Stream Deck macro keypad

I’ve been looking for a macro keypad, and I’ve found it. It’s an Elgato Stream Deck. (thanks to Dewdman for the recommendation!)

Here’s a really simple, 10-second video ( so you can see the interface I set up.

As you can see, the option for folders is pretty snappy. I’m sure it’ll evolve as I acclimate to using it my workflow, but it’s so simple to change. You can even load and save profiles. I made the icons myself in paint.NET. It’s easy to set up the software. In fact, I set it up yesterday while I was waiting for this to arrive, and when I plugged it in this morning, it immediately populated all my icons. Click and drag, done.

And yes, all the hotkeys WORK GREAT. I programmed the fingerings in AHK so it opens the popover, enters the number, hits enter, and advances to the next note. The intervals work the same way (I’m still resisting chord mode!!! haha).

I’m no designer, but if anyone wants the icons I made, they’re here: This folder also contains the text files for the AHK macros and my list of macro shortcuts.

Thanks for sharing, that looks very interesting!

Doesn’t it slow down the engraving work if you have to take off your hands from the regular keyboard and switch to this device?

Not necessarily. It depends on the function. Fingering obviously becomes much faster because left hand stays on the macro keypad. Other functions are slightly more difficult as well, so it’s “worth my time” to move to the keypad. For example, I find myself using the tuplet macros. I just hit the 3:2 or 2:3 button, and voila!

I do think it depends very much on workflow. I tend to enter all top voice first, then fill in intervals below, then articulations, then playing techniques (for me that’s just upbow and downbow). So I’ve grouped menus accordingly. First pass I use the keypad very little. Second pass my hand stays set on the intervals menu, to quickly add intervals below. And so on.

It’s not faster for everything… I made a macro key for “lengthen note duration” and found it was better to use the default alt-shift-right arrow. But 1. Some functions require multiple steps, and 2. It’s nice to assign tons of shortcuts and not have to remember them all.

I’m expecting mine tomorrow!

Thanks for sharing the icons and the little video of your setup. It’s given me a great start!


That’s great! I’d be interested to know how you end up using it.

Mine is still a work in progress. Some macros are immediately saving me time (like the 2:3 tuplet, the fingerings, and the intervals), and others I’m still undecided on.

Here’s my current home screen. The icons with white borders indicate folders with submenus:

And here’s something I’ve really found useful - a submenu for filters. The “Yes/No” button is to select or deselect all, then I choose the item below it.

The bottom line is that is has to SAVE TIME. If it’s just for the novelty, forget it. But already this is having a huge effect on my workflow. Still working out which macros are the biggest time savers. I figure it’s time well-spent, since I plan on doing this for a long time…!

PS: here’s my list of shortcuts:
Dorico shortcuts and macros (822 Bytes)
And here’s my AHK script:
Dorico Macro (2.37 KB)

Dear Dan,
I am very impressed by your super fast learning curve in Dorico and what you offer here. Really nice to have you in the forum!

Thanks Marc, I’ve benefited greatly from you and pianoleo (and others).

This forum is a huge asset for Dorico users. I learn something new from nearly every thread.

Hi Dankreider,
Have you checked the new multi-action function on the latest streamdeck FW-- I’ve yet to play with it in Dorico, but in other applications it is an intuitive and easily set-up macro monster.
I was so taken by the first rides with the stream deck I got myself another one (as of recently, multiple decks are supported so you can split the chores handily), and I am in the process of scanning all the buttons of the Dorico interface to individual button graphics (will gladly share BTW).
I should have studied key command availability beforehand, though, since it turns out many of those buttons (e.g. the calling up of the dynamics/meter/key sig menus on the right side of the screen), as well as many of their sub-commands, are not yet in the KC realm. I haven’t yet researched whether this will evolve in coming updates, or if it is hard-coded menu politics-- I sure hope the former!

So right now I am studying the prospects of an ideal StreamDeck workflow, with all the Folder/Subfolder options, I’m sure there will be a few iterations before I’ll settle on one solution. With 2 Decks and thus 30 keys at my disposal, my current guess is a number of frequent direct commands on the top plus a convenient Folder structure on the remaining keys.

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: