Novation have announced what looks like being the most integrated all-in-one controller for users wanting to have keyboard input for Ableton Live. This latest range sees an amalgamation of features from their other product lines, most notably the 16 multi-colour velocity-sensitive pads (seemingly from the popular Launchpad) which can be used to trigger clips and scenes or to trigger drums samples.
Much like the flagship SL MkII controllers, the Launchkey controllers are based around three different keyboard sizes (they come in 25, 49 and 61-key versions).
iPad integration seems to have been a real consideration with the inclusion of two apps. The Launchkey synth app makes use of Novation synth engine technology and is controlled directly by the keyboard, while the Launchpad app allows you to use the hardware button to trigger loops and effects including synced filter and stutter effects. You will, however, need the camera connection kit to interface with the iPad.
The bundled Mac/PC software includes Novation's V-station and Bass Station soft synths, a Loopmasters sample pack and Ableton Live Lite.
Novation claim that the hardware controls are instantly mapped to all major music software using 'InControl' technology, which mean this isn't just for iPad and Live users. If it is anything like their Automap control software it should be a breeze to get set up.
Pricing and availability is as follows:
Launchkey 25: April 2013 / £99.99 including VAT / $149.99 MAP
Launchkey 49: March 2013 / £139.99 including VAT / $199.99 MAP
Launchkey 61: April 2013 / £159.99 including VAT / $249.99 MAP