Novation’s recently released Launchkey Mini and Launchpad Mini were essentially smaller, more compact versions of products that were already popular and widely used, and now we have Launch Control…
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Launch Control is the third release in the company’s range of ‘Minis’. With 16 assignable knobs that can operate a variety of DAW controls – including filters, levels and panning – along with eight buttons that can trigger clips, loops and samples (not forgetting the directional controls located on the right-hand side of the unit that can move the control grid) the possibilities that Launch Control opens up are vast, particularly for those who want to get more hands-on during live performance.
Another thing to mention is the exceptional build quality of the small, rectangular box. The knobs are soft yet have substantial resistance on turning, and like the Launchpad Mini, it is incredibly light and has no trailing power cables as it runs on buss power.
Novation encourages using the Launch Control in tandem with the other Launch products and, most importantly, the Launchkey/pad iPad app, which we must stress now features the ability to import your own loops and samples via Dropbox. We tested the Launch Control with the aforementioned app/pad controller and found it to be a very useful addition – for live performance, Novation clearly hopes that you’ll use the Launchpad Mini to trigger your loops and samples, while the Launch Control will be the primary parameter and studio workflow controlling mechanism. With Ableton Live it also works a treat.
However, if you’ve opted for the Launchkey Mini we can’t really see any reason for buying this separate control box, for it too includes a range of parameter-adjusting knobs and controls – unless, of course, you wanted that little bit more flexibility.