Streaming media requires a lot of brainpower, which does not leave room for many other tasks. When I decided to broadcast, although I had a schedule, I was never so organized. I was either late or didn’t adjust all the settings for this stream. Sometimes, I am so excited about starting a new indie game or beating the boss, that I forget to post on Twitter that I am going online. However, using dedicated macro keyboards such as Elgato Stream Deck MK.2, you can complete all tasks related to streaming faster and easier-change settings, live broadcast, chat with viewers, and even promote your streaming on social media.
As an update to the popular Stream Deck, MK.2 has 15 customizable keys, each of which doubles as a miniature color LED screen to show you its functions. You can configure each key to perform any action, but some of the built-in functions supported by the software include sending automatic Twitch chat messages, playing audio from the soundboard, creating clips, modifying voices, or posting tweets. The Stream Deck MK.2 application natively supports OBS, Twitch and Twitter.
MK.2 was released in July 2021 at a price of $149, and has some useful improvements over the original model, but these may not be enough to promote upgrades for those who already have it. The new model brings us an interchangeable panel, a USB-C port with a detachable cable, and a more robust 45-degree fixed angle bracket. Otherwise, it is the same device as the 6-key Stream Deck Mini (US$69) or 32-key Stream Deck XL (US$245), with the same features and software.
Stream Deck MK.2 specifications
|total height||10 inches (25 mm)|
|Total width (without bracket)||3.3 inches (84 mm)|
|Total length||4.6 inches (118 mm)|
|Weight (with bracket)||270 grams (9.5 ounces)|
|Weight (without bracket)||145 g (5.1 oz)|
|Line length||1 meter|
Design of Stream Deck MK.2
The Stream Deck has three rows of five buttons. The buttons are raised, pushable, and separated by black bars-giving each button a personalized feel. The buttons have no tactile feedback when pressed, but they are tactile. In my PC game stream, there is a hotkey to switch between the game and other applications I am using (such as Opera GX, Chrome, and OBS), which is really helpful. I know that most people like to have more buttons on the macro keyboard, but I found that even 15 buttons are a lot, I think I can use the six buttons on the Stream Deck Mini, especially because you can always create folders to Store different functions.
Stream Deck MK.2 has the same 15 keys as the original, but looks different from its predecessor. It measures 4.6 x 3.3 x 10 inches, which is smaller and more stylish, and the stand feels more sturdier, making it inconspicuous on the desk. The original Deck weighed 6.4 ounces, but it has now been reduced to 5.1 ounces.
The interchangeable panel is stuck in your hand. This feature makes it easier to customize your panel. Before you have to try another custom shell to cover the 4.6 x 3.3 surface of the 15 button layout. Another option is to put vinyl stickers on the surface of the deck. Seven custom plates can now be purchased on Elgato’s website for $10 each.
The stand on Stream Deck MK.2 looks completely different. The previous model had an adjustable bracket that looked a little fragile, but this was a heavier one-piece detachable bracket fixed at a 45-degree angle. The weight helps MK.2 feel strong with the non-slip base.
The detachable USB-C plug is very convenient. In the previous model, the device had a 23-inch (59 cm) short cable built in, but the MK.2 was equipped with a one-meter detachable cable.
Assembling MK.2 is a simple three-step process. The bracket is attached to the console in the box. After removing the bracket, I just plug in the USB-C cable, which passes through the hole in the bracket for easy cable management. When it’s done, all that’s left is to plug the cable into my computer and configure the software.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 software
The Stream Deck app is the same for all Stream Deck models and is where you configure all the buttons. Navigation software is not difficult, because there is a list of operations and supported software on the right, and pictures of all the buttons on the Stream Deck are on the right. To configure each button, drag and drop the action you want to assign to the appropriate position on the button map.
Built-in operations are organized by application/function, including Elgato Game Capture, OBS Studio, Soundboard, Stream Deck functions (create folders, set brightness, etc.), Streamlabs OBS, Twitter, and Twitch categories. If you want to create more than 15 buttons, you can add folder buttons, which will take you to a level where you can add a whole new set of buttons.
You can also create custom actions to tap keyboard combinations, launch websites, or enter text for you. There is also a multi-action button, which can also be combined. You can even create your own custom icons to add buttons.
