Using Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 drum pads in Cubase 12 Pro - help?

Hi folks,

I suspect I’m not the only person having this issue as I’ve seen other related posts about other LaunchKey controllers. I’m using a Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 in Cubase 12 (12.0.70 Build 464) with the latest Novation USB drivers for Windows 11 (2.27). I may as well be a new user to Cubase (it’s changed a lot since version 4)

I’m trying to use the shift-pad keys to change to drum mode and there seems to be no support for this in Cubase 12? I can’t change out of session view in general. I figured out how to get the transport controls mapped so they work properly, and the track mute and solo controls seem to be working fine.

I’m currently trying to create a workaround using my own custom mapping pages, using the “>” key to move between Launchkey control modes. However, the actual mapping process is pretty opaque and requires a Cubase 12-specific understanding of what the commands in Cubase do.

Has anyone else created their own mapping pages for the Launchkey Mini MK3? If so, would they be willing to share? I’m going to keep soldiering on with my custom script for now, and will share it once I’m done. Feel free to follow this post for updates if you’re in the same boat.

Hi @ArachnoidFlux

Not sure if this is of any help for you?

Specifically this PDF seems to have a section about the modes you mention:

Thanks. I’d already seen the Novation link.

The PDF has very little information specific to the Launchkey Mini MK3. Let me clarify the challenges I’ve identified so far.

  • Cubase only seems to natively support the mute and solo options on the pads, and the keyboard/mod-wheel/pitch-bend as MIDI note input.
  • The transpose appears to be two octaves at a time, which I’d like to be able to reset to 1 but this apparently isn’t configurable within the script customisation tool.
  • I had to set up the transport control stuff manually.
  • I can’t find an obvious Cubase MIDI mapping that will allow me to configure custom scripts that will let me use the pads for chord triggers, drum triggers or other useful items.
  • I believe the encoders on the Launchkey Mini Mk3 also have a push switch which I’d like to use and bind, and these don’t seem to be available on the Launchkey Mini Mk3 control surface template in Cubase at all.
  • The shift button seems to be largely non-functional as a mappable modifier within Cubase 12. I could use it to, say, bind a Cubase command to it. But I can’t seem to bind a MIDI event to a “shift + Pad1” or “shift+Octave up” combination.

The capabilities on the Launchkey Mini Mk3 that are unavailable in Cubase are disappointing, because as a university music student I have limited funds for upgrades. I also live in a very small flat, so I don’t really have room for an extra MIDI controller, even if I did.

When I have time I will try to create a generic controller script from scratch and see if it will let me bind the events I want, but my hopes in that respect seem somewhat limited in Cubase. In Ableton, all the modes, controllers, switches, pads, etc… just work. The architecture of Cubase seems to be somewhat lacking in this respect - particularly with respect to button modifiers like the shift key.

Anyway - I appreciate the attempt to help. Sadly, I need more than just product manuals to achieve what I want.

Hi @ArachnoidFlux

Hmm, Novation provides its own support site and script for Cubase but on your system even the transport controls don’t work.
Sounds to me like there’s something wrong.

Could it be that you have the same problem as this user?

the Novation setup identifies the Launchkey as a HUI device, which will cause issues if you have Cubase 12 or newer. Unplug your Launchkey, go into your Legacy Remote setup and delete the HUI device (and also remove the HUI device from any other controller lists where it appears), then just plug the Launchkey in. It will work on its own without going through the setup process that Novation provides, and the setup provided will actually cause significant problems lol.

Hi @Croissant

So… that post is over a year old, which means it would have been related to Cubase 11.

Apparently Cubase 12 has a different controller interaction model to some degree (or the scripts Novation supplied for Cubase 12 are different, or something else to that effect).

I couldn’t find any “Legacy Remote setup” options, however it does seem to be working better than it did after I deleted the controller from Cubase. The transport controls and knobs seem to be working now at least. I still can’t get drum pads working as drum pads, because there’s no mapping for a remote MIDI function to a MIDI note. Which as I’m sure you’re aware, is how most drum pads work.

Just silly. Such a fundamental thing to have no support for.

Cubase with the dedicated script, handles the DAW port of the mini, while pad notes should come from the dedicated port for notes and other stuff.

Tried this one here?

1 Like

So using the Novation Components tool to create a custom hardware profile? I guess that could work. Shouldn’t HAVE to though. At the end of the day, MIDI isn’t two protocols - one for knobs and switches and the other for notes. It’s a single protocol that does both.

Thanks for the suggestion.

There are a lot of things that musicians shouldn’t have to do, especially technical stuff, I agree. However, in order to get the best out of our controllers, unfortunately we have to get our hands a bit dirty.

Many controllers nowadays have two or even more midi out ports. You may want to be using pads for finger drumming and that’s perfectly fine, but at the same time, when in a DAW mode, we mostly use pads for controlling the DAW. Switching between midi modes is the way to work with it, and have both functions available.
That being said, of course we could have just one port to work with. Here’s the problem: In order to hear notes, we would have to put the midi out to our list of available for midi inputs of our tracks. However, at the same time that we’d be happy with it, whatever midi CCs arrive from the controller, would tend to affect our automation if the script doesn’t consume them properly. Thus, we would need to filter these ones out with special filters. It is doable, but, as said, why lose the functionality offered for the pads in DAW mode? It’s just one-two pad presses to alter modes, IF of course I understand properly the manual, and there is not some weird thing going on with this controller.

1 Like

Cubase 13 Pro, Mac Pro, Monterey 12.7, Novation Launchkey 25 Mk3, Superior Drummer 3, Focusrite Clarett, etc.
Caught this discussion as I was getting ready to post myself concerning this topic. m.c I think you answered my question as well as, hopefully, Arachnoid’s. My Novation Launchkey works fine with the provided Cubase template however, my desire is to have ALL functions but the pads work as intended with Cubase. I would like for the Launchkey’s pads to trigger my drums in Superior Drummer exactly as my LPD 8 does with the added benefits of keyboard and more extended control. Will try the “Setting up Custom Modes” using Components as you suggested for starters and hopefully something will click in this caveman functioning head of mine. :wink:

Okay solution: Go to the Launchkey and select “Settings” Use your up and down arrows beside the settings button to select the MIDI channels for Key’s, Chords and Drums. Set each to different channels. I use MIDI channel 1 for keys, 2 for Chords and 10 for Drums. Now go into Cubase and select the Appropriate tracks and set their Input routing channels and devices to what is selected on the Launchkey. Shazam! Now I have keys for HAlion and pads for Superior Drummer using ONLY the Launchkey 25 Mk3. Now in Superior Drummer go to the Drums tab to select each drum/cymbal/instrument and go to the right and open the MIDI Mapping drop down. Beside where it says “Hit” it will give a channel number assigned to that hit…my kick says 36. Beside that when your mouse is over it three small lines will show to open another window which shows "Add Note, Learn Note, Show in MIDI Mapping Keys…etc. Press on “Learn Note.” Then simply play the pad on your MIDI controller (Launchkey in my case) to which you want to assign. Works like a charm! I hope this helps someone. I’ve been using Cubase since SX but admittedly mostly for my own practical purposes. So I learned what I needed to…hence what I refer to as my “caveman” approach. Lol. For real training look up my friend Greg Ondo. He’s the real Cubase/Steinberg genius and a huge help to anyone that should ask him!

Hi folks,

FYI - I’ve built custom remote profiles and all is happy now. I still can’t assign notes to the drum pads as far as I can tell, and Cubase still won’t recognise the shift modifier, but everything else is working fine.