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Novation Launchpad Mk2 Review | Ultimate Abelton Live Tool

Novation Launch Pad Mk2 Review

Electronic music production has changed a great deal in recent years due to newer technology. One of these types of new technology comes from the team over at Novation with their Launchpad Mk2 model.

In most cases, this pad-based midi controller can be used for finger-drumming or DJ-ing inside the studio and live users on stage. The Launchpad Mk2 can transform a boring studio session into a journey of unique sounds, samples and songs at the push of a button.

In this Novation Launchpad Mk2 review, we are going to dive into the pros and cons of this midi pad controller and see if it is the right fit for your style and studio pleasure.

Table of Contents

Launchpad Mk2 Overview

Novation Launchpad Mk2

Pros 

  • RGB lit pads
  • Nonslip rubber base on the backing
  • Softer, more responsive pads
  • Non-click pads
  • Integrates seamlessly with Ableton Live session
  • User-friendly

Cons 

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

Launchpad Mk2 Key Features

This 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 run on USB power; just plug it into any computer 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 Ableton Live software, pre-laid tracks can be modified to add various instruments, including drums. Additionally, the Ableton Live software can be used to make light show videos as well, which can easily be uploaded to YouTube or other video sharing.

Build Quality

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 Novation 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 Novation LP Mk2 up with the Ableton Live software package.

DAW Compatible

The Ableton Live software easily installs on any computer. Therefore, when the USB cord used to connect the Launchpad Mk2 to 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-based, the lines of music connecting to them change a lot faster. Again, this benefit outdoes the Launchpad S. The Launchpad Mk2 comes with a lot of upgrades from the previous model just for a little bit extra cost.

Complete Review – Novation Launchpad Pro

How Does It Compare?

How Does It Compare

The Novation Launchpad Mk2 is not the only RGB pad on the market today. There are a few different MIDI controllers to pick from. Here is a closer look at some of the comparable items to this Launchpad model. 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 OS 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 Novation LP Mk2 does not need either of these items to work as it simply plugs into a computer using a USB cord.

Before the Launchpad Pro, 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. Similar 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.

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Changelog:

April 18, 2022 – minor content edits, added external link

About the author

cd38730de4e65cc7ce515086e48ba144

After becoming obsessed with the beats that were the soundtrack to his youth, Nick became a student of hip hop, digging for vinyl records, looking for the perfect break. Before he got his hands on an MPC sampler, he would mash these records, beats, and breaks into mixtapes and live DJ sets.