Today I decided to make a macropad for use with OBS Studio, to make life easier during live-streaming and recording video. I’ve always been a fan of macros, but have never tried making a dedicated macropad before. Now with one click I can:

  • Cue a scene (I have scenes for introduction, camera only, slides/presentation only, slides with camera inset, and end/credits)
  • Transition between scenes (swipe, slide, fade)
  • Mute/unmute microphone
  • Mute/unmute desktop audio/audio source
  • Mute/unmute headset for intro, Q&A etc.
  • Start/stop recording
  • Start/stop live-stream
  • Prepare a tweet ready for editing and posting: “I’m live online now. Check out x for further details.”

All in all, the longest part was designing, printing and cutting out the icons for the buttons! Note, it’s not possible to map the top left button because it is NumLock, so 18 of the 19 buttons are usable. I simply attached them to the buttons with a glue stick. A photo of the final product is below. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Want to build your own? I was inspired by the following YouTube video:

and this Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-powerful-programmable-keypad-for-less-tha/

  • I bought this cheap USB keypad for $10 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B075XGPFZ4/ref=pe_3034960_233709270_TE_item. It comes with a cable that’s approx 4ft long which is handy.
  • I set up macros using hidden function keys ‘F13-F24’ and ‘Ctrl+Alt+Shift+letter’ combinations with freeware software, HIDMacros: http://www.hidmacros.eu/download.php. Make sure NumLock is on on the keypad.
  • In OBS Studio, click Settings>Hotkeys, and click on the appropriate keys to assign them to shortcuts.
  • Add custom icon labels. I modified the PSD template file available from the Instructable link above, and simply printed it out on a laser printer on standard copy paper.

And there you a go – a $200 macropad (see Elgato Stream Deck) for approx $10!