Novation Launchkey For iPad Now Available For Free

Novation LaunchkeyNovation has released Launchkey for the iPad – a ‘powerful and unique analogue modelling synthesiser’.

Novation doesn’t have much to say about Launchkey, other than it comes with 60 synth sounds and ‘gives you a fast and fun way to play with sound.

It’s a free download from the App Store – so check it out and let us know what you think of it!

Note: Launchkey is an iPad app and is not compatible with iPhone or iPod Touch. Launchkey requires iOS5 and above and is recommended for iPad 2, iPad Mini and Retina iPad.

42 thoughts on “Novation Launchkey For iPad Now Available For Free

  1. Lovely sounding synth. Very easy to edit the patches; similar to the control settings in Figure* but with greater detail. Interested to see how Novation develops LaunchKey.

    *Cue the “Figure sucks” guy.

  2. Don’t miss this opotunity!!! Amazing Synth!
    Please Audiobus!!

    Really enjoyable instrument. One of the bests!!!

    I like it. 🙂

  3. How come everything ****ing free on the ipad, why can’t this be free to everyone!!!

    Tell me ipad users is the ipad genuinely good for music making or is it all just a load of BS, hype and total ****ing ****, I need to know whether to jump on the ****ing bandwagon!!

    1. I love mine and I only have the iPad 1. If you treat it like a synth module with lots of different possible synths, it’s pretty amazing. If you expect it to replace a computer setup, you’ll be less happy.

  4. it seems like it’s a gateway to something else.

    nice ability to morph parameters.

    one would think (hope) that they’re going to release something that you can actually program to use those capabilities.

  5. LOVE IT!!! Great sounds and parameters. very easy to use. Has background audio and virtual MIDI support!!!! Works great with Soundprism!!! GET IT!!! GET IT NOW!!!! I would totally buy this app if it wasn’t being offered for free.

  6. Yes, the ARP doesn’t have tempo. There are many capabilities missing in this Synth. No Tempo, no Sequencer, no SAVE or LOAD presets, impossible to build your own presets, and much more missing. Even that, is a very great beginning!!! I hope the developers will work hard improving this Synth, beacouse the sound and the concept is really powerfull.

    It will be nice to add the possibility to record the node’s movement also. And of course Audiobus support!!

    I’m agree with Glorybearer, I would totally buy this app if it wasn’t being offered for free.

  7. For all theIOS developers sake I hope that people are getting used to what is becoming the standard release schedual for IOS apps,

    Phase 1. Get a working bare bones product to market, see what people what next (midi/audio paste/audiobus/effects etc), charge little to nothing to gather maximum exposure and userbase thus revealing any faults and the markets regard to your product.

    Phase 2. Release a version to fix any bugs found by your initial low cost investors, along with the most requested feature to offer a reward to early adopters for their input and patience with any problems, up the price a little to begin to stave off losses.

    Phase 3. Release a well spec’ed version with all achievable major requests met, re-assess price and allow to settle within the market.

    To me this seems like a very reasonable and fair stratergy for all parties involved and indeed I wish the best of luck to all who are working in this way, to me, if you make something people want…even just a few people…then with this model your app will find its niche.

    1. i think this seems about right. especially with an app like this, which feels like it’s more about the potential than it is about the end result right now.

      i mean, with more editing functionality, i’d totally use it—and pay for it.

    2. Who DOESN’T want MIDI, copy/paste, Audiobus, etc.?!
      Any developer that needs to release an app without those things to wait for requested features has their head up their ass.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an update to this app that allows you to transfer presets built on the Ultra- or MiniNova into LaunchKey.

        I would also mention that it seems like Novation has been frantic in attempting to remain relevant. While I’m a big fan of their products, they have really trimmed their product lines, have had few major product releases, and the hype around the UltraNova and MiniNova was relatively fleeting (although, the synths themselves are astounding, especially for their price-point.)

        So it seems more like Novation is just trying to get their name back out there before we all forget about them… again.

        1. addendum: they would also like to show that they still have some very creative tricks up their sleeves. Something like this feels almost like a proof-of-concept. Bells and whistles to come later (I get the feeling it will be through in-app purchases. Let’s hope I’m wrong)

          1. i guess it depends on how much they were. if the shell is free and you got a kickass ios synth for $5.00–10.00. well, we’ve already bought some of those, no?

            in any event, something that was useful using this concept would be something i would buy. right now, it’s not really useful in a long-term way for me.

      2. The Audiobus software developer kit is unavailable to 95% of the developers that have signed up for it. So the developers releasing apps without Audiobus support probably don’t have their heads up their asses.

        When it comes to audio copy/paste – the only reason to have it in a soft synth is as a kludgy workaround for not implementing Audiobus. How many VSTi synths support audio copy/paste. So developers releasing apps without it probably don’t have their heads up their asses, it would be a real waste of their time.

        When it comes to MIDI support, it should be included in every mainstream synth from day 1. But developers a lot more articulate than you have explained why it doesn’t make sense for advanced synths and controllers that focus on experimental and creative sound design.

        1. Audiobus was a bad example- I realize many developers cannot add it right now even of they want to.
          If you think Audiobus is a replacement for copy/paste, or vice versa,you aren’t thinking it through.
          The reason VST don’t have copy/paste is because you are using them on an OS with an open file system. Do you really want to record a clip into another app, in real time, every time you want to share it, or would you rather paste it with one clip?

          Not realizing that people might want to control your app with MIDI? That’s just ignorant…

          1. You know you’d still have to record it in real time with audio copy/paste right? How else would you record it? Then you have to go through moving the recording from one app to another. Why do that if you have audiobus? It just removes the file moving step. Once audiobus becomes standard copy/paste will be obselete.

            1. Say you make a loop, and record it using Audiobus. Would you like to use that loop in another app? How will you get it there? What if you want to reuse that loop 10 times on 10 different apps on 10 different days. You are going to record it in those apps in real time each time? Or paste it in with one click?
              Copy/paste ain’t going anywhere…

              1. Xymos –

                That’s such a bizarre thing to want to be able to do with your synthesizer. Record your synth into a DAW or a looper or sampler and make some music with it!

                Your DAW, looper or sampler should support Audio copy/paste.. Synth developers should focus on making their synths powerful for sound design, not on niche scenarios like yours.

                1. Actually, he’s got a point there. say i record something from sunrizer into loopy, the decide I wanna throw that loop into auria it makes more sense to copy it over rather than real time record it into there. At least I think thats the point he was trying to make.

              2. Reading comprehension problem??
                You just said “your DAW, looper , sampler should support Audio copy/paste”
                That’s my whole point- standing up for the use of copy/paste even though we now have Audiobus.
                Do you want to have to record into a sampler every time you want to add audio, or do you want to be able to paste in what you have previously made?
                That is a niche scenario?

                1. Zymos

                  The first thing you had to say about Novation giving away Launchkey for free was that any developer that doesn’t include Audio copy and paste in their app “has their head up their ass.”

                  Class act.

                  Then, when somebody points out how little sense your suggestion makes, you suggest it’s a reading comprehension problem.

                  Really keeping it classy.

                  If this article was about a DAW or a looper, your comments might make sense, but those apps generally already support audio copy/paste and are adding Audiobus support. So why the ranting?

                  1. Read it again. I’m not talking about Novation’s app, I’m responding to someone’s opinion that it is a valid business model to release something missing features that are considered basic, then wait for people to ask for them.

                    But thanks for playing…!

            2. Actually thats a good point. But even then you have a limit on the amount of loops you can have on your pasteboard (16 I believe). Not that that makes your point less valid, just saying. Until theres a user accessible file system on ios (yeah right), audiobus and audio copy/paste will coexist quite nicely.

  8. Thing is, all those “bells and whistles” take time to prodramme, now in this actual case, that is less of an excuse as this is an exsisting hardware firm, but considering that many of the developers are one or two man teams bringing things to you that in hardware would constitute “boutique-ware” …in “real-world-ware”.specialist ideas from small companies noramlly come with a big big pricetag because of the labour falling onto one persons in software, and paticualrly in IOS Apps the market won’t tollerate this (lets all point and laugh at different drummer now…) so, I see it as reasonable that a developer might want to begin cutting his losses a little earlier by releasing his product in phases and adding to a spec over time.

    Also I think part of any critique over this practice should fall to apple not the devs, if they allowed “beta” versions to be called as such, or demos for that matter…it would be a different App world.

    1. As far as “beta” or “demo” versions go, this can be accomplished through test-flight or similar beta testing app… so it’s not impossible for a dev to release betas, just not officially through the app store.

      With an interface like this one, I think it’s smart to release a minimal yet “functioning” version… i.e. It creates sound and let’s the user tweak those sounds minimally in a performance-centric way. If people reject the interface or software in general, then at least you haven’t put forth all the effort and money into developing the software to it’s fullest capabilities when ultimately no one wants to use it. If people respond well to it then you can go ahead and actively develop the software… much like Prop did with Figure, which does not suck, but also leaves much to be desired. (Then again, ten years ago, buying a relatively cool synth-toy from a major software or hardware developer for $0-$5.00 was unthinkable. Now look at what we demand from these guys for… FREE.)

      (and it seems everyone here has said about LaunchKey, “cool, I’d definitely use it if…” which is likely exactly what Novation was hoping to see)

      Thanks Novation for the free synth. The sounds remind me of my X-Station a little, which I continue to faithfully use on a regular basis. And with the IO dock, LaunchKey is a very usable synth, with lots of control, in spite of being ready-made sounds. Is that a place-holder for a step-sequencer I see in the background? It would be interesting to see a switch which moved the nodes to the back and brought a step seq forward… And look at all that space at the top for more tabs! Osc, Filter Env’s, or EFX perhaps????

      (As for audiobus, I love audio bus, but i don’t need EVERY app to have it within the first week of it’s release. I was getting by just fine 2 weeks ago with iTunes file-sharing, Audio Copy/Paste, soundcloud sharing, IO dock, etc. etc.)

  9. Pretty cool little synth, the arpeggio presets work well with the modulation style. I might pay for it if there were a few more features.

  10. Interesting freebie – but I wonder what Novation’s plans are for the iPad.

    I’d really rather see a great editor for the Nova synths.

  11. I love the interface and sounds but am fruestrated to not be able to make lasting edits to the sounds. I would look forward to this being a paid app with editing and saving as well as some control over the architecture of the sound rather than just a colorful spinning palette of semi circles.

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