Novation Launchkey USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Updated April 1, 2019 |  by Hollagully


Novation Launchkey

  • 25, 49, or 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
  • 9V DC power socket
  • Sustain pedal 1/4″ jack socket
  • Kensington security slot
  • Class compliant and USB bus-powered on Mac or PC

For over twenty years Novation have been an industry leader in perfecting highly sought-after controllers, synths, and control surfaces. Their Launchkey series of USB MIDI keyboard controllers range from 25, 49, and 61 note keyboards offering more physical controls than any other device in its class, including 16 multi-colour velocity-sensitive trigger pads.

These hands-on controls all you to manage as much of your performance as possible from the device itself, without the need to grab the mouse or computer. It is a fully-integrated software/hardware instrument that works fluidly with any DAW and is designed to keep the user in the flow at all times.

The Novation Launchkey series is a versatile yet straightforward MIDI keyboard controller geared toward the electronic musician. Though it has been designed specifically with seamless integration with Ableton Live, as mentioned before it works flawlessly on any major HUI-compatible DAW using Novations proprietary internal mapping software In Control. Simply plug in via USB and get total control of your grid, instruments, effects and mixer with the sleek designed faders, keys, knobs and pads.

The velocity-sensitive synth style keyboard is at the heart of this MIDI keyboard controller with its lightweight, precision response that produce a truly humanistic, expressive performance. The keyboard is accompanied by pitch and mod wheels for classic effects and octave Up/Down buttons.

Novation use RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) to describe the backlighting feature to the Launchkey. RGB technology allows you to create any colour in the visible spectrum, matching functions on the device to clip colours in Ableton Live. This way you can see at a glance which clips are loaded, playing, and recording.

Sixteen MPC-style velocity-sensitive RGB pads let your create and launch clips, trigger samples, control effect and tons more, all while playing the keys and with no need to reach for the computer. With  nine sturdy faders, nine buttons, and eight rotary and transport controls, the Novation Launchkey offer enjoyable performances, tactile mixing parameters for precise controllability.

In an effort to be an all-in-one portable unit, the control surface of the Novation Launchkey was designed to work seamlessly with two intuitive free apps for iPad: the Launckey app and the Launchpad app. Launchkey models anology synths and includes an entire suite of software for iPad, Mac, and PC. Launchpad lets you improvise with triggers and loops for more rythmic tools.

Finally, power consumption is minimal as the Launchkey can be powered via USB, even when connected to the iPad (via Apple’s camera kit). If connected to a laptop that isn’t running on mains, consider picking up a 9V adaptor is this can only lighten the load of your computers processing power.

As an added bonus, the Launchkey comes with downloadable copies of Ableton Live Lite, Novation Bass Station and V-Station virtual instruments and 4 GB of Loopmasters samples.

iOS 8, iOS 7 Compatible – Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter required (not included)

Further Reading:

To help you out on your quest to find a great MIDI keyboard controller for your home studio, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that make a good runner up to the Novation Launchkey.

We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to MIDI Keyboard Controllers that will teach you all the features, functions and freedoms offered by these incredible instrument. By the end of it you’ll be equipped with enough knowledge to make an informed decision of what kind of keyboard controller will suit your studio to get your ideas flowing faster than ever.


M-Audio Oxygen 49, Novation Impulse, Korg Triton taktile, Akai MPK Mini MKII


©2023 Hollagully

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