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Novation LaunchKey 61 or Nektar Impact LX61

Mark Watson

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I'm new to music production, and looking for a keyboard and controller to start composing with. I've narrowed down my search to these two options, which I have found great used deals for. I'm leaning towards the LaunchKey, but I haven't found anything definitive about it's integration with Cakewalk. While I would prefer access to the other features of the LaunchKey, if it doesn't integrate well, I believe the Nektar would better serve me. The Launchkey claims to use HUI, which from what i've researched, isn't completely supported by Cakewalk. However, multiple posts here have provided solutions, but I am unable to test them. So, what I'm asking is, how well does the LaunchKey integrate with Cakewalk, or how much effort is needed to set it up for full functionality?

Edited by Mark Watson
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  • 1 month later...

If you're interested, I created a thread on the topic some time ago: 

I don't think anything has changed since then. 

tl;dr: Cakewalk has no full support for the HUI protocol. The things I mentioned in the thread simply don't work, probably the same as on the Launchkey. It doesn't look like there is interest to make them work, so, I wouldn't hold my breath for it.

azslow3 in that thread mentioned that you could do it yourself, as the source code is freely available, but, I don't know anything about coding, and probably wouldn't understand it anyway.

I don't want to sound sour, but, any other DAW I tried supports HUI fully. Studio One, Cubase, Reaper, Ableton, all no problem. I understand why the implementation is a problem, and that it's an ancient protocol, but, that doesn't change that some devices still use it, and can't be used to their full extent in Cakewalk.

If you want a recommendation, I'd recommend to go with another controller, if you want to have the additonal functionality, no Novation ones. Arturia's controllers also work in MCU mode, so, they will probably work (better) in Cakewalk.

Edited by chakko
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