Novation SL MkIII


I’ve been an NI user for many years and their ‘integration’ with Komplete is massively overhyped. So many things you can’t do and they just didn’t bother with mapping things properly from their controllers, it’s appalling.

The Maschine side of things is pretty well integrated, but Komplete is far from it.


Yep, Akai Advance a buggy mess also.
Hopefully this keyboard gets it right.
For me an Ableton Push type keyboard controller would be a better option


Yeah like the size of monome would be nice. Nice compact unit.



However, it 1. doesn’t look as nice as most other stuff out there, specifically the NI gear, 2. doesn’t integrate fully with Bitwig Studio out of the box so I’ll pass.

Also, as nice as Novation’s pad might be, finger drumming while reaching across the keyboard like that is damn awkward.


I got a KKmk2 over a week ago and I haven’t stumbled across anything I can’t use on the keyboard with ease, even if you don’t use komplete kontrol it basically mirrors maschine anyway so it should be as well integrated as maschine if not better cause you can switch across to komplete kontrol software too

New keyboard looks cool functionality wise. still no regrets about buying the KK. I can get faders with another small midi controller and I don’t really need another sequencer. Good for other people though. I’m not a looks-over-functionality type but I do prefer the KKs all black buttons, looks a lot slicker. The SLmk3 looks like a mk1 NI product



Right. It looks like, to me, features kinda tossed haphazardly onto the controller, personally.


Someone made a quick mockup of a maschine keyboard on their forums in 2014



Haphazardly is a bit too strong, but it pushes against the boundaries of how many features you comfortably pack in one kitchen sink.

I can see the appeal. Just not with my eyes.

Back at home a Launch Control XL is one of my favorite playable things. But I’d also like to play a nice, expressive keyboard again someday.


Possibly true, but how often do you get to use the term “haphazardly”.

By features alone, the thing is cool. I like Novation. They make quality controllers. I love the feel of the pads on my LPm. CV/Midi/USB* Sequencer in one controller?! That’s really cool- there’s no other controller that does that.

I really feel that they missed the opportunity to take it to the next level by being more efficient with the layout of the controller, though.

Perhaps I’m just spoiled by the layout efficiency of the Elektron boxes, though


Yeah pretty much my sentiments. I’m surprised no one makes controllers with a synth style fold up front panel. The amount of controls would justify it. The thing about midi controllers with so many controls is that I spend more time trying to map the thing than using it, that’s why KK seems like such a godsend for me as a heavy NI user. Not such a problem for people with mostly hardware rigs


nice one but,… these midi controllers are overpriced, always…
but ymmv (as always too)


If i’d been paying attention LAST WEEK i would have notice that the SL MkIII was time-warped into the new Sweetwater Catalogue. (Big full page ad on page 232.) That’s one of those science fiction tropes – that by some freak occurrence you get tomorrows newspaper.

And to v00d00ppl

If i’d been paying attention i might have noticed you put a thread up a few minutes before this one. Jinx – I owe you a candy bar!


Funny how all these NEW controllers come along at almost the same time – Native Instruments has the S88 and the three A series controllers, there are two new Nektars the T4 and T6, and Arturia has the new Keylab MkII. (Is there a new Elektron keyboard/controller on the way too? – Maybe! Maybe not.)

I differ with a lot of people who have posted here who want something smaller. I am looking for something large enough. The SL MkIII by allowing separate zones on the keyboard, linked into a mixture of computer controllers, hardware controllers and CV for Eurorack gear, makes the controller real-estate very valuable. The 61 key unit would have a lot of use for me.

The 88 keys on the NI S88 would give even more space and a nice piano feel, but it requires a computer and weighs more; and i like the smarts that are in the SL MkIII controller.

But with all the new stuff i need to look at the competition … again.

New Nektar T4

New Arturia Keylab 49

ADDED: Watch in this video at 15:35 in, as the interviewer, tongue in check, roasts the Arturia rep about the “delightful 1990s style LCD display.”


I had on “the list” the Arturia Minibrute 2S to use with a couple of semi-modular synths and Eurorack gear – but i’m thinking now that the SL MkIII (or something like it), with the multiple channel sequencers, will probably be a better place to land – likely with an additional CV interface, maybe the Polyend Poly or something from Expert Sleepers.

The SL MkIII would really be the centerpiece for a table top and rack of gear. All this along with the added midi controlled hardware synths and synths in the box too.

Is there a midi-controlled mixer that could be paired with this?


I’ve got to think that Bitwig which may have the most complete set of supported hardware is going to pick this up pretty quickly.

I’d hope too that Spectrasonics with the Omnisphere hardware support they do would include this too.


I still hope someone make something like the Nord Modular G2 key (midi side).
I think the G2 is still the best midi controller ever made. (though the key is so so and there is no sysex support)

-You can build sequencers the way you want : for example you can have 4 sequencers running in parallel with different patterns and each variations (8) can store a different pattern midi cc assignment etc.
You have those 8 rotary encoders for visual feedback.

-Midi modulators : LFO , ENV , Env follower if you want to use audio as a modulator, sequencer of course, random pattern generator etc.

-Custom arpeggiators
-Morphing between parameters
-Macros : so with one knob, mod wheel etc you can adjust several midi CC at once.
-Key split , no zone limit.
-send multiples program change using foot pedal, knobs etc

I use mine for my live setup so when i change a variation on the G2 it send all the program change for each of my synths at once, I have knobs assign to midi CC to control different synth. I also use sequencer that i control with my foot. Its like a super midi hub for all my gears.

Please someone make a Modular Midi controller !! :slight_smile:


The G2 is god for sure… I owned the original and a G2 rack (still miss them both). Never had the cash for a G2 key, but if I ever saw one at a reasonable price…I would jump at the opportunity. These days though, I use Reaktor for my modular needs and USB midi to trigger vst synths and other Ableton built in synths. I already own that stuff.
But, damn…I do miss my Nord.


These don’t use automap now do they?
That was nasty stuff in their older controllers


The thing is, most of the sequencing, modulating, morphing, etc. stuff that I can do on the Nord Modular can be done just as easily in Max and a good controller.

I still love my Nord Modular Key and Micro Modular. They’re both fantastic instruments. But I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I’m hardware synth LARPing (nothing wrong with that!) when I could be making my own things.