Finally, recording in the dark is a thing of the past. The SL shines a light on the murky world of MIDI control by providing two giant, brightly lit LCD screens alongside an intelligent Automap mode*, which detects what instruments you have in your project and intelligently and logically maps the controls to the SL's front panel.
2 Giant LCD Screens for Displaying Control Names and Values
Running along the top of the ReMOTE SL front panel are two 144-character screens, which can display up to 16 parameter names and values simultaneously. This makes controlling in the dark a thing of the past and does away with Template overlays or having to remember the function of each control. It also makes navigating though menus simple as each page is laid out side by side and edited using the buttons or knobs directly below.
Fantastic New Automap Mode
This new intelligent mode is set to revolutionise the way you make music! When an Automap-supported application boots up (currently Reason 3, Cubase SL/SX 3, Nuendo 3, Logic Pro 7 and Ableton Live 5, with more on their way), the SL loads up the Automap Template and all the parameter assignment is done for you, showing you everything clearly on the gigantic screens. All you have to do to switch between controlling different instruments or areas of your session is click once with the mouse or press one button on the SL, depending on the application. Go to the Automap page here to find out…
8 Musically-Responsive Trigger Pads
Brand new to Novation controllers are these dynamic trigger pads for sketching out beats or bashing out samples. Each pad can be calibrated any way the user desires, with sensitivity and assigned data both fully programmable. For example, the pads can be set up as velocity-sensitive MIDI notes or buttons assigned to a CC number, where the value of that number is defined by the strength the pad is hit.
A Semi-Weighted Keyboard Action With Aftertouch
At the heart of the ReMOTE is a superb action, semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch. Unlike many controllers, you can play your favourite software synth or sampler with the care and precise control that can make a huge difference to the final performance.
Hands-on Responsive Control for Every Application
The ergonomically designed front panel is inviting and simple to use. And it's all there -- 8 rotary potentiometers, 8 sliders, 8 rotary encoders and 24 switches that are entirely programmable. All controls can be named and memorised as a collection with a group template name, then saved in any one of the 64 template memories.
Use-Anywhere Portability and Rechargeable Power
The ReMOTE SL may be powered by six C-size alkaline/rechargeable batteries or external mains PSU. When connected to a computer via USB, rechargeable batteries are charged without the need of a mains re-charger.
X/Y Touchpad for Total Expression
Indicative of Novation's forward thinking design is the touchpad. Being fully assignable and programmable in both X (side-to-side) and Y (up-and-down) directions, stunning and unique performance effects are just a finger-glide away. Imagine setting a distortion amount and a pan position on the left to right movement and an LFO speed and filter cut-off on the top to bottom movement -- total expressive and creative control.
Dedicated Transport Controls and Fast Template Function Buttons
Total control over your sequencer's transport and locate functions are yours via the dedicated transport and four function button controls. Select a new template, scroll through templates, send snapshots, transmit a panic command, etc. this kind of instant flexibility will streamline your working practice.
Built-in USB / MIDI Interface
Now shipped with both Windows and Mac OSX USB MIDI drivers, just plug into the USB port, install the driver software and the ReMOTE is fully operational. Alternatively if your computer system does not have USB then simply plug into the MIDI ports. The ReMOTE SL provides two MIDI Out ports, one MIDI thru port and one MIDI In port. Information originating from the ReMOTE keyboard or its controls can be sent directly to the USB port and/or any of the MIDI out ports. The MIDI ports can be used to integrate the rest of your MIDI gear into your computer system.
Q: How does the ReMOTE SL differ from the original ReMOTE series?
A: The SL has all the popular features of the original ReMOTE, such as the Touchpad, un-lockable joystick, fantastic semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, onboard Templates, array of assignable controls, including dedicated Transport controls, plus two major life-changing innovations. The first is two giant LCD screens, which run across the entire length of the SL, displaying up to 16 parameter names and values simultaneously. The next major difference is the Automap technology that is set to bring MIDI controlling out of the dark and revolutionise the way music is created. Lastly, there are 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads on the ReMOTE SL, a brand new assignable controller type for Novation, perfect for sketching out drum patterns and creating a dynamic performance.
Q: What advantages does the SL have over other controllers?
A: No other product in this price bracket currently compares to the ReMOTE SL's spec, in terms of amount and variety of controls, display capability, software/plug-in support and feel of the keyboard. Furthermore, no other controller currently utilizes the same Automapping technology. We believe the SL to be the pinnacle of Novation's pioneering MIDI controller design and, as such, the number one choice for the serious musician.
Q: What exactly is Automap
A: Automap is a new system devised by Novation, whereby parameter mapping is done automatically as the user navigates around their session with ease. When an Automap-supported application is booted up (providing the simple setup procedure on the accompanying CD has been carried out), the SL will switch to the Automap Template and do all the hard work for you. Then, all you need to do is press one button on the SL or click once with the mouse to switch between controlling different instruments and areas of the session. Each application works slightly differently due to the differences in the software but every one offers the next level of software integration and makes controlling infinitely simpler than before.
