The world’s first dedicated FL Studio controller

Review: Novation FLKey – The World’s First Dedicated FL Studio Controllers

For 30 years now, English manufacturer of musical equipment Novation has made some of the best gear in the game – they’re no strangers to innovation, and with the release of FLKeythe world’s first line of dedicated FL Studio controllers, they have gone and taken their pioneering to an exciting new height.

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Thoughtful and elegant, FLKey lives up to the premise of being the ultimate controller for FL Studio. Consisting of the compact 25-key Mini and the larger and more practical 37 (named after the number of keys), the range has something for everyone. Both options have built-in controls for the software’s step sequencer, channel rack, and mixer, as well as a special Scale mode (and a Chord mode exclusively on the 37) to get the creative juices flowing. The functions and features are as numerous as they are easy to use…

Sequencer: Sequencer mode maps controller pads directly to the FL Studio step sequencer, intuitively visualizing the sequencer directly to the controller for quick and easy ideation.

Mixed: The 8 pots at the top of the mini and 37 put the mixing process right in your hands, allowing you to adjust volume and pan, with the 37 even being able to calibrate these same parameters in the channel rack for pre-mixing .

Scale: Mini gives you 4 different scale modes (Minor, Major, Dorian, and Phrygian), with 4 more available on the 37 (Mixolydian, Harmonic Minor, Major Pentatonic, and Minor Pentatonic) so you never hit the wrong note.

Deal: Available only on the 37, three chord modes (fixed, scale and user) make it easy to build progressions: fixed lets you build a chord and play it chromatically on the keyboard, scale chord lets you access banks of triads, sevenths, ninths and six ninths in a given scale, and the user allows you to create up to 16 chords to assign to the pad of your choice.

FLKey mini has play and record buttons right in the controller, along with the 37 dedicated stop, metronome, quantize, undo, redo, and score log buttons! Built-in channel rack buttons on both make it easy to navigate, while note repeating makes it easy to generate interesting patterns. There’s even a host of instruments and effects that come bundled with the controllers, including a free 6-month trial of FL Studio Producer Edition!

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an FLKey mini, and before I even plugged it in, I was amazed, but how wonderfully built it is. It’s incredibly light and strong, with pots and fingerboards clearly built to last. It didn’t take long after playing around with it in FL Studio to see how smooth everything was. The pads and touch strips are wonderfully responsive to the touch, and little details such as light intensity demonstrating the octave you’ve set make it an absolute pleasure to use. Where so many people sacrifice style for substance, Novation refused to compromise.

The bottom line is that whichever one you choose, Novation FLKey is just perfect for the producer who prefers FL Studio – the mini is excellent for the chamber musician for whom space is limited, and the 37 is ideal for anyone in need of a larger, more capable keyboard. The Novation FLKey mini and 37 are available on the official Novation website for $109.99 (or £83.33; €92.43) and $199.99 (or £166.66; €193.27) respectively. Still on the fence? Watch the video below for a quick look at these gorgeous controllers!

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Image credit: Novation (Instagram)

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