Best DAW Controller for Music Composition Workflow

Hello Composers, Mike here! :smiley:
I am going to share with you a tip, which is one of the best investments I have ever done for boosting my composing/production workflow.

It is a small device called Elgato Stream Deck, and it is actually originally made for live streamers and gamers. But, what I and many other creative professionals use it for, is as a custom keyboard shortcut device.

Basically it is a set of buttons that you can change the LED display on per button, and then map a key command to. In my case I have mapped all my favorite key commands in Logic Pro to this device. You can even set up multi-actions, meaning creating macros that trigger several key commands in a sequence you choose.

For example: I have one that selects all, then zoom to fit screen, then quantize the note selection. 3 commands, one single button press. Imagine the possibilities you have with this feature! :stuck_out_tongue:

Have you heard of this device? Do you use it yourself, and can share some tips on cool macros or other advanced features and use cases, please share! :slight_smile:

Mikael “Mike” Baggström
Founder of

I use the icon pro audio platform m+ with the D2 add on by way of a controller. Feels like having a mixing desk under my little fingers :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello guys! It’s Venn,

Thanks for sharing this info, Mike! I was looking at the Stream Deck for some time… It really is a wonderful tiny device, capable of so much!

I’ll share with you some tricks that I’ve experimented with through the years. Let me start with Logic Pro X Voice Commander developed by Arnaud Lamy of Creationauts (the same guys who created LPX Colorizer)- I was able to test it some months ago. Performance was outstanding! The downside was that the mic barely picked any signal when a loud playback is present…

The other really cool app is the ControllerMate by OrderedBytes. It’s a sophisticated software (Mac only, sorry Windows users…) that is capable of bridging everything to everything from controlling standpoint and input devices. I mean, I was playing World of Warcraft from my MIDI controller :smiley: It’s complex and has somewhat steep learning curve, but you could assign physical input(mousepads, joysticks, etc.) to MIDI messages or vice-versa. You could create your own maps and have them start with system boot. I did assign some MIDI Note-on events to function as complex macros within LPX and PT. A bit nerdy, but totally worth it!


1 Like

Right now I’m having an amazing time with MIDIKinetics’ software for Lemur on an iPad Pro 12.9. There’s Composer Tools Pro, which is a controller environment for Lemur that allows you to make presets with custom faders and buttons and keyswitches for the software you use, and can convert expression maps for Cubase into these presets so your keyswitches are already named - and what I use it for is to have all keyswitches visible and also faders for mod, expression and breath control, but also, say, for Spitfire libraries, faders for mic channels (and when you turn the fader all the way down it purges) and legato speed and vibrato and so on - and also, in Cubase and ProTools at least, when you select a track in your sequencer and hit “recall” it automatically sets itself to control the instrument on that track. So you don’t have to see the GUI of the instrument if you don’t want to. Crazy. But they also make a transport control which you can have pop up inside Composer Tools Pro, and they also make C_brains, which is a remote that addresses logical editor functions in Cubase, so you could, for example, select a region in your sequencer, then use C_brains to select the first 16th note in each group of four and then change its velocity with a wheel or a nudge, or bump things earlier or later, or a lot of things, really. It’s amazing, and when you add that to what Lemur already does for your synths… bonkers.

1 Like