Novationâ€™s ReMOTE keyboards are well respected for their features and the great feel of the keyboard. At this yearâ€™s AES show they unveiled the ReMOTE SL (Soft Label) 25. The 2-octave USB controller keyboard contains many of the popular features from the ReMOTE series, along with 2 major innovations.
Firstly the BIG news is that the SL features two 114 character backlight LCDs for displaying the labels/values of parameters. Those of you who have sampled the delights of Mackies Control and C4 will understand how big a breakthrough this is in the world of keyboard controllers.
The two panels can display 16 parameter names and values simultaneously. This means that card template overlays or just having to remember what the knobs do for each memory is history. Furthermore, Menu navigation is significantly quicker as each Menu page is now displayed side by side along the large screens for immediate access and modification, although you still get a software template editor as standard too.
39 of the 40 onboard Template Memories are factory preset (and also user programmable) so that the SL will work with all popular software applications, virtual instruments and external MIDI equipment straight out of the box. However, the remaining onboard Template is used for a new and special purpose, which is actually an infinitely expanding amount of Templates rolled into one. This cutting edge feature, we call Automap, is set to change the way music is made forever. When an Automap-supported application (currently Reason 3 and Cubase SX3, more to follow very soon) is booted up, the SL automatically loads this intelligent Template and maps all active components within the session to itself. Then, all the user needs to do is click once with the mouse or press one button to switch between controlling different instruments or sections of the session. Throughout the process, all information is displayed clearly on the screens to make everything crystal clear.
As well as boasting the X/Y Touchpad, joystick, a total of 56 assignable pots, encoders, sliders and buttons and the â€œbest-feeling keys on the marketâ€�, the SL also offers highly responsive trigger pads. These allow the user to create even more dynamic performance effects, playing drums or chord stabs through a software sampler for example.
Rob Jones from Novation has been giving daily demonstrations of the SL 25 to crowds of enthusiastic onlookers in New York. All attendees have been astonished at the usability and revolutionary nature of the unit, in addition to the surprising affordability. This controller is a must have for anyone serious about making or performing music and wanting the MIDI controlling process to be as painless as possible.
So far, all we know is that it will retail in the UK for Â£329 (around $549US â€“ but thatâ€™s a guess)