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Novation Remote 49 MKII
Update March 2010: The Novation SL MkII range is now fully compatible with Logic 9, Ableton Live and Pro Tools via the latest automap software - check out the video below to see that the SLII is way more than just a controller keyboard
SL Mk II combines a high quality semi-weighted keyboard with a full DAW and plug-in control surface, that visually feeds back all control information to the user. A giant 144-character display, back lit LED buttons and LED ringed encoders show the status of all controls. Ultra-quick mapping of all 56 knobs, faders and buttons is managed by the groundbreaking Automap 3 PRO software.
SL Mk II has been designed to equip the modern DAW user with every dimension of hardware control, enabling a hands-on approach to navigating software, mixing and controlling plug-ins. It represents extraordinary value as a controller, integrating a DAW control surface with a quality semi-weighted keyboard (with after-touch) and the most intuitive plug-in mapping capabilities available - presided over by Automap 3 PRO; unquestionably the most advanced control software on the market.
SL Mk II upholds Novation's reputation for building quality hardware (like the SL Mk I, they will also appeal to performers who need a well-constructed keyboard on stage). Quality is not just reflected in their robustness, but more importantly in the way the SL Mk II has been designed with every detail calculated to maximise workflow. The SL Mk II's visually feeds back all controller information to the user with back lit buttons and encoder LED rings.
The difficulty with other control surfaces is knowing what is assigned to what. SL Mk II has a giant 144-character ultra-bright LCD screen that displays all the parameter names and values for the currently selected row of controllers. All 8 faders and 16 knobs are touch sensitive, so the moment one is touched, the display shows the names and values on that row and puts brackets around the controller that is currently being touched. This enables the user to see which parameter is assigned to the controller without having to change the value, or refer to their software. SL Mk II also has a dedicated 'Speed Dial' knob, which can be used to change the value of any parameter the cursor is positioned over without making any assignments whatsoever.
The 8 continuous rotary encoders have 11 segment LED rings around each of them, allowing encoders to behave like pots so the user can see the value before moving them. All the buttons have LEDs underneath them so users can instantly see their status without having to press them. There are 8 soft-feel drum pads, a pitch/modulation wheel and an X/Y Xpression touchpad which (along with footswitch and sustain pedal inputs), are all fully assignable to any parameter with the Automap software
The SL Mk II has been designed to draw minimum current so it can be used as a USB buss-powered device, and an optional 9V DC power supply can be added for stand-alone use. As well as USB interfacing, the SL Mk II has 1 MIDI in, 1 MIDI thru and 2 MIDI outs.
The power behind SL Mk II's unique ability to map controllers at the touch of a button, is contained within the included Automap software. Automap 3 PRO enables users to map controllers with incredible speed and ease - no more digging through MIDI continuous controller numbers, the Automap server takes care of it all. Automap's GUI gives the user a visual representation of all the current mappings on screen, as well as the ability to save and manage mappings across different projects. There is also an option to only bring up the GUI when a controller on the SL Mk II has been touched!
Velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action keyboard from Fatar, with assignable after-touch. Novation deliver the feeling of playing an instrument, rather than just a computer peripheral.
Illuminated controls provide instant visual feedback
Brightly lit LED rings around the eight smooth encoders, and backlit buttons throughout provide instant visual feedback for every physical control, further reducing reliance on the computer screen.
Giant 144-character LCD screen
Frees the artist from being chained to the computer screen, placing all the essential data right alongside the relevant controls.
Huge array of touch-sensitive controls
Full control surface supporting ultra flexible DAW control and Auto-mappable plug-in controls, 16 knobs, 8 faders and 32 assignable backlit LED buttons.
Automap 3 PRO Control Software
SL Mk II comes with Automap software which enables you to instantly map software parameters to faders, buttons, encoders and pots and other controllers.
Built in MIDI I/O Interface and comprehensive MIDI implementation provide complete control over all external hardware synths and other external MIDI devices.
Novation's unique ‘speed dial'
A touch-sensitive rotary encoder that instantly takes control of whatever your mouse is focused on, providing real time access for composers and performers alike.
Programmable ‘soft-feel' drumpads
Eradicates the need for a separate set of drumpad triggers, providing the ideal platform for sketching out beats or triggering samples
Unique 2-Axis Controls
Fantastic ‘Xpression' pad and adjustably sprung pitch/mod joystick, both freely assignable in MIDI Controlling mode
Dedicated, yet fully-assignable transport buttons.
Control the sequencer's start/stop/loop/record/forward/rewind actions, direct from the MIDI controller, reducing reliance on mouse and screen, or switch them out to allow use of more assignable buttons. SL Mk II recalls how these buttons were previously assigned.
USB buss powering
Provides the artist with a mobile MIDI control solution, freeing them from the confines of the studio
Includes the Xcite+ bundle
Featuring a host of royalty-free loops and samples, a full-fledged soft-synth and Ableton Live 7 Lite, providing an affordable upgrade path to Ableton Live.
Anthony | Purchase date: 02 March 2012
After many days/weeks at looking for a controller keyboard I was finally taken in by the retoric and plumped for the SL MkII. I was well aware of the pitfalls of trying to match up controller and DAW and in my dreams this was the one , easy set up automatic mapping etc. Well don't be fooled this may be just me but you will need to spend a great deal of time setting this up. The learning curve is steep and the manual is, as so often these days, written in such a fashion that it thinks you know everything about it before you start. The touch controls are so sensitive that the slightest brush sends you off to a seperate menu which is so confusing that you have no clue as to where you are. I am sure that it is the angle of the control section that does not help as you have to hunch over like a vulture to read the display which gets obscure by your hand as you try to adjust the knobs and switches. What bugs me about so much modern equipment is that they are so packed with features that you spend all your time learning how to operate them and very little time using them to actually make music.
In a nutshell yes a great looking controller but be prepared to invest (waste) a lot of time in the class room. By the way, it comes with Automap 3 on disc which tells you to update to Automap 3.5 Pro. This works fine but on the Novation website is a newer version 4.2 which I downloaded initially. It crashed my computer.