There is no doubt Adobe Lightroom simplified the post processing workflow for photographers and retouchers since it came out. The simple layout, the easy to use sliders and the useful presets - all made post processing a much better experience. Then came Paddy, a personal code project by Dorfl, and made the process even easier. OK, not just easier - but way cooler. Paddy connects a MIDI Controller Desk to Lightroom, and lets you edit the photo directly from there.
The sliders on the MIDI Desk change automatically based on the Lightroom option you are viewing, and match it to each other. Which means that when you jump from different modes in Lightroom, the sliders on the Midi Desk change right away to reflect what you see on the screen. Feel like you need to increase exposure? just move the slider up. Want to reduce the saturation? move the other slider down. In addition, Paddy also lets you set up your regular keyboard and assign keys to different buttons and options in Lightroom, so basically you can edit photos without ever touching the mouse.
The Paddy software is free to download, but the creator is asking for donations to be able to improve the program. For what it can do, the $200 price point for the Behringer FADER BCF2000 MIDI Controller Desk is a great deal. You can also look for used ones to make it even cheaper.
The next version of Paddy will include an iPad app to fully control Lightroom. Check out the preview:
Thanks for the tip, Ori Cohen.