Categories
(Modulate This) Ableton Ableton Live Launchpad

New Novation Video on Using Launchpad Custom Modes

I’m a big fan of the new Launchpads and just saw that Novation just tweeted “Enrique takes you through everything you need to know about Custom Modes using Launchpad X and Novation Components >>>” https://youtu.be/eUJ2WnlC_WU

The methods shown in the video also apply to the Launchpad Pro [MK3] and Launchpad Mini [MK3].

With Launchpad Pro [MK3], Launchpad Mini [MK3] and Launchpad X, we’ve created Custom Modes, a feature that allows you to design custom layouts for whatever your specific setup demands. Custom Modes can be used to bring to life software and hardware (or a mixture of both), by providing a blank canvas for you to build unique control layouts. In this video, Enrique takes you through everything you need to know about Custom Modes using Launchpad X and Novation Components.

More Links on Custom Modes

Categories
(Modulate This) Launchpad

Novation Launchpad Pro MK3 vs Launchpad X Specifications + A Little Push 2 Thrown In

In this blog post I offer a spec comparison of the brand new Launchpad Pro MK3 with the Launchpad X. I also go beyond the specifications and offer lots of side-by-side pictures to give you more of a sense for the difference between these controllers. I’ll offer a few pics comparing the Launchpad’s to Ableton Push 2. I won’t be covering all the workflow and features as there are plenty of videos on that.

My History with Launchpad

For context, I’ve been using Launchpad controllers for almost 10 years. I’ll do a separate post on this soon. I started using the Launchpad X in October for Ableton Live, as my main Resolume Controller, and as a controller for of my iPad performances. I love the form factor, feel of the pads, velocity sensitive faders and custom modes.

Launchpad Pro MK3 in the House

When the Launchpad Pro MK3 was announced with deeper Live integration, more custom modes in a similar form factor as the X I went for it. Here is a short video I made of a song I made in Ableton Live while I was getting to know Launchpad Pro MK3 along with Percussa Audio Cubes.

Novation’s summary new features in Launchpad Pro MK3

Before we get started here is Novation’s marketing blurb on the MK3.

• Our deepest Ableton Live Integration: play,
record and produce your tracks, all without
touching your mouse
• 64 super-sensitive RGB pads: large velocity
and pressure sensitive pads for playing your
sounds expressively
• Powerful four-track sequencer: 32 step
patterns, scenes for arrangement, and
probability and mutation controls to keep
your tracks evolving
• Chord mode: easily explore, build, save and
play complex chords straight from the grid
and quickly find new harmonies
• Dynamic Note and Scale modes: effortlessly
play perfectly in-key basslines, melodies,
chords and leads. Launchpad Pro even
knows when you’re drumming and shows
your drum rack on the grid
• MIDI In, Out 1, Out 2/Thru: Control anything
MIDI in your studio directly from Launchpad
Pro
• Eight Custom Modes: use Novation
Components to customise MIDI mappings
for your unique performance needs

Size

The Launchpad Pro MK3 it’s just a little bigger than the X which is pretty fantastic news. On paper, the height of the Pro MK3 is .5mm taller but they look pretty much the same to me side-by-side.

Launchpad XLaunchpad Pro MK3
Height.68″ (17.5mm).7″ (18mm)
Widgth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)
Depth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)

It’s essentially the same case design with more height and width to accommodate the buttons on the sides of the RGB pads.

Launchpad Pro MK3 on the left and Launchpad X on the right
Height of Launchpad Pro MK3 on the left and Launchpad X on the Right

Connectivity

Launchpad X on the top and the Launchpad Pro MK3 on the bottom

They both have Kensington MiniSaver slots, and USB-C socket for connectivity to computer or hub for iPad use. The Pro MK3 has 3 additional 3.5mm jacks for in, out, and a second out/thru output (3 converter cables are included in the box).

RGB Pads

Pro MK3 on left, X on the Right

The pads seem identical in both in both size and feel. Lighting intensity seems identical to me. They are both Velocity and Pressure sensitive and can be set to transmit Polyphonic Aftertouch or Channel Pressure. As you’ll see in the picture below, the pads on the Pro MK3 are slightly lower profile as they seem mounted a little closer and flush to the surface of the case.

If you have never played the Launchpad X before, the pads feel quite similar to the Push 2.

