Buy “Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, MK2 Version (LAUNCHKEY-MINI-MK2) Musical Instruments” Online
Had weird soft/hardware related issues early on, then I figured out there’s a patch to download that solves these issues. It took me a couple days of researching and troubleshooting to finally figure it out (hence 4/5 stars) if they would have mentioned the patch early on in the set up process, it could have been all avoided. I’m relatively inexperienced in keyboards/music production, but this keyboard has everything I could ever think of in terms of starting up and learning. Check it out!
Launchkey Mini (MK2) is Novation’s most compact and portable MIDI keyboard controller. It may be small, but it gives you everything you need to create new tunes in Ableton Live without cluttering up your desk. Launchkey Mini has been designed to make it easy and fun to produce electronic music. All the controls work as soon as you plug it in and are arranged to make the most sense in Ableton Live. 16 velocity-sensitive pads let you launch clips and play beats. They light up to show you when clips are loaded, playing, and recorded and are laid out to match your Ableton Live session view; one row to launch clips, and one row to stop them. You can also easily tweak your instruments using eight high-quality knobs, and sketch out ideas on a 25-note mini keyboard with a fast synth-style action that makes it really enjoyable to play. Launchkey Mini is compact and tough enough to throw in your bag, so you can take it anywhere. It will work the moment you plug it into your laptop and you won’t need any drivers or power cables, because it’s class compliant and bus-powered via USB. You can also connect it to your iPad via a Camera Connection Kit to control all sorts of iOS music apps, like Novation’s free Launchkey App. Launchkey Mini also integrates immediately with FL Studio, Pro Tools, Reason, Cubase, and Logic without any mapping whatsoever. It comes with everything you need to start making music: Ableton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Novation Bass Station and V Station virtual instruments and over 4GB of Loopmasters samples.
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, MK2 Version (LAUNCHKEY-MINI-MK2) Review
I was a total beginner and thought this keyboard was perfect for me. *MUST DO for newbies* – check out the Novation website – there are tutorials that show you how to set this thing up. I used Ableton Live on a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. The keys are a bit small but that’s to be expected for something you can throw in a backpack. Still I have no problems using them. Drumpads are pressure sensitive, knobs take a tiny bit of getting used to (the dials in the software obviously aren’t at the same position as the ones on the keyboard when you first start turning them) But all in all, it’s so easy to start making something AND to play it "live" by launching clips that you’ve made. Build quality feels solid. Planning to use it for a long time! -Read Reviews-
Launchkey Mini – the mini keyboard for Ableton Live
16 velocity-sensitive multi-color pads
8 knobs, dedicated navigation and control buttons
Software for Mac and PC, Including: Ableton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Novation Bass Station and V Station virtual instruments and over 4GB of Loopmasters samples
Make dynamic beats, play like an instrument and mix without losing focus and ontrol any effect or instrument mid-performance to add expressive effects like reverb or filters
I desperately needed more controls for software synths and wanted 49 keys. Faders and knobs are certainly solid and smooth. The pads are a little gummy. I have a PadKontrol for that, so no big deal. The keys themselves are obviously pretty lightweight, but I don’t worry about them lasting. They just aren’t weighted. For the price, this is a bargain and totally appropriate to sit on your computer desk. Important to me: the design is simple and unobtrusive. It stands out without being tacky or looking cheap. Yes, I am a little bit shallow. The rainbow RGB pads are pretty. I use FL Studio, but who cares. It’ll work for lots of DAWs, notably Ableton Live. There aren’t any built in arpeggiators or chord modes for the pads, but you can do a lot of that in your software usually. If you want a VST midi arpeggiator with a ton of features, look up Kirnu Cream for $38. 00.