Novation 61SL MKIII - some more final thoughts

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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dannyF
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Post 26 Dec 2019

In the market for a 61 key thingamabob. Looking at possibly the Arturia Keylab MKII vs this. Selig owns one I know, he's a big fan. but IS he still a big fan?

I'm looking for....
Keyboard + sequencer + multiple tracks to control hardware/(res & vsts)
Last edited by dannyF on 14 Apr 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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selig
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Post 27 Dec 2019

dannyF wrote:
26 Dec 2019
In the market for a 61 key thingamabob. Looking at possibly the Arturia Keylab MKII vs this. Selig owns one I know, he's a big fan. but IS he still a big fan?
Yes, still a big fan, but I should specify exactly why I like it, because it may be for reasons that others won't care about!

What it doesn't have is DEEP integration with Reason. What it does have is SOLID integration with Reason - just DL the setup file and it works. That's the main thing I want with Reason integration, and it delivers.

I also like the key bed feel and the way the wheels respond. Plus, it has lots of lights including one LED for each key - these can be configured in different ways including turning them completely off if they bother you.

Other things I like include the built in sequencer, great for quick ideas and fun to use. I use it often live (can work like a clip launcher of sorts), and also for quick ideas in the studio.
It's also a great controller for Eurorack integration, with two full voices (Gate/CV/Mod) and CV clock, and also supports two MIDI outputs. All in all, you can define up to 8 separate instruments to control from the front panel, so it's great for mixing hardware and software IMO and quickly switching between the two worlds.
Finally there's a really nice Arpeggiator with many useful modes including "as played" and "chords", a full Scales feature including lighting up the LEDs above the keyboard to show you the notes in the scale, a Zones for creating key splits/stacks (which I don't actually use that much, but nice to know it's there).

Hope that helps, happy to answer further/specific questions if you got 'em!
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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dannyF
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Post 27 Dec 2019

You mentioned outputting CV from the Mk3 to control modular.

So possible to say output from Reason sequencer ( Robotic Beans sequencer or other ) to control synths via cv/gate or even Midi ?

Ie from Reason > MK3 > synth?

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dannyF
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Post 01 Jan 2020

selig wrote:
27 Dec 2019


What it doesn't have is DEEP integration with Reason. What it does have is SOLID integration with Reason - just DL the setup file and it works. That's the main thing I want with Reason integration, and it delivers.
Can you expand on the SOLID integration with Reason ?

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dannyF
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Post 13 Apr 2020

Can you transpose patterns?

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selig
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Post 13 Apr 2020

dannyF wrote:
27 Dec 2019
Ie from Reason > MK3 > synth?
Can you expand on the SOLID integration with Reason ?
Can you transpose patterns?
Sorry, didn't see this until now!

1)Using MIID Out Device, select: Novation SL etc. "to CV/Gate", where channel 1 is CV/Gate 1, and channel 2 is CV/Gate 2
2) Solid integration means one button and the basics just work (always had trouble with that on MAudio devices). This includes transport/loop buttons, track changing, PB/Mod/sus/exp, and a decent selection of preset controls for each built in device. Any remaining controls can be assigned with "Edit Remote Override".
3) How do you normally transpose patterns? I don't think this controller adds any features not already present in Reason, so I don't think it can do this if you cannot already do it without the controller - or am I missing something?
Selig Audio, LLC

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dannyF
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Post 13 Apr 2020

on the MK3 alone. ( nothing to do with Reason )

say you have a midi pattern playing and you want to transpose it up a few notes ( ie change the scale ). possible, just on the mk3?

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selig
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Post 13 Apr 2020

dannyF wrote:
13 Apr 2020
on the MK3 alone. ( nothing to do with Reason )

say you have a midi pattern playing and you want to transpose it up a few notes ( ie change the scale ). possible, just on the mk3?
Ahh, I WAS missing something. Yes, there is a way to transpose, but it's not as intuitive or "real time" as I would want. You have to use a Scale, and transpose the scale. However, you can choose "chromatic" as the scale and transpose from there. The huge limitation being that it's a global transpose for all sequences, which may be what you want in most cases unless you're sequencing percussion.

While I appreciate they provided a way to transpose, I don't feel it's as well implemented as it could be. For example, on the MiniBrute 2s, you can use a separate MIDI channel to transpose "live" from a keyboard/sequence, making it more more interactive and real time. There are also buttons on the SL Mk III to transpose the keyboard, but they don't affect the sequencer, another possible way to implement the feature.
Selig Audio, LLC

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dannyF
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Post 14 Apr 2020

THANKS SELIG. I am currently deciding upon the SL61 mk3 VS Keystep Pro.

