How I’ve Configured My Stream Deck

Perhaps the best device I’ve purchased this year is my Elgato Stream Deck. It’s a streamlined way for me to manage live streams, devices, and services. I absolutely love it. A couple of weeks ago on Twitter I shared a photo of my Stream Deck, fully configured. Here’s a breakdown of how I’ve set it up – everything from what it’s connected to, to where I got the icons.

What is the Stream Deck?

First up, what is the Stream Deck? It’s a hardware device with programmable buttons that you connect to you computer. It connects to services like OBS, eCamm Live, YouTube, Twitch, Phillips Hue, and much more!

Stream Deck software on macOS

A lot of streamers (myself include it) use it to manage streams and their environments during a live stream – it’s like a mini control room that only needs one person!

How I’m Using Stream Deck

I originally got the 15-key Stream Deck to switch between OBS scenes for my online courses. I wanted to easily move between talking head shots and slides without a ton of editing.

But I quickly discovered how powerful it can be, especially since it supports Keyboard Maestro, a Mac app for you to create your own advanced keyboard shortcuts and automated actions.

While I don’t think I need the Stream Deck XL presently, I am grateful there is folder support!

Here’s what my Stream Deck looks like:

My Stream Deck, fully configured

I tried to organize everything based on where my fingers would be at any given time (but I think I can do a little better). Let’s take it row-by-row

Row 1: OBS Management

All of my OBS-related actions are here. Here’s the breakdown by Column (marked R1 for Row 1, and C# for Column number):

  1. R1C1: A scene that is just my camera. Denoted by a person icon and labeled “Me.”
  2. R1C2: A scene that is just my computer’s screen. Denoted by a laptop icon and labeled “Screen.”
  3. R1C3: A scene that is my screen with a feed of my camera in the bottom right. Denoted by a PiP icon and labeled, “Both.”
  4. R1C4: The Record button in OBS. Denoted by a red circle icon (record icon) and labeled, “OBS Rec”
  5. R1C5: The Live Stream button in OBS. Denoted by a monitor with a phone and arrow (it was close enough to what I wanted). Labeled “OBS Go.”

If I do make any changes, it will be to move Record and Go Live to R1C1 and R1C2 respectively. Then the scene switching will align more with the 4th and 5th columns. That’s where my fingers rest most of the time.

Rows 2 & 3: Lighting and Computer Controls

I’m lumping the other 2 rows together because I’ve arranged them in a way that makes access to certain buttons easier. First up, Row 2. One important note: I recently got an Elgato Key Light; a wifi connected light where you can adjust brightness and color temperature. It has direct integration with the Stream Deck!

  1. R2C1: A Folder. More on that in a minute.
  2. R2C2: Decrease Key Light Brightness. This is a stepped button so I can lower it a certain percentage with each press.
  3. R2C3: Increase Key Light Brightness. This is also stepped.
  4. R2C4: Mute Zoom. This is a Keyboard Maestro shortcut that is MUCH faster that moving the cursor over the mute button, or even the keyboard keys. It also brings Zoom up to the active window in-case I’m somewhere else.
  5. R2C5: End Zoom Call. Another Keyboard Maestro shortcut. And this will make Zoom the active window, “press” the end meeting button, and confirm. No more awkward smiling while I fumble for the end meeting button!

Row 3 has a similar format – Key Light controls and then buttons I use during streams/recordings:

  1. R3C1: Turn Key Light on or off. This icon switches based on the state, which is cool!
  2. R3C2: Make Key Light color temperature cooler. This is a stepped button.
  3. R3C3: Make Key Light color temperature warmer. Also stepped.
  4. R3C4/C5: Previous and Next buttons. These are simple key maps, natively supported by the Stream Deck. I use them to control my Keynote Slides.

The Folder

The folder is mostly a place for me to mess around and test stuff. But I also have a bunch of buttons designed to control Phillips Hue Lights here. Started in the top left:

  1. Get back to the top level
  2. Turn Hue Lightstrip green
  3. Turn Hue Lightstrip red
  4. Make Hue Lightstrip 100% bright
  5. Make Hue Lightstrip 50% bright
  6. (On the next row) Play a song, which I’m experimenting with for live streams and videos.
  7. Set Hue Light Strip to Aurora scene
  8. Turn the Hue bulb closest to my desk white
  9. Turn the Hue bulb closest to my desk blue

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the Hue light controls because it really lets me “set the scene” in my office, or just make adjustments based on natural light.

My goal here is to find a good single-button combo to set all of the office lights at once.

Icon Set: MacStories Pixel Shortcuts Icons

For the icons, I’m using the Shortcuts Icons set by MacStories Pixel. These are designed really well, there are a ton, and it gives the Stream Deck a consistent look across each button.

They were originally designed for use with iOS Shortcuts, which I also use them for. But since they are standard images I can use them for the Stream Deck as well.

Improvements

I generally reserve a spot in posts like this for ways I want to improve my experience. I have a few thoughts:

  • Add more Keyboard Maestro Shortcuts
  • Figure out a way to control multiple lights with the push or one button, or even better, have a “Go Live” button that sets the stream, the lights, and kills bandwidth hogs like Dropbox
  • Figure out how to execute iOS Shortcuts from Stream Desk (this might be impossible).

Do you have a Stream Deck? What’s the configuration? Drop a link to a photo in the comments below! I’d also love to hear any ideas or tips.

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