CHEAP DIY Elgato StreamDeck | Touch Portal How To & Review
So i decided to show you how to get all of the features of a stream deck, but a fraction of the cost and doesn’t it look good too hello, everyone, my name’s mike and here at techcarmoon. We uncover all kinds of texts, so don’t forget to hit that subscribe button. If you want to see more and also hit that like button, so that you can support the channel. That honestly, really does help me out if you’ve been looking for a stream deck lately. Stock right now is all over the place, as there are more people than ever staying at home and streaming, and when i was looking for one for myself, i wanted something with more than 15 keys, but the 32 key model was just a lot of money for Just a few buttons, so i came up with this and i actually think that this is better than any stream deck that i’ve ever used. So let me break this down for you. First of all, you’ll need to start off with an old android phone that has at least android, 6 or 7 or onwards, or an iphone 6 works best for this. The model that i’m using here is the xiaomi a1 that i had lying around. But if you don’t have an old phone that you can use and recycle, then you can pick up an old compatible smartphone on ebay for between 50 to 80. Next, you want to head to touch portals website which i’ll have linked down below to download it onto your mac or pc, and then in the app store of your smartphone search up touch portal and then download it and install the phone automatically finds the computer.
As long as it’s all connected within the same wi, fi and that’s, as simple as that, let me show you how i’ve set up my touch portal on the computer so that you know how to make changes and how to set it up to your liking or Just copy mine, if you like so once you’ve downloaded the touch portal application. Obviously you want to open it up and then connect it to your android or iphone device. Now, just on the top over here, as you can see, we’ve got the pages tab and in this is where you’ll create your pages and there’s, even a few things that you can download to help you get started, but i’ll get into that in a second uh. Again here is, where you add the new one, and then you can manage each individual page with this button over here now over. Here we can simulate the connected device resolution. So here is just on my phone, so, as you can see, i’ve got all my buttons configured, so this is mainly for final cut pro, because that is my application of choice. I don’t really stream too much, but there is so many applications that this can work for like twitch or anything like that works, absolutely brilliant with it. On this side over here, we’ve got the grid settings. So, for me, i’ve got a configuration of 7×4, giving me 28 buttons to configure, which is fantastic works well on this sort of five and a half inch screen.
But again you can add as many buttons as you like, then we’ve got the butter margin. So this is the bit here where you can sort of add the spacing in between each button. One for me works pretty well and then you’ve got the grid margin so that’s how much area around the device you want the buttons to sort of go into, and then here i’ve just selected maximize button space so that each button is individually spaced evenly um and Then we’ve got the background settings so for me, i’ve inserted my own custom background, which is again brilliant because you don’t get that option with the algata app but i’ll get into that in a second and then you can also, if you don’t, want to set your Custom background you can just select a specific color or a custom color if you want so let’s, get into how to configure touch portal to your liking. So, first of all, let’s add a new page, so i’m just going to call this page and then, as you can see, it defaults to a by two configuration or grid setting. So let’s increase that to a for a seven by four. So we have the same amount and, as you can see as i’m hovering over each of these uh squares, it’s sort of highlighting and then what you want to do is. Is you want to select one of these squares and within this section this is how we edit each of the buttons so on the left over here we can do all sorts of things like run.
An application uh open up a file open up a folder uh we’ve got an action, so go to a specific page. So this is for, if you want it to link to other pages uh within touch portal, which is great because you can have almost unlimited amount of pages uh on the application and then over here you can have a specific input. So if you’re twitch streaming or something like that, you can and let’s say you’re always saying like thank you thank you or whatever you can just have buttons for individual uh sort of feedback. Then we’ve got virtual key presses, which is sort of my favorite, because this is basically how you uh put your shortcuts, so your hotkeys. So, for example, i put command and i and as you can see, it’s set, i just press add and there you go. The key press is set. We can also set mouse clicks as well, so, for example, on the ui, if there’s not a keyboard shortcut for a particular action but there’s a certain amount of mouse clicks, you can actually easily select the type of mouse click that you want, so let’s say left Button and then, for example, if there’s a specific position, so let’s say here. What i can do is if i press m it records that position right over here and then i can just add. And then i can go to another section and then press add. So we can really build this out and there’s a whole bunch of stuff as well.
So, like logic, you can really get into this uh like i said, the customization features are incredible and then, as you can see, there’s a whole bunch of plugins so for obs, there’s, again a whole bunch of options um, but we won’t worry about that for now. So now we’ve got the button size, so this is uh one by one. So that means that for each of these squares it’s going to be a one by one. However, if, for example, we increase that to a three by one and we just press save for now, as you can see, it’s done three by one. So if you wanted to and let’s say, there was a particular button that you wanted to just enlarge. Let’S say it was a record button and you didn’t want to accidentally hit let’s say this button over here. What you can do is you can just increase the size of this button so that it will take up more space and then you can have lit smaller buttons dotted around. So this is something that i absolutely love, because for me there isn’t another application that allows me to do this so, for example, let’s just name this uh key press. Okay. So, as you can see, it’s now named at key press, we can change the color of the um text and then we can choose its position and then we can choose the button color. So this is where you can really start to customize.