Buttons

Launchpad X on left Launchpad Pro on Right

Launchpad X – 16 Buttons

The 16 Buttons on the top and down the right side of the Launchpad X feel the same as the pads to the touch but have more travel than the pads. They wiggle. They have a bit of a mushy stop when you hit button but don’t click like on a Push 2. Totally usable and fine, but not as refined as the Pro MK3.

Launchpad Pro MK3 – 42 Backlit “Tactile-Click” Buttons

The Launchpad Pro MK3 introduces backlit “tactile click” buttons. The buttons along the sides feel similar on the surface to the grid pads but have a more travel with almost no side-to-side wiggle and a nice button-like definitive click you can feel and hear when you hit bottom.

They feel very similar to the button on the Push 2 with maybe a little less give when you hit bottom. A bit more crisp. They look more more like a Push 2 with the way the text is displayed and more refined than X (which looks a little more a black mask on a an RGB button than punch-through text on a black button).

Weight

The weight for the Launchpad Pro MK3 isn’t listed in the specs on Novation’s web site or in the online stores so I weighed them on a kitchen scale (apologies for the flower on the scale).

If I round, Launchpad Pro MK3 is around 2.2 lbs (992g) and Launchpad X is around 1.8lbs (822g).

Basically there is almost no penalty in weight for the extra buttons and slight size size difference. In other words, unlike with the Launchpad Pro MK2 which I felt was thick and heavy, the size and weight between the MK3 and X shouldn’t be a limiting factor for those who want go for the extra features of the MK3.

Launchpad X vs Launchpad Pro MK3 vs Push 2

Just for reference, here are few pictures with these two launchpads compared to an Ableton Push 2. This is not a criticism of Push 2 as it has it’s own unique features and I feel the 2 in combination have some real benefits. BTW – Push 2 weighs in at Weight: 6.0 pounds (2,710g)

Push 2, Launchpad Pro MK3 and Launchpad X side-by-side.
Launchpad Pro MK3 Sitting over grid portion of Push 2
Launchpad X, Launchpad Pro MK3 stacked on a Push

Launchpad X vs Launchpad Pro MK3 Specs

Launchpad XLaunchpad Pro MK3
Pads64 Velocity Sensitive Pads with Polyphonic Aftertouch64 Velocity Sensitive Pads with Polyphonic Aftertouch
Velocity SensitiveYesYes
USB1 x USB-C1 x USB-C
Power SupplyUSB Bus PoweredUSB Bus Powered
Height.68″ (17.5mm).7″ (18mm)
Widgth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)
Depth9.48″ (241mm)10.55″ (268mm)
ConnectivityMIDI In, Out 1 & Out 2/Thru Ports (3x TRS Minijack to DIN MIDI Adapters included)
OS CompatibilityNovation Launchpad X is class compliant, so will work with any modern Mac and Windows PC. Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with external power is required for use with iOS.Novation Launchpad Pro is class compliant, so will work with any modern Mac and Windows PC. Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with external power is required for use with iOS.
What’s In the BoxLaunchpad X
USB-A to USB-C Cable
Safety Information Sheet
Launchpad Pro
USB-A to USB-C Cable
USB-C to USB-C Cable
USB-A Power Adapter
3x TRS Minijack to DIN MIDI Adapters
Safety information sheet
Stand-Alone SequencerNoPowerful four-track sequencer: 32 step
patterns, scenes for arrangement, and
probability and mutation controls to keep
your tracks evolving
Chord ModeNoEasily explore, build, save and
play complex chords straight from the grid
and quickly find new harmonies
Velocity Sensitive FadersYesYes
Modes– Session
– Mixer
– Note (includes drum)
– Four Custom Modes: use Novation
Components to customise MIDI mappings
for your unique performance need
– Session
– Note (includes drum)
Chord
Sequencer
Project
Eight Custom Modes: use Novation
Components to customise MIDI mappings
for your unique performance need, Sequencer, Project
Ableton Live Session OverviewNo. Sadly the Session button does double-duty as the Mixer mode button so you lose Session OverviewYes with long-press
Ableton Live Integration– Capture MIDI– Capture MIDI
– Record and play transports
– Fixed Length toggle and control
– Quantize clip
– Record Quantize
– Duplicate clip
– Double clip
– Clear clip
– Record Arm
– Mute
– Volume
– Pan
– Sends
– Device
– Stop Clip
– Undo
– Redo
– Click
– Tap
– Tempo
– Swing
Note and Scale ModesDynamic Note and Scale modes: effortlessly
play perfectly in-key basslines, melodies,
chords and leads. Launchpad Pro even
knows when you’re drumming and shows
your drum rack on the grid
Dynamic Note and Scale modes: effortlessly
play perfectly in-key basslines, melodies,
chords and leads. Launchpad Pro even
knows when you’re drumming and shows
your drum rack on the grid
Included SoftwareSee Novation Web SiteSee Novation Web Site

If You Found This Article Inspiring or Helpful

If you found this article inspiring or helpful consider supporting the blog by leaving leaving a tip below.

