I recently purchased an Elgato Stream Deck in order to set up custom key commands to use with various parts of my workflow. In this post I’m going to show a few examples of what is possible with the Stream Deck and give a quick overview of how I’ve set it up to launch programs and custom actions inside Reaper.
The Stream Deck is a little 5 x 3 configurable keypad that is supposed to be used as a command center for various streaming software. However, it can also launch programs, websites, and execute key commands. Combined with Reaper’s built in actions there are a ton of possibilities. With even more support from AutoHotKey or Bome MIDI Translator Pro, it can become a powerful and versatile tool.
This is what my default profile looks like. It acts as a central hub to launch frequently used applications or websites, go to specific Windows folders, and even execute Perforce Syncs.
However, one problem that I encountered was the way Stream Deck handles launching applications. By default if an application is already open, Stream Deck will launch another instance of the application. This was not the behavior I wanted. Instead, if an application is already open pressing the button should bring the application window to the forefront. In order to accomplish this I use a simple script in AutoHotKey and mapped the key combination (in this case Win+2) to the appropriate button in Stream Deck control software.
That script looks like this:
if WinExist(“ahk_class REAPERwnd”)
Run “C:\Program Files\REAPER (x64)\Reaper.exe”
And the Stream Deck configuration looks like this:
With the latest update to Stream Deck’s software 2.02, Stream Deck now supports the ability to automatically change the profile (button layout) based on the active application. So when Reaper is open and active, the Stream Deck switches to my Reaper Profile.
Here I’ve got buttons configured to instantiate plugins. If I press a plugin button, it will place the plugin on the selected track(s). If I hold down the +Item FX Button and then press a plugin button, the plugin will instantiate on the selected item(s). This is a quick and handy way to add favorite plugins to tracks or items. You could also configure the buttons to add instruments, entire fx chains, new tracks, or track presets.
Pressing the “AUTO” button on the top left will open up a folder, which is a nested layout. The Stream Deck software supports an infinite amount of folders, so you can create as many as you want. I thought about setting up multiple FX pages, but for me the whole purpose is quick access and if I have to start menu diving then it defeats the purpose of using the device. So instead I’ve started with just a few of my commonly used plugins.
Here’s a video of the Stream Deck in action:
Ideally, I could figure out a way for the Stream Deck to change layouts based on the mouse focus inside Reaper. For instance, if I clicked on the track control panel, a certain layout would appear, versus clicking on an item or even a specific plugin.
Here I have mapped automation related Reaper Actions to buttons:
- FX will take me back to my default Reaper Profile
- Play and Record Transport buttons
- FX Parameter Modulation will open up the Parameter Modulation window for the last touched FX Parameter
- Toggle Track Control will add the last touched FX Parameter to Track Controls for easy tactile control with my MIDI Fighter Twister.
- Trim, Read, Write, Touch, Preview will toggle the selected tracks automation mode.
- Write Active Automation to End will write all active automation envelopes to the end of the session
- Write Active Automation to Selection will write all active automation envelopes to the selection.
- MIDI Fighter Banks opens up a layout that can change the banks on my MIDI Fighter Twister with the press of a button. This was mostly an experiment to see if I could get the Stream Deck to send MIDI messages to another device using Bome MIDI Translator Pro, and it works like a charm! In the future, I will be experimenting with more MIDI layouts.
That’s a simple overview of what I have set up so far with the Stream Deck. I’ve only had it for a week so I expect things to change as I use it more and more in my daily workflow. I am working on the early stages of a Wwise and Perforce Layout as well. For the curious, I will post updates as things evolve and change. Thanks for reading!