Novation Launchpad Mk2 Review

Electronic music has changed a great deal in recent years due to newer technology.

One of these types of new technology comes from Novation with their Launchpad Mk2 model.

In most cases, this pad can be used for self-drumming or DJ-ing.

It makes working with electronic styles of music much easier.

Here is a closer look at Novation Launchpad Mk2 review.

Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty
38 Reviews
Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty
  • Integrate immediately and seamlessly with Ableton Live, without any setup whatsoever
  • 64 RGB pads light up to match the color of your clips in Live; see at a glance what's loaded, playing, and recording
  • Bright, colorful pads make the unit stand out just from USB power - when you're on stage or creating an exciting Launchpad light show video for YouTube
  • Use the grid to play drums and samples with pads pre-mapped to Ableton Lives drum rack
  • Start and stop loops, arm tracks, and control volumes, pans and sends

Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons for the Novation Launchpad Mk2 and the Ableton Live controller and see if its the right fit for your style and studio pleasure.


  • RGB lit pads
  • headphones
    Non slip rubber base on the backing
  • headphones
    Softer more responsive pads
  • headphones
    Non click pads


  • User have reported some latency
  • headphones
    Ableton Live performance only
  • headphones
    Hard to follow user manual 

Novation Launchpad Mk2

Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty

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Novation Launchpad Mk2 Key Features 

This Novation Launchpad Mk2 Review closely examines the many features of this model. It does include the Ableton Live Lite DAW, which makes it a nice addition to any sound package.

At the same time, it can plug into most computers by simply using a USB cable.

However, this cable is a bit short for some people’s liking, so it might need to be replaced with a longer cord as needed.

It also comes with 64 RGB light ups to match the colors of clips being played or recorded.

This feature allows people to take a single glance at the Launchpad to determine what lines play and which ones do not.

This product focuses on pairing up with the Ableton Live software provided for the computer.

Through this software, pre-laid tracks can be modified to add various instruments, including drums.

Additionally, this software can be used to make light show videos as well, which can easily be uploaded to YouTube or other video sharing sites.

Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty

Build Quality 

As mentioned previously, the back of this model includes a non-slip or non-skid covering.

Therefore, Producers and DJs can perform their music without worrying about this item slipping around on the table.

Even when extra force applies to it, the Launchpad Mk2 will not move around easily. 

The table beneath it will shake around before this item moves.

The Launchpad Mk2 includes higher quality materials than the previous build.

Buttons have been made with more durability and less clicking noises, which means they will stand up longer than those on the previous model.

Novation also includes more colors on this build, up to 64 in total to be precise.

The previous model, the Launchpad S, did not have nearly as many colors to work with.

Once more, Novation provides a product that is extremely easy to use.

People do not have to perform any elaborate programming when it comes to syncing the Launchpad Mk2 up with the Ableton Live software package. This software easily installs on any computer.

Therefore, when the USB cord used to connect the Launchpad Mk2 into the computer completes the connection process, plug-and-play technology comes into play.

Some people have experienced a few problems with this software syncing to the Launchpad itself, but these problems are few. They certainly do not occur as often as they did with the Launchpad S.

Since the buttons are not velocity base, the lines of music connecting to them change a lot faster.

Again, this benefit out does the Launchpad S. Additionally, the Launchpad Mk2 comes with a lot of upgrades from the previous model just for a little bit extra in cost.

Check Out The Review Of  The Novation Launch Pad Pro. For more pad based, controllerism, producer gear. 

How Does It Compare 

The Launchpad Mk2 is not the only RGB pad on the market today.

There are a few, different items to pick from. Here is a closer look at some of the comparable items to this Launchpad model

Novation Launchpad Mini MK2 Ableton Live Grid Controller

Novation MK2 Launchpad Mini Compact USB Grid Controller for Ableton Live

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Since the Launchpad S has been mentioned several times, it only makes sense to take a closer look at it in detail.

Like the Launchpad Mk2, it will connect with many types of computers, including both Mac and Windows models.

However, Ableton Live must be upgraded to version 9.2 or greater for the sake of compatibility.

The Camera Connection Kit and Lighting to USB Camera Adapter are required for this model to work, but they are not included.

The Launchpad Mk2 does not need either of these items to work as it simply plugs into a computer using a USB cord.

Pro Gear
Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty
Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty
Pro Gear
Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty
Novation Launchpad MK2 Ableton Live Controller with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty

Before the Launchpad S and Launchpad Mk2 came the Mini Mk2.

This model works great for people wanting to learn how to use these items without having to deal with a lot of higher technology components.

It does come with a 64 grid, but it does not include nearly as many colors as the Launchpad Mk2.

Similarly to the newer model, loops can be started and stopped with the press of a button without changing around the grid too much.

It still allows the chance to make amazing light shows to upload on video sharing sites such as YouTube as well. However, this model does not offer all of the same features as the newer model.

Midiplus - Smartpad

One of the cheaper brands out there for controllers comes from Midiplus.

This Smartpad also works with Ableton Live, just like the Novation models.

However, the software is not included with the package, and connecting to it with this controller can be more than a little difficult.

On the other hand, it will also work with Studio One products.

This model works great for beginners looking to learn how to use these controllers, but it does not meet the demands of more experienced users.

On the other hand, it does operate on a USB cable with plug-and-play technology similar to the Novation models.

Another problem with this model lies in the fact that it can only be used to pre-recorded music, so it will not work for live shows.

midiplus Smartpad USB MIDI Controller
58 Reviews
midiplus Smartpad USB MIDI Controller
  • Smart PAD is designed for performance with Ableton Live (not include). In this manual, you will find instructions on how to connect the Smart PAD and use its basic features with Ableton Live - Professional Smart PAD Manual Mapping.
  • Smart PAD can also be used in "generic mode" as a controller with other virtual DJ applications that use MIDI protocol.
  • ATTACHMENT:  Owner's Manual, One standard USB Cable.
  • NOTE: Refer the User Manual before use.

Check Out The Complete Review Of  The Best Midi Pad Controllers, Here On

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Last update on 2018-07-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API