Stream Deck macro keypad

I hadn’t even known about that until I googled it just now. Looks amazing! It can basically replace AHK for almost everything I need.

Regarding those menus: I’ve found that everything I need can be accessed with key commands via popovers or the top menu. I literally haven’t found anything yet that requires a mouse click to program.

What I have works seamlessly right now, but the problem is that I’m using up lots of key commands (Ctrl+function and Ctrl+Shift+function keys are almost all taken now). So this would be a better way. And yes, I plan on getting a second deck!!!

I’ll try this out on the Stream Deck directly. Thanks!

delgado: WOW, it works great! It’s just like AHK for key commands, but easier!

Here’s how I set up a button for the 2:3 tuplet:

another thing I’ll mention is that all those keyboards I equipped with program-specific shortcut button stickers (I run 3 DAWs and 2 Scoring programs) can now be safely relegated to oblivion (=disposed of). The space that frees up on my desk! Disclaimer- I am not affiliated with Elgato// Claimer- I wish I were;)

to illustrate

Andre, I thought some more about your question. I spent the afternoon on an orchestration, and I found myself using these functions on the keypad constantly:

  • add intervals below a selected note (3rd, 4th, and 5th)
  • 2:3 tuplet (I was working in 12/8 with lots of duples)
  • articulations
  • filter–>deselect all lyrics

It’s true that technically I could do some of these pretty quickly, but most require multiple keystrokes.

But even for something like an accent or a staccato, it’s easier to reach my hand over and tap the icon. I think it’s easier on the brain!!

Theoretically you could get really, really good at some of these key combinations, but it does wear on the mind to have to recall them all. I’m starting to get used to casually reaching over and simply tapping what I want. It feels easier! And that translates to more brain energy devoted to the hard part, which is composing!!

Anyways, that’s my two cents.

For what it’s worrh, I use a Logitech G13 gamepad in conjunction with Dorico. It’s essentially an extra keyboard that fits under my left hand.

For note entry I have a keyboard layout set up that includes all common note durations, tie, slur, dot, common articulations. Crucially it ALSO includes lengthen/shorten commands, undo, space (for advancing the caret) etc. Just because I have spare keys on this layout, the top row of functions is programmed to filter top and bottom notes, filter upstem voice 1 and downstem voice 1, and change to upstem voice 1 and downstem voice 1. Oh, and “remove rests”.

This way it’s not a case of wasting time moving a hand from a keyboard to the other device - my right hand lives on my MIDI keyboard and my left hand lives on the gamepad. My computer keyboard simply isn’t necessary. Occasionally my right hand has to reach for the mouse.

I then have further layouts set up for weirder and wackier things. For example one basically only contains macros for dynamics and pedal markings. Each of the keys triggers the complete process of invoking the relevant popover, typing the dynamic or pedal marking and hitting Enter.

I’m a little unclear how it works. I couldn’t find a video of it actually being used in a real setting. As different applications get focus, does the pad automatically change context for the current application? In other words, if I am running Dorico and Cubase and have a different profile for each app, will it automatically change the pictures when I move between Dorico and Cubase?

You can. You can set a profile to go active when a specific program is in the foreground, and you can run multiple profiles simultaneously. I haven’t used that feature though.

If you want to try it, you can download the software for free and noodle with it, even without having the hardware. Here’s a link to the Dorico macro profile I created:

When you download the software, go to settings–>Profiles–>Import, and you can pull in the entire profile, icons, and keystrokes and all.

The use of the stream deck makes my workflow really speedy!
After generating a Dorico profile all Dorico specific keys are to be found on two layers:

Starting Dorico with a key on the default Profile makes the stream deck activate the Dorico profile.

All keys are defined by hotkeys or multi actions.
My Autohotkey-Script is obsolete - »programming« with the stream deck software is by far easier.
The note name entry is done with a 15-key mouse.

Have fun with speeding up your workflow, all of you! :slight_smile:

And here is stream deck layer 2 - was not able to get two attachments into one post … :question:

Thanks for sharing, Margaret! So like pianoleo, this is replacing your computer keyboard entirely? That’s an interesting prospect. I would consider it, but I’m on a laptop and always mobile. So for me, the keypad has to be a supplemental thing.

