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Novation Launchpad Ableton Live Controller

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  • Seamless integration of Launchpad and Ableton Live
  • Backlit multi-color 64-button grid provides instant session overview
  • Ideal for launching clips and scenes
  • No additional power supply needed - single lead USB-powered from your computer
  • Supports multi-unit operation - connect up to 6 Launchpads at a time
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Product Details

User's Guide [713kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.1 x 3.5 inches ; 2.2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B002TX7B4E
  • Item model number: LAUNCHPAD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,650 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Product Description

Product Description

The new Novation Launchpad has been jointly designed by Novation and Ableton, integrating instantly and seamlessly to provide a powerful and musical way to physically and visually interact with Ableton Live. Whether you’re a DJ, performing musician or studio producer, Launchpad gives you all you need to truly ‘play' Live. Just load up Live, plug in the Launchpad, and you're ready to roll. With a multi-color 64-button grid and dedicated scene launch buttons, Launchpad is purpose built for triggering and manipulating clips in Live, and it also offers a totally new way of controlling Ableton Live’s mixer. Launchpad's buttons can be used to sketch out beats with drum racks, and they can be assigned to other functions in Live using Ableton's 'Learn' mode. Launchpad ships with a dedicated ‘Launchpad edition’ of Ableton Live 8, but can control almost any other music software using Novation's award-winning 'Automap' control software. Automap provides a customizable display and editing control maps and allows the user to operate the Launchpad as a standard MIDI controller, creating custom MIDI maps with 72 of its buttons transmitting either CC or MIDI note data. Since Novation was born in 1992, the company name has become synonymous with world-class analog modeling synthesizers and unrivalled MIDI controller keyboards and solutions. The product range continues to receive critical acclaim from the music press and win numerous awards for outstanding technology and usability. Fantastic build quality, true musical instrument feel and intuitive controls are just three of the reasons why Novation's digital musical instruments are simply a joy to play.

Amazon.com

The compact Novation Launchpad is designed to give electronic music makers the most interactive experience possible in Ableton Live. Jointly designed by Ableton and Novation, Launchpad communicates bi-directionally with the software to give you real-time session feedback. With a multi-color 64-button grid and dedicated scene launch buttons, Launchpad can trigger and manipulate clips in Live as well as provides a totally new way of controlling Ableton Live's mixer. Launchpad's buttons can be used to sketch out beats with drum racks, and they can be assigned to other functions in Live using Ableton's Learn mode.



The 64-button grid and scene launch buttons are ideal for controlling clips and scenes (see larger pop-up image).


Launchpad gets all the power it needs via USB, and you can connect up to six units at once via a USB hub.
The device is bus-powered from a single USB connection, and has a ten-inch square desktop footprint. Rubber feet ensure Launchpad stays secure on the surface on which it's placed, and an optional padded neoprene travel sleeve is available. The Launchpad ships with a dedicated Launchpad edition of Ableton Live 8, but it can also control almost any other music software using Novation's award-winning Automap control software. It's compatible with both Mac OS and Windows operating systems.

Key Features

  • Launch clips and scenes: Launchpad's 64-button grid and dedicated scene launch buttons are ideal for launching and controlling your clips and scenes.
  • Innovative control over your mix: Including volume, pans, sends, track arming, soloing and muting. Launchpad lets you jump to different levels across eight channels at once.
  • Sketch out beats: Launchpad can be used to play drum racks, creating beats and triggering samples in real time.
  • Controlling other functions Launchpad can be used to control other functions using Ableton's 'Learn' mode. This includes Ableton's knobs and faders, which can be assigned to rows of buttons on Launchpad.
  • Multiple unit operation: Connect up to 6 Launchpads at a time. Expand your grid with multiple Launchpads, or have one Launchpad dedicated to mixer mode, and the other to launching clips.
  • Expand your Ableton control solution: Novation's Automap-enabled controllers work seamlessly together--a ZeRO SL MkII to control the mix, whilst Launchpad triggers clips.
  • Automap-enabled: Launchpad can control other DAWs and plug-ins using Novation's Automap control software. Automap can assign controls to software parameters on VST/AU/RTAS/TDM plug-ins by simply clicking on them, and touching a controller.
  • See what you're triggering: Automap provides a customizable heads-up transparent display across your computer screen. Ideal for seeing at a glance samples that you're about to trigger.
  • QWERTY keyboard shortcuts: Automap PRO, an optional upgrade available to purchase online, lets you assign almost any computer keyboard shortcut, and combinations thereof, to Launchpads buttons.
  • Old-school MIDI control: Utilizing Automap, Launchpad can operate as a standard MIDI controller, creating custom MIDI maps with 72 of its buttons transmitting either CC or MIDI note data.
  • Flexible trigger platform for Max MSP and Reaktor programmers: Programmers can utilize variable brightness and multi-color LED states to their full advantage when designing new and innovative tools in Max MSP and Reaktor.
  • Launchpad and Max for Live: Max is a visual programming environment that allows you to custom build instruments and effects. Launchpad can be used to control these instruments. For example, parameters on Max for Live's step sequencer can be triggered using Launchpad's buttons. Launchpad gives you a huge amount of visual feedback. Multiple colors and brightnesses across different buttons display visual information about whether the note is on, the velocity, note length, pitch, and whatever else you want to see.