Tip Jar

Tip for Modulate This! article

$1.00

Other ways to support the effort include buying some of my original music, by subscribing to my Bandcamp, or just spreading the word about my art and blog.

Categories
(Modulate This) Ableton Live AudioCubes Events Launchpad Live Performance Performance Performance Videos Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup Video

GoPro Video of My Set at Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup / Beat Cypher Halloween Collaboration 2019

This video is made up of some GoPro footage from Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup #74 – “Special Event: Beat Cypher Halloween Collaboration + Intro to SP-404”.
I’m performing two songs from my album I Hear Your Signals https://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/i-hear-your-signals.

First up is “I Can See Them” performed on Percussa AudioCubes and Ableton Live.

This is followed by “Resolute” on keys, Novation LaunchPad X with AudioCubes providing interactive lighting via automation from Live dummy clips.


This event was a collaboration with madelife in Boulder, CO who hosts a monthly madelife BEAT CYPHERS. Event link https://www.meetup.com/Rocky-Mountain-Synth/events/264878800/.

I Hear Your Signals is album #2 in a series of alien invasion concept albums containing original electronica, dark ambient, and experimental tracks. This second album in the series, released in 2010, is a retelling of Album #1 – but – from the alien point of view inverted emotional curves!

Categories
(Modulate This) Launchpad

Novation Launchpad S vs. Launchpad Mini

launchpad s vs mini

I used to use the hell out of the Launchpads in the studio and in my show rig from 2010-2012. In 2013 I sold both my launchpads when I switched to Maschine. In 2014 I then moved on to Push which I simple love! Recently I decided I wanted to pick up a Launchpad so I could:

  1. Have a backup controller for Push that wouldn’t take up a lot of room in my carry-on
  2. Use a Launchpad to control session view so I could stay focused on Note Mode on Push thereby reducing mode switching on Push
  3. Be able to perform some songs off of my 2nd alien invasion album I Hear Your Signals, like “Celebration and Voices” were created using  custom Launchpad mapping that I’ve never been able to quite replicate on other controllers
  4. I wanted a small footprint controller to sit next to my Octatrack on a Roland Laptop stand so I could play using Octatrack and Live from a single table (and Push is too big for that sort of thing.

Of course today there is a choice to be made these days.  Launchpad S or Launchpad Mini? While researching this I found a fantastic in-depth comparison video on Chris Hahn’s YouTube channel.

I ended up going with the Launchpad Mini. I went with the Mini because, for what I needed, the smaller footprint was better. As Chris mentions in his video, the small buttons are great, you can reach them all with your thumbs (holding it more like a Tenori-On), and the fully rubberized back is great for popping the unit on the right-side deck of say a Nord Lead 4 or Blofeld.

1899605_10203699761626945_4825983658757029130_o

My only concern in getting the Mini was it uses Micro USB which I hate because they snap off so easily. I’m happy to report that Novation supplies a really great 4.5’ cable with the jack mounted in a block of plastic. When the cable is plugged the block of plastic snugs up against the body of the Launchpad Mini so stresses from cable tension are distributed along the block instead of just on the metal jack. Nice one Novation! The Mini is also an excellent value at $99 – especially considering you get Ableton Live Lite with it.

launchpad mini cable

I have to say I’m using it even more than I thought in conjunction with Push and for easy chair production sessions. Welcome back Launchpad! Welcome back :^)

PS – Here is an video from a few years back of my song “Celebration and Voices” which I can now play again.

If You Found This Article Inspiring or Helpful

If you found this article inspiring or helpful consider supporting the blog by leaving leaving a tip below.

Tip Jar

Tip for Modulate This! article

$1.00

Thanks again for reading.

Mark Mosher
Experimental Musician and Multimedia Artist
Boulder, CO

Artist Site: MarkMosherMusic.com
Tech & Technique Articles: MarkMosherMusic.com/category/modulate-this/
Podcast: SonicEncounters.com
Meetup: RockyMountainSynth.com

Categories
(Modulate This) Launchpad Synth: u-he ACE

Early Experiment Using Launchpad as a Cable Patching Matrix for U-he ACE

U-HE Ace allows you to use MIDI CCs to control the source and destination of patch cables. This video is my first experiment to use a Launchpad as a patch cable matrix. I have a cable plugged into the Filter Gain. By pressing buttons on the Launchpad, I’m essentially plugging cables into input sockets without touching the computer. I’m using the  QWERTY to trigger notes but not move cables.

