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Novation 25SL Mk II 25-Key USB Keyboard Controller, New

Combining a high-quality semi-weighted keybed with unbelievably powerful MIDI control, Novation's 25-key SL Mk II will take your DAW to the next level. (6) Read 3 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Product Description

Novation's SL MkII 25-key controller is the flexible MIDI keyboard/DAW control surface musicians and producers have been waiting for, putting tactile control of every element of your software at your fingertips. Employing assignable encoders, buttons, faders and the X/Y Xpression touchpad, this semi-weighted controller (with aftertouch) ships from the factory with advanced mapping via Automap 4 PRO. Featuring templates and user programmable mappings, the 25SL MkII will improve your workflow for nearly every DAW, plugin and production environment you'll encounter in the studio, on stage, or working from your hotel room.

Robust Build, Pro Action

The SL MkII uses the same velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action keyboard from Fatar employed in the original SL, a roadworthy set of keys ideal for synth players, without disappointing those used to organ action. With playable 'soft feel' drum pads and keys that respond like an instrument, it's quickly apparent that the SL MkII is no toy. Add USB bus powering, rock-solid encoders and sturdy faders and you've got yourself a professional controller that you won't be afraid to take out of the studio.

Control for Days

With a bank of 8 sturdy faders, 16 knobs -- 8 of which are continuous rotary encoders -- and 32 assignable backlit LED buttons, the 25SL Mk II leaves you in control of your digital workflow. The unique two-axis X/Y Xpression touchpad makes for expressive manipulation of multiple parameters simultaneously, and is conveniently located below the spring adjustable pitch/mod joystick. These controls, the dedicated, fully-assignable transport section, and footswitch/sustain pedal inputs are all easily routed to any parameter with the flexible Automap software.

Visual Feedback: See All Your MIDI Control Assignments

With a bright 144-character LCD screen, the SL Mk II makes it easy to quickly identify which parameters are being manipulated, even during theater blackout in a dim pit. Bright red LEDs beneath the assignable buttons make toggle status unmistakable, and the 11-segment LED rings surrounding the continuous rotary encoders supplies clear information on an otherwise dark stage. Designed for maximum brightness with a minimum power draw, users can spend more time playing music and less time staring into screens, even when powering the unit solely via USB bus. With this huge display to help you, you'll never have to worry about memorizing which knob is controlling which MIDI parameter.

Professional Features For Professional Productions

Beyond the touch-sensitive controls and sturdy, semi-weighted action, the 25SL Mk II delivers a wide array of versatile features demanded by working professionals. In addition to the flexible mapping of the Automap 4 software, Novation has included the Xcite+ Bundle, a host of royalty-free loops and samples, a full-fledged soft-synth and Ableton Live 7 Lite, providing an affordable upgrade path to Ableton Live. The built in MIDI interface provides USB control over software synthesizers and DAW control, but with 1 MIDI in, 1 MIDI thru, and 2 MIDI outs, the 25SL Mk II, is an excellent companion to hardware units as well.

Features:

- Sturdy, responsive 25-key velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keyboard
- 56 touch-sensitive, fully mappable controls
- Illuminated buttons and a bright, 144-character LED display
- User-assignable Transport Section
- Spring-loaded Xpression pitch/mod joystick
- Unique, two-axis X/Y Xpression touchpad
- Ships with flexible Automap 4 mapping software
- Energy efficient USB buss powering for use with or without an optional 9V DC power supply
- Versatile MIDI I/O, thru and USB control
- 9 'Soft-Feel' drum pads
- Sustain and Expression pedal inputs
- Includes Xcite+ sample and software bundle

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Novation products.
Specifications
Physical controls

Assignable controls:
- 8 Encoders (Infinite Rotation) with touch-sensitivity and 11 segment Led rings
- 8 Pots (270 Rotation) with touch-sensitivity
- 8 Sliders with touch-sensitivity
- 32 Buttons with integrated LEDs (37 in MIDI mode]
- 8 soft feel Trigger pads
- Xpression Pad (as on existing SL)
- Xpression Stick (as on existing SL)
- Touch sensitive Speed Dial (as on Nocturn)

System buttons:
- General Automap Operation Buttons (Learn, View, Browser Groups etc.)
- Octave up/down buttons with LED indicator

The central system buttons from the SL have been simplified; there is now:
- 1 Automap button with LED to toggle Automap mode on and off (this replaces the PLAY button) - this way, manual MIDI mode is separate from Automap mode and can be avoided completely if preferred
- Template and Edit modes have been combined into one edit mode, for editing both individual controls and overall settings within one Template

