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by Lars Kotthoff

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I recently purchased a Corsair gaming keyboard, specifically the K50. It obviously has all the usual keys one would expect, and an additional eighteen on the left hand side. They're designed to allow for macros, something which I can see being handy in games but not really something I'd use day to day.

However, I wondered if they could be put to use in Lightroom to speed up my edits.

I'd like very much to be able to bind some of these keys to a slider, so that a button can (for example) increase exposure by 0.33, another to decrease it by 0.33, for example. Or perhaps bind them to common keywords for the metadata. Or even have it assigned to a preset I can apply to an image on a button-press.

I have seen programs which let you customise the "normal" keys to achieve similar functionality (VSCO do one, for example) and I have seen programs which work in conjunction with MIDI sliders and what not.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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according to corsair.com/en/raptor-k50-gaming-keyboard "An Internet connection is required for the free control software download." - which I assume is what you need to load the macro/shortcuts onto the 18 programmable keys. –  dav1dsm1th Feb 27 at 1:48
    
I have already installed this program. On it's own, it can be programmed to work as a particular key, or a combination of keys (so I can set it to Ctrl+V for example). It's not quite what I'm looking for though - I'm looking for it to be able to modify the various sliders in Lightroom, which I cannot find shortcuts to do. –  Thomas Bisset Feb 27 at 14:10
    
I stumbled on a kick-starter project, a while ago, that may also be of interest, when it starts shipping (fall 2014), at palettegear.com –  dav1dsm1th Mar 3 at 12:30

2 Answers 2

Lightroom doesn't allow you to configure your own shortcuts and isn't really perfect for use with

I'm a wedding photographer so I had to find a way to edit many photos fast and we recently bought VSCO keys (http://vsco.co/vscokeys).

After some getting used to it does exactly what you asked for. You can configure your own layout. We created a layout with keys on a normal keyboard and then used the keyboard software to create the macro keys to make it easier. The most important keys are on the extra macro keys for fast access. You can click ctrl or option or whatever to make it go in smaller or bigger increments.

Hope that helps.

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Does VSCO Keys Let you customise the additional keys or just those on a standard layout? –  Thomas Bisset Feb 28 at 8:01
    
You can only set up shortcuts with the keys available on a US standard keyboard but that's not really a problem as you can create any combination with option, alt ctrl etc. and then set up your macro key. We didn't find any Lightroom function that we could not configure. You can set up +/- exposure etc. and even things like presets. –  bekate Feb 28 at 8:28

I have a similar keyboard that has macro keys. I only have 5 of them on my current one rather than 18, so I tend to program them on the fly if I have some repetitive key combination that I'm needing to do.

I will often use them for things like synchronizing settings or other things that would normally be longer combinations of keys, but simplifying it to one key saves a bit of time.

Both the beauty and curse of macro keys is that they are as helpful or unhelpful as your creativity and workflow allows for. If you find yourself working in a way that has an action or series of actions repeating, then make a macro for it. Most macro keyboards have a quick way to program a macro right from the keyboard itself, so if you can identify that, it will make it easy to set one up just for a time while you need it and then swap it out for something else.

I have not personally had much luck with trying to rig up the macro keys to other more complex things such as midi interaction since it takes far more setup and thus requires far more consistent usage to make it worth the time to get it setup and working.

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