Portable Perfection from Novation…
We’re no strangers to the gloriously diminutive controller but it’s fair to say that the Novation Launchpad Mini MK3 is a cut above what’s been before. Featuring a refined workflow that is dialled in perfectly for launching clips and controlling Ableton Live’s session view like a champ, the MK3 boasts some new features that make it highly attractive for those who are short on space or love making music on the move – without the effort.
Launchpad Mini MK3: Sleek and Sublime
The new low-profile design ensures that the Novation Launchpad Mini MK3 slots perfectly into any layout, slips into your backpack easily and can go wherever the musical winds take you.
Nothing is left behind with the MK3, you’ve got 64 RGB pads to play with across the 8×8 grid. The addition of RGB LEDs to each and every pad ensures that the grid perfectly matches your clips in Ableton Live.
MIDI capability abounds with a packed feature set that would make others blush. There are three powerful custom modes that allow you to send CCs, notes, and program change messages from the grid to your software of choice. As if all that wasn’t enough you can even create your own mappings with Novation Components editor software, taking the effort out of programming your Launchpad Mini MK3 so that it operates exactly as you’d want it to.
Optimised for launching clips and performing sessions in Ableton Live, there are a range of intuitive tactile controls that offer real-time visual feedback so that you know exactly where you’re up to.
For example, Stop/Solo/Mute functions are on a single control, which you can toggle through to until you land on your function of choice. The bottom row of pads changes colours, accordingly, leaving an 8×7 grid of pads for you to continue launching clips in Session View. Simply press it once more and you’re back to an 8×8 grid, couldn’t be simpler!
On top of all that there are three custom modes that are as extensive as you want them to be with Send CCs, Notes, and Program Change Messages from the grid to your software of choice. To get you started Novation have created three custom modes with Keys, Drums & User, which allow you to play your instruments in Live.
As noted above, you can utilise Novation Components editing software to create your own mappings. The level of control you have available to you is nothing short of extraordinary considering the size of the Launchpad Mini MK3.
Getting Up and Running: Launchpad Intro
Novation have made it easier than ever before to get up and running with the Launchpad Mini MK3. Simply go to https://novationmusic.com/get-started, plug in your Launchpad Mini MK3, and the 8×8 grid will be setup automatically. There are several packs to load that cover a wide range of popular genres, so you can be up and running in minutes.
There are step-by-step guides on setting up the Launchpad Mini MK3 with Ableton, giving you detailed run-throughs about downloading and installing virtual instruments, effects, and more.
The Launchpad app by Ampify Music is ideal for making and remixing electronic music. You can instantly combine beats, basslines, melodies, vocals and FX loops using sounds from the exclusive Ampify sounds collection. Sculpt and shape your sounds with DJ-style effects and layer them up to create the exact response that you want. All you need to do is plug the Launchpad Mini MK3 into an iPad with an externally powered Lightning to USB-3 adapter and then you can happily launch loops and trigger one shots to your heart’s content.
As well as Ableton Live Lite, those generous folks over at Novation include a huge library of free samples and software, giving you everything that you could need to start making complete compositions as soon as it lands.
On top of all that, all Launchpad Mini MK3 owners are automatically members of Novation’s Sound Collective community, which offers new free and discounted plugins from heavyweights across the software industry every couple of months.
- Ableton Live 10 Lite
- Two months free Splice Sounds subscription
- Klevgrand R0Verb and DAW Cassette
- XLN Audio Addictive Keys
- AAS Session Bundle
- Softube Time and Tone Bundle
- Novation Sound Collective membership
- Optimised Ableton Live control for performing your Session.
- All controls are now RGB backlit, so the pads perfectly match clips in your Live session.
- Launch clips and scenes in Live.
- Stop, Solo and Mute track controls a button press away, while keeping your Session in view.
- 3 deep and powerful custom modes – set up the perfect control surface for you.
- Massive software bundle included – everything you need to make music right out of the box.
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.