Connectivity
Rear Panel connections are as follows:
- Data Port: 1 x USB (Win XP/Vista and Mac OSX - Not Class Compliant
- MIDI: MIDI ONE: IN, OUT and Thru, MIDI TWO: OUT
- Sustain Pedal: 1 x 1/4 Jack Input
- Expression pedal: 1 x 1/4 Jack Input
- Power switch: Ext DC/USB

Minimum Operational Requirements (taken from Nocturn):
Mac OSX 10.4.0 or greater (Leopard also supported) or Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or greater (Vista 32/64 also supported)

Minimum Computer spec: Mac - G4/1GHz, both with 256MB RAM or PC - Pentium 3/1GHz/256MB RAM (machines running Vista will require a higher spec)

Dimensions:
- Size (25 key): W=468mm, H=68mm, D=293mm
- Size (49 key): W=803mm, H=68mm, D=293mm
- Size (61 key): W=965mm, H=68mm, D=293mm

Weights:
- 25SL net weight: 3.3kg /unit
- 49SL net weight: 5.2kg/unit
- 61SL net weight: 6.1kg / unit

Power Supply: USB Cable (Included) or AC Adaptor (Not Included - only required if using without computer)
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 11 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 22 x 15 x 6 in
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 800-431-2609

Product Description

The Novation 25SL Mk II has been designed to equip the modern DAW user with every dimension of hardware control, enabling a hands-on approach to navigating software, mixing and controlling plug-ins. It represents extraordinary value as a controller, integrating a DAW control surface with a quality semi-weighted keyboard (with after-touch) and the most intuitive plug-in mapping capabilities available - presided over by Automap 3 PRO; unquestionably the most advanced control software on the market.

The Novation Standard

The 25SL Mk II upholds Novation's reputation for building quality hardware (like the 25SL Mk I, they will also appeal to performers who need a well-constructed keyboard on stage). Quality is not just reflected in their robustness, but more importantly in the way the 25SL Mk II has been designed with every detail calculated to maximise workflow. The 25SL Mk II's visually feeds back all controller information to the user with back lit buttons and encoder LED rings.

Never Lose Your Place

The difficulty with other control surfaces is knowing what is assigned to what. The 25SL Mk II has a giant 144-character ultra-bright LCD screen that displays all the parameter names and values for the currently selected row of controllers. All 8 faders and 16 knobs are touch sensitive, so the moment one is touched, the display shows the names and values on that row and puts brackets around the controller that is currently being touched. This enables the user to see which parameter is assigned to the controller without having to change the value, or refer to their software. The 25SL Mk II also has a dedicated 'Speed Dial' knob, which can be used to change the value of any parameter the cursor is positioned over without making any assignments whatsoever.

The 8 continuous rotary encoders on the Novation 25SL Mk II have 11 segment LED rings around each of them, allowing encoders to behave like pots so the user can see the value before moving them. All the buttons have LEDs underneath them so users can instantly see their status without having to press them. There are 8 soft-feel drum pads, a pitch/modulation wheel and an X/Y Xpression touchpad which (along with footswitch and sustain pedal inputs), are all fully assignable to any parameter with the Automap software.

Buss-Powered

The Novation 25SL Mk II has been designed to draw minimum current so it can be used as a USB buss-powered device, and an optional 9V DC power supply can be added for stand-alone use. As well as USB interfacing, the 25SL Mk II has 1 MIDI in, 1 MIDI thru and 2 MIDI outs.

Automap Included

The power behind the Novation 25SL Mk II's unique ability to map controllers at the touch of a button, is contained within the included Automap software. Automap 3 PRO enables users to map controllers with incredible speed and ease - no more digging through MIDI continuous controller numbers, the Automap server takes care of it all. Automap's GUI gives the user a visual representation of all the current mappings on screen, as well as the ability to save and manage mappings across different projects. There is also an option to only bring up the GUI when a controller on the 25SL Mk II has been touched!

A High Quality Professional Keyboard

The Novation 25SL Mk II uses the same velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action keyboard from Fatar that the orininal SL does, with assignable after-touch. Novation deliver the feeling of playing an instrument, rather than just a computer peripheral.

Additional Features:

- Mk II ships with Automap 3 PRO
- All dials and faders are now touch-sensitive
- All 25SL Mk II's buttons are illuminated
- Mk II features a single LED screen (as it now features the Automap Heads-up GUI)
- 25SL MK II's top row of dials have 11-LED rings for instant feedback
- Top row of encoders are now smooth, rather than detented.
- 25SL Mk II's transport control buttons can also be used as fully assignable buttons.
- The 25SL Mk II features upgraded 'soft-feel' drum pads.
- No longer features batteries

