Novation Launchpad Pro MK3 vs Launchpad X Specifications + A Little Push 2 Thrown In

In this blog post I offer a spec comparison of the brand new Launchpad Pro MK3 with the Launchpad X. I also go beyond the specifications and offer lots of side-by-side pictures to give you more of a sense for the difference between these controllers. I’ll offer a few pics comparing the Launchpad’s to Ableton Push 2. I won’t be covering all the workflow and features as there are plenty of videos on that.

My History with Launchpad

For context, I’ve been using Launchpad controllers for almost 10 years. I’ll do a separate post on this soon. I started using the Launchpad X in October for Ableton Live, as my main Resolume Controller, and as a controller for of my iPad performances. I love the form factor, feel of the pads, velocity sensitive faders and custom modes.

Launchpad Pro MK3 in the House

When the Launchpad Pro MK3 was announced with deeper Live integration, more custom modes in a similar form factor as the X I went for it. Here is a short video I made of a song I made in Ableton Live while I was getting to know Launchpad Pro MK3 along with Percussa Audio Cubes.

Novation’s summary new features in Launchpad Pro MK3

Before we get started here is Novation’s marketing blurb on the MK3.

• Our deepest Ableton Live Integration: play,
record and produce your tracks, all without
touching your mouse
• 64 super-sensitive RGB pads: large velocity
and pressure sensitive pads for playing your
sounds expressively
• Powerful four-track sequencer: 32 step
patterns, scenes for arrangement, and
probability and mutation controls to keep
your tracks evolving
• Chord mode: easily explore, build, save and
play complex chords straight from the grid
and quickly find new harmonies
• Dynamic Note and Scale modes: effortlessly
play perfectly in-key basslines, melodies,
chords and leads. Launchpad Pro even
knows when you’re drumming and shows
your drum rack on the grid
• MIDI In, Out 1, Out 2/Thru: Control anything
MIDI in your studio directly from Launchpad
Pro
• Eight Custom Modes: use Novation
Components to customise MIDI mappings
for your unique performance needs

Size

The Launchpad Pro MK3 it’s just a little bigger than the X which is pretty fantastic news. On paper, the height of the Pro MK3 is .5mm taller but they look pretty much the same to me side-by-side.

Launchpad XLaunchpad Pro MK3
Height.68″ (17.5mm).7″ (18mm)
Widgth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)
Depth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)

It’s essentially the same case design with more height and width to accommodate the buttons on the sides of the RGB pads.

Launchpad Pro MK3 on the left and Launchpad X on the right
Height of Launchpad Pro MK3 on the left and Launchpad X on the Right

Connectivity

Launchpad X on the top and the Launchpad Pro MK3 on the bottom

They both have Kensington MiniSaver slots, and USB-C socket for connectivity to computer or hub for iPad use. The Pro MK3 has 3 additional 3.5mm jacks for in, out, and a second out/thru output (3 converter cables are included in the box).

RGB Pads

Pro MK3 on left, X on the Right

The pads seem identical in both in both size and feel. Lighting intensity seems identical to me. They are both Velocity and Pressure sensitive and can be set to transmit Polyphonic Aftertouch or Channel Pressure. As you’ll see in the picture below, the pads on the Pro MK3 are slightly lower profile as they seem mounted a little closer and flush to the surface of the case.

If you have never played the Launchpad X before, the pads feel quite similar to the Push 2.

Buttons

Launchpad X on left Launchpad Pro on Right

Launchpad X – 16 Buttons

The 16 Buttons on the top and down the right side of the Launchpad X feel the same as the pads to the touch but have more travel than the pads. They wiggle. They have a bit of a mushy stop when you hit button but don’t click like on a Push 2. Totally usable and fine, but not as refined as the Pro MK3.

Launchpad Pro MK3 – 42 Backlit “Tactile-Click” Buttons

The Launchpad Pro MK3 introduces backlit “tactile click” buttons. The buttons along the sides feel similar on the surface to the grid pads but have a more travel with almost no side-to-side wiggle and a nice button-like definitive click you can feel and hear when you hit bottom.

They feel very similar to the button on the Push 2 with maybe a little less give when you hit bottom. A bit more crisp. They look more more like a Push 2 with the way the text is displayed and more refined than X (which looks a little more a black mask on a an RGB button than punch-through text on a black button).

