/win all around. And they don’t take very long to pull in enough light so as to be able to glow!
Taking a look at the full size knobs from side, we can see that the Coga knobs are just a liiiiiiitttle bit taller than the stock knobs from Sound Devices, which I like. But what I really like is this:
The mini knobs are even more tall than the stock ones. This is where another hugely practical element comes into play. Ever since the Sound Devices 633 came out, people have been complaining about the mini fader knobs for channels 4-6. Some people haven’t cared all that much (myself included) because they would rather have the functionality physically be there rather than having to resort to virtual faders on a screen. But many claim that the minis are too hard to wield in a run and gun situation. It can indeed be challenging, but now with the Coga knobs, it gets a little easier.
I have found that the extra bit of height has made those channels substantially easier to control. It’s a bit surprising just how much more I like it. Not only are they taller, but they are also more robust, and sit just above the larger faders. I really feel that I can get a better grip on them when I need to make adjustments.
When installing the mini knobs in particular, be sure to only turn the Allen wrench as much as is needed to secure the knob into place. Over tightening could damage the positioning so that it won’t recede into the housing properly.
While I originally just set my 833 up this way for the photos in the review, I think that I might keep my rig like this for a little while. Its kind of fun to see it like this, and could even be another way of color coding your channels.
From what I understand, the gentlemen at Coga will be happy to custom create different orders for you, so let your imagination run wild. They even make black knobs in case you don’t want to be flashy, but are interested in the physical design changes. Their website also has an example of smaller knobs for channels 1-3 as well. But again, only the white ones will glow.
To wrap this up, I have no criticisms and only praises for the Coga Glow Pots. They’re pretty inexpensive and can add a lot of ease to your work. So this holiday season, and post season, give them a try for yourself. I can’t imagine anything but positives. One might even say that they can help you “gain” a better workflow. See what I just did there? Nyuk nyuk nyuk…….
Jared Elkin is a professional sound mixer located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.