Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 - 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$250
Novation Launchkey 61 MK2

The MK2's most notable update is improved compatibility with Ableton Live, further establishing the Launchkey series as the MIDI Keyboard Controller to get for said DAW.

Hardware improvements were also implemented, including reliability improvements for the knobs and pads, as well as the addition of RGB color-matching feature to its 16 velocity sensitive pads.

It retains its 61-key velocity sensitive synth style keys and its class compliant design.

Note that with its extra features, the iPad can no longer power the Launchkey 61 MK2, using a powered USB hub is a good workaround.

Features:

  • 61 note velocity sensitive synth style keyboard
  • 16 full-colour RGB backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
  • 8 knobs
  • 9 sliders (49 & 61 note) 1 slider (25 note)
  • 6 dedicated transport controls
  • Pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • 2 octave / transpose buttons
  • 7 segment 3 character LED display
  • 2 Track / MIDI Channel buttons
  • 8 mute / solo buttons plus toggle button (49 & 61 note)
  • 3 InControl buttons (49 & 61 note) 2 InControl buttons (25 note)
  • 2 full-colour RGB backlit round buttons
  • USB socket
  • DC power socket
  • Sustain pedal 1/4” jack socket
  • Kensington security slot
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 41.3 x 15.1 x 6.3 inches

Pros

The Noavation Launchkey 61 MK2's upgraded color-lit pads continue to impress users and experts alike, while its synth action keys receive plenty of commendations. Some users even compare the keys to more expensive keyboards like the Ultranova, SH-101, DX-7 and more. Convenient Ableton Live integration is also one of its strong points, but there are some users who find that it works just as well with other DAW software, including ones that are not meant for live performance like Pro Tools.

Cons

There were a few non-Ableton Live users who could not make full use of its features, but this is to be expected. One valid concern however is the use of plastic parts which translates to reduced durability and reliability. But it is still respectably durable, and only requires reasonable care in handling and storage.

Overall

The Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 is a pretty good and reasonably priced keyboard controller, especially if you are using or planning to use Ableton Live.

The Launchkey 61 MK2 isn't currently on our recommended list which is available in our guide: The Best 61 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

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