Review: Novation Launch Control XL Ableton Live Controller


Hey what’s good fam?

Back with another reivew, this one is for the Ableton Live users or anyone looking for a compact controller with faders, knobs, and buttons.

It’s the Launch Control XL

Let’s dig in!

So what is the Launch Control XL?

novation_launch_control_xlIt’s a dedicated “mix” controller for Ableton Live.

If you look at many of the controllers for Live, a lot of attention is given to launching clips and other types of control, but if you have one of those controllers already you may just want to add a set of knobs and faders that works seamlessly with Ableton.

The Launch Control XL is such a device.

It has 8 faders, track selection buttons, pan knobs (double as device knobs) and to sets of 8 send knobs.

Of course there’s a user mode which lets you map these controls to do whatever you wish so it can be customized for Ableton or any other software you wish…including iOS applications.

Quick Specs

So what’s the bottom line?

If you use Push or a Launchpad, then you probably find yourself looking for a simple solution to control your mixer in Ableton Live.

4subsThe Launch Control XL is definitely up to the task, I give it 4 out of 5 subs, it just works straight out of the box with no fussing around at all.ย 

I do have a few things I’d like to see improved though. First, I’d LOVE to see a menu/screen of some sort, similar to their SL series controllers, so we can quickly see our tracks controls, it would even be cool if in device mode the screen showed those parameters, or possibly a second screen for that.

I would also like to see dedicated mute, solo, and record buttons, along with a master volume fader.

If they did a “pro” version with an optional 16 track controller I think many would enjoy it, especially if it has those types of upgrades and a build quality similar to the SL series.

I feel the market is wide open for something like this, a dedicated pro level mixer surface for Ableton.

The lack of a rectangle to show what you’re controlling also takes some getting used to, but for the size it takes up this controller definitely delivers.

I suppose you could buy two and set one to control the first 8 tracks and the second to control the next 8….hmmmmm….gets my wheels spinning indeed!

Either way, this is definitely a great option if you’re in the market for a controller for Live’s mixer but don’t want to go the full route of an APC with it’s clip buttons and such.

Go on over and check it out, leave me a comment below and let me know what you think

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