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An amazing and affordable DAW and plug-in control surface.
The Novation ZeRO SL Mk II Controller is a full DAW and plug-in control surface for live sound and studio use with visual feedback for all control information. A giant 144-character display, backlit LED buttons, and LED ringed encoders show the status of all controls. The groundbreaking Automap 3 PRO software gives you ultra-quick mapping of all 56 knobs, faders and buttons.
The ZeRO SL Mk II keyboard equips modern DAW users with every dimension of hardware control, enabling a hands-on approach to mixing, navigating software, and controlling plug-ins. And the ZeRO SL MkII is an extraordinary value as a controller-integrating a DAW control surface with the most intuitive plug-in mapping capabilities available-presided over by Automap 3 PRO-arguably the most advanced control software on the market.
ZeRO SL Mk II controller upholds Novation's reputation for building quality hardware. It can be mounted in a 19" rack, or used as a desk-top controller, or angled for performance using legs that are included with the unit. Quality is not just reflected in their robustness, but more importantly in the way the ZeRO SL Mk II has been designed with every detail calculated to maximize workflow. The ZeRO SL Mk II's visually feeds back all controller information to the user with back lit buttons and encoder LED rings, making it absolutely ideal for live performances where parameters need to be identified instantly.
The difficulty with other control surfaces is knowing what is assigned to what. ZeRO SL Mk II has a giant 144-character ultra-bright LCD screen that displays all the parameter names and values for the currently selected row of controllers. All 8 faders and 16 knobs are touch sensitive, so the moment one is touched, the display shows the names and values on that row and puts brackets around the controller that is currently being touched. This enables the user to see which parameter is assigned to the controller without having to change the value, or refer to their software. ZeRO SL Mk II also has a dedicated 'Speed Dial' knob, which can be used to change the value of any parameter the cursor is positioned over without making any assignments whatsoever.
The 8 continuous rotary encoders have 11 segment LED rings around each of them, allowing encoders to behave like pots so the user can see the value before moving them. All the buttons have LEDs underneath them so users can instantly see their status without having to press them. There are 8 soft-feel drum pads which are fully assignable to any parameter with the Automap software
ZeRO SL Mk II has been designed to draw minimum current so it can be used as a USB buss-powered device, although an optional 9V DC power supply can be added for stand-alone use. As well as USB interfacing, ZeRO SL Mk II has 1 MIDI in, 1 MIDI thru and 2 MIDI outs.
The power behind the ZeRO's unique ability to map controllers at the touch of a button, is contained within the included Automap software. Automap 3 PRO enables users to map controllers with incredible speed and ease-no more digging through MIDI continuous controller numbers, the Automap server takes care of it all. Automap's GUI gives the user a visual representation of all the current mappings on screen, as well as the ability to save and manage mappings across different projects. There is also an option to only bring up the GUI when a controller on the ZeRO has been touched!
Illuminated controls provide instant visual feedback
Brightly lit LED rings around the eight smooth encoders, and backlit buttons throughout provide instant visual feedback for every physical control, further reducing reliance on the computer screen.
Giant 144-character LCD screen
Frees the artist from being chained to the computer screen, placing all the essential data right alongside the relevant controls.
Huge array of touch-sensitive controls
Full control surface supporting ultra flexible DAW control and Auto-mappable plug-in controls, 16 knobs, 8 faders and 32 assignable backlit LED buttons.
Automap 3 PRO Control Software
61 SL Mk II comes with Automap software which enables you to instantly map software parameters to faders, buttons, encoders and pots and other controllers.
MIDI control interface.
Built in MIDI I/O Interface and comprehensive MIDI implementation provide complete control over all external hardware synths and other external MIDI devices.
Novation's unique 'speed dial'
A touch-sensitive rotary encoder that instantly takes control of whatever your mouse is focused on, providing real time access for composers and performers alike.
ZeRO SL Mk II has a fully assignable crossfader making it ideal for Live performance with programmes such as Ableton.
Programmable 'soft-feel' drumpads
Eradicates the need for a separate set of drumpad triggers, providing the ideal platform for sketching out beats or triggering samples
Dedicated, yet fully-assignable transport buttons.
Control the sequencer's start/stop/loop/record/forward/rewind actions, direct from the MIDI controller, reducing reliance on mouse and screen, or switch them out to allow use of more assignable buttons. SL Mk II recalls how these buttons were previously assigned.
