Novation Launch Control XL – yes I want to go large

Novation Launch Control XL Ableton Live DJ controller (3)

It’s all well and good having 64 pads in a box to control the essentials of Ableton Live. Clip launching is great, but what about the finer elements of control? I guess Novation looked long and hard at the Launchpad S and thought “this is cool, but there’s still something missing…”. So they created the Launch Control — a smaller strip of knobs and buttons designed for a little more control. “Hmmm… still not enough — let’s supersize this puppy”. And behold — the Novation Launch Control XL was born.

Short words and stuff from Novation:

Crafting the Perfect Mix

Novation release the ultimate mixer and device controller for Ableton Live.

Designed to help Ableton users focus more of their music and less on their laptop screens, Novation’s new Launch Control XL provides hands-on control over everything in Live.

Its 24 knobs are laid out in three rows or eight, just like Ableton’s mixer interface. Along with the 16 multicoloured buttons and eight chunky faders, all the controls integrate seamlessly with Live from the very start, yet are entirely re-assignable to any other parameter.

Used in tandem with Launchpad S’s powerful 64 button grid, Launch Control XL offers extraordinary simultaneous control over everything in Ableton Live: session view, mixer, effects and instruments.

Complete with Ableton Live Lite, 1GB of world class Loopmasters sample content and rock-solid mixer integration straight out of the box, Launch Control XL will make crafting the perfect mix easier than ever.

  • Get immediate hands-on control over Ableton Live
  • Create your own control layouts by freely assigning any control to any function in Ableton
  • Enhance your live performance by combining with Launchpad S
  • Tweak your sound using 24 knobs with multicoloured indicators
  • Get precise control over your levels with eight rugged faders
  • Take it anywhere: it’s tough enough to handle any live situation
  • Plug straight into Mac, PC or iPad and start performing
  • 16 multi-colour buttons for immediate track focus and key mixer controls
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite software and Loopmasters sample collection
  • Control all MIDI-compatible iOS software via Camera Connection Kit

Novation Launch Control XL Ableton Live DJ controller (1)


The most telling picture for me is side-by-side Launchpad/Control XL picture. Here you can see the very reason why the XL has been created. It’s the missing half of this complete picture, and for me almost makes the original Launchpad S feel a tad limited without the XL. Of course it isn’t, but you could easily see these two complimentary units in one long APC style case. Separately however, it makes a lot more sense, as a wider market is opened up too.

Novation Launch Control XL Ableton Live DJ controller (2)

But don’t let me dissuade you from viewing the Launch Control XL as a product in its own right. When I saw the pictures, all I could see was a secondary controller for DJ software, one that could tame the finer elements of features like Serato’s SP6 sampler, or offer a greater level of effects control in Traktor. Success depends on just how mappable the Launch Control XL is, and if visual feedback can be mapped as well. The glorious light show offered by controllers doesn’t always play ball easily.


We’re lucky enough to count Darren E Cowley and Isotonik Studios as part of the wider DJWORX team, and he has been involved in some hush hush secret sauce that will become apparent soon enough.

Summing up, the Launch Control XL is available in August with a retail price of £159.99.


The best way to show off a product is to make a video. And Novation has created a performance and breakdown video to show the new Launch Control in action.