Special thanks to my cat who photo-bombed the video at the end :^)

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Performer
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

Categories
Ableton Live Launchpad Videos

Gotye Live Show Powered by Ableton Live and Launchpad

SNAGHTML7746cbd

I’ve been a fan of  the track “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye since I first heard the track on the radio. I was surfing around tonight and noticed and article on the Novation website which mentions the band’s use of Ableton Live and Launchpad. The article mentioned the viral video which I somehow missed – lol. It’s pretty cool so I’ve embedded it below. I then found a live performance video which shows them performing the same song live. For me it’s nice to see Ableton and Launchpad’s in the wild with charting bands. Also, bringing a bunch of Launcpads along is certainly carry-on ready for touring.

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) – official video

Gotye performing "Somebody That I Used To Know" on KCRW

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html

Categories
(Modulate This) AudioCubes Free Music Friday Launchpad Performance Videos Videos

Two Live Electronic Music Performance Videos for Free Music Friday – “Alone” and “Celebration and Voices”

Here are two videos for you for Free Music Friday.

Watch embedded video of “Alone” by Mark Mosher

This video has an HD version as well so check it out from your home theater using your Tivo or or other streaming box.

In this video I'm playing my original instrumental electronic music song "Alone" from my album REBOOT (http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/reboot name your price, enter $0 for FREE). I'm about half way through arranging and programming the synthesizers and controllers so I can add this song to my live set. I'm pretty excited about the progress I'm making on the performance so I thought I'd share a rehearsal video.

It's such an organic and textural piece, I decided to play the entire song from Percussa AudioCubes using only spatial control via hand movement. Ableton Live is playing back the pulsing drone, but almost all other elements are being played live via the AudioCubes. The AudioCubes are in "sensor" mode so placing my hand in front of a cube face plays a note on a virtual synthesizer hosted out of Ableton Live – almost like a Laser harp.

I only use the Novation Launchpad on my right to change which tracks are armed thereby allowing me to switch which synths I'm playing on-the-fly throughout the song.  At the 2:00 minute mark I start playing chords by using multiple faces simultaneously.

Watch embedded video for “Celebration and Voices”.

In this video, I'm rehearsing an original composition "Celebration and Voices" from my album I Hear Your Signals (http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/i-hear-your-signals name your price, enter $0 for FREE).

I'm using a Novation Launchpad and Ableton Live 8 to control the session, effects, and I’m playing melodies in real-time from the Launchpad. I'm using standard Live 8 features to communicate with the Launchpad. No additional middleware such as Max for Live is being used. I'm using additional MIDI tracks to route MIDI back out to the Launchpad to get visual feedback on sequences and to give me feedback on the notes I'm playing.

I'm in User Mode 1 the whole time and controlling all elements via MIDI notes. The entire song is performed in Session view and all elements are either being played or generated live using multiple VSTs on the fly (no audio clips). Lots of Live effects plus SugarBytes Artillery II.

Like with all songs on this album, I composed and arranged the song around the controller as opposed to composing the song then trying to figure out how to play it live.

Composer Notes
Even though these songs are from two different albums, the are related in that they tell the same story from two points of view.

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher, Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com

Categories
(Mark Mosher Music News) Ableton Live AudioCubes Computers & Laptops Contollerism Launchpad Midi/USB Keyboards & Controllers Novation Remote SL Synths & Instruments (Virtual) Theremin Video Blog

Overview and Time-Lapse Video of My Ableton Live Laptop Music Rig + Controllers

2010-MarkMosher-Signals-Rig_01

Over the years I’ve played hundreds of shows as a keyboardist using my trusty Apex column with various hardware synths.  In late 2009 I had a vision to create a new Ableton Live laptop-centric rig using only virtual synths running in Live.

While I wanted to play some keys, I was really excited to add alternative visual, tangible, and spatial controllers and selected Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On, a Novation Launchpad. I went with my trusty Remote SL 25 for keys as it also doubles as a controller for Live. In the 11th hour I added a Moog Ehterwave Theremin which was clearly necessary to play “They Walk Among Us” live :^).

