A Stream Deck is a handy tool used by content creators to simplify their workflow while streaming. It’s a customizable control surface that allows you to perform various tasks, such as launching programs, triggering macros, and switching between scenes, all with the press of a button. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Stream Decks, from what they are to how to set one up.
What is a Stream Deck?
Stream Deck is a device designed by Elgato, a company that creates products for content creators. It features a grid of customizable LCD keys that can be programmed to perform various tasks, such as launching applications, controlling audio, and switching between scenes. It is compatible with a wide range of streaming software, including OBS, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, and more.
What can you do with a Stream Deck?
The Stream Deck’s customizable keys can be programmed to perform any number of tasks. Some examples of tasks include:
- Launching applications: Instead of clicking through menus to launch an application, you can set a Stream Deck key to launch it with a single press.
- Controlling audio: You can use the Stream Deck to mute or unmute your microphone, adjust your volume, or control the audio of your streaming software.
- Switching between scenes: You can use the Stream Deck to switch between different scenes in your streaming software, making it easier to transition between different parts of your stream.
- Triggering macros: Macros are sequences of actions that can be triggered with a single press. For example, you could set a Stream Deck key to run a macro that posts a message in your chat, opens a web page, and sends a tweet all at once.
How to set up a Stream Deck?
Setting up a Stream Deck is straightforward. Here’s how to do it:
- Connect the Stream Deck to your computer using the USB cable provided.
- Download and install the Stream Deck software from the Elgato website.
- Open the Stream Deck software and customize the keys to perform the tasks you want.
- Once you’ve customized your Stream Deck, you can start using it. Just press the keys to trigger the actions you’ve set up.
Key Features of a Stream Deck
One of the most significant benefits of using a Stream Deck is the ability to customize it to fit your specific needs. The Stream Deck software allows you to assign any action you want to each button, including launching applications, controlling audio and video, triggering macros, and more.
This customization can save you time and streamline your workflow. Rather than having to navigate through menus or use keyboard shortcuts to perform actions, you can simply press a button on your Stream Deck to execute the desired action. This can be especially helpful during live streams when you want to minimize downtime and keep your content flowing.
Integration with Streaming Software
Another great feature of Stream Decks is their integration with popular streaming software. Stream Deck works with a variety of streaming platforms, including OBS, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, and more. This integration allows you to control various aspects of your stream without having to switch between different applications or windows.
For example, you can use your Stream Deck to switch between scenes in OBS or control your audio levels in Streamlabs OBS. This level of integration can help you stay focused and minimize distractions during your stream.
The Stream Deck’s compact design makes it easy to use and transport. It’s small enough to fit on a desk without taking up too much space. Also, it’s light enough to carry in a backpack or laptop bag. This portability makes it a great tool for content creators who frequently travel or switch between different streaming setups.
What are the different types of Stream Decks?
There are two main types of Stream Decks: the Stream Deck and the Stream Deck XL.
The Stream Deck features 15 LCD keys, while the Stream Deck XL features 32. Both devices can be customized with the Stream Deck software.
Which one you choose will depend on your specific needs and the complexity of your streaming setup.
How can designers use Stream Deck
Designers can use Stream Deck to streamline their workflow and increase their productivity. Here are some ways designers can use Stream Deck to enhance their work:
Designers often use a variety of software applications in their work, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. With Stream Deck, designers can create custom shortcuts to automate repetitive tasks and access frequently used tools with a single button press.
For example, you could set up a button on your Stream Deck to open a specific Photoshop file, apply a specific filter or effect, or access a specific tool or brush. By automating these tasks, you can save time and focus on the more creative aspects of your work.
In addition to custom shortcuts, Stream Deck also allows designers to create custom macros. Macros are sequences of actions that can be triggered with a single button press. This is especially useful for designers who frequently perform multi-step tasks, such as resizing and exporting images or creating multiple versions of a design.
For example, you could create a macro that applies a specific set of adjustments to an image, exports it to a specific folder, and saves a copy in a different format. By creating a macro for this process, you can save time and ensure consistency across your work.
Another benefit of using Stream Deck is the ability to customize the labels for each button. This can be especially helpful for designers who use a variety of software applications and need to keep track of different shortcuts and macros.
By customizing the labels on your Stream Deck buttons, you can create a visual reference for the different tools and shortcuts you’ve set up. This can help you work more efficiently and reduce the time spent searching through menus and keyboard shortcuts.
A Stream Deck is a powerful tool that can simplify your workflow as a content creator. With its customizable keys, you can perform a variety of tasks with just a press of a button. By setting up your Stream Deck, you can streamline your streaming process and make your content creation experience more enjoyable.
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