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June 2017 Giveaway

iOS Update: Novation Launchkey, Launchpad S and iRigHD


The rush of new apps and hardware for iOS devices continues unabated! What’s really cool is that many of the new hardware products are multi-platform, which means they work not only with iOS devices but also with computers. This doesn’t just increase the value, it also adds versatility. Let’s check out a few new items that I’m plugging into both my iPad and my computer lately.

Novation Launchkey and Launchpad S

The latest controllers from Novation give you hands-on ability with not just iOS apps but also with computer software. The Launchpad S is a next-generation version of the very cool Launchpad. Not only is the hardware better (brighter lights, faster response, and more), but it works with both computers and iOS. Launchpad was developed to work with Ableton Live, and it still excels in that application. But when you pair it with Novation’s free Launchpad app, you have a powerful loop-based music system — sort of like “Live Mini Jr.” for your iPad. It’s great both on stage and in the studio, and it can be bus-powered from your iPad or computer; no power supply required.

The Launchkey family is a series of keyboard controllers (25-, 49-, and 61-key versions) equipped with a full complement of sliders, trigger pads, knobs, wheels, and switches. Novation offers a free Launchkey app, which is an innovative synth, but a Launchkey controller will work with whatever MIDI apps you might have. If you are using the Launchkey and Launchpad apps, a Launchkey MIDI controller can take charge of both apps at the same time, and they’ll even sync to one another. Very cool!

iRig HD

As a guitar player, I’m always looking for a great solution for getting my axe’s signal into my computer or iOS device. The IK Multimedia iRig was awesome for this, but the new iRig HD is even better. It couldn’t be simpler: guitar input, computer/iOS output  (it comes with 30-pin, Lightning, and USB cables), and a gain control. That’s it! With simple operation and high-definition audio quality, the iRig HD makes a great guitar input solution. It comes with Amplitube for iOS and happily sent my guitar into whatever apps or software I wanted — for example, I used it to input my guitar’s signal into Native Instruments Guitar Rig on my Macbook Pro when using the Fishman TriplePlay wireless MIDI pickup system. Then, I used it with my iPad and Amplitube for a quick practice during my lunch break. To me, that’s what technology is all about — making it simple and quick to make music, whether in the studio, on the stage, or in your office at work.

We have iOS Update video demos of all these products online at YouTube and Facebook. Check them out and imagine how  they can help you put your iOS device to work making music!

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