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Entries in ipad (8)
A few weeks ago a Novation Launchkey 61 landed at PTE HQ for me to take a look at. On a good week I can have several keyboards littering the studio, in fact so many that only an octopus who plays like Chick Corea would have any chance of making real use out of them. I say this to indicate that a lot of controller keyboards pass through my hands and the thought of reviewing a budget controller keyboard is my least favourite task. It’s not that I’m a snob, at least not about controller keyboards, shoes and restaurants yes, but controller keyboards no. I appreciate that there are varying needs and budgets, but I do get attached to the ones I like, so even the simple task of swapping from my trusty stead to a newbie takes some energy.
Anyway, I eventually took the Novation Launchkey 61 out of the box and gave it pride of place on my Ultimate Support stand (note the stand costs more than the keyboard) and I was ready to take a look at it.
The NLK61 was of interest to me for a couple of reasons, the first was the features to price ratio, in other words you get a lot for your money. Secondly it also has Pro Tools integration built in so you can control the transport, faders, mutes and also assign MIDI controller too. All for not much more than a decent pair of shoes or a meal from aforementioned restaurants. Joking apart, the Launchkey 25, 49 and 61 versions clock in at £99, £129 and £159 respectively, so they offer a lot of bang for your buck. In the words of Novation “Launchkey is a range of 25, 49 and 61 note keyboard controllers with up to 50 physical controls including 16 velocity-sensitive multi-colour launch pads that trigger and stop clips - and launch scenes - in Ableton Live. As well as enabling hands-on control of your DAW’s mixer, instruments and more, Launchkey is an integrated software/hardware instrument. The control surface has been designed to work tightly alongside two intuitive apps for iPad: the Launchkey app and the Launchpad app* - plus the powerful V-Station & Bass Station synth plug-ins for Mac and Windows.” To be frank… a steal!
One of the first things I wanted to check was the Pro Tools integration, I’m on a Mac so there are no drivers to install. Simply open up the peripherals menu in Pro Tools and set it up via HUI protocol, see below. However on this occasion it didn’t want to play ball, it didn’t matter how many times I tried to sort if out it wouldn’t play nice, so no cigar for me. I put a call into their support line and within 5 minutes they called me back. After a little bit of discussion it transpired that the USB hub I had used to connect it to my Mac was not helping. Once I connected it to the Mac directly then all was good, I could then plug it back into the hub… please note. Full marks to Novation support, not their fault, but they fixed it with a smile and didn’t mention that I’d been a plonker.
Once this was working then I could control the transport, faders and mute via the NLK61. I could use the pads to put in drum parts, the keyboard to play in (yes you guessed it) keyboard parts and assign controllers for MIDI control.
In use the NLK61 is a nifty MIDI controller, my only criticism is the money has been saved on the keyboard which feels a little soft and has the action of a typewriter made from jelly. Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad, it’s just not the kind action you want when laying down piano parts, but for everyday MIDI sequencing it will be more than adequate.
However if you are on a tight budget and want a MIDI controller for the centre of your Pro Tools studio then you should take a look at the Novation Launchkey series of keyboards - they work with Mac, PC and iPad and come with free Apps and two FREE virtual instruments, note that one is VST so you will need to either wrap it or host it in something else to use it in Pro Tools.
If you are looking for a new MIDI controller and want a lot of bang for your buck then check out the Novation Launchkey 25,49, or 61 they represent outstanding value for money.
RME have announced a whole host of new prosucts at this years Musikmesse,
Our friends over at Neyrinck released V-Control Pro v 1.7 with a lot of new features. More here
Preferences - New preferences section is displayed in Setup popover
- Optionally place transport at top of screen
- Optionally disable transport controls
- Optionally disable fader double-tap
- Optionally set for transparent jog wheel display
- Optionally set for Cubase +12 dB max gain
Counter Jog Control - Pro Tools and Cubase and some other apps now let you drag across the counter to jog/scrub/shuttle forward or back.
Draggable Multi-Panel - The multi-panel window can now be dragged and placed anywhere.
Transport Controls can be set to show at top in new preferences
Smarter Multi-Panel Display - The multi-panel window now remembers which mode is selected when a user exits V-Control Pro and re-launches.
Jog/Shutte Wheel - All DAW modes have a jog/shuttle wheel.
- Different apps have different functionality with some having Scrub and Shuttle modes selectable at the top of the wheel. If Scrub and Shuttle are not selected the wheel Jogs thru the project. In some apps dragging in the counter also allows Jog/Scrub/Shuttle depending on the setting for the Jog Wheel.
