SL MkIII keyboard controller from Novation

Novation has a new controller, and while that might not rate a thread – the SL MkIII really stands apart and is likely be the new go to general purpose controller. It has the sequencer adapted from the Circuit included and CV and built in control for a variety of DAWs.

Novations site

Review from Loopop:

Presentation by Novation on Sonicstate

It comes in two keyboard sizes:
49 keys $600
61 keys $700

The User Guide


Saw in a video it has a template for digitakt


This is basically komplete kontrol without being stuck in the NI Ecosystem.


Yes, was thinking the same thing, i was thinking about the new Komplete Kontrol keyboard, they have those nice large color screens, and NI has been making a lot of progress in working into other environments too, include Live, etc.

This though has the sequencer and arpegiator built in and the CV interface.

You could certainly add the CV as a external box with the Komplete Kontrol.

This is comparable in price, maybe just a few dollars less.


So basically you can run this with an AC Adapter and midi cable to your favorite hardware and you’re good right ?


Yes i think so, my head is spinning with all this new stuff.

ADDED: It’s got two DIN Midi Outs – Out and Out2/Thru! So i guess that allows for two midi ‘zones’ 32 channels. Need to know more about this.


So this has the dials with the five (smaller) color LCD screens, and sliders and velocity sensitive pads, and two groups of soft buttons, for a total of 24 soft buttons. Personal reaction, but this beats the Komplete Kontrol S49 and S61, if everything else is equal. But it’s not – i think the Novation has advantages with the CV, sequencer and arpegiator too.

For comparison here’s a picture of the Komplete Kontrol S49:



DAW compatibility

Deep integration with Live, Logic and Reason

Plus HUI compatibility with Cubase, Pro Tools, Studio One and Reaper

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About using the SL MkIII with the Midi output

This is where the Digitakt gets mentioned.


Only 16 steps on the sequencer WHY OH WHY :-1: Couldn’t everyone just have 64/128? :roll_eyes::joy::joy::joy:

Looks ok tho but would like a smaller version than 48/61


I agree, but at least you can chain patterns to get longer sequences.


In the Sonic State vid, Calc mentions that 32 steps is possible. Its the keyboard splits that wowed me. I think this really will be a game changer…

edit: Just noticed the Sonic State vid is already posted.


Too bad for the 16 steps sequencer, even if you can chain them.

But for me this is a winner, I’m usually more excited about synth than controllers, but this fits my needs perfectly as a keystep owner who wanted an upgrade, this definitely fills a gap.

Also the official demo is hillarious :

They totally disrespected the octatrack, making it lay on the side like that !


Too big for my small Homestudio space. Keystep still has the best size/Feature Set ratio for my purposes.

That “snapping to scale” function is really nice.
Kind of reminds me of an Ableton Push feature. (Forgot what it was called)

I don’t know- I think the main benefit, personally speaking, of the NI Kontrol is the automatic integration with a HUGE number of plugins(granted most are the processor hungry NI instruments), but also with the Arturia plugins along with Plogue and Korg Gadget crossovers. I don’t know why the hardware approach to sound design is so rare in demand, but that’s my big draw towards the Kontrol over this impressive keyboard.

That being said, I’ve onlg done a gloss over investigation of the Novation and have yet to see the Loopop video. But based on what I’ve seen, I can’t imagine it having the tight integration with the synths/plugins themselves

Edit: while it’s cooler than I initially gave it credit, one thing it’s missing for it’s Ableton integration is a one-button capture trigger.


I’m super excited about this one. If you can use the sliders and buttons on the OT for mute and levels of channels…maybe a record buffer. Plus the sequncer on the circuit is insane. On the circuit you can chain patterns of any length, by just pressing them. Sort of a sequencer record mode. It would be so easy to get longer sequences out of the OT…plus a lot of stuff and stuff with computers and gear! Ah…

it doesn’t seem usb powered can someone please confirm?

It needs ac. Or dc power block I suppose

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Pretty interesting, I love Novation as a brand, they got an awesome costumer service and very high quality products.

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