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Review MIDI keyboard Novation Launchkey 61 MK2. Where to buy it?

Novation Digital Music Systems Ltd. is a British music equipment manufacturer, founded in 1992 by Ian Jannaway and Mark Thompson as Novation Electronic Music Systems. I’ll tell you how this post is built. I’ll tell you how this post is built. First I list the features of this Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 keyboard. Then you have a video or two, purchase links and useful comments from other users and then you have one of the most useful parts; comparison tables with similar keyboards so you can compare.

  • 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 952 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg
  • Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings

review novation-launchkey-61-mk2
This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €275/£249/$277 offering 61 speed-sensitive keys, allowing you to play and compose different musical ideas on your favorite DAW.

Control features include 16 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive ‘pads’, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down and function buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels.

It integrates a sustain pedal input, USB connection, and MIDI output. Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings.

Now that we have seen the features of this Novation Launchkey 61 MK2, watch these related videos to learn more.

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Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 vs Nektar Impact LX61+

The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €275/£249/$277 while the Nektar Impact LX61+ is priced at €148/£133/$148. Having a difference of 127 Euro, we will see their face to face:

  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 provides 61 speed-sensitive keys, while the Nektar Impact LX61+ provides 61 speed-sensitive keys.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 offers 16 RGB backlit speed-sensitive ‘pads’, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down and function buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. When the Nektar Impact LX61+ offers 9 30mm faders, 8 rotary encoders, 9 assignable buttons, 6 transport buttons for octave change, transposition switches and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 integrates a sustain pedal input, USB connection, and MIDI output. And the Nektar Impact LX61+ integrates a sustain pedal input and USB connection.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 includes the licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings. The Nektar Impact LX61+ includes the Bitwig 8-Track software download.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3

Nektar Impact LX61+

  • 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 952 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg
  • Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings
  • With 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • DAW integration including track volume and track selection, patch selection and more
  • Suitable for all popular DAWs, including Logic, Cubase, Studio One, Reason, Bitwig and more
  • 9 faders of 30mm
  • 8 rotary encoders
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 6 transport buttons
  • Octave shift
  • Transposition switches
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • 4 speed curves plus 3 fixed speeds
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with 4-color LED illumination providing 4 pad assignments and ‘learn’ pad function
  • Clip and scene switches for clip-based DAWs
  • Extended transport controls, including click, go to locator and more
  • 5 memory locations for user-defined parameter settings
  • Native USB support for real Plug ‘n Play
  • USB bus-powered
  • Connectors: Input for TS footswitch jack 1/4″, USB
  • WIN 7 or higher, MAC OSX 10.7 or higher
  • Includes Bitwig 8-Track software download
  • Dimensions: 965 x 267 x 76mm approx.
  • Weight: 4,1kg

In our first comparison we have on the one hand the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 which offers 61 speed-sensitive keys, 16 RGB backlit speed-sensitive ‘pads’, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down buttons and for different functions, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. The Nektar Impact LX61+ also has 61 speed-sensitive keys, 9 30mm faders, 8 rotary encoders, 9 assignable buttons, 6 transport buttons, octave shift buttons, transposition switches, and pitch bend and modulation wheels.

The advantage of the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 is that it has 16 speed-sensitive pads with RGB backlighting, which is unparalleled, and a large number of licenses, which are especially popular with beginners. The advantage of the Nektar Impact LX61+ is that the faders and buttons can be assigned to a specific parameter or function of the DAW you are using. Due to its lower price and similar functions I would go for the Nektar Impact LX61+, however, the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 is not a bad option.

And here’s a video of the Nektar Impact LX61+ keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Nektar Impact LX61+ review.

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 vs M-Audio Code 61 Black

The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €275/£249/$277 while the M-Audio Code 61 Black is priced at €236, with a difference of £39. Let’s go head-to-head:

  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 provides 61 speed-sensitive keys, while the M-Audio Code 61 Black provides 61 full-size sensitive keys.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 features 16 RGB-backlit speed-sensitive ‘pads’, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down and function buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. When the M-Audio Code 61 Black offers an XY pad control that can be assigned to any parameter of a DAW or plug-in you’re using, 16 fully assignable speed-sensitive trigger pads, 8 assignable 360 knobs, 9 assignable faders and 9 assignable buttons, and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 integrates a sustain pedal input, USB connection, and MIDI output. The M-Audio Code 61 Black features a sustain and expression pedal input and USB connection, but can also be powered by an external power supply, as well as MIDI input and output.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 includes the licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette, and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings. The M-Audio Code 61 Black includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3.0 and Loom by Air Music Technology.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3