Q: What applications does Automap currently work with?
A: Reason 3 and Cubase SL/SX3, with Logic 7 on the way and another popular platform hot on its heels. More applications are expected to get on board in due course, however, as this is the future of controlling in our minds.
Q: Why is a semi-weighted keyboard better than a non-weighted one?
A: Essentially, the less weighted a keyboard is the further away from a 'piano feel' it is. A non-weighted keyboard feels nothing like an instrument; it is a computer peripheral for entering data. If you want to be creative on a non-weighted keyboard, however, you can run into problems. A semi-weighted keyboard makes the keys a little heavier and provides more upward force and stability that makes playing a lot easier and much more like playing a real instrument. Although many companies claim that they have a semi-weighted keyboard, the feel can be very different from one to the next. Any experienced keyboardist (and many reviews published to date) can confirm that the ReMOTE and X-Station series have the best feel of any product on the market (the ReMOTE SL has the same keys). Many think that hammer action (or fully weighted) keys are the best available on the market but aftertouch, which is a huge performance tool, isn't available on most (or perhaps all) hammer action keyboards. Hammer action just isn't right for synths, only for piano emulation!
Q: What is aftertouch?
A: Aftertouch is an additional key feature, which allows the use to add further performance effects when a key is pressed down. For example, whilst holding a chord or an arpeggiated loop, applying additional pressure to the keys will activate a parameter of the sound such as pitch or filter frequency. This is a great feature on a synth/controller and opens up a whole new world of creativity to the keyboard player.
Q: What does the X/Y Touchpad allow me to do?
A: Up to 2 parameters can be assigned to each axis of the Touchpad meaning a total of four controllers are available at the same time. This means you could assign filter frequency and delay time to the horizontal (x) axis and filter resonance and delay feedback to the vertical (y) axis (which would otherwise need to be assigned to four different pots and couldn't be controlled simultaneously). With the ReMOTE SL, just one finger is required to modify all four! Also, as anyone who has used a Touchpad (like the Korg Kaos pad) knows, it is much more fun and expressive to control effects with a Touchpad than with pots and standard data entry controls. The Touchpad is a killer feature.
Q: How much control do I have over MIDI parameters?
A: The amount of MIDI options for assigning to each control is unrivalled in the marketplace. All rotary controls and faders can be assigned to send CC, NRPN, RPN and SYSEX messages, with buttons also providing Note, MMC, PROG/BANK CHANGE and TEMPLATE No. options. Furthermore, the data can be assigned to a high level of detail, with specific pot ranges and button actions (Momentary, Toggle, Step) available, as well as multiple routing choices using any of the SL's standard or USB MIDI ports.
Q: Can the MIDI routing be set independently for each control?
A: For each button, pot, encoder, slider, trigger pag, Touchpad axis, pitch/mod joystick and any of the four Keyboard Zones, you can set the MIDI channel the data is sent on and also select whether the control transmits via either USB port or out of either MIDI Out socket, or any combination. This makes it possible to use an onboard Template to control more than one device (hardware, software or both). The ReMOTE SL also has multiple universal MIDI channel and routing settings (Common and Keyboard), which allow large groups of controls' channel and routing to be changed simultaneously as opposed to setting each one individually.
Q: Why are there Transport controls built in?
A: The Transport controls are assignable like any of the other buttons on the ReMOTE SL; these ones just have Transport labels because these are the most common controls across all applications. As a result, if a Template for a particular sequencer is selected, you'll have visible hardware controls to play/stop/forward etc. and won't have to remember what areas of the Transport have been assigned to various controls. If Transport controls are not required, on the other hand, there are 6 further buttons available for every Template to assign to other software/hardware parameters.
Q: Can I use batteries or only a power supply?
A: If you have a 9V power supply then you can use that, or you can insert 4 C-size batteries.
Q: What are Templates
A: A Template is the name given to a collection of knob and button settings (all assigned MIDI data of some kind), plus the settings of the joystick and Touchpad. The way that the controls (knobs, buttons...etc.) have been set up is dependent on what the Template is to be used for. For example, a Template for controlling Novation's V-Station software synthesizer has all the ReMOTE SL controls mapped to appropriate locations within the V-Station software so that rotating/pushing a dial/button on the ReMOTE SL changes various parameters on the V-Station.