- Audition, Final Cut 7, and Media Composer have a fixed wheel in the user interface.
- All other DAW modes have an optional wheel.
- Two-finger double-tap the mixer to show/hide the jog wheel for all other DAW modes.
- Two-finger drag to quickly activate and control shuttle mode
Pro Tools Transport Popover
Transport Popover - All DAW modes now have a Transport Popover selectable from transport bar
- Pro Tools memory locations and audition controls have been moved from edit panel to transport popover.
- Logic marker controls moved from edit panel to transport popover.
Pro Tools Keypad Improved - The keypad now has modifier keys for additional functionality.
Pro Tools Automation Popover Improved
- The popover now has a “All” button to set mode for all tracks.
- Write Enable controls and Suspend control moved into Automation Popover
Pro Tools Surround Panner Improved - The surround panner better controls panning if a touch moves outside the panner boundary.
Community member and sound engineer Simone Corelli has launched his ‘Pro Tools In One Hour’ on the iPad as an iBook. Bob Katz said ‘‘Simone is the best person I could think of to take you there’. In their words…
“This clear and concise guide takes the reader by the hand through the first steps in the use of Pro Tools, the audio system born twenty years ago and adopted by some of the best professionals worldwide.
In this video James takes a look at updates that have been made to the Auria DAW for iPad. He shows how he uses it along side the RME UCX interface for playback of backing tracks and how some of the new features of Auria help make this job very easy.
In a move that is likely to turn their competitors white, Novation have announced three new keyboards in a range called Launchkeys, not only do they come with Apps, but they also sell for amazing prices, with the 61 note controller selling for just £159.99. I know it’s only January, but one can’t help but think these may be top of most people’s Christmas list this year! We have review product coming soon.
Based around a 25, 49 or 61 note keyboard controller with 16 velocity-sensitive multi-colour launch pads, Launchkey features the Launchkey app (an iPad performance synth) as well as a Launchpad app that provides drag-and-drop loop playback from the pads and real-time effects including stutter and filter effects. It also ships with a suite of software for Mac and PC including Novation’s V-Station and Bass Station soft-synth plugins and Ableton Live Lite. Launchkey’s 16 launch pads will also trigger clips and scenes in Ableton Live.
The team have been considering what gets our Pro Tools Expert Product of the Year Award 2012.
Without consulting one another we made recommendations for those products we wanted to win. We all threw in our own favourites and here is the shortlist…
- Universal Audio UA Apollo
- Moog Minitaur
- iZotope Alloy 2
- Nugen Audio ISL True Peak Limiter
- Neyrinck V-Control Pro for iPad
- Pro Tools HD | Native Thunderbolt
- Sugar Bytes AAX Wrapper
- PPG WaveGenerator iPad Synth
- Arturia Mini Brute
It may come as no surprise to many of you that the product that was unanimously voted as the winner with the most votes from our team is the Universal Audio UA Apollo. For many of us it sets a new benchmark for combining great features, sound and at a great price. All those short listed are worth consideration, so check them all out!
Akai have released iMPC for iPad, with impressive features and knock-out price.
Akai iMPC features
- More than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, and 80 editable sequences
- Exclusive iMPC sound set and classic Akai Professional sound library
- Sample from iPad mic, line-in, or music library using multi-touch turntable interface
- Export tracks to MPC Software for use with MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio
- In-app SoundCloud community, powered by CloudSeeder
- Share on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or export to your computer
- 16 Levels mode: 16 levels of attack, velocity, length, and tuning
- Note Variation slider: adjust attack, velocity, length, and tuning as you play
- Trim and categorize samples, undo takes and erase samples
- Create new sequences, record and overdub beats
- Live Sequence queuing for real-time performance and playback
- Simple drag and drop program creation
- Built-in effects: delay, bit crusher, master compressor/limiter
- Time correct: 1/8 note – 1/32T with variable swing
- Note Repeat: 1/8 note – 1/32T timing, with latch
- Supports WIST, wireless Sync Start protocol from Korg
- AudioCopy beats and sequences to compatible apps
- AudioPaste samples from compatible apps
- Tabletop Ready iMPC is free for iMPC owners
- Route to and use with your favourite Tabletop Effects and devices
- Line-in allows you to resample Tabletop devices
- Use with Tabletop’s Timeline Editor