For creative professionals working in film, videography, and photography, the workflow is everything, and the Loupedeck CT answers the call for efficiency with aplomb. This device is not merely a customizable control surface; it is a piece of beautiful design that will inspire you as much as it helps accelerate your performance.
Let's start with the design and move on to function. The Loupedeck CT is 160mm x 150mm x 30mm; weight: 365g, roughly 6x6 inches and an inch tall from the knobs. The unit features a LED touch-sensitive control surface at the top with two indicator bars bookending twelve haptic buttons that vibrate when touched. The indicator bars service three clickable knobs on each side and show icons in the bar to delineate the function each knob serves, so you have visual ID to understand what each knob does quickly. The same goes for the touch-sensitive buttons, depending on what mode you have selected, there are icons that appear to indicate what the button does - which is brilliant.
Below the touch-sensitive buttons are eight function buttons that, when selected, will bring up different menus and functionality depending on what program you are using. These buttons allow you to quickly punch into different control modes, depending on what you are doing in your workflow. This flexibility gives you a considerable amount of options for using the CT in your workflow because it can access just about everything on a program's menu/controls.
The main dial is sandwiched between two more banks of control buttons, six on each side and features another scrollable control surface in its center, so you can maneuver through menus right on the jog wheel, then dial it in. When idol, the knob serves as a clock, not a wasted moment or space on this thing.
The CT is equally at home on the desktop editing set up as it is out in the field, with an optional carrying case that makes porting it a breeze. If you are an editor working remotely on your laptop, stop right now and head to the website to buy this - it will change the way you work forever. As any remote editor knows, working on a laptop is far from ideal, especially in video when you are limited to one screen. The CT makes punching through your menus a dream and allows you the tactile control of knobs for ultimate control. The only gripe here is that the jog wheel should have a bit more tension like the other knobs, as it's easy to bump and moves just a bit too swiftly. As far as to build quality and construction, this little guy is reliable and will take life on the road well, but worth getting the case (which we don't have, but it looks more than adequate.
Functionality: So the CT pretty much works out of the box, you pop in the UBS-C cable to USB-A cable (C to C will need an adapter, i.e., new Macbook Pros, etc.) and download the Mac/PC desktop software and you are good to go. The unit's bottom is equipped with little rubber feet so it won't slip on most surfaces.
Now you are ready to go; you have the software loaded and ready to configure your program of choice or completely customize. For review purposes, we are using Lightroom Classic (CC does not work with this control unless you tweak the menus quite a bit in customization mode, replicating keystrokes), and the presets included with the controller software, which is just fine for us. Still, it's nice to know you can go bonkers customizing this surface - maybe later.
Programs that it works with out of the box:
- Ableton® Live™ (v.10.0)
- Adobe Lightroom Classic
- Capture One Pro
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw
- Adobe Audition
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Final Cut Pro X (v. 10.0) (MacOS only)
- Streamlabs (Win only)
For when you are not using it to edit, you can also use it to control your computer for other necessary things like volume, brightness, screenshots, audio playback, etc. So it's handy pretty if the CT becomes a valid extension of your keyboard from constant use.
The other thing about the Loupedeck CT is that it comes with eight gigs of onboard memory so you can move files along with saved profiles for specific program profiles or customizations. Sweet
Summary / Should I Buy This?
The Loupedeck CT comes in with a reasonable cost at $549 for pros, yet somewhat hefty if you are a prosumer. So while incredibly handy for workflow and precision, it might be too pricey for the average weekend photo jockey. The ability to work fluidly out of the box with great profiles and customization options is a game-changer for editors on the go and working on laptops. This controller is for pros and intense prosumers spending a lot of time tweaking exposure, color grades, curves, and other small adjustments that require or are better with tactile control surfaces. If you want a portable device that will make you better at your job, increase your workflow speed, and bring you some sanity - this is it.
If you are a prosumer or hobbyist, other controllers are more suited to your needs that come in at lower price points like the Tourbox at $169 (Review Here) and Loupedeck +, which we have not used but seems to fit the bill at $249.