A Color palette is a specific reference point for the color parameters of a device. When presets are recorded with devices using Color palettes, they do not record the absolute Color parameters of the devices; they reference those parameters from the however they've been recorded into the palette. If that palette then is updated to reflect a different color, any presets referencing the updated Color palette will show the updated colors when those presets are then played back.
Color palettes serve two primary purposes depending on how they've been set to Record Attributes1, whether for [Each Device] or for [Each Device Type]. Color palettes recorded [For Each Device] tend to be artistic while those for [For Each Device Type] tend to be functional. Both types of Color palettes will be discussed in this article in detail.
Color Palettes with Attributes for [Each Device]
Color palettes set to Record Attributes for [Each Device] tend to be used artistically. With this type of Color palette, each device can have its own unique color. These palettes are like paint brushes -- select all of the devices to be included in the palette, set the colors for each, record, and then when the palette is recalled, all of the fixtures will go back to their original colors, as is shown in the palette in the screenshot below.
These palettes are especially useful to use when busking.
To record the Color palette in the above screenshot, a programmer would select all of the devices, tweak the colors to their liking, then press [RECORD]&[COLOR], opening a dialog box asking for the name of palette and how the attributes should be recorded; in this case, [Each Device] is the desired option.
The behavior for the palette will be as follows:
Color Palettes with Attributes for [Each Device Type]
Color palettes set to Record Attributes for [Each Device Type] tend to be used functionally. With this type of Color palette, the same color is applied to all devices of a given type but can include multiple types of devices. One Color palette could contain a "Red" mixed via CMY, another could be mixing red via x7 LED color mixing.
These palettes are especially useful to use in cases where multiple types of devices are in the same rig, but the programmer wants to be able to select them all at the same time and make them the same color. In the below example screenshot, a Source Four Revolution (bottom right) has a scroller putting a red gel in front of the beam, but the MAC300 (center) is mixing red via CMY color mixing. The programmer does not care how each fixture mixes their colors, just that when they select a device -- any device, that they can use the same "Red" Color palette to apply that color to any device in the rig.
While palettes of this type can be used for busking, they tend to be used more during programming presets and sequences. Having multiple palettes of different colors ready to go speeds up the time it takes to program and can make a tech rehearsal go much faster. It also provides a simple means of being able to modify the palettes and update the colors throughout the entire show without having to manually update each preset.
To record the Color palette in the above screenshot, a programmer would select the one device of each type (in this case one of the Source Four Revolutions and one of the MAC300's), and set the Color parameters for each fixture such that they mix as identical of a shade of red as possible. With both fixtures selected, the programmer would press [RECORD]&[COLOR], opening a dialog box asking for the name of palette and how the attributes should be recorded, (in this case [Each Device Type] is the desired option).
1The differences when creating palettes to record attributes for [Each Device] versus [Each Device Type] are explained here.