The Novation SL Mk II combines a high quality semi-weighted keyboard with a full DAW and plug-in control surface, that visually feeds back all control information to the user. A giant 144-character display, back lit LED buttons and LED ringed encoders show the status of all controls. Ultra-quick mapping of all 56 knobs, faders and buttons is managed by the groundbreaking Automap 3 PRO software.
SL 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.
SL Mk II upholds Novation's reputation for building quality hardware (like the SL 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 SL Mk II has been designed with every detail calculated to maximise workflow. The SL Mk II's visually feeds back all controller information to the user with back lit buttons and encoder LED rings.
The difficulty with other control surfaces is knowing what is assigned to what. SL 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. SL 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 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
The SL 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 SL Mk II has 1 MIDI in, 1 MIDI thru and 2 MIDI outs.
The power behind SL 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 SL Mk II has been touched!
High quality professional keyboard
Velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action keyboard from Fatar, with assignable after-touch. Novation deliver the feeling of playing an instrument, rather than just a computer peripheral.
Illuminated controls provide instant visual feedback
Brightly lit LED rings around the eight smooth encoders, and backlit buttons throughout provide instant visual feedback for every physical control, further reducing reliance on the computer screen.
Giant 144-character LCD screen
Frees the artist from being chained to the computer screen, placing all the essential data right alongside the relevant controls.
Huge array of touch-sensitive controls
Full control surface supporting ultra flexible DAW control and Auto-mappable plug-in controls, 16 knobs, 8 faders and 32 assignable backlit LED buttons.
Automap 3 PRO Control Software
SL Mk II comes with Automap software which enables you to instantly map software parameters to faders, buttons, encoders and pots and other controllers.
Further Hardware Features
MIDI control interface.
Built in MIDI I/O Interface and comprehensive MIDI implementation provide complete control over all external hardware synths and other external MIDI devices.
Novation’s unique ‘speed dial’
A touch-sensitive rotary encoder that instantly takes control of whatever your mouse is focused on, providing real time access for composers and performers alike.
Programmable ‘soft-feel’ drumpads
Eradicates the need for a separate set of drumpad triggers, providing the ideal platform for sketching out beats or triggering samples
Unique 2-Axis Controls
Fantastic ‘Xpression’ pad and adjustably sprung pitch/mod joystick, both freely assignable in MIDI Controlling mode
Dedicated, yet fully-assignable transport buttons.
Control the sequencer’s start/stop/loop/record/forward/rewind actions, direct from the MIDI controller, reducing reliance on mouse and screen, or switch them out to allow use of more assignable buttons. SL Mk II recalls how these buttons were previously assigned.
USB buss powering
Provides the artist with a mobile MIDI control solution, freeing them from the confines of the studio
Includes the Xcite+ bundle
Featuring 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.
What is Automap3?
Put simply, Automap is a bit of software that enables you to assign parameters in your sequencer and plug-ins with incredible speed and ease, to the buttons, knobs, faders and other controllers on your Novation SL or Nocturn.
Anyone who has used a hardware controller can testify to how time consuming and awkward this can be - searching through hundreds of MIDI continuous controller numbers and trying to match them with numbers assigned to knobs on the hardware.
For many plug-ins, Automap enables you to simply touch the controller, click on the parameter and its assigned! Novation controllers also provide instant and comprehensive control over all major sequencers - Automap even allows you to instantly assign almost any QWERTY or ASCII keyboard shortcut to buttons and other controllers on the hardware: So you can open and close windows, jump to locators in your DAW and make edits without touching the mouse or keyboard!
Remembering which parameters are assigned to which controllers is a problem of the past. As soon as a controller is touched, all your mappings are shown on the computer screen via Automap's GUI, as well as the LCD screen of the SL. You can also manage all your mappings from the on-screen GUI; rename them, swap them around by dragging and dropping, or even change the resolution of each control. If the GUI starts to clutter up your screen, you can turn on the "Autoview" function which only brings it up on the screen when a controller is touched, then hides it again after the controller is released.
Automap 3 PRO software comes bundled free with SL Mk II, and boasts the following features:
Intelligent control over all sequencers and VST/AU/RTAS/TDM plug-ins
Automap 3 removes the pain and time involved in assigning MIDI parameters, and all layouts are fully customizable.
Heads-up transparent control GUI
Places a transparent control map across your computer screen - see at a glance how the parameters are automatically assigned to each of SL Mk II’s controls.
Instant ‘learn’ function
Simply click on the software parameter and touch a touch-sensitive control to assign it. Now you can re-assign every control in seconds.
Automap 3 can assign almost any computer keyboard shortcuts to hardware controls. For example arrow key functions can now be assigned to hardware controls, allowing you to flick between tracks using buttons on your SL/Nocturn. You could also zoom in and out, open windows or create and jump to markers in your DAW.
Innovative MIDI support within Automap
Name your parameters and store mappings for later use. The same heads-up display provides quick and simple assigning of regular MIDI parameters. This ensures SL MkII can also turn its hand to controlling the few software application that still rely solely on the MIDI protocol.
Plug-in and Mixer Browser
Lets you review all open plug-ins, then quickly switch to control and one of them. Mixer 'MIDI maps' can be created, saved and recalled via the same map browsing facility.
Optional Autoview mode means that the GUI only becomes visible when a controller is touched, then it disappears again allowing you to get back to your DAW.