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!
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
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 and profile support!
Here’s what my Stream Deck looks like:
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, Lighting, & Organization
All of my OBS-related actions are here. I will likely be changing this up when I do eventually get the XL, but I kept this configuration just in-case I decided to switch back to OBS.Here’s the breakdown by Column (marked R1 for Row 1, and C# for Column number):
- R1C1: A scene that is just my camera. Denoted by a person icon and labeled “Me.”
- R1C2: A scene that is just my computer’s screen. Denoted by a laptop icon and labeled “Screen.”
- 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.”
- R1C4: The Record button in OBS. Denoted by a red circle icon (record icon) and labeled, “OBS Rec”
- R1C5: This is a “Switch Profile” button, which allows me to switch to the eCamm Live profile. More on that later.
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 and Key Light Air; these wifi connected lights allow you to adjust brightness and color temperature. You can also make them change together. They have direct integration with the Stream Deck!
- R2C1: A Folder. More on that in a minute.
- R2C2: Decrease Key Light Brightness. This is a stepped button so I can lower it a certain percentage with each press.
- R2C3: Increase Key Light Brightness. This is also stepped.
- 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.
- 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:
- R3C1: Turn Key Light on or off. This icon switches based on the state, which is cool!
- R3C2: Make Key Light color temperature cooler. This is a stepped button.
- R3C3: Make Key Light color temperature warmer. Also stepped.
- R3C4: Another Keyboard Maestro shortcut. This one sets up my podcast workspace. It launches Garageband, Zoom, and Evernote, then positions the windows. So good!
- R3C5: Sleep. Don’t really need this one but it’s need. It will display my Podcast Liftoff logo.
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:
- (Row 1) Get back to the top level
- Turn Hue Light strips orange
- Turn Hue Light strips purple
- Turn Light strips turquoise.
- Turn Light strips yellow
- (Row 2) Set all Hue Lights to “Energize” scene
- Make Hue Lightstrip 100% bright
- Make Hue Lightstrip 50% bright
- Change light strip behind me (when I’m streaming) to pink, red, blue, or aqua
- Change light strip behind me to white, 50% brightness.
- (On the next row) Set hue lights to “Arctic Aurora” scene
- Set Hue lights to “Focus” scene
- Set Hue lights to “Relax” scene
- Toggle Hue lights on and off.
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. I think I’m going to need Homebridge for that.
eCamm Live Profile
- (Top Row) Just my main camera
- Screen sharing
- A nice layout – image overlay that I can toggle my camera over (usually for intro),
- End screen for outro with my camera. A guest will show if I have one on.
- My overhead camera
- (Middle Row) Camera toggle for “Nice Layout” scene
- Blank – probably guest toggle coming to that spot.
- Profile switch back to default
- Screen share (this will change)
- This button will send out a tweet that I’m live, with URL.
- (Bottom Row) Number of viewers on the stream
- Toggle camera on the screen share screen
- Mute my mic
- Pause the Live Stream. I haven’t actually tested this.
- End broadcast.
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.
I generally reserve a spot in posts like this for ways I want to improve my experience. I have a few thoughts. The first is I will probably get a Stream Deck XL for more buttons without switched. As for the rest:
- 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.
Updated November 24, 2020.