Is the SL61mk3 patterns limited to 16 steps?

also if you have any thoughts in regards to how these might compare for a live approach.
Last edited by dannyF on 14 Apr 2020, edited 1 time in total.

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miscend
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Post 14 Apr 2020

Why aren't Nektar in the running?

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dannyF
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Post 14 Apr 2020

miscend wrote:
14 Apr 2020
Why aren't Nektar in the running?
They do not have anything that I am aware of.

I'm looking for....
Keyboard + sequencer + multiple tracks to control hardware/(res & vsts)

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miscend
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Post 14 Apr 2020

dannyF wrote:
14 Apr 2020
miscend wrote:
14 Apr 2020
Why aren't Nektar in the running?
They do not have anything that I am aware of.

I'm looking for....
Keyboard + sequencer + multiple tracks to control hardware/(res & vsts)
The Akai Max49 used to do that buts its discontinued.

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dannyF
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Post 15 Apr 2020

THANKS SELIG. I am currently deciding upon the SL61 mk3 VS Keystep Pro.

Is the SL61mk3 patterns limited to 16 steps?

also if you have any thoughts in regards to how these might compare for a live approach.

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selig
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Post 15 Apr 2020

dannyF wrote:
15 Apr 2020
THANKS SELIG. I am currently deciding upon the SL61 mk3 VS Keystep Pro.

Is the SL61mk3 patterns limited to 16 steps?

also if you have any thoughts in regards to how these might compare for a live approach.
SL mkIII has 8 patterns per track, 16 steps each, but can be easily chained to playback 256 note sequences per track.

Keystep pro is like a micro version of the SL mkIII IMO, the only other keyboard I would consider because of the sequencer.
That being said, they are two totally different beasts in other ways, if just for the full size vs mini keys issue (and physical wheels vs pressure strips). I would still find Keystep Pro very useful as a SECOND keyboard (focusing on my Eurorack modules), but never as a primary keyboard for my use as I'm a life long piano player and feel the need for full size keys on my primary keyboard.

Other differences:
MkII
8 tracks/instruments, one arpeggiator in addition to the sequencer tracks, two Eurorack CV voice outs, 16 steps per track, but 8 patterns which can easily be linked (for 256 steps total), 8 knobs 8 sliders 16 buttons,

KS Pro:
4 tracks, 4 CV voice outs, 3 arpeggiators OR patterns tracks, one drum tack with individual CV trigger outs for 8 drums, 5 knobs total, lots of optional playback modes

One thing I really like on the SL is the ability to trigger steps from the pads, making it an instant chord machine (among other things) - it's like how a note can play when you select it in the sequencer, quite useful (and KS pro doesn't do this AFAICT). I'm not sure exactly how the KS Pro compares to that (from one video looks like a "no"), I know it operates similarly in some aspects, such as the ability to program each step by holding the pad and playing keys (in both sequencers), something that makes doing quick step entry unlike other sequencers including the one in my MiniBrute 2s. KS Pro also has an automatic "step entry" mode where each note/chord advances the sequencer one step, which is even better than the SL mkIII for certain tasks.

This is based on watching a few reviews and reading up on the KS Pro, plus being an SL Mk III owner for over a year now and using it live and in the studio during that time.
Selig Audio, LLC

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dannyF
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Post 16 Apr 2020

Thanks Selig.

The only thing that worries me if how "deep" the SL61 mk3 is. I don't learn well from manuals..... some type of comprehension issue.

I don't need every function..... I just need the sequencing option to be fairly easy to grasp.

What appeals to me about the KSP is how simple it comes off. That being said, 4 tracks is a bit limiting.

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MrFigg
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Post 07 Jun 2020

selig wrote:
27 Dec 2019

What it doesn't have is DEEP integration with Reason. What it does have is SOLID integration with Reason - just DL the setup file and it works. That's the main thing I want with Reason integration, and it delivers.
Hi Giles. I’m looking at the Keylab 49 Mk2 basically on grounds of its build quality. When you say download the set-up file what do you mean? Is there a specific file for using this controller with Reason? I know there is support for 10 DAWs built in but as far as I understand Reason isn’t one of them
丰2ॐ

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Noise
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Post 01 Apr 2021

I'm joining this club, the SL MKIII. Loving the sequencer.
It was a fight between NI Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2, but I was worried about just having to use komplete kontrol, to get the most out of it.
The SL MKIII is in the same price range, and Reason integrates (almost) well with it.

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