Getting started with setting up GP with Novation SL61 mk3

Hi everyone, and I’m glad to be part of this community. Hope you and your families are OK in those crazy times.

I just bought my first ever MIDI controller, and it is a BIG step into totally different landscape for me, since I was mostly dealing with arrangers for the last 20+ years. I wanted to stop relying on the mercy of a certain brands to decide for me what I can and cannot do with my keyboard, so I got fed up with that and sold what I’ve had, to invest in the mentioned controller and a pretty decent laptop that would become my rig, using GP alone (or in conjunction with Ableton) to play live on top my backing tracks.

Anyway, let’s cut that to the actual question…
Yes, live performance is practically dead now, but I try to use that time to get ready meanwhile, when/if things get better anytime soon.
I’m trying to create a setups where I would be able to switch between layers and splits, and I can’t figure out a way to create those setups in the most efficient manner. I’m not sure on which ‘mode’ (IN Control, Zones, Steps, etc) I have to be on the Novation side, so I can use the most of the control knobs, buttons, pads and sliders?
I see that Variations in the Rackspaces can do exactly what I need, which is perfect and very easy to setup in GP, but I’m more confused/unsure on the Novation’s side. The displays are totally blank while on IN Control mode, buttons and pads are not lit, and can’t really use the rotary knobs (although I’ve seen there are some workarounds into using those with scripts).

I’d love to hear someone that have some experience using GP with the same or similar Novation controller, and have any directions and tips about that hardware-software combination, or anything else that can be helpful in that matter at all.

I’m still about to get deeper and deeper into figuring out how to use GP for playing back the audio tracks, have ‘per song’ setups…etc, and getting used to work with GP in general.



Welcome to our community and congratulations on your move to GP and soft synths setup. I’m sure you’ll find that almost anything is possible and that you will be able to create the setup that works for you specifically.

You can do layers, splits based on a key range or even velocity using the MIDI In blocks. Just create one for your midi controller, then select the range you want, drop another one for the same device and select a different range etc… now you have two (or more) blocks for the same keyboard, but different ranges. If you overlap the ranges you’ll get layers and so on. You can now connect widgets to your splits and move them in variations so that the splits move the way you want them to.

I encourage you to dive into our manual and ask some specific questions when you get stuck.

Good luck!

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Thanks djogon for the warm welcome.
I have a major progress only after 2-3 days of using GP, it is amazingly useful piece of software indeed. I’m already laying the ‘foundations’ for my setups, sill have lot to learn and explore. It really is mind opening for me.

Have a good one!


@ValioKeys Thanks for starting this topic. I am about to purchase a new midi controller and I am leaning toward the Novation 61SL MKlll. Have you had good luck integrating it into Gig Performer? Also, I have just purchased Native Instruments Komplete 13 and I am wondering what you see on the little screens on the Novation when you are using Native Instrument plugins. Thanks for any help.

I also use the Novation 61 SL Mkiii. I bought this controller because I wasn’t happy with the keybed feel and response of the Arturia KeyLab 61 and had difficultly getting the button lights to stay in sync with GP even with scripting. Possibly the new “Follow Hardware” feature would fix the problems I had with the Arturia and programming radio buttons for my rackspaces in Gig Performer.

While I am very happy with the Novation controller there is one glaring problem with Gig Performer integration. The controller does NOT accept incoming MIDI messages in Sequencer mode for changing button state by design. Novation is aware of this issue but it is unclear whether they will issue a firmware update allowing the MIDI messages.

Similar to Arturia, you can setup the knobs and buttons along with respective text labels using “Templates” and their “Template Editor”. You can create multiple templates for selection once they are uploaded to the controller. Therefore, the labels do not have to remain static since they are tied to a template.

The Novation controller seems to be designed around using Ableton Live and there is a special mode for that and other DAWs - “In Control”. However, for Gig Performer I stick with templates and “Sequencer” mode. The controller does accept incoming MIDI messages with “In Control” mode which is frustrating. If they allow it for “In Control”, why not “Sequencer” mode?

I too use Komplete but you’re not going to see anything on the Novation screen related to it. I tie text labels and controls to templates which I load based on the active rackspace.

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That is very helpful information. If you had it to do over, would you get the Novation 61SL MKlll if Gig Performer (and Kontakt) were the primary uses?

Yes - even though there are additional features on the Novation I have not used like the built-in sequencer. Arturia doesn’t have that. Also, the Arturia does come with their vintage keyboard VST collection which is great.

For me, I was never happy with the “feel” of the Arturia keybed and how it responded. The semi-weighted action of the Novation was better in my subjective opinion. Also, the Novation templates do allow text labels and multiple template selections.

In sum, the feel of the action and keybed response trumped the issue of syncing the button state with GP. I also had limited success controlling Arturia button state. I’ve learned to script around that issue and live with it. If the Arturia action is good for you, and you don’t need a built-in sequencer, it might be the better choice for GP integration.