The people who use our boards.

299 interviews since 2018

Denise Ding

Voice Actor

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

Who I am in regards to being a very lucky owner of a ZSA Moonlander MK I? I’m the “everyperson.”

If we’re talking profession-wise/generally: I’m a voice actor, freelance transcriptionist, Etsy-ish person.

I’m not nearly as techy-gifted as many people who have written on this site. I’m no programmer, music composer, or expert modder who knows how to soup up my station or push the limits of what this keyboard can do … I’m the ‘rest of us.’ That said, this keyboard has still been a massive treasure—and likely one of the most useful things I’ve ever purchased.

I am a starving artist—just kidding, obviously not starving. I’m a voice actor who is still doing the auditions and hoping for “the break” to happen—while thinking about my biology-educated background. As the work isn’t as consistent or as regular as needed to sustain normal life, I also do some transcription on the side. To keep myself sane and sometimes solvent, I do the following:

  • play video games,
  • make customized computer folder icons (for myself),
  • work with resin,
  • crochet, and
  • do nail stuff (like, fingernails, not the kind you hammer into wood).

I dabble and am a master of nothing… however, I do the Etsy-store thing so that all my doings don’t end up filling up the entire space—as you can already see from the pic… it’s pretty full. On Etsy, I’m “TheFirstPancakeShop”—check it out! I know, it’s a “Where’s Waldo” for the Moonlander—but I’m sure you can still see it.

Denise Ding's setup with lots of crafting supplies
Denise is too modest about her crafting

What hardware do you use?

Funny you should ask… I just (through the graces of a good, computer-guru friend) updated my video card to an AMD Radeon RX 6600—because wow, was my computer acting crazy. Had to do an OS reset.

So… let’s just list the hardware straight out (thank you, Device Manager!). The internal stuff, the non-plug-n-play: AMD Radeon RX 6600, Intel Core i5 9400, 64GB RAM.

The plug-n-play stuff? That’s a longer list. First and foremost, my PRECIOUS keyboard: the ZSA Moonlander Mark I, in black. Acer VG270 27-inch X3 monitors; Parblo Ninos-M graphic drawing tablet; DualShock, DualSense, and Wii Remotes for gamepads; Steinberg UR12 audio interface; ASUS USB-BT400 Bluetooth adapter; Logitech THX stereo speakers (for when I know my neighbours aren’t home); four Western Digital hard drives in various sizes; and two USB hubs because of the various things I plug into my computer at any given moment.

Denise Ding's setup
The basics may be minimal, but Denise needs some special peripherals for voice acting

My headset was the SteelSeries Arctis 7 (until the battery died in under two years and they told me “oh, well, you’re SOL, because it’s no longer under warranty, goodbye”), now using a wired version, SteelSeries Arctis 3 (unfortunately, their headset mics are still the best in a practical sense).

And what software?

Ah, yes—the software. Well, the OS is Win 10 64 (for now—letting the Win 11 cycle through a bit before upgrading).

I use Audacity, Photoshop, Word, Excel, Acrobat and whatever other programs I can find to do whatever it is I need to do.

The freelance transcription work requires me to use Express Scribe.

I’m also very old-school, in that I like the things I use, like games or movies… to not be only on ‘the cloud.’ So any games I have, I will download/rip from original disc and play on an emulator (for my PSX games, I use DuckStation, for example).

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

So this is how this keyboard is the most useful thing I’ve ever purchased for myself. It’s like buying every single control panel you could ever need for any program—but it’s all in one keyboard. Thank you, layers.

For the programs I use to “make things” or complete assignments, I have a layout for it, so all the hotkeys and shortcuts are in there. I reserve one key to be able to tap back “home” on every layout, just in case I need to do “normal” stuff on the fly. Thanks to this keyboard, I didn’t have to buy a whole separate foot-pedal thingie for transcribing, because all the hotkey functions could be programmed into my “transcription work” layout.

I even have a custom layout for my home, which just makes life easier… sooo much… easier. My hands are the size of a five-year-old’s, so being able to adjust that thumb space for what I need it for is gold. You can probably see the thumb-wing levels aren’t the same for both hands… because the programmed keys don’t do the same things and my hands don’t have absolutely equal flexibility to each other.

Custom keycaps… I’d love to be able to make custom keycaps, actually—but finding the right silicone moulds to do so… that’s an issue, as the ones out there are shaped to “standard” keyboards, so I don’t know what standard key would correspond to, say, the thumb-wing keys. Hey, if ZSA started selling some moulds that work, I think I’d be one of the first customers!

What would be your dream setup?

What I have now is somewhat close. The true dream setup would involve having a bigger room—which would mean a bigger house, so I am trying to keep realistic.

The true dream setup is to have about five monitors (separate monitors, as that helps delineate what different activities I’m doing), with this precious keyboard somehow having adjustable height supports for the thumb-wings (I guess I’m somewhat of an … intense typist at times… the whole keyboard seesaws and thumps when I use the thumb keys, as the wing is raised—hence why there are those rolled-up wedges of nonslip material in the picture).

There’d also be the ability/space to mount the speakers to the wall to get a good, true surround sound… and enough room to have it all hooked up to a gaming-station bed… or at least a modified La-Z-Boy recliner (with wheels underneath) as a desk chair.

Denise Ding's portrait
Thanks, Denise! The interview's over, so it's time to FINISH IT

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