Novation SL MKIII MIDI Controller - Presentation

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bxbrkrz
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Post 10 Oct 2018


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selig
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Post 10 Oct 2018

Damn, just when I thought I “for sure” wanted the Arturia Keylab MkII, along comes this baby. It’s $300 more, but appears to have enough additional features to justify the cost. Need to play the side by side to be sure…

Seeing an interesting trend here - new keyboards with CV outputs. Even the new Moog One includes CV outs! That means the modular craze must be big enough to inspire integration on the MIDI/USB side. Interesting times…


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bxbrkrz
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Post 10 Oct 2018

selig wrote:
10 Oct 2018
Damn, just when I thought I “for sure” wanted the Arturia Keylab MkII, along comes this baby. It’s $300 more, but appears to have enough additional features to justify the cost. Need to play the side by side to be sure…

Seeing an interesting trend here - new keyboards with CV outputs. Even the new Moog One includes CV outs! That means the modular craze must be big enough to inspire integration on the MIDI/USB side. Interesting times…


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Reason to SLIII to total control of a modular rig.
One can only hope.

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jayhosking
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Post 10 Oct 2018

The more I'm thinking about it, the more this is the "Circuit Pro" I have wanted for a while. I already have a few hardware synths I love the sound of, and this is a brain and controller that can work with all of them at once. It's missing some of the things I really wanted from a "Circuit Pro" but is also much more powerful in its step resolution, number of channels, labelled encoders, etc.

HMM.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 10 Oct 2018


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Faastwalker
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Post 10 Oct 2018

Very nice. $999 here in Aus. But have been looking at an Expert Sleepers ES-8 for controlling modular gear from Reason. I could do it with this & much more besides. ES-8 over here is not far off half what the price of the SL MKIII 49 keyboard controller is. Better get saving.

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QVprod
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Post 10 Oct 2018

Another good video.


Reason will be supported! I have no interest in hardware sequencers so this one isn't for me, but the capabilities are quite impressive. Also a wonderful performance tool for those who like to compose live on the fly. Curious to see how deep the Reason control will be. Highly doubtful of RE support as they're advertising vst support either.

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selig
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Post 10 Oct 2018

QVprod wrote: Reason will be supported! I have no interest in hardware sequencers so this one isn't for me, but the capabilities are quite impressive. Also a wonderful performance tool for those who like to compose live on the fly. Curious to see how deep the Reason control will be. Highly doubtful of RE support as they're advertising vst support either.
Deep level Reason support will be enough to tilt the scales away from Arturia to Novation. Also looking at Peak as a hardware polysynth for live work, and even though I don’t have the need for CV support, the rest of the features are pretty spot on for what I need in a controller.
Will still want to play one in person, but this is looking more and more promising for my needs now, and well into the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll get back into analog hardware one day…



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QVprod
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Post 11 Oct 2018

selig wrote:
10 Oct 2018
QVprod wrote: Reason will be supported! I have no interest in hardware sequencers so this one isn't for me, but the capabilities are quite impressive. Also a wonderful performance tool for those who like to compose live on the fly. Curious to see how deep the Reason control will be. Highly doubtful of RE support as they're advertising vst support either.
Deep level Reason support will be enough to tilt the scales away from Arturia to Novation. Also looking at Peak as a hardware polysynth for live work, and even though I don’t have the need for CV support, the rest of the features are pretty spot on for what I need in a controller.
Will still want to play one in person, but this is looking more and more promising for my needs now, and well into the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll get back into analog hardware one day…



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True this has a clear edge over the Arturia board as is. Being that this is the successor to the SL line, I'm sure the keys are great. Analog Lab 3 and Piano V2 are ok but but the Keylab doesn't have nearly as much function to offer outside of it's own software.

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Italophile
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Post 11 Oct 2018

selig wrote:
10 Oct 2018
Deep level Reason support will be enough to tilt the scales away from Arturia to Novation.
The SL MkIII uses Novation's InControl so integration with Reason will be identical to the Launchkey. To see if this will meet your expectations just find the "Launchkey 61 InControl.remotemap" on your system and review the mappings.

I have both a Novation SL61 MkI and the Arturia Keylab 61MkII and can offer a few thoughts:
  • Due to the placement of the pitch and mod wheels the Keylab isn't as long as the SL so it fits my workspace better.
  • After a few hours getting to grips with Remote I was able to create a codec for the MkII by modifying the codec and mappings for the Keylab MkI. I now have the rotaries, faders and buttons working. The buttons are a click on / click off type and need someone more proficient with Remote than I am to get the best integration.
  • As the pads transmit on channel 10 I have defined them as a separate controller. This makes it possible to play chords, or Kong, whilst playing a melody or bassline on another device.
  • The keys on both are good. Novation tend to use Fatar keybeds.
Novation's Automap is a Marmite technology but IMO it offers considerably better integration with Reason than InControl, though YMMV.
Although the Reason Automap integration hasn't been updated since around version 6.5 that isn't an issue for me, as to get the best out of Automap you need to create your own version of the remotemap anyway. This is reasonably straightforward though it obviously requires an investment of time.
I suspect the same will be true for InControl as Novation seemed to lose interest in Reason when they started their partnership with Ableton.