M-Audio Code 61 Black

  • 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 952 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg
  • Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings
  • 61 full-size keys
  • Speed sensitive with aftertouch
  • 4 assignable zones for divisions and layers
  • Assignable XY control pad for HID control
  • 16 fully assignable speed-sensitive trigger pads
  • 8 encoders 360 assignable
  • 9 assignable faders
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • Transport control via Mackie/HUI protocol
  • LED providing an instant display of each parameter
  • Input for volume and sustain pedal
  • Operates via USB power with 5-pin MIDI input and output
  • Software included: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3.0 and Loom by Air Music Technology
  • Power supply not included optionally available
  • Minimum requirements: Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.7.5
  • Dimensions: 1024 x 257 x 73mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 4,95Kg
  • Color: Black.

In this comparison we find on the one hand the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 with its functions and features that we have already analyzed before, and on the other hand the M-Audio Code 61 Black that offers 61 full-size keys, a Pad XY control, 16 fully assignable speed-sensitive trigger pads, 8 assignable 360 knobs, 9 assignable faders and 9 assignable buttons and pitch bend and modulation wheels.

As an advantage of the Novation, we find a large number of licenses that are highly valued for beginners in music production. And as advantages of the M-Audio Code 49 Black we can start with its XY pad control, which will allow you to control a parameter or function in two dimensions in real-time, really is a great advantage, we can also count on its faders, excellent for mixing, and assignable buttons. In conclusion, the M-Audio Code 61 Black is the best controller and costs less.

Here’s a video of the M-Audio Code 61 Black keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Code 61 Black review.

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 vs Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €275/£249/$277 when the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 is priced at €222/£205/$224. Let’s go head to head:

  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 provides 61 speed-sensitive keys, while the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 provides 49 full-size sensitive keys.
  • Both offer 16 RGB-backlit speed-sensitive ‘pads’, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down and function buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. And buttons for other functions.
  • Both integrate a sustain pedal input, USB connection, and MIDI output.
  • Both include the licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3

Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

  • 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 952 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg
  • Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings
  • 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 Sensitive Pads with RGB illumination
  • Scale and Chord Modes
  • Arpeggiator
  • Capture MIDI function
  • MIDI Mappings
  • Device Lock function
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2x 16-digit displays
  • 8 regulators
  • Buttons for octave up / down, arp / scale / fixed chord, play / stop / record / loop, track navigation, stop / solo / mute, MIDI capture / quantization / click / undo, scene start, Device selection and Device lock functions
  • Input for 6.3 mm Sustain Jack pedal
  • USB-B connection
  • MIDI output
  • Powered by USB
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 789 x 77 x 258 mm
  • Weight: 3.03 kg
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 virtual keyboards selectable), Klevgrand R0Verb and DAW Cassette, Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings

In this comparison, we find two sister models: the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 and the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 which are both very similar. Logically and as we already know the Launchkey 61 MK3 has 61 keys, while the Launchkey 49 MK3 has 49 keys. And in the other functions, they are very similar. Since we find a relevant price difference we must consider and need the 61 keys, a 5-octave range, or 49 keys, a 4-octave range.

And here is a video of the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 review.

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61

The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €275/£249/$277 when the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 is priced at €222/£199/$222. Let’s go head to head:

  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 provides 61 speed-sensitive keys, while the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 provides 61 full-size semi-weighted keys.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 features 16 RGB backlit speed-sensitive pads, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down and function buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. When the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 offers 8 touch-sensitive encoders, pitch and modulation wheels, and a 4D push encoder and other functions.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 integrates a sustain pedal input, USB connection, and MIDI output. And the Native Instruments Kompletete Kontrol A61 integrates a sustain pedal input and connection.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 includes the licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings. The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 includes licenses for The Gentleman, Monark, Scarbee Mark I, Reaktor Prism, Reaktor Blocks Wired, Reaktor 6 Player, Kontakt 6 Player, Guitar Rig 5 Player, Komplete Kontrol Software, Maschine Essential.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61

  • 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 952 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg
  • Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings
  • Newly developed semi-weighted keyboard
  • 61 keys
  • 8 touch-sensitive encoders, tone and modulation wheels
  • Push-button 4D encoder
  • Smart Player
  • Integration with Maschine
  • Intuitive control over Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Garage Band, Cubase and Nuendo
  • USB powered
  • 6.3 mm input for pedal
  • USB port
  • Dimensions: 984 x 257 x 89 mm
  • Weight: 4.7 kg
  • Includes Komplete effects and instruments: The Gentleman, Monark, Scarbee Mark I, Reaktor Prism, Reaktor Blocks Wired, Reaktor 6 Player, Kontakt 6 Player, Guitar Rig 5 Player, Komplete Kontrol Software, Maschine Essential

In this comparison, we have on the one hand the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 with its functions and features that we have already analyzed before, and on the other hand the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 that offers 61 semi-weighted keys, 8 touch-sensitive encoders, tone and modulation wheels, and a 4D push-button encoder and other functions.