Note: The 25SL Mk II uses the original ReMOTE SL keyboard

Power Supply: USB Cable (Included) or AC Adaptor (Not Included - only required if using without computer)
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (6 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Fantastic keyboard, highly portable, produce music anywhere!"
Sound: It's a midi controller, so there is no sound. It's all relative to the software synth's your using. I like Sylenth1 (Trance/House leads and arrpegiators) and NI's Razor (Wobble bass/distortions for Dubstep and DnB) as vst's in Ableton, they both sound fantastic. Feature: The best feature is all the knobs and faders, as well as the feel of the keys themselves. I broke my hand/wrist so I can get arthritis pains, but the keys are fantastic and I can jam for hours without discomfort. The least useful feature is the drum pads, they don't feel too great and are small, but I use them to launch clips/samples instead. Ease of Use: Incredibly easy to use right off the bat. I don't use the Automap feature as of yet, but Midi-learn in Ableton works perfectly and you can have your entire keyboard mapped out in minutes. Quality: Product quality is awesome, I've owned a M-Audio Axiom 25 before and hated it. The semi-weighted key's felt terrible, the thing was bulky and the knobs/pads sucked (The whole thing felt cheaply made, and the knobs clicked loudly). The Novation SL MK2 25 feels great, the knobs are slick and touch sensitive, fader's feel good and the keys are perfect. I also love the joystick type modulator for pitch bend and modulations. Build quality is good, I can see this thing lasting me for years to come. The digital LCD readouts are nice too, keeps your eyes off your computer screen and onto the keyboard, very helpfull. Value: My only gripe, this product is on the pricey side. 400$ approximately for a 2 octave midi keyboard is steep, however compared to other similar products, this has the best build quality, feel, features and intuitiveness hands down. Is it worth the asking price? Not sure, but if you can afford it go for it. Manufacturer Support: I have not had to deal with any support. The Wow Factor: For me this has the "it" factor. It's small enough to fit in my backpack with my macbook air, I can literally take this thing anywhere and work on my music production. And for live performances I route it with Ableton to my Kontrol S4 with Traktor and I have a DJ combo that allows me limitless possibility's for my mixes. You will spend hours on this thing and lose track of time. Overall: This is my one and only midi keyboard, I wouldn't replace it ever unless they make a MK3 in the future, or if I wanted a less portable keyboard I would get the SL MK2 49 or 61 in a heartbeat.
Style of Music: UK Dubstep, DnB, Electro, Deep House, Breakbeat
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Outstanding in most ways"
Overall: When I saw the demos of this controller I simply had to have it. Now that I do, there are some really fantastic things about it, and a couple of not-so-great. The biggest problem with the keyboard which is sadly the main reason I bought it, is the x/y pad. It's awful. As many reviews that describe it will tell you, you have to press super hard to get any movement from it to show up in your software, and it's not accurate at all. I bought a fantastic software synth for my Reaper DAW, called Alchemy. It has a really neat feature where you can save 8 predefined sets of values for all sorts of settings. Those 8 map to a "performance pad" where you can in real-time (as well as record it) move to any position within the 8 settings and it morphs the sound as you move around seamlessly. It's very slick. Well I thought I could use the x/y pad with this feature and in real-time could record moving around while playing with the other hand. You can map the x/y pad on the keyboard to Alchemy (not super easy incidentally) but sadly, due to the horrible implementation of the pad on the keyboard, it almost never works. I am really bummed about that. The only other issue that is not a big deal, it's a matter of opinion.. I have the Edirol PCR-300 controller and to me the keyboard is perfect feeling on that. The keyboard on this novation is very nice..but it has a little more stickiness that I can't quite figure out if it's deffective, or supposed to be that way and I am just not used to it. I think what it is, is that the novation keys don't feel smooth all the way down and back up to me..but that also may be due to aftertouch ability..this is the first time I've owned a keyboard with aftertouch, so I am not entirely sure if that adds to the feel or not. Ah.. one last issue.. not a big one for me, but many have complained about the row of buttons between the two rows of knobs on the left side. It does seem rather silly to put buttons there, especially with the top row of knobs being touch sensitive.. it's easy to touch one while reaching to press a button and activate the knob. The buttons feel great, the little drum pads seem to work ok..I don't really use those as I own the NI Maschine controller with much nicer pads for drum/bass work. The sliders..some say are too stiff..I think that is perfect. I don't like the super slippery sliders..too hard to get in the right position and too easy to bump the keyboard and have it move a little bit. The knobs are also fantastic, and the touch sensitivity definitely helps increase your workflow. I also love the pitch bed/mod wheel. It's default setting is for the stick to be down centered..but you can change a latch on the bottom to have it position the stick right in the middle as well. Overall..this is my new workhorse. I got the 25-key as I am sadly not a true piano player.. can't position my hands, don't know chords. But it's also because it's small enough to take with you while on the road and use with where ever you need to be.
Style of Music: dance, techno, progressive, pop/rock, hip-hop
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