We've known the Novation Launchpad as not only one of the most affordable midi controllers out there (currently only £129) but one of the most innovative and yet easy to use. The controller is a do-all perfomance and studio controller, with 64 cleverly back-lit LEDs. The different LEDs on the unit adapt themselves for any performance or studio function; volume, triggering samples, fx and more. Madeon's 'Pop Culture' mash up of the likes of Michael Jackson, Coldplay and Deadmau5, shows off the Launchpad to it's full potential, so much so it's currently got over 16 million YouTube views.
At the same time, their range of MIDI keyboards including Remote series and Impulse series both integrate seamlessly with any production software. The included Automap software works along side your DAW and plugins, and what can be a lengthy process of assigning hardware controls to your software can be shortened as presets for individual patches or features of your software can be saved and instantly recalled at a touch of a button. Automap is now available with all Novation MIDI controllers and is included with some of their hardware synthesisers such as the Ultranova.
Being ahead of the game with new music tech gear, this left us intrigued to see what was to be announced for this years Namm show and we're pleasantly surprised with their announcement of the Novation Launchkey.
With 25, 49 and 61 key models available, the Launchkey fuses elements of the launchpad with their popular MIDI keyboards: A Launchpad section of velocity-sensitive, LED backlit pads can be used as a conventional MIDI controller to play live or record MIDI data, whilst at the same time can be used to trigger scenes, clips and loops via Ableton Live. Each unit also has MIDI slider controls, mod wheel and pitch bend controls, transport controls and an LED display screen.
Apart from what we'd expect a new Novation keyboard to have, the Launchkey has an ace up it's sleeve... Included in the bundle is the Novation Launchkey App: all you need is an iPad camera connection kit and you can turn your iPad into a powerful synthesizer. True to Novation's ethos of seamless integration, the MIDI controller works hand in hand with the iPad touchscreen interface to create unique sounds and effects (compatible with iPad 2 and later). Also included is a Launchpad app with more options to trigger sounds, loops and manipulate effects. The keyboard can also be used to control popular iPad based DAWs already available such as Apple's Garage Band.
The Novation Launchkey is set to be priced as follows, you can pre-order yours here:
We'll be getting our hands on the new Launchkey range at Namm 2013, so don't forget to subscribe to PMTV and get a first look at the controllers in action!