I thought that this maybe of interest to those who are looking for an affordable way to have programmable keyboard and mouse for using with Cubase. I didn’t find much about these for using with a DAW, so I thought I’d post my impressions of them. It’s been only a week since I got them, but I’m very happy with them so far.
These are actually “Gaming” keyboard and mouse, designed for MMO games and such. If that doesn’t turn you off, read on.
G510 is a keyboard with 18 programmable keys that work in 3 banks - so 54 programmable keys total. Selection of banks are done with M1-M3 keys at the top left corner. Cool thing about this keyboard is that the backlighting color can be programmed differently for each banks.
As of now, I have :
M1 = Project window (Green)
M2 = MIDI editor (Blue)
M3 = Mixer (Yellow)
I would switch the banks depending on which part of Cubase I’m using, and the backlighting of the keyboard would change so that I would know which bank I’m using at the time.
Recording key commands and macros is very easy and can be done on the fly. You just hit “MR” button next to the bank select buttons, press a G-key of your choice, and start recording the key presses. It can record the timing of the key presses as well, so you can optimize the timings if you are executing multiple commands as a macro.
This keyboard comes with a built-in “sound card” , but so long as you don’t plug in any headphones, Windows would not even recognize that part of G510. Volume and media keys are driven by the stock Windows feature, and can be turned off by disabling HID service.
The LCD screen can display CPU and RAM usage, and I find it quite handy as I use a lot of VSTi.
As for the look - I was not too sure about getting this keyboard because a lot of the pictures I saw on the net looked ugly, but in person, it really looks like this :
G600 is a mouse with 12 programmable keys on the side.
When I first got it, it felt pretty strange in my hand as I didn’t know where to rest my thumb on. It took me about a day to get comfortable with it. I rest my thumb on the bottom edge close to G15 & G18, and I don’t accidentally execute commands.
Keys are laid out in more like 2 section of 6 keys, with G13 and G16 having bumps so that you know which keys you are using without looking. I’ve been only using them to switch tools, delete, and duplicate so far, and I’m starting to get used to them.
Great thing about G600 is that it doesn’t get nasty/sticky if you have sweaty hands. Both G510 and G600 feel like they are very well made.
LGS (Logitech Gaming Software) is where you edit and manage your profiles. G510 and G600 can switch profiles depending on which software you are using. I guess, for example, you could create one profile for Cubase and another for Studio One, but I haven’t gotten that far yet, and I don’t know much about switching profiles. Anyway, the software is pretty simple and straight forward.
These keyboard and mouse use stock Windows drivers to operate, and LGS would run in the background for managing profiles. There is no added DPC latency that I could see. I have only clock & performance monitor app running for G510, so this package adds only 2 processes in the background for me.
Anyway, I’m very happy with these new additions to my home studio. I’ve done things with regular key commands for years, but I’m now discovering how much faster to work this way. I got both of these for 150 euros or so.