Stream Deck macro keypad

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:
shift+p
type: downbow
return
return

= 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:

Yes

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!

This is an important statement that I hope Daniel and crew will take to heart while conceiving new features for Dorico. Free our mind for composing!

Yea the above example is an excellent reason. Me too.

Without wanting to sound like I’m contradicting myself, I do fully support the UX philosophy behind Dorico key commands. There’s no way around it: functionality requires process. The point is that we can customize as needed. And if users want to point and click, they can.

I wasn’t referring to key commands specifically…actually I do think their key command approach is good, I just wish more of them were not using modifiers! But rather just a general statement…anything they can do to relieve brain cells from computer tasks so that we can focus on the music…

and actually some of the music tasks too… For example, they are already doing a LOT, perhaps more than any other notational as far as I can see, to automatically nudge symbols around into the right place, even as you change things, change meters, etc… re-tie notes appropriately, basically make sure that everything looks as it is supposed to according to the vast array of engraver preferences they have given us to dictate the rules of doing so. That alone frees my mind from even have to think about stuff like that, I just write music.

Another area I’d love to see is chord analysis auto updating the chord track or whatever, something like that…

I’m sure they will think of more…my comment was just a gentle nudge in response to your comment about the mentally tasking aspect of composing music…and it is…and every millisecond we have to divert our brain to some non-musical or menial aspect of the process hinders the musical creative flow.

Totally agree. On a related note, composing is much more enjoyable in Dorico than it ever was in Finale! I’ve wondered if it was just that “new car smell,” and waited for it to wear off…

Two months later… Nope. It’s the program.

For composing, probably the single biggest difference is that once I enter a note, I can do so much with it. I can move it up or down, I can double its value (Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Left arrow, or the reverse), whatever.

Ok, I’ll stop. Haha.

I have now ordered one of these, so thanks to Dan for posting about this product!

David: great! Would love for you to post a pic when you start to settle into using it.

Leigh, how is it working for you?

I find I’m using hotkeys for intervals above and below ALL THE TIME. Also, the 2:3 tuplet.

For those people who, like me, use Windows 7 I think I should mention here that the Stream Deck doesn’t work on their system. Windows 10 is required!

I received my Stream Deck today, and I can’t believe how much easier it makes many tasks. It’s actually far more useful than I had imagined, and I’m sure that most Dorico users would benefit from having one.

My absolute favorite is the ease with which I can now enter fingering (thanks to Dan Kreider for providing his template and icons). I also created a folder which includes all of the options such as engraving, layout etc. It’s nice to have buttons to hide or show signposts as well as voice colors, and I can now switch between treble and bass clefs with a single click.


I’m glad to hear it’s a benefit to you! I’m getting a second one… :slight_smile: