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Behind the Scenes: Will.I.Am and Novation Launchkey


When it comes to Synthesizers, Novation are up there with the best and many artists are turning to their ever increasing range of MIDI synthesizers and innovative control surfaces to perform live.
In this article, we’re focusing on the Novation Launchkey range, a series of 25,49 and 61 note controller keyboards. These controller keyboards are becoming increasingly popular with musicians and DJ’s as they easily integrate with DAWs such as Ableton live, allowing you to trigger and control samples, easily slotting them into your live set.


Will.I.Am is one of a number of artists whose live show has been enhanced by the use of the Novation range. After performing with backing tracks for recent tours, the singer recently decided he wanted to change his live setup. His decision to have all sounds performed live resulted in extra musicians being called upon.

Keith Harris is the musician that recreated Will.I.Am’s live setup and his current role is to prepare all music, digital audio and live equipment for Will.I am’s performances.

"It’s important to have lots of control at my fingertips. My Launchkey 25 packs loads of features into a compact size, and the Launchpad is my main session controller. Both are really robust: perfect for life on the road." Keith uses Novation Launch controllers to power three live rigs. In Keith’s drum setup, for example, his Launchkey 25 and Launchpad were both positioned within arms reach — nestled among his drum pads, sound modules and cymbals — giving him complete control over his Ableton session.

Keith talks about Novation stating its also his first choice when it comes to recording, "I love Novation gear. In my studio, I have the Impulse and SL MkII controllers, plus the MiniNova. They are an irreplaceable part of my powerhouse". The picture below shows how Keith has integrated Novation equipment into his home studio.


The Launchkey controller keyboards carry upto 50 physical controls and 16 velocity-sensitive three-colour launch pads to control clips and allow expressive playing in the drum rack.The video below gives you an example of how it can be used to perform alongside Ableton.


Check out our range of Novation Launckey Controller Keyboards today.

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