Gear Review: Novation Remote SL Mkii Midi Controller
Although it’s an older keyboard at this point, Novation’s Remote Series midi controllers has a bunch of attractive features for MainStage. Here’s how it stacks up:
What we liked: With 48 front panel knobs, buttons, endless rotary encoders, and faders, there’s lots of options for hands on control of MainStage with this controller.
What we loved: the Automap software, while not integrating particularly well with MainStage, does have a user mode that allows you to create multiple pages of midi control of MainStage. We created up to 3 banks that were easy to page through, giving us almost 150 hands on controllers. Cool.
What we didn’t like: To our taste the key action had an odd “scooped” feel to it, with hard velocity strikes hitting very hard, a gap in the mid strike level, and a very quiet soft velocity section. We talked with Novation who helped us do a reboot of the firmware and we tried several velocity actions, but with no noticeable change. Some people may love it, but we’re not a fan at Patch Foundry.
• Bus powered
• Lots of controllers
• Unusual controls, including an X/Y controller
• Rugged construction (plastic, but solid)
• Looks great onstage
• Solid synth action keyboard on all models
• Automap mapping software included
• Velocity curve seems top and bottom “weighted”, making it feel uneven on some patches
Patch Foundry Rating:
MainStage Compatibility: 10
Key Action: 6
Number of Features: 9
Final Score: 8
Buying advice: If you can get past the velocity curve, you’ll love this keyboard- lots of controllers, great integration with MainStage, and solid build quality.