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Rating and Reviews: Novation ZeRO SL MkII USB

Always know your control assignments on-stage with this controller's giant LCD display screen.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Extra Fancy With Room To Grow" submitted February 4, 2010

By a customer from aol.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Producer
Music Style: Techno, House, Abstract Hip Hop
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Sound: It makes no sound -it's a midi controller. Feature: This thing is great, the more you vst intruments and effect you through at it the better it gets. lots of knobs and sliders for any parameter, some already mapped to the zero via novation's handy but sometimes annoying automap software. I've not used the drum pads, but all of the other controls are excellent and futuristic looking. the buttons light up in the dark. the crossfader, ok maybe not usefull at first but when you get down to it, it really is. The real selling point for me was the screen. a good many controllers dont have this feature without a keyboard attached. The screen is great to have to control and remember complex synth layouts. Or by just selecting your favorite knobs on the vst synths/effects you have. Ease of Use: Ever trained an elephant to break dance? That's what midi is like if you dont know what you are doing. This controller is deep and you are contol freak this box is for you. it has steep curve made easier by automap mapping most software DAWs and vst plugins. Give your self time and this box will unravel what it can do for you. Quality: It's not made of metal and will get dinged if outside in live situations. Other than that, the faders are nice and tight like on a vestax dj battle mixer. The cross fader is smooth an silky and does not feel cheap. The rotary encoders -The first ones right below the screen do feel less than par, but the pan pot row below is great. Value: Why you by the over any other contoller says much about what you like in music today. For me that's portability, this zero has nearly every midi parameter you could want. Manufacturer Support: I haven't needed the help desk. However RTFM then call the help desk or watch plenty of novations tv tutorials on you tube. Novations stuff is not bad build at all, it's quirky but very usefull. The Wow Factor: I like the design of this and having no keyboard option of the Remote Sl series is great. Overall: For me this is the center piece of a small digital studio/ live performance and that what it is for. The Zero is rather unforgiving if you are new to the midi block, after understanding all the midi assignment you need and that this thing has. It's a breeze.
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"Great controller" submitted June 17, 2014

By Dean S in Abbotsford, BC
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Professional, 30+ years
Music Style: Jazz, ballroom, World
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Overall: I also own the 61 key version and using this with a VPC1. Excellent build, smart controls, easy to work with.
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"Looks nice and that's about it." submitted December 12, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Musical Background: Since I was 6.
Music Style: Electronic, classical, horror.
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Feature: This unit boasts enough of a selection of features for the price - but does fall a bit shy compared to other units like the AKAI APC40. Ease of Use: I would rather this have an easier method to select program templates than is currently implemented. The LCD display is fine but the text does a poor job of explaining what it is supposed to do. Automap software (newest release, website) is a joke. I had nothing but issues with both OSX and Win7. Trying to find a simple "MIDI" mode for quick custom mapping in Ableton proved to be a headache. Of course, using 3rd party software translator's help a TON - but I can't review those. Quality: The worst area of this product. The pots, while endless encoders, wobbled and felt cheap. As if a quick nudge would easily break them straight off the unit. The top of the shell flexed extremely easily - so with two hands and LIGHT (no... not hard) pressure you can see the unit flex. So much so that operating a button while operating a fader at the same time might cause the fader to lightly rub on the shell due to improper clearance. Of course, my unit could have been slightly warped as-is - but I have seen more than one of these units with the "fader touches the unit scratching sound thingy" issue on YouTube to see that it's not just me - that it is a fault in the manufacturing. It feels more like a cheap 50-dollar unit than a 300 dollar machine. The Launchpad is MILES ahead in terms of quality - I had a launchpad first so thought Novation would carry that same marksmanship - I was mistaken. Not the highest caliber unit. My 300 dollar APC40 feels like a tank compared to the Zero. Value: Price point for product features - not that much. "Automap" software is a bit of a headache if not setup properly. I used 3rd party translators to much success. Overall: The unit looks really nice when powered up - but the quality of the build isn't there. The shell is extremely flexible with slight presses, the pots are wobbly and feel like they will break easy, the faders feel like those from a 50 dollar mini midi controller, the buttons feel fine but not Launchpad quality. Sub-par for the price. If they removed the LCD I'm sure 80 dollars could justify keeping it.
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