Macro keypad?

I’m starting to amass a collection of macros and shortcuts for common tasks, like:

  • select to end of flow
  • show/hide signposts
  • change voice
  • and a bunch of custom playing techniques

Has anyone used something like the Genovation ControlPad to organize their custom commands? It’s pricey.

I love the thought of a custom keypad, but I’m wondering if there’s a better/cheaper way to program these commands. I’m definitely using them often enough to justify this.

I put stickers on my keyboard :wink:

I run a Logitech G13 for these purposes, as recommended by various people on one of the music engraving Facebook groups.

Dan, if you by better/cheaper mean a way without a custom keypad, you could use a macro program (or so you already?).

Some of them (like AHK) have the ability to set key bindings like
{wait for another keypress} that means that you can categorize shortcuts and get away from the problem of ctl alt shift etc. and still have lots of combinations to choose from. Was that understandable?

I used that a lot in Finale, not yet so much in Dorico. I found a Logitech gaming keyboard with zillions of macro keys that I am going to learn to use when I have time.

LAE, I prefer the idea of AHK, but I’m no coder. I feel stupid saying that, since many people seem to use it with ease. But I’ve struggled with it every time I’ve tried. The keyboards I was considering seem to come with user-friendly software to program macros. AHK is just confusing to me.

To be honest, I’d probably be willing to pay for someone to write a script for me in AHK.

If we’re on the topic of AHK I prefer Pulover’s Macro Creator, which is basically a friendly front end for AHK. It’s worth a look.

I use it in combination with Logitech’s own G13-specific software, which is powerful but not powerful enough for my needs.

I’ve been looking a while for an app to use with an iPad/Android tablet. Finally I’ve ended up with two possible candidates that fits my needs pretty well.

Touch Portal is really easy setting up and looks nice. It works and looks pretty much as the Elgato Streamdeck, where you can add macros or what you want in a grid layout and also add custom symbols/png’s as icons.

• In the end, though, I’m now using Unified Remote, which isn’t that sleek (no custom icons), but on the other hand much more customizable. To set it up you need to do some basic programming, which is pretty easy and also very well explained. There are also templates you can use and ‘just’ edit the contents.

I’m still working on it and the layout on the pic is just a work in progress.


• The top row now displays Write, Panels & Engrave, I’m not using them now, but it’s easy to add as many layouts as you wish and then you swipe between them.
• Blue row: Macros for different tuplets.
• Red row: shortcuts for articulation.
• Green row: grace notes and accidentals
• Yellow row: Group dynamics (filters from a selection and groups the selected dynamics), Filter tuplets.

As I said, this is a work in progress and I add things accordingly to my needs. The most used here are definitely the tuplets.

For me, an iPad slows things down, and that’s not the point of shortcuts. For a “solution” to save me time I need something that’s tactile, so I can feel my way around it rather than having to look at where a function is.

Of course this situation may be unique to me.

It depends on what type of things you’re willing to invest in. I have the Kinesis Gaming split keyboard which allows you to reprogram any key on the keyboard as a macro or remap it to another function. It also has 8 dedicated macro buttons that you can assign on the side of the keyboard. There is a GUI program for assigning the functions/macros if you aren’t comfortable editing code as text (although the language is fairly simple all things considered). While it is a “split” keyboard and looks really funky, you do not have to separate the halves and can thus use it just like a “normal” keyboard. There are also multiple layers to this keyboard so you could have macros 1-8 on the special key and then hit a modifier or switch to layer 2 and have 8 more macros right there with one press of a button. It is marketed as a “gaming” keyboard but I’ve been using it in an office setting for about 1 year and I love it.

https://gaming.kinesis-ergo.com/edge/

There is also the falcon keypads that pop up on mass drop from time to time… I ordered one but it had quality control issues and one of the USB ports was DOA so I sent it back. But it’s my understanding that those can be programmed for macros as well. You might give it a whirl and get a better unit than I did.

Pianoleo, I use the iPad solution only for operations including a bunch of key commands or digging in a lot of menus, such as tuplets and some filters.

But for most of the work the “normal” shortcuts definitely works faster. :slight_smile:

I’m wondering if it might be easiest to use F4-F12 with alt or Ctrl to gain 18 shortcuts, and then label them accordingly. Maybe I’ll circle back around to AHK.

I bet that there are some people here who are willing to help you with AHK if you go the F4-12 route. I used AHK at my last job and looooooved it. I’m rusty but I could probably populate a little script for you if you tell me which key you want to do which combo.

Romanos, thank you for the kind offer. Maybe you could help me with one, and I could try another myself so I’m not just getting handouts.

Actually, I’ll start another thread now…

Check this one out: https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/stream-deck

A lot of very happy customers of this on VI-Control. I’m thinking about getting one. They are quite inexpensive, you can put your own custom graphics on each button and the panel changes dynamically as you switch apps in your mac/pc. It can be used to automate all sorts of stuff and I believe has some rudimentary macro functionality built in also.

Aside from that, at some point I also intend to get a touchpad of come kind and set it up for working with my DAW for orch mockup work more than anything. And I would probably ultimately set it up for notation work as well. This is a more expensive route and not trivial to setup, but ultimately provides the most control for a touch surface using touchOSC, Lemur or other products on the touchpad to control what is happening on the mac/pc or over midi, etc. But what I like about the stream-deck is that it has physical buttons so in many cases you don’t have to even look down from the screen to find a commonly used button.

It can key to macros? Wasn’t sure about that part from reading.

My understanding is that they added this feature recently in some rudimentary way. here is a detailed thread on vi-control that gets into that somewhere, I was following the thread for a while, but stopped. I don’t have a unit yet.:

https://vi-control.net/community/threads/stream-deck-killer-real-button-controller.73172/

I think you will have better macro control with AHK(PC) or Keyboard Maestro(mac), or other similar key macro programs that are dedicated. Most likely all they did with Stream Deck is make it possible to have a series of key commands with configurable delay between each one(I believe, don’t quote me on that). The dedicated macro programs have a LOT more capability then that if you really want to get into trick custom macros.

You may want to check out Metagrid for iOS.

Thanks Dewd! I’ve ordered one. I’ll post a comment with a review once I’ve given it a go.

Or you can check out Touch Portal (iOs and/or Android) as I mentioned in my post earlier, which works and looks pretty much as Streamdeck, but much cheaper (as long as you have a tablet) and more customizable.