If building the action yourself is not enough, there are many plugins, such as those that provide Spotify integration, although I don’t recommend using music in your stream (however, you can use it in your private time. You can also find plugins for other non-streaming Workloads, such as programming in Visual Studio.
Stream Deck MK.2 is not only used to simplify streaming, it also contributes to the sound, not only can monitor the volume, but also can modify the voice.They are using Voice module, A plug-in that can be used for Stream Deck, the plug-in has some limited free content, but charges a subscription fee for using most of its effects.
I hope to see more features in the sound monitoring department. Loupedeck has six knobs dedicated to handling the sounds of different programs.
Creating features such as advertising on Twitch, emoticon-only chat, and creating clips is essential to having a seamless flow. Stream Deck MK.2 can also create multiple configuration files for running different Twitch accounts or different occasions. You can log in through the Stream Deck software to connect to Twitch, YouTube, Streamlabs and Twitter.
Connecting your Twitch account allows you to create buttons that integrate with your stream. I set up a button to open OBS for faster access. In the OBS function, you can switch scenes, start and stop streams, and move in the source.
Streaming with Stream Deck MK.2
In order to understand how Stream Deck MK.2 works in practice, I tried it in one of my streaming sessions and found that it significantly changed my workflow. From the time I decided to live broadcast to the end of the live broadcast, the only time I touched the keyboard was to update my title, change my game, and turn on my closed captioning function.
I mainly use it for sound effects, scene transitions and mute my microphone. It makes streaming more seamless and makes things look more interesting. It’s like having your own in-house studio producer. If something crazy happens, I can use my camera to click the scene transition button to go to a scene so that my audience can see my reaction in full screen. My favorite sound effect is the sound of the inspector, so if I want to have an impromptu “curse” meeting, I just keep pressing the button because I yelled and was killed by an imposter, I said before two meetings He is an imposter!
Non-Streaming Use of Stream Deck MK.2
Let’s talk about use cases outside of Twitch. Stream Deck MK.2 has a Zoom plugin that allows you to turn on/off the camera and mute yourself. There is also a speed test plugin, which is very helpful when troubleshooting.
Loupedeck also surprised me in this regard, because it has many built-in features for Adobe Photoshop and other non-streaming media applications. The Stream Deck software itself does not have these and has some plug-ins, but I did not see any plug-ins for the Adobe application. However, you can always create your own Photoshop actions.
Sometimes I need to take a break while staring at the computer all day. I became irritable and didn’t want to do actual work. The Deck provides some mental relief through its mini-games such as Memory Game, Dice, and Reaction Deck. I have tested the memory game and it is not super competitive or exhilarating-it is really relaxing.
This macro keyboard does have a certain range.You can personalize the icon with your photo, your expression, or a funny photo that matches your voice Elgato key creator page. There are pre-installed icon packs inspired by Assassin’s Creed Viking Legends, Apex Legends and Superhero Packs.
If you do any kind of streaming, Stream Deck MK.2 will make your life easier and allow you to focus on the most important tasks: creating content and interacting with your audience. Just clicking a button to perform a Tweet-like operation, instead of navigating the menu with the mouse and keyboard, is a way to change the rules of the game for me.
I think this technology is aimed at mid-level anchors. The software and plug-ins are easy to use and set up. However, if one is unfamiliar with streaming media, this device may be too large because you may not need to activate so many functions.Push the button
Stream Deck is very helpful in daily use other than streaming media. Providing shortcuts for the various programs I use gives people a very efficient feeling. To be honest, I can’t go back to the state without the macro keyboard.
Stream Deck MK.2 is a visual improvement of the original version. The main difference is that the customizable plates do not have vinyl stickers. The USB-C cable and the new bracket are also helpful. However, if you already own a Stream Deck, you do not need to rush to purchase the MK.2 version, which is only for cosmetics.
If you want to save money, consider Stream Deck Mini, which is basically the same device but with six buttons. And, if you want a more powerful professional audio or video editing solution, one of the Loupedeck models starting at US$269 to US$549 may be a better choice, thanks to their built-in jog dial. However, if you want to buy a powerful macro pad at a reasonable price, Stream Deck MK.2 may be your best choice.