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Professional Video Production Control Surfaces

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All Technical Directors need some way to control their production software. Having the right control surface for your particular workflow is key! You may have bigger fingers than others, or smaller hands, or less mobility, or certain preferences that would make you choose one surface over another. I personally have a combination of 2 keyboards, 3 mice, an XKeys 128 (oh, the custom buttons), an Akai APC40 MKii (faders & pots), and 2 Streamdeck XLs that run the shows!

Here are a few ideas to get your mind swimming!

1. Elgato Stream Deck XL – Advanced Stream Control with 32 Customizable LCD Keys, for Windows 10 and macOS 10.13 or Later

Boasting 32 customizable LCD keys poised to launch unlimited actions with a tap, Stream Deck XL takes live production control to a whole new level. Instantly activate scenes, launch media, switch cameras, tweak lighting, adjust audio, post tweets, and more. Directly control your entire setup. And get immediate visual feedback to confirm your every command. Stream Deck XL integrates seamlessly with your favorite tools and platforms, including OBS Studio, XSplit, Streamlabs, Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, OvrStream, VoiceMod, vMix, and StreamElements. All so you can easily power through your workflow, and engage your audience like never before.

  • Advanced live production: Easily control your favorite tools and platforms
  • 32 customizable keys: Instantly trigger unlimited actions with a tap
  • Powerful integrations: Elgato game capture, obs, stream labs, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, mixer, Spotify, Philips HUE, vMix, voice mod, and more
  • One-touch operation: Change, scenes, launch media, switch cameras, Tweak lighting, adjust Audio, post tweets – anything
  • Visual feedback: Know that your command has been executed
  • Connectivity technology: USB

2. Roland HD Video Switcher (V-8HD)

Versatile, portable, and reliable, the Roland V-8HD brings a world of creative options to live event switching. Its all-in-one hardware design eliminates computer setup hassles and software-based crashes, while the HDMI workflow and loaded professional toolset streamline production and reduce stress on the gig.

  • All HDMI workflow
  • Five-layer effects and keying engine Video Switching
  • Built-in multiviewer preview monitor
  • Aux output for a different video feed
  • Technology-assisted automatic video switching
  • 18-channel digital audio mixer with effects
  • Start & Stop Atomos recorders
  • Free iPad remote control app available
  • Ultra-mobile, lightweight, and efficient
  • Aids in reducing capital expenditure

3. Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Extreme + Extreme ISO HDMI Live Streaming Switchers

The Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Extreme is an 8-input live production switcher for live streaming. It features an integrated control panel and has advanced broadcast features. In addition to live streaming using RTMP protocols, you can also output your program as if it were a webcam over USB. This versatile switcher’s eight independent HDMI inputs accept all popular HD signals up to 1080p60. Each input has discrete frame rate and format converters, and it supports re-syncing for seamless switching between a variety of pro and consumer cameras, game consoles, and computer feeds.

The ATEM Mini Extreme ISO is the “Beast” of the Black Magic Switchers

Switch, add effects, color grade, and key in real time using the control surface’s buttons, or via the software control panel. CCU functions are available for controlling Blackmagic Studio and URSA Mini/Broadcast/Micro Studio cameras from the switcher. The ATEM Mini Extreme supports up to nine layers, with four upstream and two downstream keyers, up to four chroma keyers, up to four linear keyers, two DVE with borders and drop shadow, five pattern generators, and two-color generators. Designed for live streaming or webcam production, the Mini Extreme has HDMI outputs to feed monitors and supports up to 16-screen multiview.
Bundle Includes:

  • Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Extreme HDMI Live Streaming Switcher

Manufacturer Accessories:

  • 12V Power Supply with International Adapters

Additional Accessories:

  • Standard HDMI Cable (A-A)
  • HDMI AA (Standard) to AD (Micro) Adapter

4. X-keys Video Switcher Kit for vMix (124 Key, T-bar)

X-keys video switcher kits use rugged, reliable XKE-128 or XKE-124 T-bar as the base to create a cost effective video switcher for live streaming or small venue multimedia control. vMix has complete integration with these devices allowing any key or control to be assigned to virtually any function and triggering our backlighting LEDs to indicate active inputs, streaming, and recording status. Black Magic Design ATEM can also be controlled by using third party software. NewTek Tricaster Advanced Edition offers native support for X-keys (NOT for the T-bar).

The X-keys 128 for vMix builds.
  • Perfect for vMix
  • Works with ATEM via control software like PresetMaster
  • Excellent for live streaming
  • Fully customizable – assembled by end user to suit requirements
  • USB connection to PC

Durable Printed Keys

Pi Engineering manufacture their own key sets in-house with an industrial printer utilizing UV cured acrylic ink and a clear top coat for added durability. Keys and Key Blockers may be repositioned on the device like Lego bricks to create the perfect layout for your requirements.

A transparent key base allows the backlighting LED to be used for seven levels of indication.

  1. Off
  2. Blue On
  3. Red On
  4. Blue and Red On
  5. Red Blink
  6. Blue Blink
  7. Blue and Red Blink

Five Methods of Input

vMix offers complete integration of these devices. No other software is required.

ATEM can be supported via third party software such as JustMacros and PresetMaster. These programs offer complete access to all keys, controls, and indicators.

NewTek Tricaster Advanced Edition offers native integration of the keys. Any key may assigned to any function in Tricaster. Analog controls like the T-bar are not supported. Individual backlighting control is not supported. Backlighting color and level may be set with our Backlighting Utility (a free download).

Keystrokes may be programmed into the memory of the X-keys to trigger shortcuts to other applications. Emulating a USB keyboard, individual keys on the same device may send keystrokes to the operating system to launch programs or trigger functions in other applications.

Other Applications can be supported via their software development kits (free download). Pi offers SDKs for Windows, Linux, OS X, and Android.

X-keys Customized for ATEM

Instant Customization

Add or remove keys, blockers, and large keys to create an intuitive layout for your workflow.  Grouping keys with related functions improves efficiency and allows the user to focus on creative elements instead of searching for tools or functions in the interface.

Expand our set of pre-printed keys with included relegendable keys to add functions you need on your control station.

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