Photoshop specialists already know all about Loupedeck. The impressive and customizable range of controls for programs like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro looks like it has more knobs dials than the cockpit of a 747. The Loupedeck concept has proved incredibly popular with content creators who want to boost productivity when using complex software by assigning dials and buttons with direct access to settings hidden deep in the software’s menus.

The Helsinki-based creator of these customizable consoles for Macs and PCs has built up an enviable reputation for making controls that can help with making complex software like Adobe Photoshop or Apple’s Final Cut Pro easier to use. Now the company has announced its latest product, the Loupedeck Live S. This is a much smaller console ideal for portable use and will suit anyone who doesn’t need the full range of features offered by the flagship Loupedeck CT.

The Loupedeck Live S features customizable touch buttons, tactile control dials and analog buttons that give the user direct control over their live stream, chat and external sources such as lighting and audio settings. With a Loupedeck console and software, there’s no need to search through menus and settings; almost anything can be programmed into a button, dial or touch button.

Mikko Kesti is CEO and founder of Helsinki-based Loupedeck: “Loupedeck’s goal has always been to streamline creative processes for our users. With our continuously growing user base of live streamers and gamers, we wanted to provide a solution specialized to them. By taking inspiration from the Loupedeck Live, we were able to craft an affordable, intuitive and efficient tool with everything streamers need so they never have to sacrifice creativity for optimization.”

The Live S has a graphic LED touch panel divided into a grid of 3 x 5 buttons. The grid can extend to a further 14 pages, which can be reached by swiping the Live S screen. The dials on the Loupedeck Live S set it apart from similar products, such as El Gato’s Stream Deck. The dials enable streamers to fine-tune any adjustments with precision or to trigger an instant change by pressing one of the dials.

The Live S works with Windows and macOS and uses the same software as the company’s Loupedeck Live and CT models. With 15 touch buttons per screen, plus twin dials and a quartet of analog buttons, users can program actions or a sequence of key presses to trigger software and functions.

As well as the basic programming functions, the Loupedeck software supports popular streaming tools like Twitch, OBS, Streamlabs, or Voicemod. Optional plugins are available for creative packages like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Premier and Apple’s Final Cut Pro.

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With the Loupedeck Live S, the dials can be programmed for making precise adjustments to settings like volume and backlighting. Other functions, like instant mic muting, can be triggered by pushing a dial. Controls can also be set up for handling inputs and outputs from different sound sources and can be adjusted using feedback from the unique haptic dials of the Live S.

Because a Loupedeck’s use is limited only by a user’s imagination, Loupedeck Marketplace is the online space where users can download and share a whole raft of custom profiles and plugins that make the Loupedeck Live S even more productive. It’s incredible to see some ingenious uses that Loupedeck users have discovered and shared for their consoles.

For most people, the Loupedeck range is an ideal tool for speeding up productivity with settings-heavy applications like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. Loupedeck’s dials can alter brush sizes, change opacity levels, or do almost anything the user wants to do regularly. However, the Loupedeck Live S comes into its own for streamers who need to switch cameras, adjust volume levels, or mic gain settings during live streaming. The Loupedeck Live S can control studio light levels, trigger sound effects or roll pre-recorded video inserts. The Live S is like having a TV studio gallery control on your desk.

By launching on Indiegogo, Loupedeck hopes it can ignite excitement in the gaming community ahead of when the Live S starts shipping by offering them a chance to purchase the console at a bargain price.

Verdict: I’ve had a chance to play with a final version of the Loupedeck Live S. It’s professionally made and sufficiently light enough to pop in a backpack, but it’s also just as at home sitting on a desk without taking up too much space. The excellent Loupedeck software is a highly polished piece of coding and, with a bit of imagination, can trigger almost any action or series of actions via the touch buttons, analog buttons or haptic dials. Whether you want to use a touch button to open a spreadsheet or need the dials to function as a microphone gain or mute control, the Live S has unlimited applications. The console comes with a handy stand that makes the touch buttons easy to see, and each button can have its custom icon or text to indicate its function. Even when used as a primary control pad with an app like Adobe Photoshop, the Live S can boost the productivity and usability of almost any software… and it’s so much fun to use.

Pricing & Availability: The Loupedeck Live S is available online and in stores today for $179 /£179 / €179.

More info: www.loupedeck.com

System Requirements: Windows 10, macOS 10.13 or later. USB-C (USB-C to USB-A adapter included in box), Internet connection required to download Loupedeck software.

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