Novation has always been at the ready with a huge range of synthesisers and control systems, but in particular it’s the emergence of the Launchpad, an Ableton-controlling multi-use pad system that is perfect for commanding the entire run of sample triggers, beat creation and looping with a notably easy, colour-coded setup – that has made waves.
Similarly, the Nocturn rotary control system – with a neat auto-mapping function that gets you up and running from the second you plug-in – has made a lot of home and portable producers’ lives that much easier, with quick button access to the parameters you use the most.
Plug-in wise, the Novation Bass Station soft-synth is choc full of low-end loveliness that dance and hip hop producers will likely find themselves gravitating towards. The V-Station, meanwhile, is a popular polyphonic soft synth powered by three oscillators for smart tone-building possibilities. But in terms of actual hardware, it’s the X-Station synthesiser range that comes up trumps, with a pro-level semi-weighted key bed, touchpad and joystick putting you in control of an eight-voice system, laden with presets and effects for one-touch tonal beauty on your arrangements. If you want to really give it to ‘em, the 16-voice Supernova and Supernova II synths – along with a keyboard version (doubling up to 32 voices) – deliver both recognisably classic sounds with up-to-date modern tones for the full synthesised package.
DJ’s need not feel left out though: the Novation Twich has established itself as a firm go-to for cue firing, cutting and slicing and intricate glitch loops. With its innovative touch strip, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the digitally-savvy DJ, and will integrate seamlessly with your existing setup. And there is of course the Dicer, a tiny cue-point and loop trigger unit that sits on the edge of your turntables. Everything to hand, exactly where you need it.