This is my personal Novation Nocturn review. It’s hard to believe that the Nocturn has been around now for a couple of years but its easy to see why. Its a solid bit of kit for a fraction of the price of a regular controller. However, does this little price come at a cost? I wanted to find out so I managed to get my grubby hands on one for a test drive.
Novation Nocturn Review Hands On
First off the unit is obviously small and comes in a stylish black finish. You can see in the photo that its about the size of an Ipad. Its build quality is pretty good. It has solid buttons and the eight endless rotary encoders feel pretty comfortable on the old fingers to turn. The cross fader is reasonable build. Its not a Vestax or Pioneer but then again its not trying to be. To finish off the description the Nocturn has a couple of soft pads on the underside for grip when placing on your desk or synth etc. Okay, so moving forward the unit is easy enough to install. Just stick a USB cable into the side install Automap 3 and away you go. Okay, maybe not that fast. You should “automap” a few of your favorite plugins or VST instruments for use in your DAW and read a few instructions because each DAW is slightly different. Ableton Live 8 was my DAW of choice for this test so I popped open an Ableton project and started to tweak like mad. Well not mad but I was surprised by how fast you start controlling stuff.
Nocturn In Control?
Now, listen here. I’m not a spring chicken when it comes to Automap because I have a Remote SL37 so I know how good the system works and the Novation Nocturn is no different. Intuitive and very functional which makes the Nocturn fun to use and more importantly makes you “want” to use it! Its not all roses though is it? Well, no. For the life of me I just couldn’t get to grips with the speed dial. The speed dial is the rotary encoder in the middle. It controls whatever your mouse is over. Good in theory but what I found out was when you tweak with the encoder you end up messing up the value by moving the mouse! Frustrating. Yes. So I dropped the use of it all together. Lucky the buttons and other 8 encoders made up for it because they work so great!
All in all the Novation Nocturn is a little knock out of a controller. Its compact but packed with just enough features to keep you reaching for it over and over to use in your tracks which is a hall mark of a good controller for your studio. You can pick up the Nocturn for around 10% of some of the big name controllers out there so you can see its an absolute steal!
Check out some more info about the Novation Nocturn HERE
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