USB buss powering
Provides the artist with a mobile MIDI control solution, freeing them from the confines of the studio
Includes the Xcite+ bundle
Featuring a host of royalty-free loops and samples, a full-fledged soft-synth and Ableton Live 7 Lite, providing an affordable upgrade path to Ableton Live.
Automap is a bit of software that enables you to assign parameters in your sequencer and plug-ins with incredible speed and ease, to the buttons, knobs, faders and other controllers on your Novation SL or Nocturn.
Anyone who has used a hardware controller can testify to how time consuming and awkward this can be-searching through hundreds of MIDI continuous controller numbers and trying to match them with numbers assigned to knobs on the hardware.
For many plug-ins, Automap enables you to simply touch the controller, click on the parameter and its assigned! Novation controllers also provide instant and comprehensive control over all major sequencers-Automap even allows you to instantly assign almost any QWERTY or ASCII keyboard shortcut to buttons and other controllers on the hardware: So you can open and close windows, jump to locators in your DAW and make edits without touching the mouse or keyboard!
Remembering which parameters are assigned to which controllers is a problem of the past. As soon as a controller is touched, all your mappings are shown on the computer screen via Automap's GUI, as well as the LCD screen of the SL. You can also manage all your mappings from the on-screen GUI; rename them, swap them around by dragging and dropping, or even change the resolution of each control. If the GUI starts to clutter up your screen, you can turn on the "Autoview" function which only brings it up on the screen when a controller is touched, then hides it again after the controller is released.
Intelligent control over all sequencers and VST/AU/RTAS/TDM plug-ins.
Automap 3 removes the pain and time involved in assigning MIDI parameters, and all layouts are fully customisable.
Heads-up transparent control GUI
Places a transparent control map across your computer screen-see at a glance how the parameters are automatically assigned to each of SL Mk II's controls.
Instant 'learn' function
Simply click on the software parameter and touch a touch-sensitive control to assign it. Now you can re-assign every control in seconds.
Automap 3 can assign almost any computer keyboard shortcuts to hardware controls. For example arrow key functions can now be assigned to hardware controls, allowing you to flick between tracks using buttons on your SL/Nocturn. You could also zoom in and out, open windows or create and jump to markers in your DAW.
Innovative MIDI support within Automap
Name your parameters and store mappings for later use. The same heads-up display provides quick and simple assigning of regular MIDI parameters. This ensures SL MkII can also turn its hand to controlling the few software application that still rely solely on the MIDI protocol.
Plug-in and Mixer Browser
Lets you review all open plug-ins, then quickly switch to control and one of them. Mixer 'MIDI maps' can be created, saved and recalled via the same map browsing facility.
Optional Autoview mode means that the GUI only becomes visible when a controller is touched, then it disappears again allowing you to get back to your DAW.
ZeRO SL MkII Keyboard Controller
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Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about Novation ZeRO SL MkII Keyboard Controller:
Using this with Ableton will make you actually enjoy Ableton if you never did before, and love it if you used it already.
Within Logic and every other DAW, it makes life easier to change a plugin with your hands and feel the difference as well as seeing the parameter change in the nice blue display screen. Transport mode is something I use a lot without noticing, as well as the crossfader live. Honestly, Novation is making some cool technology for us to use, and this particular device will be remembered for a while
I bought this to work in Logic, mainly as a way to set up quick levels and edit plugin and VST parameters. Eventually it became as often used as my mouse and keyboard The features are Grade A, simple and works right out of the box. The new Automap update is fantastic, making it even faster and easier to use than before. I love how everything is touch sensitive. If you work in Pro Tools, Logic, or even FL studio this will add a lot of flexibility to your set up, but if you use it with Ableton like it's made to be used....this thing makes you feel like the DAW is right in your hands.
I gave quality a 9 simply because even though it does everything correctly and there's nothing wrong with it, I do wish it was built a little bit more sturdy. Don't get me wrong, it can handle some regular use, but I wish the plastic was a bit denser.
I use it every time I write a song, I use it live with 2 Novation Launchpads, this baby is made for music. A steal if you buy it used in mint condition like I did
Comments about Novation ZeRO SL MkII Keyboard Controller:
The mkii provided everything i wanted from it. It has all of those functions and automap to use. However, I wondered if this was all necessary. You can always control all of this manually and in my opinion this is just a waste of money.However, on the bright side, the equipment was very well built and I would recommend it to anybody who really needs it.