Elgato’s Stream Deck Pedal Is The Home Office Upgrade I Didn’t Know I Needed

Elgato’s Stream Deck Pedal Is The Home Office Upgrade I Didn’t Know I Needed

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I’ve long sworn by my Elgato Stream Deck Mini, a compact keypad that lets me go live and create smooth transitions during Twitch streams without having to touch my mouse or keyboard. So when Elgato introduced the Stream Deck Pedal — which lets you do all of that without lifting a finger — I had to get my hands (or feet) on one as soon as possible.

This premium foot pedal lets you do nearly anything a standard Stream Deck can do, from broadcasting functions like switching scenes and playing effects to general productivity tasks like opening apps, launching web pages and muting your microphone during a video call. Except now you can keep your hands freed up for working and gaming. It’s yet another excellent addition to Elgato’s accessory lineup, and the one I’ve found most useful for certain creative projects. Here’s why.

Hands-free PC control

The Elgato Stream Deck Pedal is an excellent, versatile tool for controlling your Twitch streams and productivity tasks hands-free.

The who, what and how Who it’s for: The Elgato Stream Deck Pedal is primarily for content creators who want a hands-free way to control their broadcasts on the fly. And because you can program it to carry out pretty much any task on your PC with a tap of your foot, it can also be useful in any home office setting. It’s especially ideal for those who already own lots of Elgato gadgets, as you can use the Pedal to control the company’s Key Lights, Wave microphones and Facecam camera without fumbling with software.

What you need to know: The Stream Deck Pedal is a foot pedal that can be programmed to perform a host of different actions via Elgato’s Stream Deck app. You can use it to change camera angles while streaming on Twitch, switch slides during a presentation or even gain  extra controls while playing a PC game. If you can imagine it, you can probably program Stream Deck to do it.

How it compares: At $89.99, the Stream Deck Pedal is one of the most affordable members of the Stream Deck family, though with only three programmable keys. It’s a bit pricier than the $79.99 Stream Deck Mini keypad that has six keys, and is notably cheaper than the standard $149.99 Stream Deck (15 keys) and $249.99 Stream Deck XL (32 keys). There are other PC foot pedals you can find around the web for cheaper, but they’re not as new, and won’t work with the intuitive Stream Deck software for programming inputs.

A simple slab of plastic that does a lot Mike Andronico/CNN

For the uninitiated, the Stream Deck is a customizable keypad that’s largely designed for Twitch streamers and YouTubers, but can be programmed to carry out almost any function on your computer. The Stream Deck Pedal brings this functionality to a press of your foot, offering three large pedals you can use to do anything from changing cameras to dodging in-game enemies.

Elgato’s sleek, sturdy slab of black plastic held up well throughout weeks of stomping, and its 9.6-by-6.9-inch design takes up minimal space under my desk. Its textured surface and rubberized feet kept it from slipping around too much, and it responded to inputs quickly and accurately. Plus, if you want the Stream Deck Pedal to have a little more (or less) resistance, you can unscrew the bottom panel off and swap in one of several sets of alternate springs that come included in the box. Elgato also includes stoppers for the middle pedal, in case you want to use it as a static footrest.

Mike Andronico/CNN

Setting the Pedal up to be your hands-free control center is easy, even if you haven’t been using Stream Decks for years like I have. Once you have the Stream Deck app installed on your PC or Mac, you can simply drag and drop specific functions to any of the Pedal’s three zones. Out of the box, these include basic actions such as going live on Twitch or YouTube, opening up a website, sending a Tweet or launching an app.

But there’s a huge, always-growing ecosystem of free plugins in the Stream Deck store from both Elgato and a ton of independent creators, giving you the freedom to control things like Spotify, your Philips Hue lights and Elgato’s own hardware with a quick tap of your foot. You can save an endless amount of custom profiles within the Stream Deck software, and can even have them launch automatically with certain apps — such as a set of video call controls that become available as soon as you fire up Zoom.

Great hands-free control for working, creating and gaming Mike Andronico/CNN

As a gamer and occasional streamer, I find the Stream Deck Pedal to be yet another useful Elgato accessory for running broadcasts. As someone who makes music, I find Elgato’s foot pedal to be an absolute game changer.

After assigning some basic hotkeys, the Stream Deck Pedal became an invaluable part of my workflow when tracking some instruments in Ableton Live. My electronic drum kit isn’t very close to my PC, so reaching over to my keyboard every time I want to start recording is a pain. But with the Pedal programmed to act as a giant record button sitting at my feet, I was able to knock out a ton of different takes without having to constantly move around my small home studio.

As with any Stream Deck, the Pedal works especially well with other Elgato products. It made a great companion to the company’s Key Light Mini, as I could toggle the light on and off and change color profiles in real time — all without having to take my eyes off of the camera during video calls and broadcasts. When using Elgato’s Facecam camera, I was able to adjust things like sharpness, contrast and zoom without lifting a finger, which is useful when you want to make fixes without disengaging from your audience.

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Stream Deck Pedal works wonderfully with Open Broadcasting Software (which I use to make videos and stream on T

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