Considering how much gamers love extra programmable keys and buttons on keyboards and mice, it’s surprising how few stand-alone macro/control pads are available, especially for streamers and gamers. The market is almost entirely dominated by his two companies, Elgato and Loupedeck, but the competition is fierce.
Elgato Announces New Product stream deck+and now Loupedeck has officially launched the Live S console (this is the first Announced as an Indiegogo campaign in June 2022).Introducing the Live S with an MSRP of $179 Loupedeck lineup As the company’s smallest and most affordable console to date.
Live S design
The Loupedeck Live S is the smallest macro pad in Loupedeck’s product stack, and the layout is (unsurprisingly) similar to the Loupedeck Live. At 5.91 inches (150mm) wide, 3.39 inches (86mm) deep, and 1.18 inches (30mm) thick, the Live S isn’t much bigger than my iPhone 13 Pro.
Housed in a lightweight yet sturdy matte black plastic chassis, it weighs 5.92 oz (168g). It comes with a removable stand, making it extremely portable and easy to carry (unlike the Stream Deck + which has a fixed stand).
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A detachable stand snaps along the back of Live S and sets the device at a 35-degree angle. With the stand attached, Live S is approximately 2.25 inches (57mm) tall. The stand is easy to attach and remove, but it’s made of very thin plastic and feels fragile, especially if you attach and detach it frequently.
Live S has a touchscreen split into 15 touch-sensitive buttons flanked by analog dials (two on the left) and four tactile RGB buttons (one on the left and three on the right) . The analog dial is covered with a soft-touch rubber material with raised tactile ridges. Tactile buttons are small, round, plastic, and slightly stiff when pressed.
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Live S ships with a 6.5 ft (2 m) braided USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A adapter and detachable stand.
|Dial||2 (analog with push function)|
|interface||USB-C (including USB-C to USB-A adapter)|
|cable||USB-C to USB-C, 6.6ft/2m|
|Dimensions (width x height x depth)||5.91 x 3.39 x 1.18 inch/150 x 86 x 30mm|
|weight||5.92oz / 168g|
|system requirements||Windows 10 / macOS 10.13 or later|
|Manufacturer’s suggested retail price||$179|
Live S buttons and dials
Live S has 15 touch buttons and 4 tactile buttons. The touch buttons are dynamic and responsive, and while they don’t provide tactile feedback like the LED keys on Elgato’s Stream Decks, they do provide tactile feedback when pressed — albeit very mild tactile feedback.
This panel also accepts touch gesture input, since the touch buttons are really just one touchscreen divided into 15 sections. You can swipe your finger horizontally on the screen to scroll through pages of buttons (up to 14 pages), or swipe your finger vertically. Scroll through pages of dials (up to 14 pages).
Live S also has four tactile buttons. One is in the lower left corner and three are on the right side of the touch panel. The buttons are small and circular and incorporate RGB lighting that can be customized (from a menu of 24 preset color options) using Loupedeck’s software.
Each button, except the one in the lower left corner, has one functional layer (Press). The bottom left corner button has two layers of functionality (press and hold down), but only the first layer is customizable. Press and hold this button to switch to Live S’s main profile. This cannot be changed. Loupedeck said in an email that his other three-button programmable holddown feature “is in the pipeline and may be available in a future update.”
Live S has two notched tactile dials with push functions. Live S doesn’t have the same ‘dial stack’ feature as Stream Deck+, but you can program up to 14 ‘dial pages’. function). Loupedeck natively supports MIDI dial mapping, so you can use it with any MIDI-enabled instrument or digital audio workstation (DAW). Stream Deck+ does not support MIDI mapping natively (although there are third party Stream Deck plugins).
The Live S doesn’t have a dial strip like the Live does to show the function of the dials. There is an option to turn on “dial display” in the settings menu of Live S. This option turns the touch buttons next to each dial into a display. However, the touch functionality of these buttons is disabled on all pages, even pages that do not have dial functionality assigned to them.
Live S software
Loupedeck’s software is required to run Loupedeck Live S. This software is also where you can customize your device by creating your own custom actions and macros from scratch or using pre-made profiles, plugins and other assets from both Loupedeck and third party content creators. I have.
Like any macro pad or stream deck, Loupedeck Live S is highly customizable. The great thing is that it ships with plugins and profiles pre-installed. That means it’s ready to use right out of the box (if you’re new to this type of device, there are some templates to work with). This software allows you to set your own profile and workspace. Profiles are for different scenarios or apps, and workspaces are toolboxes within each profile. Each workspace can contain up to 14 pages of buttons and 14 pages of dials.
Live S includes OBS, Twitch, Streamlabs, Spotify, Philips Hue, Ableton Live, VMix, Final Cut Pro, and several Adobe creative apps (Photoshop, After Effects Pro, Lightroom Classic, Illustrator, Audition, Premiere Pro). Native support for Adobe apps is one of Loupedeck’s big advantages over Elgato. Stream Decks can be configured to work with Adobe products, but Loupedeck’s ready-made profiles are much more convenient.
You can also access the Loupedeck Marketplace from within your Loupedeck software. The marketplace has additional assets such as plugins, profiles, stream overlays, emotes and badges, presets and styles, icons and sound packs from both Loupedeck and 3rd party creators. The Marketplace allows creators to post both free and paid assets. Most functional assets (profiles, plugins, icons, etc.) are free, while most assets such as stream overlays and emotes are paid.
Loupedeck Live S is a great entry-level addition to Loupedeck’s lineup. Considering it’s nearly $100 cheaper than the Loupedeck Live, it offers a surprising amount of features. It’s also extremely portable, making it an ideal option for creators who travel frequently or move between workspaces.
That said, it’s also priced very close to Elgato’s new Stream Deck+ ($199), which has similar features with touch, haptics, and dialing options. Elgato’s devices also have a sturdier, premium-looking build. There used to be a big gap between Loupedeck’s console and Elgato’s deck, but these two recent launches of his are strikingly similar.
Loupedeck started with a focus on photo editing. His first Loupedeck was designed for his Lightroom. Thanks to Loupedeck’s native support for Adobe products and creative apps like MIDI mapping, Live S offers a slight advantage to traditional creators like photographers, video editors and music producers.
Elgato, on the other hand, has been focused on gaming and streaming for years, with an entire streaming ecosystem of capture cards, webcams, mics, lights, and more, all of which work seamlessly with Stream Decks. . Up until Stream Deck+, Stream Decks only had one type of input (buttons), but Stream Deck+ adds both touch and dial inputs (4 dial inputs vs. 2 on Live S). there is). So creators who are completely streaming-focused may find it easier to integrate Stream Deck+ into their workflow, especially if they use other of his Elgato (or Corsair) products.
In short, the Loupedeck Live S is a great control pad, but not a clear winner (or loser) to Elgato’s Stream Deck+.