TomFocusrite
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Post 16 Oct 2018

Italophile wrote:
11 Oct 2018
selig wrote:
10 Oct 2018
Deep level Reason support will be enough to tilt the scales away from Arturia to Novation.
The SL MkIII uses Novation's InControl so integration with Reason will be identical to the Launchkey. To see if this will meet your expectations just find the "Launchkey 61 InControl.remotemap" on your system and review the mappings.

I have both a Novation SL61 MkI and the Arturia Keylab 61MkII and can offer a few thoughts:
  • Due to the placement of the pitch and mod wheels the Keylab isn't as long as the SL so it fits my workspace better.
  • After a few hours getting to grips with Remote I was able to create a codec for the MkII by modifying the codec and mappings for the Keylab MkI. I now have the rotaries, faders and buttons working. The buttons are a click on / click off type and need someone more proficient with Remote than I am to get the best integration.
  • As the pads transmit on channel 10 I have defined them as a separate controller. This makes it possible to play chords, or Kong, whilst playing a melody or bassline on another device.
  • The keys on both are good. Novation tend to use Fatar keybeds.
Novation's Automap is a Marmite technology but IMO it offers considerably better integration with Reason than InControl, though YMMV.
Although the Reason Automap integration hasn't been updated since around version 6.5 that isn't an issue for me, as to get the best out of Automap you need to create your own version of the remotemap anyway. This is reasonably straightforward though it obviously requires an investment of time.
I suspect the same will be true for InControl as Novation seemed to lose interest in Reason when they started their partnership with Ableton.
Hey,

For the SL you can use the Launchkey script but you'll want to install the one for the SL MKIII which will have way more functionality, that's available for Mac and PC as an installer here: https://customer.novationmusic.com/supp ... t=SL+MkIII

Hopefully you'll find this helpful.

Thanks,
Tom // Novation

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Italophile
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Post 17 Oct 2018

Those wishing for deep integration with Reason are probably going to be disappointed. Pg 26 of the User Guide (available from the link in the post above) has the following comparison table of DAW Feature Support. Neither the "Reason Master Section" nor the "Reason Main Mixer Channel" is included in the remotemap.
InControl.PNG
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artotaku
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Post 17 Oct 2018

Italophile wrote:
17 Oct 2018
Those wishing for deep integration with Reason are probably going to be disappointed. Pg 26 of the User Guide (available from the link in the post above) has the following comparison table of DAW Feature Support. Neither the "Reason Master Section" nor the "Reason Main Mixer Channel" is included in the remotemap.
I had a look at the codec from the Novation side where I see e. g. faders implemented. But the remotemap misses mappings for the master section.

gscroggin
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Post 19 Oct 2018

Curious if any of you have experience with the Nektar Panorama and if so, do you think the MKIII is addressing any shortcomings? I ask because because I'm on the fence with purchasing a Panorama vs. continuing to use an older Samson Graphite and Delora rsTouch Pro.

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Italophile
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Post 21 Oct 2018

gscroggin wrote:
19 Oct 2018
Curious if any of you have experience with the Nektar Panorama and if so, do you think the MKIII is addressing any shortcomings? I ask because because I'm on the fence with purchasing a Panorama vs. continuing to use an older Samson Graphite and Delora rsTouch Pro.
I don't have any experience with the Panorama so I can't directly compare. I do have Novation SL controllers though and what I can tell you is this:
Nektar regularly issue updates to add new mappings for Rack Extensions, like Delora do for rsTouch. Novation don't.

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selig
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Post 21 Oct 2018

Italophile wrote:
21 Oct 2018
gscroggin wrote:
19 Oct 2018
Curious if any of you have experience with the Nektar Panorama and if so, do you think the MKIII is addressing any shortcomings? I ask because because I'm on the fence with purchasing a Panorama vs. continuing to use an older Samson Graphite and Delora rsTouch Pro.
I don't have any experience with the Panorama so I can't directly compare. I do have Novation SL controllers though and what I can tell you is this:
Nektar regularly issue updates to add new mappings for Rack Extensions, like Delora do for rsTouch. Novation don't.
For my purposes, I don't want to control REs from an inferior physical interface (unless it's a nice sized touch screen). Otherwise, I just want to control the transport and other basic functions of Reason with the controller, have a nice key bed, nice and versatile pads/faders/knobs/buttons that I can assign to parameters as I go (to automate, etc.) and enough I/O for pedals etc. CV support is appreciated too, as is traditional MIDI.