The look of your touch port application. So, first of all, we want to turn off transparent background because we actually want to see the button itself and, as you can see, it’s set to gray. But what we can do is we can go into here and we can, you know, add a custom color. So right now it says a gradient. We can change the type of gradient, for example, if we just want it, one solid color, just add the same color and there you go it’s now a solid color, and then we can do rounded corners or squared off corners or if you have created a custom Icon or a custom button look let’s say in photoshop or affinity photo. You can actually just change that and import it into a touch portal or if you have downloaded icon packs. There are certain icon packs for touch portal, so for here, as you can see, i’ve got a whole bunch of icons over here. I can just select whatever one so this one over here and then it just adds that icon in the background, but we won’t worry about that for now and then, if we save that, as you can see this button over here, this could be a big record Button is now saved. This looks a bit boring, especially on your desk. You know, having a grey background might might not suit it. What you can do is you can actually set a custom color if you wanted to for your background, so here’s a whole bunch of presets or we can go in and, for example, i really love sort of this um teal color so i’m, just going to select That over here press use – and there you go now – we have a teal background, which is obviously my favorite.
All what we can do is we can actually select an image in our photos. So, for example, let’s select the one that we have over here and there you go it’s now selected, as is the background, but as you saw in the previous page. So if i just go back to the main page, these buttons are transparent so that, obviously we can see the background well, the way that you can do that let’s go back to page is: if we go into this key button over here, we don’t select transparent Background, because we, if we select this what it will do is it will just show up as key which might work for you, but i want to see sort of the edges. So what you do is you go into here? You go into custom color and then what you want to do is it’s all bring it down. Let’S just say use that for now and then press sync, so that both of these colors are matched and then turn off transparent background press save and then, as you can see now, we’ve got the button itself, but we can also see the background. So when you have these all layered up, you can actually see it with no issues, so something that again, you can’t do with the elgato app um and then once you start layering it. So let me just go back into the main page. As you can see, it just provides quick actions, especially as an editor.
Like me, uh having these uh macro keys, all set up just makes life a lot easier because, for example, like blade all you know this one, you have to press command shift and b and that’s. You know kind of a weird finger, uh acrobat. So this one just allows me just to push this button and it does it and, as you can see, i’ve got you know, record voiceovers, uh copy paste effects, you know all sorts of stuff and then in here we’ve got sort of certain apps. So if we want to go into the apps, folder we’ve got applications so for me surf shark calculator. All these sort of things are common applications that i use um. But if you can’t be bothered to do that with your you know, editing software. What you can do is import pages, so this one here is a premiere pro page and, as you can see, it’s done all the icons for you. It’S got all the shortcuts. So again, mark clip it’s got it here as x. So really what you can do is download the application import, the premiere pro page and you’re done. You can set it how you, like so that’s how i pretty much set up my touch portal application. So lots of customization lots of choices and you can really configure this the way you like and, like i said you can import a whole bunch of stuff so here, for example, it’s obs, so record stream.
Whatever i mean, the list is honestly endless and you can configure this exactly the way you want. Hence why i recommend this application because for me, it’s just worked well. The latency is fantastic, it’s, almost instant as soon as i push the button to uh to the action on the screen, but let’s jump back in to the video. Now you may say well what about the official elgato application? Surely that is the best option if you want something like an elgato. Well, i’ve tried this algato application and i’ll tell you why i ended up using touch portal full time. Firstly, on the elgato app on the smartphone, you can only have 15 buttons maximum on the home screen and you can’t change it. You can set folders similar to touch portal, making it possible to have unlimited amount of buttons. However, if you wanted to have more buttons on a page, then it’s just not possible, i just find 15 buttons just too little for my users and i don’t have to keep diving into folders. And if you want to use this on a tablet, then you’re still limited to just 15 buttons, which makes almost no sense, as it would be pointless to have a tablet using the elgato app. Whereas on the touch portal application, you can really make use of that. Real estate now you have very similar touch settings on touch portal, but the issue that i have is the ability to hide the sidebar and the settings on the screen which doesn’t make it look as seamless on the elgato app.
I can hide that on the touch portal, app with no issues. Another customization feature that i absolutely love about touch portal is that i can set the look of the app exactly how i want, such as settings to a custom background or custom color, and i even have more controls over how the buttons look the size of them. The you know the edges, everything like that that you can’t do with the elgato app worst of all is the price of the elgato app unlike touch portal, which gives you a free option. If you don’t care about all the customization stuff that i’ve spoken about – and you just need the basic functions of basically our macro keys, then you can save yourself quite a bit of money. And if you want to go for the full power of touch portal, then it’s just 12.99 for life, el gatos app on the other hand, only gives you a 30 day free trial, and then it will cost you 2.99 a month or 22.99 per year, which can Add up over time, so it doesn’t really make sense to go for the elgato app, especially when you have an option like touch portal. So if you’re looking for a cheap way to get an elgato, then i think that this is one of the best ways to get more buttons on the cheap. Yes, you’ll miss out on the tactile feel of the buttons, but as a long term solution.
This type of upcycling of your old tech is definitely better than buying new ones, but there we have it. As always. This is a discussion, so please leave a comment down below on whether you found this interesting and if you’re gon na give this a go yourself. Also check out the links down in the description below to support the channel if you haven’t already, please follow me on twitter and instagram at techcarmoon drop me a like in this video if you’ve enjoyed it and hit that subscribe button. If you want to see more, but if you want to see more from me right now, you guys know what to do. There’S two fantastic videos right over here. You know you’re going to enjoy them. I made them. It took me a while, but you’ll enjoy it anyway.