Without Templates, if you were using the Novation V-Station and you wanted to control the V-Station parameters using the knobs and buttons on the ReMOTE SL, you would have to get the V-Station manual and look in the back to see what MIDI messages control which V-Station parameters and then program each control on the ReMOTE SL to control a different V-Station parameter by making it send the corresponding MIDI message. Then, if you were using the V-Station in Cubase and you wanted to use the ReMOTE SL to control the Cubase mixer, you would have to reprogram all of the controls on the ReMOTE SL so that they send MIDI messages which Cubase can understand. Every time you wanted to switch between controlling the mixer and the V-Station, you would have to reprogram all the knobs and buttons. Templates mean that you don't have to continually reprogram the ReMOTE SL controls because you can save all the settings onboard the unit and then instantly recall them by selecting the saved Template. A preset Template is a Template that has already been constructed by Novation so that you don't need to construct one yourself; all you have to do is select the preset Templates for V-Station and Cubase to easily switch between controlling them both!
Q: How many/which Templates are included?
A: There are 32 factory preset Templates for soft synths, the list of which is shown in the ReMOTE SL SPECS. These include many of the most popular plug-ins. Additional Templates will be uploaded to the website on a regular basis to keep up to date with software developments.
Q: What if the standard Template that relates to my setup is not available?
A: Novation make it very easy to construct your own Templates, with an intuitive and user-friendly ReMOTE SL Template Editor, downloadable from the Novation website. With this application, which has the ReMOTE SL front panel on screen, you can easily send Templates to and from the hardware, permanently view all the assigned data and modify it simply by clicking on each control. Once you've built your Template, sending it to the ReMOTE SL will mean it is temporarily stored on the onboard memory (none of the 40 onboard Templates will be overwritten) so that the user can try out the Template before deciding to have it as a permanent fixture onboard. If unsure, the Template can easily be saved on the desktop until a later date but if a factory preset Template is accidentally overwritten then all factory preset Templates can be uploaded with one button press using the Template Editor 'restore factory presets' bulk dump facility. The process of building Templates is also straight forward on the ReMOTE SL hardware itself thanks to the giant LCD screens and clever OS design.
The Editor also allows you to construct your own VST Automaps, if there isn't one available for a virtual instrument that you own or you want your automapping laid out a little differently.
Q: So do I build my own Automaps in the same way as standard Templates (e.g. going through the plug-in Manual searching for MIDI data etc.)?
A: No, with Automapping it's much simpler. The Editor scans your plug-in and brings up a list of parameters, like filter frequency, oscillator level and so on. Then, you just drag and drop these onto the SL GUI's controls. Much easier!
Q: Is the ReMOTE SL Template Editor the same as the ReMOTE Editor
A: The functionality of the software is mostly the same (apart from the Automapping side) but you can't use the ReMOTE SL editor with the ReMOTE hardware and vice versa. Each Editor has the hardware front panel on screen, allowing you to easily edit any of the available controls in a Template.
Q: What are the system requirements for the ReMOTE SL
A: You need to have a computer running Windows XP or Mac OS 10.2.4 (or later) with a USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 port. The minimum recommended processor speeds are 600MHz Pentium or G3/400MHz Mac.
Q: Do I need to install drivers to use the ReMOTE SL
A: The ReMOTE SL is a Windows XP and Mac OS X class-compliant MIDI device so it does not require its own drivers to be installed. Simply connect the ReMOTE SL to your computer and start using it straight away!
Q: Can I use a footswitch with the ReMOTE SL
A: The ReMOTE SL has two footswitch inputs on the rear panel for sustain and expression pedals. The footswitch actions are fully adjustable and either may be programmed to send CC, RPN, NRPN, SYSEX, Bank/Program Change, MMC, MIDI Note or Template Change data. To set the footswitch to control sustain, set the control type to CC, the CC number to 64 (MIDI sustain), and the button type to toggle. For a normally open footswitch, set the high value to 127 and the low value to 000. For a normally closed footswitch, set the high value to 000 and the low value to 127. The footswitch polarity may be reversed in the ReMOTE SL Global menu.
Q: Can I send MIDI data from my computer to an external MIDI device using the ReMOTE SL
A: Yes. You can, in fact, have extensive MIDI setups if you want, due to the SL's 2 MIDI Out ports, 1 MIDI In and 1 MIDI Thru. The USB i/o also has 2 programmable ports in either direction (down 1 cable), giving you a totally flexible setup. You could be controlling 16 different hardware MIDI instruments on each standard MIDI output (or routing MIDI data from the computer's sequencer to them), whilst also controlling up to 32 separate MIDI channels within your sequencer, all in one session!
Q: If I connect the ReMOTE SL, open my sequencer and select the appropriate template, will it automatically control the software?
A: If you are using Automap mode then you won't even have to call up the Template, it loads automatically. However, if you're using manual Templates then just selecting the Template for a sequencer won't necessarily make it work straight away. You may need to set up your sequencer so that it can correctly understand data from the ReMOTE SL. The process for each sequencer is different, however clear instructions and all the necessary files for Logic 7, Cubase SX/SL/SE/LE, Live and Reason are included on the ReMOTE SL Resources CD.