When I first unboxed the Loupedeck CT I could immediately see the enormous potential. Indeed, it immediately consigned by 15 year old, trusty Contour Shuttle Pro to the bin of useful things.
But first, as the “native” and default video editing ecosphere for the Loupedeck CT is Adobe and I am (currently), and have been for a long, long while, a Vegas Pro user, I needed to create a custom profile for Vegas Pro to make it truly useful beyond its out-of-the-box state.
(There are a few – and growing – 3rd party custom profiles available on the Loupedeck website now such as for DaVinci Resolve for example, so take a look)..
If you are new to the Loupedeck CT, in short it is a USB-C connected beastie known as a Surface Control Unit. Ostensibly, it is a panel made up of dials, knobs and buttons that can have “actions” assigned to them to perform tasks, particularly skewed towards the creatives such as video, photography and music.
Built in profiles (ie “hard wired” into the Loupedeck CT) exist for:
- Adobe Lightroom Classic
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Premier Pro
- Capture One Pro
- Final Cut Pro X
- Ableton Live
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe After Effects
- Adobe Audition
There are, however, a number of custom profiles already available for applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Excel and even for Spotify that uses have created akin to the way that macros are created: that is, you define a series of steps and assign these to buttons, knobs or dials on the Loupedeck CT and in turn, these become part of a “workspace”.
So my task was to create a workspace in the memory of my Loupedeck CT for Vegas Pro, and assign whatever commands and actions I wanted to the available controls in that workspace.
Space is not an issue as each workspace can have a number of pages, and the combination of buttons, dials, knobs, control wheel and so in give an enormous scope for flexibility.
So my first and most immediate task was to create a workspace page for editing in Vegas Pro.
The commands in this area I use the most I wanted on the 1st page, mainly using touch buttons, and subsequent lesser used commands I wanted on subsequent pages, accessed by a now familiar swipe left (or right).
The image at left shows the initial panel of buttons I wanted to create. The first thing I needed to do was create a new Custom Profile called Vegas Pro 17.
The next thing was to scroll down to Custom Actions in the left-hand menu. Let’s start with a simple one, creating an “InPoint” in a clip in the trimmer and assigning it to the button at the bottom left of the panel.
First, we click the + sign to open a new Custom Action window and give it a name. Next, we tell the action what key we normally press – in this case, the letter “I” for “InPoint”.
Note that there is no case sensitivity here. If you press SHIFT + I to get a capital I, the action recorded (and will show as such) is “SHIFT + I” which is not necessarily what you want!
Once you have entered the key stroke(s), press the tick to save it and then click the Save button at bottom right.
To assign this to a button, make sure the Touch section is selected at top centre (to the right of the Workspace Elements label) then drag the command you just created – in this case “InPoint” from the Custom Actions list to the button space you want.
Its label will change accordingly and that is it!
You can now go to Vegas, load a clip into the Trimmer and test it out. If it works OK, go back to the Loupedeck CT setup and then do the same thing for setting an OutPoint using the “O” key in the action and assign it to another button.
You can then add whatever commands you want to fill this first page as I have.
Creating Rotating Buttons
On each of the left and right sides of the touch buttons panel are three rotating buttons that can also be pressed. I wanted to assign the Zoom In / Out of the Timeline command to the top left rotating button.
The keyboard commands for this are Up Arrow and Down Arrow, perfect for a rotating button.
At the top of the left hand menu, switch from “Press” to “Rotating”. I then created a new folder called Rotating Dials and Buttons and clicked + to create a new button command set and called it Zoom Timeline.
Next, I assigned the two keys – up arrow and down arrow for rotate left and rotate right – as adjustment actions and clicked Save. Finally, I dragged the command from the menu at left and dropped it onto the top left button.
Finally, on my Contour Shuttle Pro, I love the jog / shuttle control for scrolling quickly through the timeline, so I wanted to at least re-create the shuttle control in the Loupedeck CT.
This, I admit, took a bit of working out as the location of the drag location was not immediately evident and I had to look at some of the other Control Profiles to see how they did it.
Oh and a quick conversation with Barbara in the very excellent Loupedeck support section (which is based in Finland in Europe by the way! Not exactly the norm hey?)
First you need to create a new wheel page (the default clock wheel command cannot be used I found out) and decide which of the templates available for the main wheel you want. I chose the one with each of the hemispheres also being available as touch panels.
To shuttle forwards is the J key and to shuttle back is the L key. First make sure the Rotation tab Is selected on the left and the Main Wheel icon chosen in the centre top.
Next, create a new custom adjustment (I called it JKL) and assign J as the first key and L as the second and save. Now drag this to just BELOW the image of the main wheel in the Loupedeck software setup application.
I then switched back to the Press tab and assigned the “space bar” to the top and labelled it Play / Stop.
That is the bare bones of what I have discovered so far. I know for sure this is only scratching the surface, and there is probably better ways (that I no doubt will find) to layout different commands in workspaces, but as a starting point, hopefully it will get you going.
There will be (and still is to a degree with me) a confusion about the difference between apps, workspaces, actions and wot not, and I intend to go into more depth on this to get my head around it.
I am also intending to turn a superset if this mini-tutorial into a video based one very soon so stay tuned.
Finally, do I think the Loupedeck CT is worth the AUD$829 (from Amazon) price tag?