Beyond that, I'm happy working on my main screen for most other work, so I'll probably end up getting the SL instead of the Panorama or Arturia (I also need this for live use, which may or may not involve Reason in all cases).
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djs
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Post 23 Oct 2018

What date will it be released?

gscroggin
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Post 24 Oct 2018

selig wrote:
21 Oct 2018

For my purposes, I don't want to control REs from an inferior physical interface (unless it's a nice sized touch screen). Otherwise, I just want to control the transport and other basic functions of Reason with the controller, have a nice key bed, nice and versatile pads/faders/knobs/buttons that I can assign to parameters as I go (to automate, etc.) and enough I/O for pedals etc. CV support is appreciated too, as is traditional MIDI.

Beyond that, I'm happy working on my main screen for most other work, so I'll probably end up getting the SL instead of the Panorama or Arturia (I also need this for live use, which may or may not involve Reason in all cases).
Thanks for this response, it made me think a bit more about what I'm actually trying to accomplish. I don't use Reason live, it's just a recording and creation tool for me. I'm fine with transport controls via my Contour Shuttle, the key bed and pads on my Samson are fine for getting ideas down (any real playing is done on much more capable synths), I dig the flexibility and growing support of rsTouch on my iPad Pro, and as long as I'm at home I'm viewing Reason on a 42" screen. I was partially thinking/hoping that the P4/T4 would be even better than the Samson and rsTouch together, but you bring up a great point about any physical interface possibly being inferior to a software-based workflow when it comes to VSTs (and a win for rsTouch). I admit that I've really always loved the look of the P4 (and the P1), but the more I think about it I'm not entirely sure it will enhance my workflow all that much. It certainly would look cool though :puf_bigsmile:

Thanks for entertaining my thinking out loud.

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QVprod
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Post 24 Oct 2018

gscroggin wrote:
24 Oct 2018
selig wrote:
21 Oct 2018

For my purposes, I don't want to control REs from an inferior physical interface (unless it's a nice sized touch screen). Otherwise, I just want to control the transport and other basic functions of Reason with the controller, have a nice key bed, nice and versatile pads/faders/knobs/buttons that I can assign to parameters as I go (to automate, etc.) and enough I/O for pedals etc. CV support is appreciated too, as is traditional MIDI.

Beyond that, I'm happy working on my main screen for most other work, so I'll probably end up getting the SL instead of the Panorama or Arturia (I also need this for live use, which may or may not involve Reason in all cases).
Thanks for this response, it made me think a bit more about what I'm actually trying to accomplish. I don't use Reason live, it's just a recording and creation tool for me. I'm fine with transport controls via my Contour Shuttle, the key bed and pads on my Samson are fine for getting ideas down (any real playing is done on much more capable synths), I dig the flexibility and growing support of rsTouch on my iPad Pro, and as long as I'm at home I'm viewing Reason on a 42" screen. I was partially thinking/hoping that the P4/T4 would be even better than the Samson and rsTouch together, but you bring up a great point about any physical interface possibly being inferior to a software-based workflow when it comes to VSTs (and a win for rsTouch). I admit that I've really always loved the look of the P4 (and the P1), but the more I think about it I'm not entirely sure it will enhance my workflow all that much. It certainly would look cool though :puf_bigsmile:

Thanks for entertaining my thinking out loud.
Have to admit, I have a P6 and I don't use half of the functionality. Just transport, swapping screens, opening (mapped) VST windows, and the motor fader. Actual parameter tweaking gets done with the mouse. It's quicker that way.

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selig
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Post 24 Oct 2018

QVprod wrote:
24 Oct 2018
Have to admit, I have a P6 and I don't use half of the functionality. Just transport, swapping screens, opening (mapped) VST windows, and the motor fader. Actual parameter tweaking gets done with the mouse. It's quicker that way.
Adding to this, there are times when a few controls on a plugin would come in handy, but only if they are easily identified on the physical controller. From what I can see from the videos of this controller, it looks like you can assign and label up to 16 controls. And while it's not two way communication (you don't see where the software control is "pointing" AFAICT), it's still looking potentially handy for things like filter sweeps, quick gain adjustments, and the like.

Thinking of getting this and eventually Peak (and possibly MiniBrute 2s) for a sweet live setup that will also function well as a studio controller/setup.
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djs
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Post 26 Oct 2018

Does anyone have first hand experience with the controller using Reason?

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