As an advantage of the Novation we can have its great amount of licenses that it offers, and on the side of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 we can mention its semi-weighted keyboard, that is of better quality than the one of its competition, and also we comment the intuitive control of some DAWs, and as well as its licenses. Go for the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 if you want a quality keyboard.

And here is a video of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 review.

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

The MIDI Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 is priced at €275/£249/$277 and the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 is priced at €239/£215/$239. Let’s see their face to face:

  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 provides 61 speed-sensitive keys, while the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 provides 61 full-size sensitive keys.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 offers 16 RGB backlit speed-sensitive ‘pads’, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, octave up/down and function buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. When the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 offers 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch, 1 pushable encoder, 9 assignable knobs, and 13 buttons, pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 integrates a sustain pedal input, USB connection, and MIDI output. And the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 integrates an external power supply input.
  • The Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 includes the licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings. The Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 includes the Arturia Analog Lab 2, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano licenses.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Novation Launchkey 61 MK3

Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

  • 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 16 speed-sensitive pads backlit with RGB
  • Scale and chord mode
  • Arpeggiator
  • MIDI capture function
  • MIDI mappings
  • Locking the device
  • Tone shift and modulation wheel
  • 2 x 16 character display
  • 8 knobs
  • Power supply via USB
  • Dimensions: 952 x 77 x 258 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg
  • Includes licenses for Ableton Live Lite, Serato Sample LE, AAS Session Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys (1 of 4 selectable virtual keyboards), Klevgrand R0Verb-, DAW Cassette and Spitfire Audio LABS-Expressive Strings
  • With 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 2, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 882 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3,3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product

In this last comparison, we have the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3 that we have already analyzed in other occasions, and on the other hand the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 that offers 61 full-size sensitive keys, 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch, 1 pressable encoder, 9 assignable knobs, and 13 buttons, tone and modulation wheels.

One advantage of the Novation Launchkey 61 MK3, and as we have also commented on other occasions, is its large number of licenses that are greatly appreciated by beginners. And as advantages of the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 we have 1 pushable encoder and 13 buttons which are excellent control functions. Go for the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 to enjoy its set of control features.

And here’s a video of the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 review.

Which is the best of these MIDI keyboards if I am a beginner on a low budget?

While the answer to this question lies mostly in what specific need you have, for example, if you want to have a keyboard with the widest possible note range, or if you want to have as many control functions as possible, or perhaps a mix between the two, that is without leaving behind the different connections and software licenses that most MIDI controllers offer, we will give an objective opinion according to our experience in music production and thus also with the price that the controllers demand, a kind of value for money.

In the post in question, we find MIDI controllers in a price range of 150 to 280 euros, therefore we find at least 49 keys and thus also good control functions. We comment that the Nektar Impact LX61+ is the ideal MIDI controller for a beginner, thanks to its 61-key full-size keyboard with velocity sensitivity (intensity in MIDI language), it also offers 30mm faders, rotary encoders and assignable buttons as well as other control functions. It also features a sustain pedal input. It’s really a very complete controller and at a fair price, if you have the chance to buy it, don’t think too much about it.

Where to buy the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

Thomann

  • Free Shipping.
  • Full warranty. If you have any problems, they take care of everything.
  • 100% reliable payment.
  • A leader in trouble-free shipping.
  • Usually the Best price.
  • Best Reputation: They are the leading online store in Europe and have the best catalog and information.

Amazon

  • Free Shipping and the possibility of shipping in one day with Amazon Premium.
  • Full Guarantee but they are no experts in music equipment.
  • Sometimes a better price.
  • He’s got worse stock than Thomann.

Also, look at these models with a similar price and features:

Jaime Echagüe

Hi! I'm Jaime Echagüe, a musician and an authentic fan of musical instruments. With this blog I want to give general information about musical instruments in an easy, direct and honest way. I hope you enjoy my website and that you find it very useful.

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