What's in the Box
Launchpad, USB cable, DVD-ROM with Ableton Live 8 Launchpad Version (Mac and PC installers) and 1 GB of Loopmaster sample content

Specifications

  • Physical Controls and Indicators:
    • 64 (8x8 grid) square multi-color backlit buttons
    • 8 round multi-color backlit system buttons (assignable)
    • 8 round multi-color backlit function buttons (not assignable)
  • Connectivity: USB 1.1
  • Mac system requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later; Intel Mac or G4 and higher processor
  • Windows system requirements: Windows XP or Vista; 1.5 GHz or faster processor; 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Dimensions: 9.45 x 9.45 x 0.79 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 25 ounces (1 pound, 9 ounces)

Customer Reviews

I saw M4sonic do a video and I got one but I have no clue what I'm doing...
Pepper Hardaway
I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a small starter controller.
M O D
Ableton live 8 is a great piece of software and the launchpad works well with it.
Sean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Eponym on March 10, 2010
I have owned one of these for four months and have gotten a good grasp of its relative strengths and weaknesses. The Launchpad is a natural extension for Live's Session View. There is just enough visual information implanted on the interface for you to identify clips easily. The User1 User2 modes are great for a few MIDI triggers but lack any serious expression as the pads themselves aren't velocity sensitive. The mixer mode might be useful for some but I never touch it due to the limited resolution of expression and the immediacy required for their proper function (if minimalism is your goal in this department, seek the Korg nanoKONTROL USB Controller, Black). The saving grace, outside of its Session mode, is the user created software. The Launchpad has been transformed into a monome like device, a visual harmonic table, a step sequencer and a few other creative apps that are hard to describe in a concise fashion.

Physically the device seems sturdy 'enough' it has fallen a few feet onto a rug a couple times but I wouldn't call it 'road worthy' since it's still made of plastic. The pads have a nice soft rubber texture though kinetically clunky when being pressed dead center. There is a decent amount of give on the pads before it triggers but in practice it isn't a big deal especially without velocity sensitivity. The LED lights aren't entirely uniform in brightness and color. You might receive a unit with a few slightly brighter pads or ones that display more red but it's only noticeable when all pads are lit up of the same color.

I don't know of any other open grid interface device that comes close to its price.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gringo on October 8, 2010
Verified Purchase
I make music for fun. I don't even think I'm very good at it, but I can spend hours and hours making loops, adding layers and sampling stuff on Ableton Live.

This product allowed me spend a lot less time using the mouse, specially once I get most of my samples down and want to start stitching things together. I love the lights, feel of the buttons and actually focusing on the music, and the flow of things instead of running with the mouse to activate clips.

I have also tried using it as a step sequencer and it's a lot of fun. At the price it's at right now, it's a great option for people like me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sean on November 30, 2011
Verified Purchase
Ableton live 8 is a great piece of software and the launchpad works well with it. I own one of these already ever since it was released and purchased another one for more controls. I have gigged with the older one and it has lasted a lot longer than I thought it would (the plastic housing feels kind of cheap). I have even went through making my original launch pad act like a monome.... so why the 3 stars?

The -1 star is due to the lack of faders/knobs/and a dedicated solo button. After purchasing the Akai APC40, I realized just how important all of the features it offers over the launchpad really do matter be it in a live setting or in the studio. I still love my launchpads because they are relatively cheap and take up a small footprint, but if I had to do it all over again I would only purchase the APC 40.

If you truly want to make ableton much easier to use, I absolutely reccommend getting the APC 40 over this if you are especially in a studio setting where you have access to power. If you do a lot of traveling (like me) then the launchpad will serve you well, because it only needs USB.

To reiterate,

launchpad for traveling/extreme customizing
apc 40 for real production
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. mcnalley on March 17, 2010
Verified Purchase
The launchpad is an elegant and minimal grid of 64 buttons. Unlike the Other Ableton grid controller, the launchpad's 8x8 grid of buttons makes it a perfect device for emulating the Monome and running any of the many Monome apps. Search for "nonome" and you will find plenty of information on turning the launchpad into a universal grid controller.

The only downside seems to be that the Launchpad requires a driver, and that it speaks slow MIDI rather than the faster and more flexible OSC protocol. Given the very low price, it is easy to overlook these compromises.

I was also surprised that Novation used a full sized USB-B plug rather than the Mini-B that my Korg Nano and Akai LPK25. Again, not a big deal, but Mini-B would have been nicer.

I'm currently using Logic as my primary DAW. I installed the Launchpad edition of Live and verified that it works with the launchpad, but my main interest is in using the Launchpad as a Monome. The included version of Live has great tutorials and is very complete, so I may start to do more work with Live.

*** Update ***

I started using Ableton Live at the end of 2010, and the Launchpad is an amazing Live controller. I don't know of any other way to launch multiple clips at exactly the same start time. Not only is the LaunchPad an excellent Monome emulator, but it works very nicely with Ableton. Definitely get one if you don't already have a Monome!
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