I’ve played enough shows to know that you can’t always count on basic lighting and P.A. to be adequate, so I added these elements to my requirements as well – just in case. My goal was to be able to run a room of 80 people if needed with just my rig. My other goal was 4 trips from the car load-in max with a 15 minute setup time or less.

The sketch above shows all this on paper (click the image to see a larger view). After months of slowly building up gear, the reality – sans lighting – is shown in the fun little time-laps video embedded video below.

Here is a list of what's in the rig:

  • Laptop: Windows 7 32-bit, HP DV6t-1200 Pavilion w/Core2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53 GHZ, 3G memory, 7200 RPM Drive (Update I now use an HP Envy 14 I5)
  • Soundcard: Novation NIO 2|4
  • DAW Software: Ableton Live 8 Suite
  • Primary Controllers: Novation Remote SL 25 (updated to MKII), Launchpad | Tenori-On | Percussa AudioCubes
  • Primary Virtual Synthesizers: Tone2 Gladiator 2| Native Instruments Absynth 5 | Camel Audio Alchemy | U-He Zebra 2, ACE | Ableton Sampler, Operator… | SonicCharge Synplant | Lennar Digital Sylenth1 | reFX Vanguard, Slayer2 | Image-Line Harmless, Toxic Biohazard | Cakewalk Dimension Pro | FAW Circle | DCAM: Synth Squad…
  • Hardware Synthesizers: Moog Etherwave Theremin, Waldorf Blofeld (not pictured)
  • PA: Bose L1 Compact
  • Stand: Odyssey ATT2 Table, Odyssey L2 Laptop Stand

Links to lots of the software I use here:
https://markmoshermusic.com/links.html

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://MarkMosherMusic.com

Categories
(Modulate This) AudioCubes Launchpad

Quick Picture of Novation Launchpad and Percussa AudioCubes

markmosher_audiocubes_launchpad_04 

After rehearsing tonight I took a shot of some of my Novation Launchpad and 4 Percussa AudioCubes. Click the picture to see a large version. I thought it was a pretty interesting shot so thought I’d share it.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.REBOOTalbum.com

Categories
Ableton Live AudioCubes Contollerism Launchpad Synth: Absynth Synth: Gladiator Synth: u-he ACE

New Single “First Orbit” Performed Live + Percussa Audio Cube Presentation Video from Ableton Denver Meetup

On the 14th of March I gave a presentation on Percussa AudioCubes at the Ableton Denver Meetup. David Henderson was kind enough to shoot video and he even took the time to post on YouTube. Thanks David.

By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to his blog yet, you should check it out – http://www.hendersounds.com/. Lots of cool insights on Ableton Live, Monome and more.

As part of this presentation, I decided to perform a brand new single called “First Orbit” using only AudioCubes and a Launchad. The song is in the second video below and starts at the 1:20 mark.

Watch embedded video

http://www.youtube.com/v/bJXGKqf7Z2M&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en</embed></object></div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ed674-6a00d83451cae869e201310fada78a970c-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

In this song I’m using AudioCubes to send MIDI notes and MIDI CC data to Ableton Live 8, specifically to:

  • Change scenes
  • Trigger Artillery 2 FX with MIDI notes
  • Modulate parameters of Ableton Live FX (Redux; PingPong Delay; Arpeggiator Rate, Gate, Distance)

I misspoke in the the video on what synths I’m using in this song. I’m using Gladiator 2, Absynth 5, and U-He Ace. Two synths that are well suited for cubes that are not in this song are Alchemy and Synplant.

The launchpad is used as a visual reference for what is going on inside of Live. at 2:55 I switch to User Mode 2 on the Novation Launchad and trigger a metallic sound then change the Rate by breaking the beam between cubes. I then play notes on the launchpad which plays both Gladiator and Absynth. When I pick up the Sensor cube, I’m modulating arpeggiator Gate and Distance. Opening up the gate makes the Absynth patch much more tonal.

Marc W. from Ableton Denver just gave me additional footage from a second camera angle and I plan to post a video on my channel of just the song by combining footage from both cameras. I’ll also post this live performance of the song in audio format and will also do a studio version down the road and release that as well.

Watch embedded video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/QXavNR1u-k4&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en</embed></object></div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/5f208-6a00d83451cae869e20120a946b0fc970b-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Thanks for watching!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

http://www.modulatethis.com
http://www.markmoshermusic.com
http://www.twitter.com/markmosher

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

“First Orbit” Copyright 2010 Mark J. Mosher, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.