The recently announced Novation Launchpad is a hands-on, interactive controller for Ableton Live's music creation software, already causing much excitement amongst the electronic music fraternity.

The Launchpad is made up of a rather basic seeming 8 x 8 grid of backlit buttons and has been jointly designed by Novation and Ableton, "to bring the features of Live to the fingertips of the modern musician."

So if you fancy yourself as the next Aphex Twin, or just like to meddle with bleeps and samples in the studio (shed) in your spare time, then read on.

"Flip from launching clips to tweaking mixer settings in a stroke. Launch your song into a heavy build-up, then switch to a synth or a drum machine for an impromptu solo at the touch of a button. It's all possible on Launchpad, and all without touching the mouse or keyboard!" claims Ableton's press release.

Mac and PC compatible

The Ableton Live 8 controller is bus-powered from a single USB connection, has sturdy rubber feet to make sure it doesn't slip around the desk, works with Mac and PC and comes with 1GB of sample content from Loopmasters and Mike The Drummer.

The guys at MusicRadar are the first to get their mitts on a finished, boxed version of the product, having posted an intriguing video of their first hands on play with the Launchpad and already declaring "we get the feeling that it's going to make a lot of Ableton Live users very happy."

Launchpad will be on sale as of 1st of November 2009 and will set you back £149.99