I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen videos of somebody going absolutely savage on a grid based controller – finger drumming, launching clips, crazy light shows and all sorts of other audiovisual trickery. I also imagine a lot of people watch on in awe wishing they had just a sliver of the technical prowess required to pull off such feats.
Well, good news everyone (insert Prof. Farnsworth meme here). Novation have devised an interactive website designed to help you hone your skills to become a Launchpad legend and think of ways to implement the Launchpad into your musical and visual creations. Now it’s not just a website where you have to use your mouse or keyboard (although keyboard control is supported), it’s designed to connect to a real Launchpad unit which takes the interaction to a whole new level!
The content will be released in a sequence of steps, the 1st is Launchpad Arcade which gives you access to a load of one-shots and samples from Harry Coade – Found Sound. The next steps will cover everything from rhythm practice, choosing a Launchpad, creating lightshows, building an online presence and getting to know your Launchpad inside out.
Novation have announced their new range of controller keyboards today called the Launchkey 25, 49 & 61 editions. Normally we wouldn’t have all that much to say about another entry into the already crowded midi keyboard controller market but this time around we appear to have some interesting added functionality that should raise these controllers above the rest of the products out there.
Novation Launchkey Features
So what is it that has our interest here? Well apart from the rather impressive amount of hands on controls for the price point which total 34 knobs, sliders and pads on the 25 key edition and over 50 on the larger models! Plenty of hands on tweakability going on here which is something we approve of greatly!
But that ain’t all. Along with the keyboard for anyone owning an iPad comes a pair of interesting apps called Launchkey and Launchpad. The first of these Launchkey is a synth app capable of running on the iPad 2 or later and uses one of the extremely well regarded Novation synth engines to enable this modest midi controller to make some huge noise. Along with that is Launchpad which appears to let you configure the built in controller pads into a launchpad style set up using the pad to trigger loops & samples as well as apply effects and general mash things up… very, very impressive for what is essentially a budget controller range and should be great for getting your creative juices running.
Launchkey at a glance
Fully integrated instrument controller for Mac, PC & iPad
InControl technology instantly maps the hardware to all major music software
16 velocity-sensitive multi-colour launch pads – launch clips and scenes in Ableton Live
Synth-action keyboard with over 50 hardware controls (34 on 25 key version)
Included Software with Launchkey 25, 49 and 61
Novation Launchkey app (for iPad)
Novation Launchpad app (for iPad)
Ableton Live Lite
Novation V-Station soft-synth
Novation Bass Station soft-synth
Loopmasters sample pack
We’re informed that the Launchkey 49 should be available in March with the Launchkey 25 & 61 editions folllowing on in April.