Our friend Adam at Novation recently shared with us some reasons the new Launchpad Pro sets the standard for grid controllers. A few folks in the office already have Launchpad Pros and love them, so we didn’t need any convincing! If you haven’t tried one out yet, read up on what Adam says below, or check out the tweets, videos and Instagram pics from some happy Launchpad Pro users!
1. It’s the definitive grid controller
— AskAudioMag (@AskAudioMag) August 31, 2015
We believe the Launchpad is the definitive grid controller. It exemplifies its own product category. Cut from the same cloth as the original model, Launchpad Pro is quite simply the best grid controller we at Novation have ever made.
2. Ableton Live integration
Launchpad Pro (like previous Launchpad models) boasts superb, seamless Ableton Live integration. A tangible, intuitive extension of the software, it even physically resembles Ableton’s signature “grid.” With slick, immediate access to all your mixer controls, Launchpad Pro lets you manipulate your session with ease.
3. Note Mode
When controlling instruments using Note Mode, Launchpad Pro’s grid illuminates as a chromatic keyboard, letting you play notes, melodies, and chords. With the keyboard stacked into a grid, you can easily discover unusual chord voicings, tap out solos, and otherwise exert complete control over soft-synths and samplers. When controlling a drum rack, Note Mode lays your sounds out intuitively across Launchpad Pro’s grid, allowing you to see and play up to 64 drum sounds at once.
4. Device Mode
— Louie Gonzalez (@lgsounds) July 25, 2015
Control your effects, instrument devices, and plug-ins with a dedicated performance mode. For super smooth effect transitions, the button grid also turns into eight velocity-sensitive vertical faders, with LED feedback – the harder you hit the pad, the faster the transition.
5. MIDI I/O – Standalone Mode
Here’s where things get interesting. Connected to your computer, the Launchpad has three MIDI ports in software: “Live” (when Live is running), “standalone,” and the physical MIDI DIN. So, you can easily intercept MIDI messages….Even better, connect the Launchpad Pro to power, and you can use these modes without even attaching a computer – just connect MIDI gear via the included minijack-to-DIN breakouts for the in and out ports. -createdigitalmusic.com review, published July 2015
Launchpad Pro is the first Novation grid controller to include MIDI I/O, letting you play it like an instrument. Apply Note Mode to any external hardware – for example, connect Launchpad Pro directly to a synthesizer and use the grid as your keybed.
6. RGB Pads
Said simply, RGB LED back-lit pads – able to produce the colors of the rainbow – enhance one’s music making experience. Performers have long relied on illuminated pads to see what clips are playing in Live. With RGB LEDs you can match Launchpad Pro’s colors one-to-one with session view, helping you play ‘faster’ and smarter. Furthermore, they allow for ever more dazzling light displays, sure to captivate audiences on YouTube and on stage.
7. Velocity and Pressure Sensitivity
Tap across a number of faders at once, and watch and listen as they all move to their new positions – this creates very organic changes to your sound. Not enough? These fades are velocity-sensitive – tap a pad gently and the fader value slowly moves to the new position; tap harder and it moves faster.
Launchpad Pro’s velocity and pressure sensitive pads enable a dynamic playing style not possible with previous Launchpad models and other competing products. They are fantastically responsive and make it easy to tap out beats and melodies with feeling. Combined with Note Mode, for instance, they add a layer of expressivity you will relish.
8. Completely Customizable
Launchpad Pro, like previous Launchpad models, is both welcoming to beginners as well as deep and customizable for seasoned music makers. Max for Live lets you create custom scripts that augment Launchpad’s functionality. Engage with the whole community of Max for Live creators to find limitless inspiration and downloads such as unique step sequencers and innovative drum machines.
9. Sleek, Portable, and Fully Equipped
Compact, lightweight and bus-powered, Launchpad Pro is tough enough to survive the roughest gigs. Plus, it comes with everything you need to get started, including cables and software (including Ableton Live Lite). It’s also class-compliant and doesn’t need any drivers; just plug in and start playing.