Future Music

Novation’s new Launchpad Pro comes with a MIDI sequencer for controllin­g your plugins and hardware


Having released the Launchpad X and updated Launchpad Mini MIDI pad controller­s in 2019, Novation have now turned their attention to the flagship Launchpad Pro, announcing a Mk3 edition.

As before, this is great for working with Ableton Live: it offers controls for clip and scene launching, transport, quantising and duplicatin­g, while access to the tap tempo, Print To Clip and Capture MIDI features are now onboard, too. Chord Mode lets you build and play chords straight from the grid.

But there’s more: Launchpad Pro now contains a powerful MIDI sequencer that can be used to drive both your plugins and hardware gear. Setups can be configured in Novation’s Components software, and there are eight Custom Modes to work with.

Connectivi­ty comes via MIDI In, Out 1 and Out 2/Thru ports, while the polyphonic sequencer has four tracks and 32 steps. Patterns can be chained to create complete songs, while Probabilit­y and Mutation features enable you to add variation. You can adjust the sync rate and play order when you’re performing, and work with Micro Steps when you want to escape the grid.

The new Launchpad Pro is bus-powered over USB-C (it can also be used standalone via USB power) and comes with 64 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads that are larger than those on its predecesso­r. However, the device also manages to be more compact and portable.

The included software bundle, meanwhile, features Ableton Live Lite and plugins from XLN, Softube, Klevgrand and AAS. You also get a free two-month Splice Sounds subscripti­on and membership of Sound Collective, Novation’s ongoing programme of free plugin sharing. Novation’s new Easy Start Tool gets you up and running quickly. It’s out soon priced at £299.

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