If you’re reading this, and if you care about controllers at all, you’ve probably got one. Now the question is, what are you missing? LaunchControl XL is coming with a whole mess of handy faders and knobs if you’ve got more controls than you can map.

In fact, while it would make an utterly horrid marketing statement, I would dub the slogan of this hardware like this:
Twist knobs without having to constantly press shift and select keys or give up having some faders.

There’s Push, of course, the Ableton-controlling flagship, complete with pressure- and velocity-sensitive grid. There’s AKAI’s former APC, which already has a full complement of faders, encoders, and triggers. Beyond that, we’re talking about various combinations of faders and knobs and triggers in smaller controllers in some combination. For example:

There’s the Novation Launchpad – built like a tank, dirt cheap, just a grid.

There’s the new AKAI APC mini – grid with faders, but no knobs.

There’s the Novation LaunchControl – knobs and some pads, but no faders.

Well, now Novation is back with the LaunchControl XL. It’s knobs, yes – but more knobs. And those knobs get their own colored indicators so you know what they’re controlling. And now it has faders, too. And if it doesn’t sell like hotcakes to everyone, betcha it sells like hotcakes to people who have just a Launchpad.

24 knobs in three rows of eight – which maps conveniently to Live
Multicolored indicators on the knobs for multiple functions
Driver-free (so if you’re using Bitwig or Renoise on Linux, you’re in, too)
16 multi-color buttons give you track focus, mix controls
Works on iOS, too, via Camera Connection Kit

£159.99, coming late August, which is also roughly when we should have one in for review.

More pics and a video… (though I didn’t personally take the musical style in the vid, maybe you will – )



Significantly, whether that video is your cup of tea or not, you can watch an in-depth video here on how they did what they did and download the set to have a look. So, we can all get back to making weird, dancefloor-clearing IDM if we really want to. (Hey, if she or he is still on the dance floor, that may be the one for you. Nerd love. The best.)

  • nayseven

    Novation know how to sell their products to the controller addicts we are, indeed ! 😉 , now this one is too big for my 2 launchpad Mini , will wait the Mini version ;-D

    • wetterberg

      So you’re saying you’ll wait for the “Novation Launch Control XL mini”? Remember, this isn’t Korg 😉

  • Marco Raaphorst

    This might be the right controller for me to buy since I need to control my DAW in an easier way from my vocal booth. Maybe this thing with a long USB cable should do it. I am still wondering if working without a screen in the booth would be an issue. If not, this might be fantastic for record and also for mixing and editing.

  • papernoise

    you know what? this is one of the few controller’s I’d buy if I were still using a computer. This and a launchpad seem like a great and pretty affordable combo to use with Ableton.

  • Gwydion

    The modern replacement for the venerable UC-33e?

    • Antonio

      my thought exactly

    • Darren E Cowley

      Exactly what its aimed at!

  • André et Michèle

    Agreed this looks like a nice evolution of the UC33 😉 As for what’ I’m missing? A 4×4 grid of potentiometers (not encoders) with standard midi out (not USB) would current complement my setup nicely.

    • Octavio

      with some standard midi out would be perfect!!!

  • ksandvik

    It was time, UC-33 was a good concept.

  • Seppe

    There’s … the Livid Instruments DS1. Well, not yet, but it’s probably worth a mention here.

  • newmodernscience

    This looks to me, like they scooped the Dubspot DS-1:

    • wetterberg

      the DS-1 has the wrong kind of fader cap on, if you ask me. It may seem like a small thing, but it really isn’t, to me.

    • lokey

      exactly so. those caps are fine for production, but they dont cut it for a performance device.

  • shim

    @peter is it £159 or $159?

  • digital life

    Shame the knobs aren’t rotary encoders.

  • Kinetic Monkey

    Seems like an ideal tool for ableton DJs. Too functional to get excited about though.

  • Robert Dorschel

    I’ll still buy the Livid/Dubspot DS-1 long before I buy this, even at twice the cost. I had the Launchkey 61 for two months and couldn’t stand the feel of the feel of the faders and knobs, not to mention the lack of selectable assignments (and still have the lights respond). I have a Livid Alias8 now, the DS-1 will be more of what I’m looking for. And built like a tank.

  • Octavio

    Excellent replacement for my nano kontrol!!!