Hello Composers, Mike here!
I want to share a gear tip that have helped me boost my music composition workflow more than any other piece of hardware I ever bought. Oh, and I have no connection with the brand, this is just to help you guys improve your workflow in your DAW!
Elgato Stream Deck - The Ultimate DAW Controller
First I have to say that I used the legendary Mackie Universal Pro DAW Controller for years. Which is super high build quality, and works great. But, with a big downside. It is big. Too big for my studio desk setup to be honest.
If you want a DAW controller to mix on, and use knobs and faders for levels, panning, modulation etc. The Stream Deck is not what you need.
However, if you want a simple, super small and compact device full of buttons that you can map to your favorite keyboard shortcuts in your DAW, then this device is heavenly!
Alright, so the best part of Stream Deck is that each button is a LED-display that you can assign different backgrounds and text to, so that it is super obvious what each button does in your DAW.
Not only that, but you can even assign several chained keyboard shortcuts for any button. Meaning basically custom macros. Something that is not even possible at this moment in Logic Pro X which I use. Now I can press a single button and get for example 3 actions performed at the same time, I’m loving this feature!
What about downsides? Well, the unit I have has 15 buttons, and while you can have one button bring up a new set of buttons a level below…I often felt I needed more buttons instantly available. So you might want to check the XL version of Stream Deck for that, which was not available when I ordered mine. =/
Another downside…well not really, but something I experienced, is that I spent a lot of time adjusting and changing what key commands and macros I wanted mapped to my Stream Deck device. Having unlimited options can make choosing harder, haha.
PS. This device is actually intended for live streamers, but many creative professionals in music, video, graphics have started using it as a workflow device because of its action-mappable keys.