Tag Archives: keyboard controller

Novation Update Their SL Series of Controller Keyboards

Today sees the release of the third iteration of the SL49 and SL61 controller keyboards from Novation. The MKIII is much more than your standard run-of-the-mill controller keyboard with an emphasis on being a standalone centerpiece for controlling all of your hardware!

The keybed is Novations finest, most playable and expressive synth-style keybed to date with sprung action and the highest scan rate they have ever produced. There are 8 assignable faders, 16 tactile RGB pads and comprehensive transport controls for all your bread and butter needs but it doesn’t stop there – 

The new SL series come packed with an extended feature-set including:

• 2x CV, Gate and Mod outputs

• 8 Track Sequencer

• Arpeggiator

• 56 preset templates for mapping popular hardware (new and vintage)

• Chord and Scale mode

• RGB LED feedback

• Routable Clock

As you can probably tell, this makes the new SL MKIII series quite an attractive option for producers whether you work completely in the box or have a studio crammed with expensive hardware. The 5 beautiful OLED screens give you visual feedback on parameter changes. The 8-track sequencer really helps this stand out as a standalone product and opens up lots of DAWless possibilities. The Chord and Scale modes are integrated with the RGB feedback allowing you to instantly see what keys are in the scale – there is also a snap mode which will automatically assign whatever key you press to the nearest in-scale note. The Arpeggiator will be a welcome addition for anybody running synths without a built-in arp, I have a couple of bits of hardware myself which would benefit massively from this alone!

Novations very own Calc gives us a nice little performance video exploring the connection and sequencing capabilities of this exciting new product line featuring alsorts of different audio sources.

For anybody still reading who is really interested in this new release I’ve saved the biggest and most informative video till last…a massive 45 minute deep-dive by Calc. This will no doubt answer any lingering questions you may have in a better way than I possibly could! Enjoy!

SL49 MKIII is available here: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/novation-sl49-mkiii-midi-and-cv-equipped-keyboard-controller-with-eight-track-sequencer

SL61 MKIII is available here: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/novation-sl61-mkiii-midi-and-cv-equipped-keyboard-controller-with-eight-track-sequencer

Keith McMillen Instruments Launches K-Board Pro 4 Expressive MPE Keyboard Kickstarter Campaign

Keith McMillen Instruments are already known for their innovative engineering when it comes to MIDI controllers. Well they now aim to take the standard keyboard controller to the next level with the K-Board Pro 4. Utilizing their Smart Sensor Fabric technology, the keyboard itself has the look of a conventional keyboard but has no moving parts and the keys are made of silicone. Each key press is capable of sending attack velocity, release velocity, continuous pressure, horizontal position, and vertical position data. This allows greater control of the individual notes as you play. It also features 4 additional controller strips along the top of the keyboard.

kmi-k-board-4

There are other MPE controllers out there with similar functionality but they’re not cheap. Examples include the ROLI seaboard, LinnStrument and Eigenlabs’ Eigenharp. The K-Board Pro 4 is expected to retail for around $495 making it somewhat affordable in comparison.

Check out the teaser trailer.

See the Kickstarter site for more details.

The K-Board Pro Homepage

Keith McMillen Hardware @ Scan

Arturia Announces MiniLab MKII

Featuring some refined improvements over the original MiniLab, the MiniLab MKII features 25 velocity sensitive keys, RGB back-lit performance pads and 16 rotary knobs. Aimed at musicians who are primarily on the move it promises to be lightweight yet rugged. It also comes bundled with Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lite and UVI Grand Piano Model B.

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Main Features

  • 25 note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard
  • 2 banks of 8 RGB back-lit velocity-sensitive performance pads
  • 16 rotary encoders
  • Dedicated octave up and down buttons
  • 2 ultra-responsive pitch and mod wheel touch-strips
  • Foot-switch input for sustain pedal
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lite, Ableton Live Lite & UVI Grand Piano Model B
  • 8 user pre-sets
  • USB Powered

The MiniLab MKII is expected to be available at the end of this month.

All Arturia Hardware @ Scan

Arturia MiniLab MKII Homepage