The Novation Launchkey Review and Specs

Review on Novation Launchkey

Novation has been providing us with synth, controllers and control surfaces for move than 20 years.

But, it seems they are even more engaged to surprise us with their new products.

In this article, we will be talking about their newest models.

They have made three sizes of keyboards, the model gets its name by the number of keys that it contains.

We can choose between two, four or five octaves.

Even though the smallest model doesn’t have enough space for all the buttons and sliders…

It still has the same functionality as the other models!

They offer us multi-colored, multi-purpose pads and various options of knobs and buttons for use with soft synths and trendy DAWs.

That’s not all, we are also offered with a bundle of free software and samples that include Ableton Live Lite.

Let’s dive into the Novation Launchkey Review.

Novation Launchkey 25 MKII

Novation Launchkey 25 is one of quickest and easiest ways to produce and perform electronic music using Ableton Live. Just plug in via USB and the keys, knobs, and velocity-sensitive RGB pads give you immediate hands-on control of your session view, instruments, effects and mixer. 

Pros

  • Price Friendly
  • Semi Weighted Keys
  • Software Included

Cons

  • Pads may be small
  • Slightly Durable
  • No AfterTouch

Novation Launchkey 49 MKII

The Novation Launchkey 49 is your quick and easy solution for producing and performing electronic music using Ableton Live. But even if you use another DAW, you’ll appreciate the Launchkey’s ergonomic layout and just-right feel. Simply plug it into your computer’s USB port and the keys, faders, knobs, and velocity-sensitive RGB pads give you complete hands-on control of Ableton’s session view, instruments, effects, and mixer.

Pros

  • More Mixing Channels
  • Software Included
  • Semi Weighted Keys

Cons

  • Works Best on Ableton
  • No Aftertouch

Novation Launchkey 61 MKII

The Novation Launchkey 61 is your quick and easy solution for producing and performing electronic music using Ableton Live. But even if you use another DAW, you’ll appreciate the Launchkey’s ergonomic layout and just-right feel. 

Pros

  • 61 keys, more chords
  • Software Included
  • Easy to connect
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Fixed Configuration
  • Not compatible with reason

Novation launchkey 25 MKII

Novation Launchkey Review
  • 25-note velocity-sensitive synth-style keyboard
  • 16 full-color RGB backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
  • Eight knobs
  • One slider
  • Six dedicated transport controls
  • Pitch-bend and modulation wheels
  • Two Octave/Transpose buttons
  • 7-segment 3-character LED display
  • Two Track/MIDI Channel buttons
  • Eight Mute/Solo buttons plus toggle button
  • Two InControl buttons
  • Two full-color RGB backlit round buttons
  • USB socket
  • DC power socket
  • Sustain pedal 1/4″ jack socket
  • Kensington security slot
  • Included software:
    • Ableton Live Lite 9 (version 9 required for InControl)
    • Novation Bass Station and V-Station
    • 4GB library of session-ready samples from Loopmasters
    • FREE Melodics Lessons: Use Melodics to improve your keyboard skills and hone your pad drumming skills
    • Your choice of XLN Addictive Keys instrument (VST/AU/AAX) with product registration
  • Class-compliant and USB bus-powered on Mac or PC
  • iOS 8, iOS 7 Compatible – Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter required (not included)

This is the smallest model of the newest three.

 It’s designed to use Ableton live with a USB controller. 

It features 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads, 8 knobs and by connecting USB to the computer you have instant control over Ableton’s session view, this includes mixer, effects and instruments. 

With the featured pads, we can use it to launch clips, manipulate FX, trigger and play beats, it can also be used to stop parts. 

We can manipulate sounds as we want with these features. 

Synths can be used as we wish, due to all of the controls being reassigned to Ableton’s parameters.

Novation launchkey 49 MKII

  • 49-note velocity-sensitive synth-style keyboard
  • 16 full-color RGB backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
  • Eight knobs
  • Nine sliders
  • Six dedicated transport controls
  • Pitch-bend and modulation wheels
  • Two Octave/Transpose buttons
  • 7-segment 3-character LED display
  • Two Track/MIDI Channel buttons
  • Eight Mute/Solo buttons plus toggle button
  • Three InControl buttons
  • Two full-color RGB backlit round buttons
  • USB socket
  • DC power socket
  • Sustain pedal 1/4″ jack socket
  • Kensington security slot
  • Included software:
    • Ableton Live Lite 9 (version 9 required for InControl)
    • Novation Bass Station and V-Station
    • Free Melodics Lessons: Use Melodics to improve your keyboard skills and hone your pad drumming skills for free
    • 4GB library of session-ready samples from Loopmasters
    • Your choice of XLN Addictive Keys instrument (VST/AU/AAX) with product registration
  • Class-compliant and USB bus-powered on Mac or PC
  • iOS 8, iOS 7 Compatible – Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter required (not included)

The medium model size is the best out of three, that’s what most people believe, because of the full-size keys it can be used for gigs and in-studio use.

The keys are plastic, but semi-weighted and they bring us great feedback. 

The faders and knobs are nice and tight, with this we get a really good feeling when using them.

 Most people believe that this is the best model out of the three, because you can also use it professionally and if you just started out.

Novation launchkey 61 MKII

Novation Launchkey Review
  • 61-note velocity-sensitive synth-style keyboard
  • 16 full-color RGB backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
  • Eight knobs
  • Nine sliders
  • Six dedicated transport controls
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • Two Octave/Transpose buttons
  • 7-segment 3-character LED display
  • Two Track/MIDI Channel buttons
  • Eight Mute/Solo buttons plus toggle button
  • Three InControl buttons
  • Two full-color RGB backlit round buttons
  • USB socket
  • DC power socket
  • Sustain pedal 1/4″ jack socket
  • Kensington security slot
  • Class-compliant and USB bus-powered on Mac or PC
  • iOS 8, iOS 7 Compatible – Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter required (not included)

Last, but not least, the largest model.

 The keys on this model are light, but they do take some pressure to trigger, that goes for the pads too. 

The sensitivity is very good, it gives you a feeling that you are getting that classic synth-like feedback. 

There is no need for any mapping at all if you use the software that you are provided with. 

With this model, you have everything that you need. 

But, with having everything, you get a bit crowded with the control interface, but for advanced users, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our Novation Launchkey Review

All of the three models are a great choice, but when it comes to choosing which to use, it’s up to you because it depends on what you will use it for.

With that being said, we can conclude that all of the new models are great, easy to use, come with many features.

 As we said before, their functionality is pretty much the same, which is great if you ever wish to try out another model. 

All of the models are easy to use and offer great features that give us awesome music performances.

If you would like to see other Midis besides the launch key, check these out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *