In a post-COVID world, more and more artists and content creators are taking to live streaming platforms like Twitch to showcase their art and interact with their fanbases. In response, a few companies are making tools and devices to make streaming experiences more manageable and more fluid than ever for these creators.
Loupedeck just released a new product to their line of powerful streaming tools, the Loupedeck Live S, which rivals other of its competitor’s producers such as the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2
We were sent one of these devices for review in hopes of discovering whether or not this new device measures up to everything it promised, both as a streaming device and a comprehensive creative tool in my music studio.
So let’s dive in…
What Is The Loupedeck Live S?
Loupedeck Live S is a smaller device than many other devices the company offers, and the more approachable price point reflects this.
Compared to the more feature-packed devices like the Loupedeck Live, the Loupedeck Live S focuses only on the most necessary features content creators need (be it in their creative suites or while streaming on Twitch). The number of dials, buttons, and menu diving overall has been decreased in hopes of making the device more streamlined and intuitive.
“Loupedeck’s goal has always been to streamline creative processes for our users, and 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.” – Mikko Kesti, CEO and founder of Loupedeck
The primary goal of Loupedeck Live S seems to be to offer users a near-unlimited amount of customization options, and they knocked that goal out of the park (which I will discuss later in this article). Between customizable pages, diode parameters, and more, content creators can make app-dependent profiles for the Loupedeck Live S to ensure they get the most out of the device.
My Favorite Features On The Loupedeck Live S
What I loved the most about this device is just how granular you can get with the different menu functions on its app. You can map your Macro processes to queue up a series of commands at the click of a button; you can have deep control over web browsing and management while avoiding monotonous keystrokes and clicks, and so much more.
I was using this little device for a week or so before I started seeing the potential in what it can do, and I have started exploring even more options using it inside Ableton to seriously ramp up my workflow and avoid more complicated menu and browser diving when searching for the plugins and tools I need.
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The accompanying app lets you set up multiple profiles according to your program or desktop application. Better yet, the interface on the Loupedeck Live S will automatically adjust to whichever app you have selected.
This is awesome when you’re switching between Spotify, Ableton, and web browsing and makes managing more complex tasks across different apps a breeze.
I’ve seen a couple of other reviews for the Loupedeck Live S get posted that are complaining about the price point. Still I think it’s not only a justifiable price point but an entirely reasonable one.
The Loupedeck Live S comes down to getting out of it what you put in, and once you get a feel for the ecosystem, macro control mappings, and other of its deeper functionalities, I am sure you will quickly find that this thing is damn cheap, for what you get.
What I Wasn’t Crazy About
After working with this thing and doing my best to implement it into my standard workflow as best I could over a week or so, I discovered a couple of things that gave me some slight hesitation.
So let’s dive into the two things I wasn’t that fond of about the Loupedeck Live S.
It’s Not As User-Friendly As It Thinks
Watch any of the videos that Loupedeck and their team have put out for this thing, and you will find that they all parrot the notion that this thing is incredibly user-friendly, even if you aren’t that tech-savvy of a person. I can figure out synths and audio routing issues with no problem, but when it comes to tech gizmos like this, I am always left feeling like a dullard.
Which I didn’t think was going to be an issue after watching some of the introductory videos from Loupedek. But when push came to shove, and I had to start making this thing work for me and my workflow, I found the macro routing and other control customization to be a little tricky.
Granted, Loupedek’s team was on point and replied to my cold-call email in their support inbox within a day of asking for their help and was quick to help remedy my issues. But I had to say that I felt like a fish out of water for the first few days of using this thing despite what their advertising said.
It’s Nothing New
I could see this one getting a couple of people, especially those who have become devoted to the brand and have purchased some of their other products. But the reality is that the software in this device hasn’t seen any significant improvements in the years since its predecessor’s release.
This is a shame because this device has so much potential in gaming, music production, live performance, and more. But I could see all these ambitions being hamstrung by the lack of variety of presets, plugins, and profiles. This is predominantly true for the gaming space but applies to other areas.
That said, the device doesn’t claim to be reinventing the wheel but aims to be a cheaper and more pared-down version of its larger devices. And to that end, I think they did a fantastic job.
Specs On The Loupedeck Live S
- Interact Directly with Creative Software
- Two Analog Dials
- Four Tactile Buttons
- 15 Touch-Sensitive Buttons
- Up to 14 Pages of Customizable Buttons
- Create Profiles, Shortcuts, and Tools
- Personalize Your Console
- Loupedeck Online Marketplace
- Power Source: USB
- Color: Black
- Cable Length: 6.6′ / 2 m
- Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.4 x 1.2″ / 150 x 86 x 30 mm
- Weight: 5.9 oz / 166 g