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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
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. When all said and done, I would buy one again if I had to. There isn't anything on the market right now at this price for the utility you gain from having it. The Akai APC40 Abelton Performance Controller might be an alternative solution if you don't have any other control devices for Live and don't need its alternative functions or its minimalism.

01/02/13 Update: The Launchpad is still working flawlessly over the years, so I now can confirm its reliability.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2010
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
on December 1, 2011
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2011
I received the Novation Launchpad in time and have no complaints about that part of the order. The Novation Launchpad is very intuitive and easy to use if you have a good grasp on music, electronics, software, and technology. The weight of the product is not too light but heavy enough to where you can bash the buttons and it will stay in place. My only gripe about this product is the software it comes with. I'm fairly proficient at using Ableton Live 8, however you HAVE TO USE the Ableton Lite Launchpad version that comes in a disc. It is programmed to recognize your Novation Launchpad, and doesn't come with the instruments I'm used to using in my production process. So currently, I would have to build my Livesets in an older version of Ableton and create a new Liveset in the Launchpad version.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2012
Wanted one of these after I saw a youtube video of Madeon performing a mix he made with one of these. Always have been interested in messing around with music, so for me, this is more of a toy than a serious piece of equipment.

First off, this thing is pretty well made and looks pretty visually attractive when powered on and you've got samples loaded. Very responsive and works very well.

The Ableton software it came with is really lightweight; you can pretty much only (to my knowledge) load samples and switch them with the pad (aside from a few minor editing techniques like adjusting the BPM, etc). Not really much it can do that I've found, at least. The novation disk has some decent samples on it, but nothing fantastic.

If you've got a vision, and the samples already, then this is probably great for you. If you don't, and thought you'd be able to do a lot with it, like I did, you might want to do some more research before committing.

I pretty much use it to help make edits/mashups/mixes, and occassionally "DJ" for a few friends with it, but I really can't do much with it other than that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
This little controller is amazing, each button has 3 stats you can lightly press it and the smash it.
As far as the performance it really depends on the software that is driving this unit.

I used the software included in the package and after reading the start up pamphlet that came with the unit I was up
and running in about 20 minutes. I tried to set this up with out aid and I couldn't get beans working. So I would suggest you read the
pamphlets.

You can find many tutorials and how to on the web.
This is awesome and the price isn't too bad for what your getting.

I wish they had a wireless one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
The novation launchpad is pretty much one of my new favorite toys. The thing I use it for the most is in the beginning of my songs when I'm still kinda brainstorming what I'm going to be doing throughout the song, but after I've already come up with a few good ideas that I can easily build on. This definitely excels at clip launching. The only bad part of it, is the fact that there are no knobs or sliders to make less abrupt transitions, but you can always use other midi controllers for that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2013
My son uses this daily. He connects it to his laptop computer and creates some great electronic music using it. He was hired by his high school to provide intermittent music in between acts during their yearly talent show and it was a big hit. He gets a lot of use out of it, and does not go easy on it but it stands up to his daily heavy use. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a small starter controller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2011
Simply put, an astonishingly useful device with the ability to be used in a large variety of situations - and it comes with a license for Ableton Live[granted this is launchpad edition, so it limits you to 64 clips, but still]! I have a pseudo-band at [...], and have created one and a half songs with it so far [I bought it approximately a month ago, but music is just an expensive hobby for me so I haven't had the time to do more]. I own an Alesis Micron, Yamaha QY300, Akai LPD8, and a few guitars and basses and this is the only piece of kit I have been returning to consistently - and when I'm not using it I want to be using it. It's more of a studio tool than a live tool, and for sure it isn't as good as a monome [which I want oh-so-dearly] - the triggering can be a bit intermittent because of the feel of the pads and it's not a great drum pad because of the lack of velocity sensitivity, but if you just want to be able to trigger clips/have fun pretending it's a monome or changing loops in the background while you do something else, you can play for hours with this. It's the cheapest solution for that by far. Looks cool, is intuitive, it's fairly small and light so it's also portable - I've been dragging it and my laptop with me in my bag along with all my books for school and it adds almost nothing to the weight.
In short: it's fantastic, don't miss out.
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