With the NAMM conference underway in Southern California this week, the gear news just keeps coming. Following major announcements regarding a new unit in Roland's AIRA line and an impressive new rotary mixer from Rane, Novation is now getting in on the fun with the announcement that the company will release a new version of its flagship MIDI controller, the Launchpad, in the coming months.
The Launchpad Pro has many similarities to its predecessors, mainly featuring the eight-by-eight grid of pads that have made the controller a staple of many Ableton Live users' arsenals since first hitting the market in 2009. However, the company refers to the Pro version of the controller as a "complete overhaul," as it adds greatly enhanced RGB LED feedback (now the colors of users' Ableton clips can correspond directly to those on the pads) to the unit, as well as velocity and pressure-sensitivity to its 64 pads. In addition, the Launchpad Pro will include a variety of extra buttons around its grid aimed at giving users quicker access to Ableton's mixer and additional playback controls. The unit also features MIDI out capabilities, meaning one can communicate directly from the Launchpad to outboard synthesizers using the unit's new "Note Mode."
Set to arrive sometime this spring with a street price of around $299, more information on the Launchpad Pro can be found here, while a demo video for the new unit can be watched below.