Stream Deck macro keypad

I didn’t see this model mentioned before.

Theoretically OSC could do a similar job to Stream Deck, but there is no OSC or MIDI controller support in Dorico. This means that you would not only have to devise a workable OSC layout in TouchOSC Editor (if you are going to use TouchOSC) but produce a back end on your computer that receives OSC and sends keystrokes to Dorico. You could use Pd (which is freeware) or Max (which is not!) with an OSC library for that back end rather than resorting to writing a bridge program from scratch in a general purpose programming language, but it is still more work than Stream Deck to set up.

The beauty of Stream Deck is that much of the hard graft is done for you - you just have to create the profile in the Stream Deck software and supply the button graphics. Indeed, you don’t have to do that for Stream Deck and Dorico - just buy Notation Express, which is reasonably priced when you consider the work that has gone into it. Stream Deck mobile allows you to use 5x3 Stream Deck layouts on an iOS device with a small amount of setup work. I am unclear whether the mobile version supports 8x4 Stream Deck XL layouts on an iPad.

The 3x2 Stream Deck Mini has been out for a while.

The original 5x3 Stream Deck came first, then the 3x2 Mini. The 8x4 XL is the latest release.

David, could Touch OSC be used in conjunction with Dorico’s Midi Learn function? I’ve not tried it…

TouchOSC Bridge allows you to send and receive MIDI to a computer. There is a MIDI learn feature in Preferences -> Key Commands and you can select which MIDI devices Dorico responds to in Preferences -> Play, MIDI Input Devices…

Where things could come apart is that Dorico does not appear to allow you to configure which controller(s) Dorico should respond to learned MIDI commands from. This apparent lack of filtering means that you will soon start to run out of spare notes for key commands if you also want to use MIDI input for notes, especially if your MIDI keyboard is an 88 note model. Dorico can learn CCs, so you could avoid running out of notes by generating CC changes using TouchOSC. I don’t know if Dorico can learn other forms of MIDI input, such as NRPNs - the hardware controller I quickly experimented with can only generate notes and CC changes.

It would be easier to use MIDI to control Dorico if Dorico’s MIDI control facilites were more like Cubase’s Generic Remote. As things stand, direct MIDI control over Dorico could work, but could be a little messy. A back end program receiving OSC and sending keystrokes to Dorico might be a neater solution, as I suggested in my earlier message.

There seems to be quite widespread availability of Stream Deck XL for instant shipping in the UK - Scan, Kikatek and Lambdatek are all showing availability. Amazon UK are doggedly insisting on a release date of 11 June.

I have a pre-order with Amazon. I have a £80 gift card balance from a recent credit card rewards redemption which I’d rather put towards a Stream Deck XL than pay an additional £80 up front. A further consideration is that I’ll land up paying shipping if I order from elsewhere; shipping from Amazon would be free as I have Amazon Prime.

I’ve just received notification from Amazon UK that my pre-ordered Stream Deck XL has shipped for delivery tomorrow, 5 June 2019. It seems Elgato might have given up with the pretence that the Stream Deck XL is not released until 11 June considering it was already widely available.

Amazon UK are currently showing the Stream Deck XL is “Usually dispatched within 6 to 11 days”. It might be they have sold all the product they had on hand, though I suspect this is more likely a result of their systems not having caught up with the product release.

Well, there it is…

In the US amazon won’t be shipping it for a few more weeks. I ended up cancelling my order from amazon and ordered directly through corsair. It has already shipped and will arrive early next week (which is a car cry from the early July estimate that Amazon gave me even though I preordered it the day it was posted).

I’m really looking forward to it. Honestly, there were quite a few screens where just a few more buttons would really help to minimize nesting. I hope to really minimize my reliance on folders.

How exactly? I’m looking on the site but can’t see any place to purchase.

EDIT: never mind, figured it out and ordered. Thank you!

I’ll warn you there was a weird 2-3 day delay before they finalized my order. I don’t know if they expected fraud or something, but my order “might be reviewed”. After 2 days or so I received a confirmation email and less than 24 hours after that it had shipped. It was all very odd; I’m wondering if perhaps they were cross referencing my amazon order? Not really sure. Either way, I assumed —correctly it turns out— that since elgato is a part of corsair they might deliver more quickly than amazon because it would be direct rather than via intermediary. Either way, I’d keep your amazon order in place until you get your confirmation email. Since it won’t have shipped, it takes 2 seconds to cancel, but you’d hate to find out the hard way that there’s now a weeks-long delay directly from corsair too and your amazon order would have ended up arriving more quickly.

