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Novation Tutorial

Novation SL MkII Explained

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25 Videos
Length: 1hr 46min 31sec
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Working With The SL MK ll Hardware

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    Tutorial 1



    Eli welcomes you to this series of videos on the Novation SL MK ll keyboard controller.

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    Tutorial 2

    The Big Picture


    Overview of the SL MK ll signal flow, and it's two modes of operation: Advanced Mode and Automap Mode.

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    Tutorial 3

    Global Keyboard Options


    The Global Menu is a set of options that affect the operation of the whole unit. In this video, the Options submenu setting are explained.

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    Tutorial 4

    Start Up and Routing Settings


    Learn how to set the SL MKll's start up stat, and various routing options between the USB and MIDI ports.

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    Tutorial 5

    Splitting the Keyboard Into Zones


    Discover how to globally split the keyboard into zones, so that it can trigger different sounds in different ranges.

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    Tutorial 6

    Working with SysEx Data


    Learn how to backup and restore customized templates and/or global keyboard settings to either a computer or external MIDI device, by sending or receiving system exclusive dumps through the various ports on the SL MKll.

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    Tutorial 7

    Drum Pad Calibration


    See how to set the sensitivity of the 8 drum pads to match your personal playing style.

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    Tutorial 8

    Calibration Sub Menu


    Learn how to calibrate the pitch bend/mod wheel joystick and how to adjust the sensitivity of the aftertouch response, which affects the range of MIDI aftertouch values that the keyboard sends as pressure is applied to the notes.

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    Tutorial 9

    The Quick Menu


    Learn how to access a variety of useful transposition, tempo, and MIDI message functions directly from the SL MKll's Quick Menu display.

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    Tutorial 10

    Selecting Advanced Mode Templates


    Learn how call up, navigate, and select, the thirty two built in advanced mode templates.

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    Tutorial 11

    Template Edit Mode


    Learn how to edit and save the template wide parameters pertaining to each of the thirty two Advanced Mode Templates stored in the SL MKll.

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    Tutorial 12

    Editing the Sliders


    Learn how to program the sliders to generate various types and ranges of MIDI messages.

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    Tutorial 13

    Programming the Encoders


    Explore the unique display type settings available when editing the encoder knobs, and learn how to program them to send 14 bit MIDI messages.

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    Tutorial 14

    Programming Buttons


    Discover how to set and control the messages sent when buttons are pressed and/or released.

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    Tutorial 15

    Additional Button Messages


    Explore the MMC, program change, bank change, drum note, template, and system real time messages that can be sent from the various buttons and drum pads on the SL MKll.

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    Tutorial 16

    The X/Y Pad


    Watch how the X/Y Pad is programmed and used to send and control two MIDI messages simultaneously.

Working With Automap

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    Tutorial 17

    Setting Up Automap


    Learn how to launch the Automap Server software and configure it for your software by enabling plug-ins for control by Automap, and then configuring your DAW [Logic Pro X in this video] to recognize Automap.

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    Tutorial 18

    General Automap Concepts


    Learn about the basic concepts used when mapping controls, and see how, with Automap, the SL MKll controls are mapped by default to various mixer, instrument and effects parameters in Logic Pro X.

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    Tutorial 19

    The Edit Mapping Window


    The Edit Mapping Window is the main software interface between the SL MKll and your DAW's mixer and software plug-ins. See how and where mapping files are saved, opened, and managed.

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    Tutorial 20

    The Mapping Window GUI


    Discover the layout of the Edit Mapping Window, learn how to change a Thing's default Group assignment, explore Automap's Browser View, and see how to re-order parameter assignments using simple drag and drop.

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    Tutorial 21

    Creating Your Own Mappings


    Learn three ways to create your own mappings. Manually assigning them in the Edit Mapping window, using the Learn button, and using Learn Latch mode.

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    Tutorial 22

    Pro Tools and Automap HUI


    See how Automap works in HUI mode, and how Pro Tools parameters are mapped to the SL MKll hardware controls.

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    Tutorial 23

    Automap Virtual MIDI


    This is a way of using Automap, instead of the hardware controls on the SL MKll, to generate and receive standard MIDI messages. See how it is used to control software (Battery by Native Instruments) not directly supported by Automap.

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    Tutorial 24

    QWERTY Assignments


    Learn how to program Automap to have your Novation hardware controls send key commands to your DAW.

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    Tutorial 25

    Additional Mapping Parameters


    Explore how the various range setting options for encoders, buttons, pots, and sliders are used to modify their performance and response.

The Novation SL MkII keyboard controller is one of the most popular controllers available today, but it can be confusing, as it can do so much. No worries, let Novation pro Eli Krantzberg take you on a guided tour of this power packed controller from Novation and help you to control your instruments and DAW like never before.

Eli begins with an introduction and overview of the SL MkII, and then goes right into Global Keyboard Options, Start Up and Routing, Making Zones, and Working with SysEx Data. Drum Pad and Pitch and Mod Wheel Calibration is next, where you'll see just how to fine tune the pads and wheels for perfect triggering and control.

Eli then shows you The Quick Menu where you can adjust things like Tempo, MIDI Messages and more. Advanced Mode Templates are then explained, as well as how to make and save your own Templates. Editing and Programing all the Sliders, Encoders and Buttons is shown, including the powerful X/Y Pad.

Automap and all of its features and functions are revealed in-depth, allowing you to get every drop of power and creativeness out of this world class controller. If you use any of the SL MkII controllers, you owe it to yourself to watch this awesome series and get the most from your Novation product. Get "Novation SL MkII Explained" today.

Submitted 8 months ago

I can now use my Novation SLII :-)

Each tutorial is short and to the point. Working through these video tutorials enabled me to use my Novation with Logic Pro X which is exactly what I was hoping for.

I am a: Audio Engineer, Musician

Ease of Use
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Value of Training
Access to Videos

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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Novation SL MkII Explained is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from I can now use my Novation SLII :-) Each tutorial is short and to the point. Working through these video tutorials enabled me to use my Novation with Logic Pro X which is exactly what I was hoping for.
Date published: 2016-07-24