Loupedeck caught our attention over the summer with their incredible control surfaces for film and photo editing, and we ended up reviewing the CT, their flagship controller (video and link to review below). Now we have our hands on their latest offering, the Loupedeck Live, geared towards streamers and can also be used for photo and video editing. The Live's ability to work across disciplines makes it a great all-around surface for content creators who can't quite afford the CT and want streaming functionality.
The Loupedeck Live essentially sits between the more robust CT and Loupedeck+ model, making the entire lineup a bit more complete. The Live is roughly half the CT size and gives up the jog wheel and 12 buttons on the lower half, making it a bit more limited than the CT but still a viable workhorse.
As hardware goes, the team at Loupedeck doesn't skimp on the quality of construction and design. The packaging is also thoughtfully designed, and out of the box, you get the control surface, a braided USB C cable, and a small kickstand should you want to create an angle for your unit. The dials have a notched motion rather than fluid, so you can make subtle tweaks easily without the risk of over/under making the dial motion. The dials also can be depressed/clicked to add functionality.
Let's start with the streaming first, as this is the new functionality that has been brought to the lineup with this unit. The Loupedeck Live is set up to work with OBS and Streamlab (Windows Only), Twitch, and Spotify.
Essentially this gives you some quick controls for live streaming so you can manage more at once a little bit easier. You can now use a control surface to execute rather than doing it on your laptop/desktop. Overall this functionality is decent and will help you out if you are doing a stream on your own. You can manage chat modes, running interstitial ads or cut to other content, send canned chats to your audience, etc.
The most significant advantage is having these quick controls at your fingertips to make you more fluid, so if you are a one-person band, it will make your life easier and your stream more professional. If you have ever done any live streaming solo, you know that it is a multitasking nightmare sometimes if you are trying to go big with cuts, keeping up with the chats, etc.
As far as the Spotify integration, we are still scratching our heads on that one as we couldn't get it to work correctly and can't think of any reason why this is all that necessary - you can't use other peoples music in your stream anyway? Definitely, not a reason to get this controller.
So it's easy to use, right? No, not at all, but that's ok. The thing about Loupedeck is that they offer both pre-mapped control surfaces and insane customization for different levels of users. So you will need to spend a reasonable amount of time learning how to use this device to properly put it into your workflow for live streaming and even editing photos/video. Nothing good ever comes easy, as they say; who said it? We don't know, but it's true.
Our point here is that you will have to be patient and learn how to use this control. You will not just plug it in and start crushing your live stream with the greatest of ease. However, if you take the time to make it your own and learn your streaming software inside and out, you will be a happy streamer.
If you are only buying this for streaming, you might also consider the Stream Deck XL, a popular controller for the streaming community. However, if you use Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Premiere, and Final Cut, the Live might be the better bet.
This controller works quite well with the most popular editing programs and is even a good solution for photo/video editors that don't want to go all-in for Loupedeck CT. You get many of the same features, the quality is the same, and it's roughly half the price and smaller if you are working in a tight space.
The Loupedeck Live is not perfect, but it's decent for what it is and a good option for those working in multiple mediums like photo and film editing as well as streaming. The hardware itself is some of the best on the market with great design and knob/button feel. It does have a reasonably steep learning curve but at the same time offers fantastic customization options for experienced users. If you are strictly buying this for streaming, you might consider some other controllers and do more research.
MSRP $269 | More Info Here
If you are looking for a more robust control for photo/video editing, check out our review on the Loupdeck CT below and in more detail Here.