Can anyone comment on the differences between using the Stream Deck/Stream Deck XL vs. using an app such as Metagrid (besides the obvious tactile buttons, of course). I like the idea of the Stream Deck XL, but it seems very overpriced for what it is. As it is, I have some older iPads sitting around that I could put to good use, including an iPad 2 and an iPad Mini 2 in addition to my iPad Pro.

I’ve been using stream deck on an iPhone for portable work. It can seriously speed some repetitive things up. Cheap to try!

I feel like a one-trick pony, but tactile is literally the thing. It’s much harder to press the wrong button, which would kind of defeat the whole point of an efficient workflow.

Also, SD is so incredibly easy to program. I haven’t used Metagrid (though I’ve tried other touch-based interfaces), but I can’t imagine anything else being as simple.

The software solutions are rather different. Stream Deck does not have any built in support for MIDI and I think the only option for OSC is using a Node.js plugin that has to be manually installed. However, Stream Deck allows considerable interactivity, is easy to configure for simple needs, and has an SDK with a growing collection of plugins available for direct download though the Stream Deck software. Now that Stream Deck Mobile is here, those with iOS devices can try Stream Deck for a few days for free, and for a decent trial over a month at minimal cost.

Stream Deck has the option of hardware if you want it. In particular, you have the tactile feedback of buttons if you buy the hardware (as Dan notes, this really is important). The Stream Deck XL hardware is well designed - it doesn’t move around the desk, you have the option of stand on or off and the cable is detachable. One important use for me is Shift, Ctrl and Alt for use with a pen, e.g. in Photoshop - Stream Deck XL works brillantly for that task.

Indeed, it’s just as well the XL’s cable is detachable as the cable supplied with my XL worked once, then failed! If you connect the Stream Deck with the faulty cable then the Stream Deck doesn’t power up and the USB hub it is connected to resets. Fortunately it is working fine with a good quality third party USB A to USB-C cable I had on hand. I’ve requested a replacement unit, not least in case the USB-C socket on the Stream Deck is defective in some way.

Metagrid has the advantage of being low cost if you already have a suitable iOS device, and is particularly well suited to use with a range of DAWs, especially if you use a Mac. It is much more a MIDI and OSC based solution than the more general purpose solution offered by Stream Deck. I don’t know so much about Metagrid, as I don’t use iOS and there is no Android version.

A few things to ponder about SD:

  1. You can have profiles for any app that’s in focus and it dynamically changes as you click into different windows (I don’t use meta grid so I’m not sure if it does this too)
  2. It is with both surety and irony I can say that I don’t like typing on glass screens (as I type this in my iPad). Physical buttons are a huge improvement imho.
  3. You don’t loose utilizing your iPad in another way (second monitor via duet for instance) since you have a dedicated hardware solution. I used to use a 10key extensively for number work at my old job and I’d NEVER in a million years have changed it for a screen.
  4. Dorico’s built in support to modify key commands (and create new ones) limits the advantage of Midi for metagrid. Key combos and macros are easy to program on SD.
  5. Placement: you can place this right with your keyboard as though it were a 10key. Real buttons right next to other real buttons. iPads (I know as I also keep one on my desk) are not as easily accommodated depending on your setup.

I will say, however, that since metagrid is so powerful, (based on the yt review I just watched) if you aren’t sold on the concept of physical buttons and have a spare iPad, it looks to still be a great option. If I didn’t have a wee bit of fun money I’d turn to metagrid instead.

I don’t see Metagrid anywhere in the AppStore though.

update: I see, it’s iPad only, not for iPhone. Is there something like this for the iPhone?

Yes. Although introduced as a hardware controller, Stream Deck is now available as an iOS app that works on both iPhone and iPad. Also, Notation Express, which was initially written to accommodate using Stream Deck hardware with Dorico, works with the Stream Deck app on both the iPhone and iPad. I expect to try this combination myself sometime soon but have no experience with it so far. One advantage is that if you really like the way everything works, you can later consider whether having the Steam Deck’s physical buttons would be worth the extra cost. See the article at the following site for more information:

Ah yes, I read about Stream Deck. I have been upgrading my little studio with an extra display yesterday and have now taken this extra step as well. (coffee is a very important part of the setup…):