The Loupedeck Live that’s only recently been released is a small sibling of the Loupedeck CT. It has the touch screen, rotary knobs and eight buttons, and that’s it. The square buttons and the touch wheel of the Loupedeck CT have been left out. The unit is made of the same aluminium and sturdy plastic components as the CT model. It does come with a mountable stand, so you can position the Loupedeck Live in a 30 degree angle.
As its name implies, the Loupedeck Live has been rolled out to fill the live streaming equipment gap in Loupedeck’s marketing efforts, but the fact remains the new app version (v4) that goes with the Loupedeck Live and CT models is not in any way limited by the hardware, which means you can use both for any application you have installed on your Mac or PC, using actions based on shortcut keys.
The Loupedeck Live’s premium build body does not differ from the Loupedeck CT, including the haptic analogue dials, customisable buttons and LED backlighting. It offers one important advantage over the Loupedeck CT, which is its compact design that takes up less desk space. The disadvantage, of course, is that you lose a considerable part of the CT’s functionality; not just the wheel but also some 12 buttons.
My first excitement when I unpacked the Loupedeck Live, though, was about the stand that is supposed to set your console at a perfect angle for a more comfortable editing experience. A stand was what I missed the most with the Loupedeck CT, so I was eager to try it out. The stand looks lovely and when you mount the Loupedeck Live onto it, the whole looks perfect.
As it turns out, the stand is at a 90 degree angle and fastened by inserting the two tops in the bottom screw holes and then pulling the top clamps over the unit’s top bezel edge. That way, it’s also easily removed. The user experience in combination with version 4 of the app is extremely comfortable. The UI is much more intuitive in my opinion and makes it easier to create your own workspaces, pages and custom profiles. With the previous version I was a bit overwhelmed by it all and worried that I’d have to spend a good deal of time to create actions; now I’m just creating them as I go.
Out of the box, the Loupedeck Live supports Spotify, Streamlabs/OBS Studio, Twitch and the macOS or Windows operating system. Those are the included plug-ins. When you buy the console, you’ll get two extra plug-ins for creative apps of your choice. For the time being, you’ll get all of them without having to purchase or subscribe until the end of this year.
When you buy a Loupedeck CT, by the way, you’ll get all of the currently available plug-ins included, if I’m not mistaken.
The Live part of the Loupedeck Live
I haven’t done it yet, but managing a live stream must be quite the multitasking challenge. You have to play the game, chat with viewers and manage the stream. The Loupedeck Live should make that easier. You’ll get full control over your stream audio, its audio channels and microphone levels — once you know where the controls are on the console, you’ll be able to do it all without taking your eyes off the game.
Loupedeck Live has a native integration with Twitch, which means you have control over essential chat functions and can send messages with a push of a button, create and open clips fast and play ads.
Equally easy should be switching scenes and sources, adjust audio channels on the fly, etc.
Custom profiles versus plug-ins
Except for the streaming part, my guess is that many people will be using the Loupedeck Live as they have been the Loupedeck CT: to more easily control the applications they use on a daily basis. The Loupedeck v4 app introduces an easy way to integrate virtually any app with the Loupedeck Live and CT.
Plug-ins offer the most integrated controls. They are what Loupedeck started with so many years ago. Plug-ins can, for example, enable you to control Final Cut Pro X’s colour wheels with the rotary knobs or — on the Loupedeck CT — with the wheel. To make this integration happen, though, you will need to program it with Loupedeck’s API. That’s a bit too complicated for most of us.
Loupedeck came up with a simpler way to control most of your apps’ features and that’s by letting you set up macros inside the Loupedeck app. These are sequences of keyboard shortcuts that accomplish a task and that you can bind to a knob or any round or touch button on the Loupedeck Live and that works really well.
The macros are called Custom Profiles in Loupedeck talk and while the Loupedeck Live comes with two creative plug-ins, you can download a whole bunch of custom profiles. What’s even better is that you can easily create your own for any software you use and share them with the Loupedeck community.
Wrapping it up
The Loupedeck Live is a great addition to the Loupedeck family, especially for live streamers who don’t need the extra power the Loupedeck CT offers. Creative professionals will hesitate between the Live and the CT, with the latter probably the better choice if only for the extra 12 buttons and the fabulous touch wheel.
Even for these people, there’s one thing that speaks for the Live model and it’s its smaller footprint which makes it even more portable than the CT. The Loupedeck Live retails at €249, while the CT model costs €499. You can have both of them hooked up simultaneously, which I would consider a dream setup.
As for the plug-ins, Loupedeck has decided for a mixed licence/subscription model. Additional creative plugins will be available for purchase through the Loupedeck software, via subscription (up to 1,99 EUR/USD per month) or as a lifetime licence (up to 29,99 EUR/USD.