Novation have released Launchpad, their hands-on, interactive controller for Ableton Live. Launchpad is a compact controller unlike any other, which is designed to give electronic music makers of today the most interactive experience possible in Ableton Live. It communicates bi-directionally with the software to give users real-time session feedback: now you really can Play Live.
Launchpad has been jointly designed by Novation and Ableton, to bring the features of Live to the fingertips of the modern musician. The 8×8 grid of backlit buttons addresses a multitude of functions, with the help of mode selectors that transport the user around the Live interface.
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!
The device itself 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. It ships with a USB cable, plus a DVD ROM with Mac and PC installers for a special ‘Launchpad Version’ of Ableton Live 8, as well as 1GB of sample content from Loopmasters and Mike The Drummer. It also comes Automap enabled.
Some key features:
• Launch Clips and Scenes
Launchpad’s raison d’être: launch, pause and flip between clips at the touch of a button. Each clip has its own button, with a multi-colour, variable-brightness LED to display its status: an amber button tells the user that a clip is loaded, green means it’s playing, and red means it’s recording.
• Dedicated Ableton Live Modes
Dedicated buttons provide shortcuts to the different areas of Ableton’s control window, including the Session View, the Mixer and the Instrument racks.
• Session Overview
A feature that allows the user to jump around eight-channel sections of the Live session, allowing for easy navigation of larger configurations.
• Max for Live control
Launchpad is the ideal controller for Max for Live, the extension of Ableton’s software that “puts the power of Cycling 74’s Max/MSP inside Live”.
• Launchpads work seamlessly in a team!
Up to six Launchpads can work together on the same system. What’s more, a Launchpad will happily provide additional functionality alongside any other MIDI controller, such as one from Novation’s SL MkII series. Use a Zero SL MkII to control the mix, with a Launchpad to trigger clips.
• Works with any DAW software
Although it’s designed for the ultimate control of Ableton Live, Launchpad can be used to control any music application, as a standard MIDI controller.
Launchpad will be on sale in stores worldwide on the 1st of November 2009, making it the perfect Christmas gift. US MAP price will be $199.