Honestly, you might do well adding a regular USB 10-keypad, then you could free up your stream deck for more complex operations. But now I’m meddling! :slight_smile:

This seems pretty cool, but how is it any better than simply memorizing the standard key commands?

I suppose if somebody is a Dorico ninja, and is able to memorize every key combination, that is the fastest way to work. But I see a lot of merit in having this separate device:

  1. It is visual
  2. You can organize the buttons in ways that are logical to how you work.
  3. I am taking a leap here, but I think it might help with one of my biggest frustrations, which is juggling two applications. I often run a program called Transcribe! alongside Dorico. Transcribe is a convenient way to listen to music fragments I might be putting into notation. But when using the PC keyboard in invariably try to type commands into the app I am LOOKING at rather than the app that has focus. If the Stream Deck can respond to the app that has focus, that would reduce this problem. Better yet, if Stream Deck can send command to an app that is out of focus, then the problem could be solved completely.

Is it possible to have two of these Stream Decks installed and active on the same computer?

Dan: I got a Cherry compact keyboard, so there is place enough for the stream deck to the left and the mouse to the right.
The most often used commands are now on the stream deck; for others or text input I change quickly to the keyboard.

David: no problem memorizing the standard key commands, but the use of the stream deck is simply quicker.
For example: Downbow:
type: downbow

= 11 keyclicks.
Even if you define the popup for downbow with a smaller number of letters eg »db« = 6 keyclicks:
on stream deck you need only one keyclick …
Some of the scripts you assign to the keys of the stream decks are even longer. Think of tuplets in the most important variants; or more complex scripts.

And last but not least: it’s soooo much fun setting up the device and designing the little pictures … :astonished:

This is a good question, actually. People are very different when it comes to memorizing. I have friends who are huge musical talents and able to learn a Beethoven sonata and perform it by heart in 30 minutes, but who are absolutely, totally unable to remember key commands in a computer program. Personally, I’ve worked with programmable keyboards and Logitech gaming gadgets for many years, but eventually abandoned them all. Much easier and faster to memorize the native key commands. Thank God we all work differently :smiley: :wink:


I haven’t got a stream deck yet but will eventually most likely. I see the main advantage being no need to memorize anything. Dorico is a program that pretty much requires you to use key commands. They are not really optional shortcuts. So the stream deck removes the need to memorize them. I might get one for my senior Mom who can’t remember stuff like that.

For myself I plan to memorize the dorico key commands anyway, but one thing I don’t like is that an awful lot of the keys needed are key-combinations, which I find dreadfully difficult to memorize: wait was that option s or command s I can’t remember now. Also I wish I could sit at the computer with my fingers on the keyboard and just start typing music like a typewriter. I think that can be done now but some of the key combinations make it kind of klunky and I personally have to look down to find some of the modifier keys. So at some point I am going to try to change some of the key commands so that all the important stuff can be done with either a single key or at most with the shift modifier, which is still in line with a QWERTY typewriter.

At that point I’d rather work without a stream deck. But between now and then is a good time to have buttons with pictures on them.

I could also see it as a useful place to put custom macro buttons

David: See my reply to Andre above. Some commands are not achievable through a shortcut. One key press gives me an added interval below a note, or a finger number that advances to the next note. Or one key press to move all selected notes into voice 1.

Of course there are plenty of functions that can be expressed through a single combination on the regular keyboard. And I do use quite a few of these. For example, “remove rest” for me is Ctrl-Shift-R. But it gets quite taxing to remember tons and tons of key combinations. As I said to Andre, I find it much easier on the brain to be able to see exactly the key that will execute the function I want, and press it. The process of composing for me is very laborious and taxing on my mind, so the last thing I want is to also have to remember some three dozen custom key commands. Instead, I have a mix of “native” commands and convenient macros. Your mileage may vary.

Haha, that’s the first reason I bought it!! One key press for bowings!