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Topic: Hardware controls for Lightroom

Hello folks. Just wanted to share with you my latest discovery for fast photo editing.

I have always had a gripe with how small all the controls in lightroom are and how imprecise they are. I know you can get into special sensitivity modes, but they are cumbersome.

Given that, I have been concocting a plan for building an Arduino controller, just a very long linear potentiometer. But recently I found that there exists hardware that provides this and connects to the computer: midi control surfaces!

And googling a bit further, I found that there is a little program called Paddy for Lightroom that turns this (a Behringer BCF2000):

http://www.americanmusical.com/ItemImages/Large/p26501.jpg

into a set of controllers for lightroom. The faders are motorized, so when you move through the photos and through the controller's programs they automatically position themselves in the correct place - that's a dealbreaker. Absolutely terrific feature.

I bought one and have been trying it for a couple of weeks. It works really well, it really speeds up the editing of photographs. If you have a big volume of pictures to process it is very very useful.

A link to a youtube video that the guy that programmed Paddy posted to show how it works.

Last edited by al (2012-02-08 05:22:21)

Re: Hardware controls for Lightroom

that's interesting. Thanks for sharing. It seems not so simple and must take some time to get comfortable with this.
Is it expensive ?
On a mac, the magic trackpad does a good job if it's slowed enough in the settings, combined with large right panel, it's ok.
Do you know other special sensitivity mode other than the large right-panel ?

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Re: Hardware controls for Lightroom

Emmanuel, I got one off Amazon for $180 - I will let you to decide if that is cheap or expensive.
Regarding the setup, it has some learning curve (which I am still climbing). Paddy has a graphical tool that allows you to assign any lightroom function to any of the controls - and there are a lot of controls: 8 motorized faders, 16 buttons on top, 8 push encoders on top (that can be used in 4 different modes, so you have "32" encoders), and 8 buttons on the right; that makes for a total of 56 controls. On top of that the surface can be in 32 different programs; you can assign an independent function for each control on each program, so you can figure that there is a vast space of settings that you can configure.

I don't know if this is what you are asking, but in Lightroom if you press shift (iirc) when dragging the mouse to adjust a slider the movement is slowed down so you have more precise control on the values that are assigned. Related to this, Paddy has (at least) two enhanced sensitivity modes that map each fader to a subset of the whole range of the slider, which makes adjusting small values a breeze.

Re: Hardware controls for Lightroom

Thank you for the precise answer. They should do the same with all the sliders. that is 73 sliders. Well, maybe a concert hall mix table !
On a mac, the shift trick doesn't work, but the mouse is less accelerated, so with a magic trackpad and the large right tab, it's ok.

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Re: Hardware controls for Lightroom

No problem Emmanuel. I think I have enough with the Behringer - I don't know where I would get the space to get anything bigger frankly big_smile Desktop space is at a premium!

Re: Hardware controls for Lightroom

That is really fascinating!

Mostly in my bag ATM: Fuji X-T1, X-E2, X-E1, Leica M8, Nikon1 V1 and several lenses...
Things ON SALE!