Monday, October 4, 2021

Contour Jog Shuttle Pro / Pro v2 / Express and OBS Studio

Of course you can buy a Stream Deck. They're actually quite nice and are great to use. Or you could use some software package and turn your tablet or phone into a stream deck.  But what if your desk is already full, or you're out of cash? The Shuttle it is then.

And what if OBS Studio doesn't recognize the Jog Shuttle's input?


Background

I had a Shuttle Pro laying around, and looked into adding it into my daily work flow, for example to assist in presentations. A (real) Stream Deck would be a better option, but spending another 100 to 200 bucks? Nah... Or not now 😁


Touch Portal

Update. Consider Touch Portal ($13) in combination with an old iPad or Android device. It works.

More about this here.


How decks do it

A (real) Stream Deck 'talks' directly to the software you use, ie. it doesn't have to simulate key presses.

Stream Desk --> OBS

In reality, there's often some software sitting in the middle, but it still doesn't use keypresses.

Stream Desk --> OBS plugin --> OBS

Touch Portal Pro --> Websocket --> OBS


You can configure OBS to use key presses. These can be set under File / Settings / Hotkeys and are global, i.e. you can use these shortcuts from anywhere, in any program. There are three problems:

a. Windows (10) eats up many interesting shortcuts, and

b. Some programs want to use those same shortcuts, and

c. Simulated key presses are not always detected by OBS


What key combinations to use?

After looking at all the Windows shortcuts I settled on using the numpad keys in combination with the Windows and CTRL keys. So:

function 1 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 1

function 2 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 2

function 3 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 3

function 4 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 4

function 5 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 5

function 6 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 6

function 7 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 7

function 8 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 8

function 9 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 9


OBS shortcuts

In OBS, I created multiple scenes, and I created shortcuts that would select a scene, as well as start / stop recording.

Scene 1 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 1

Scene 2 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 2

etc.


I did test it with the regular keyboard and OBS, and it worked fine.


Shuttle Pro

After that I installed my Shuttle Pro, and changed the 'global' settings so each button would trigger a key, ie.

button 1 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 1

button 2 = Windows + CTRL + numpad 1

etc.


Hold Down

Unfortunately, OSB didn't always respond. Often I had to click the buttons on the Shuttle more than once. Whatever mechanism OSB has to scan for key presses missed them now and again.

Changing the option 'Frequency' from 'Single Keypress' to 'Hold Down' fixes that problem.


Note that you have to do that on the global profile, otherwise the keys won't work outside OBS. You also must remove any profile for any other app that uses these buttons if you want to use OBS simultaneously, OR use the real keyboard whilst doing so.

It's not as perfect as a real Stream Deck, but it works.


Alternatives

Some options I have to look into:

  • A real Stream Deck - pricey
  • Touch Portal on a tablet - reuse an old ipad
  • Unified Remote - no custom images for my buttons :-(
I do had the an old iPad Mini and an Android Lenovo tablet laying around gathering dust. I'll give Touch Portal a try soon...

  

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