Updated Novation ReMOTE SL Line, and the Controller Keyboard Battle Heats Up

Novation has unveiled their revised SL line of controllers, dubbed the SL Mk II. The changes are subtle, but significant. Looks awesome: Fatar semi-weight “fast touch” keyboard action Touch-sensitive controls for immediate feedback on the LED screen Buttons are now backlit Encoders are ringed with red LEDs Dedicated buttons for enabling Automap and switching modes (effects, mixing, etc.) Speed Dial! Bundled with Automap 3 PRO software, which now features keystroke assignment and a heads-up display (and PRO is free with a new keyboard, as expected, though there’s still an upgrade fee if you’re a current owner) The ZeRO now has …

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M-Audio Axiom Pro Offers Novation Automap Rival – If You’ve Got the Right DAW

While Novation was refreshing their Automap software for NAMM, M-Audio was unveiling their own dynamic controller technology, called HyperControl. M-Audio has one (big) edge on Novation: their controller technology can access ASCII keystrokes – something I’d love to have in all keyboard control editors. And HyperControl sounds like it has some promise, at least on paper – especially with the absurd number of controls M-Audio has packed onto the layout. There are just two catches. One, there’s the (ahem) styling on the Axiom Pro keyboard. To put it diplomatically, it’s not terribly … subtle. Two, you get support for some …

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Grab the Automap 3 Beta from Novation; Use it with Reaper, More

RCUS notes there’s a beta page for the Automap 3 beta for Mac and Windows: Focusrite – Novation Beta There’s a registration form for beta testers so you can stay up to date, but you can grab the download immediately. Sounds great to me, as more (quality) feedback can mean fewer bugs! And what about the HUI support in Automap (which apparently includes the free Automap 3 Standard)? HUI, or Human User Interface, is the older version of Mackie’s control scheme, implemented over MIDI for more extensive control over DAWs’ editing features. HUI support (added first in the 2.0 ReMOTE …

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Automap 3 Pro: New Heads-Up Display, More Flexibility for Dynamic Controllers

Dynamic control is fantastic. The idea is this: when you switch to a new app or instrument or effect, the hardware controller automatically assigns parameters to controls. That means no messing around with templates, assignment editors, and configuration, and the ability to quickly gain control of your software when editing or performing. Novation’s MIDI-controlling keyboards and control surfaces are likely the best example of this with their “Automap” feature, as found on the ReMOTE line and the cute, DJ-friendly Nocturn. But doing dynamic assignment also creates some challenges. You have to sort out which parameters get controlled. And most importantly, …

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Akai APC40 Ableton Live Controller, in Detail: Plug-and-Play Live Control For Everyone?

It’s been eight years since Ableton Live introduced its signature screen layout for live performance: clips, scenes, sends, tracks, and devices. For the first time, a single controller combines all the basic elements of that Live set in a single hardware layout. Akai’s APC40 is a plug-and-play, driver-free hardware controller developed with Ableton. The APC has certainly got enough buttons and knobs and faders to cover those Live features, but it also raises a couple of questions. One is, does one-size-fits-all work for Ableton Live? The other is, will Ableton open up the “exclusive bidirectional communication” used for clip status …

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Best $100 Spent at NAMM: Novation’s Nocturn Controller is Liz’s Pick

NAMM had plenty of new goodies, but what do we actually want to buy? Here’s Liz’s top pick (high on my list, as well). -PK No, it’s not an advertising campaign for Ableton Live if that’s what you’re wondering. The Live-like logos that pop up onto your screen when you start using the Novation Nocturn controller actually represent the Nocturn’s various knobs, automatically mapped to whatever software you’re using at the time. It’s a heads-up, intuitive display that extends both the mouse and the controller itself. You can see the knob settings on screen, then use the mouse to navigate …

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Novation’s ReMOTE SL Controller Keyboards Get Compact

It’s no secret: I’m a huge fan of Novation’s ReMOTE SL line, and they’re becoming very popular with live laptop users, soft synth lovers, and users of software like Ableton Live and Reason. Put aside for a moment the whiz-bang Automap features, which automatically assign controllers to software (both plug-ins and hosts), and the physical keyboard itself is very good. The semi-weighted action feels terrific, and there’s a nice selection of controls. Novation has expanded the SL line this week with the ReMOTE SL “Compact”, apparently keeping with their Goldilocks-friendly marketing strategy. (What, that’s a little too big for you? …

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ReMOTE SL v2 Automapping: Mackie HUI, Pro Tools, Combined Auto/Manual Mode

Automapping, the ability to automatically assign controls on hardware to software parameters, is a big draw for a lot of users, and a new upgrade to the ReMOTE SL keyboard brings this feature to Pro Tools for the first time — while smoothing out the rough edges in support for other software. The ReMOTE SL is a fantastic keyboard in terms of hardware, but the software when released was a work-in-progress, at least when it came to the much-publicized “Automap” capabilities. Fortunately, Novation’s been making steady progress on its SL keyboard software over the past months, as have some of …

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“Secret” Feature in Live 6: How to Customize Instant Mappings

Live 6 isn’t even out yet, but here’s a “secret” feature Ableton developers were able to sneak into a recent beta. Sources at Ableton say this won’t ever be documented, but they do plan to put it on the forums. I’m most interested to see what Live hackers and hard-core users do with this. The idea is this: you can script your own automatic mappings for control surfaces. (DIY hardware builders, take note — but that’s only the beginning.) Scripting your own controller mappings? Now that’s exciting — and something Propellerhead didn’t do with their own Automap feature in Reason. …

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