Weight

The weight for the Launchpad Pro MK3 isn’t listed in the specs on Novation’s web site or in the online stores so I weighed them on a kitchen scale (apologies for the flower on the scale).

If I round, Launchpad Pro MK3 is around 2.2 lbs (992g) and Launchpad X is around 1.8lbs (822g).

Basically there is almost no penalty in weight for the extra buttons and slight size size difference. In other words, unlike with the Launchpad Pro MK2 which I felt was thick and heavy, the size and weight between the MK3 and X shouldn’t be a limiting factor for those who want go for the extra features of the MK3.

Launchpad X vs Launchpad Pro MK3 vs Push 2

Just for reference, here are few pictures with these two launchpads compared to an Ableton Push 2. This is not a criticism of Push 2 as it has it’s own unique features and I feel the 2 in combination have some real benefits. BTW – Push 2 weighs in at Weight: 6.0 pounds (2,710g)

Push 2, Launchpad Pro MK3 and Launchpad X side-by-side.
Launchpad Pro MK3 Sitting over grid portion of Push 2
Launchpad X, Launchpad Pro MK3 stacked on a Push

Launchpad X vs Launchpad Pro MK3 Specs

Launchpad XLaunchpad Pro MK3
Pads64 Velocity Sensitive Pads with Polyphonic Aftertouch64 Velocity Sensitive Pads with Polyphonic Aftertouch
Velocity SensitiveYesYes
USB1 x USB-C1 x USB-C
Power SupplyUSB Bus PoweredUSB Bus Powered
Height.68″ (17.5mm).7″ (18mm)
Widgth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)
Depth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)
ConnectivityMIDI In, Out 1 & Out 2/Thru Ports (3x TRS Minijack to DIN MIDI Adapters included)
OS CompatibilityNovation Launchpad X is class compliant, so will work with any modern Mac and Windows PC. Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with external power is required for use with iOS.Novation Launchpad Pro is class compliant, so will work with any modern Mac and Windows PC. Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with external power is required for use with iOS.
What’s In the BoxLaunchpad X
USB-A to USB-C Cable
Safety Information Sheet
Launchpad Pro
USB-A to USB-C Cable
USB-C to USB-C Cable
USB-A Power Adapter
3x TRS Minijack to DIN MIDI Adapters
Safety information sheet
Stand-Alone SequencerNoPowerful four-track sequencer: 32 step
patterns, scenes for arrangement, and
probability and mutation controls to keep
your tracks evolving
Chord ModeNoEasily explore, build, save and
play complex chords straight from the grid
and quickly find new harmonies
Velocity Sensitive FadersYesYes
Modes– Session
– Mixer
– Note (includes drum)
– Four Custom Modes: use Novation
Components to customise MIDI mappings
for your unique performance need
– Session
– Note (includes drum)
Chord
Sequencer
Project
Eight Custom Modes: use Novation
Components to customise MIDI mappings
for your unique performance need, Sequencer, Project
Ableton Live Session OverviewNo. Sadly the Session button does double-duty as the Mixer mode button so you lose Session OverviewYes with long-press
Ableton Live Integration– Capture MIDI– Capture MIDI
– Record and play transports
– Fixed Length toggle and control
– Quantize clip
– Record Quantize
– Duplicate clip
– Double clip
– Clear clip
– Record Arm
– Mute
– Volume
– Pan
– Sends
– Device
– Stop Clip
– Undo
– Redo
– Click
– Tap
– Tempo
– Swing
Note and Scale ModesDynamic Note and Scale modes: effortlessly
play perfectly in-key basslines, melodies,
chords and leads. Launchpad Pro even
knows when you’re drumming and shows
your drum rack on the grid
Dynamic Note and Scale modes: effortlessly
play perfectly in-key basslines, melodies,
chords and leads. Launchpad Pro even
knows when you’re drumming and shows
your drum rack on the grid
Included SoftwareSee Novation Web SiteSee Novation Web Site

If You Found This Article Inspiring or Helpful

If you found this article inspiring or helpful consider supporting the blog by leaving leaving a tip below.

Tip Jar

Tip for Modulate This! article

$1.00

Other ways to support the effort include buying some of my original music, by subscribing to my Bandcamp, or just spreading the word about my art and blog.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