Novation Launchpad
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Novation Launchpad

Launchpad, PAD Controller from Novation in the Launchpad series.

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All user reviews for the Novation Launchpad

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Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 46 reviews )
 22 reviews48 %
 16 reviews35 %
 3 reviews7 %
 2 reviews4 %
Value For Money : Excellent
Buy at Sweetwater
Editorial review
  • 01/26/10Novation Launchpad Gear Review

    Novation Launchpad Gear Review - Novation Launchpad: Who's Pad?

    Novation surprised everyone by bringing out an Ableton Live dedicated control surface. Like Akai's APC? Not really, and obviously not at the same price.

Users reviews
stompboxjon10/02/2012

stompboxjon's review"Good Device, I just dont like Ableton"

Novation Launchpad
The Novation Launchpad is a USB MIDI control only for Ableton Live, it has a 64 button set up that call are back lit. It can be used with either PC or Mac. It connects to your computer via USB, that is the only way it can connect. There are not audio ins or outs. This unit is pretty light, I would say it only weights about 2 pounds or so, and when you purchase it comes with a copy of Ableton Live 8 now. I have used this for a few months before selling it because I just was not a fan of the workflow of Ableton itself. But the Novation Launchpad really did give an amazing amount of control with Ableton. I used the Launchpad to control my mixes and also as a trigger function for audio clips.

It does come with a manual, that I don’t think was very good. I learned how to use it and all of the functions basically on my own and from watching tutorials online. The manual was very confusing and to “wordy”. I will say that if you don’t already use Ableton and love it then don’t buy this. That is the mistake that I made, I purchased this because I wanted to use it, and not Ableton. You can not use this without using it in Ableton.

The price of it is very affordable and it is a great device and I can see why anyone who is an Ableton lover would buy it. But it just wasn’t for me. It was very difficult to set up and understand and the manual was horrible. It would be better if it had some fader sliders and some sort of transport controls. Also if they could make it a more versatile device that can be used in multiple software programs that would change everything for me. I think the Novation Launchpad is a must have for someone who loves Ableton, its just not for me.
BeyondR09/03/2012

BeyondR's review"Buy it if you're an Ableton user."

Novation Launchpad
What I love about it, it's the design, I really love what Novation did with its interface and how they managed to put something quite original for Ableton users.
The price overall is quite great for the product, those 64 pads can make a huge difference in your mixing, they can really boost your creativity on a whole new level.
This pad controller works pretty great in launching clips and samples on time, it has the possibility to connect up to 6 Launchpads at a time (which is completely great and unique).
The reason why this pad is so great it's because how well it fits with Ableton Live program, it doesn't require a source supply, only a usb connection.
Also you can work in Session View either Arrangement View, which is quite handy, the
multi-color 64-button grid provide instant session overview.
This pad can be used to create grooves, racks, creating beats and triggering samples in real time, you can even make it work as a midi controller,creating custom MIDI maps with 72 of its buttons transmitting either CC or MIDI note data, so you can basically play with this pad and create melodies.

Connectivity type: USB, it doesn't require a power supply.
It's compatible with Windows XP or Vista, Mac OS X .

Another great thing you can do with Novation LaunchPad is to control the volume, paning, amount of sends, muting, and many other cool features.

Without a doubt, this pad makes the musical process seem much more fun and creative, with its use you can create some great trance groove and even melodies.
I really like the feeling of the buttons and the way they respond to the command.
I would buy and rebuy this product, I really think it makes a huge difference for Ableton users like me.
Adyssey Beats06/21/2012

Adyssey Beats's review"So many options. Worth it for the price. "

Novation Launchpad
The Novation Launchpad combines elements of a mixer, a sequencer, and an effects rack all in one 64 button pad designed to interface with Ableton Live. As I mainly use Ableton I'm not sure whether you can program it to work with other DAW's, but the interface with Live is one that is very flexible and easy to learn. If you are one for triggering clips, the Novation Launchpad is certainly for you. After the samples, midi files, etc. are triggered - indicated by the corresponding button lighting up green - there are infinite ways of manipulating the signal thanks to the User 1 and User 2 interfaces, which are completely customizable. I'm fond of setting one user interface to automap effects in real time while leaving the other as my "solo" instrument, wherein the buttons act as a keyboard. On top of this the Novation Launchpad is the lightest, most compact, and surprisingly the most durable piece of equipment I have had the pleasure of using. My issues with the launchpad are simple: the keyboard scale is easy to figure out but is difficult to master coming from a standard piano background, the quantization settings for audio vs. midi clips are a bit confusing, and the buttons aren't the best replacement for faders. For the price however, this isn't a bad buy. In fact it's a very good buy compared to Ableton's other hardware interface, the APC-40. Just be ready to practice, practice, practice if you see yourself doing an entire set on this device, and maybe have a separate mixer on hand to get a more precise fade.
johnrae05/13/2012

johnrae's review"I LOVE THIS THING!!!!!!!"

Novation Launchpad
The Novation Launchpad is a controller built especially for Ableton Live, meant to improve workflow and turn Live into a performance tool. It does exactly that. And it's AWESOME. It is pretty easy to set up, you plug it in and it automaps to Live. The device consists of an 8x8 grid of 64 "clip launch buttons" and 8 dedicated "scene launch buttons". It takes its power from the computer, eliminating the need for an external source which ROCKS! The launchpad features four modes: Session Mode, which controls clips and scene launch and is awesome for workflow and live performances, User Mode 1, which is useful for controlling VST's and Drum Racks, User Mode 2, which you can assign to do all kinds of things and Mixer mode, which provides an overview and control of volume, pans, send effects and a few other things. It is kinda hard to do anything but drums, but it's certainly possible to play it like a keyboard. Also, you can set it up to do all kinds of dances and patterns and just cool little things, and is certainly very impressive in performance. This is such a cool piece of equipment, and works awesome with out faders and knobs. If you need something like this with Faders and Knobs, get the APC 40 or 20, but this can do everything they do, and then some, plus it has tons of pretty colors. I love the way that this brings the innovative workspace of Ableton Live, and makes it into a concrete, playable interface. While this isn't necessarily a new approach to controllerism, it's a more refined version of an old standby, and is incredibly effective . It has so much potential and you can even hook 6 of these up to Live at a time! This is worth very cent so pick one up.
James...09/08/2011

James...'s review"Not quite as simple as it looks"

Novation Launchpad
Features. Well it's very basic here. It's a USB midi controller for Ableton. 64 buttons. How it works is another feature entirely. In essence, you can control almost any aspect of Ableton with this device using a bit of clever programming and some quick hands.

First of all, this unit is not as easy to learn or use as some of the youtube vids you've probably seen will have you think. I feel like I need to get that out there for anyone who's in the same boat as I was before I bought it. I have used tons of devices and have a lot of DAW and midi experience so I know it's not me. Perhaps I'm just used to keyboard style controllers but in my mind, this unit has nothing in common with anything I've ever used. It's like learning a new instrument. However, once the (steep) learning curve is over, it makes perfect sense and becomes arguably one of the most useful tools you will ever have at your desk. There are other more expensive controllers with a much easier learning phase, but I think this ones is ultimately more useful and more compact than the others. Obviously if you need sliders and don't like the way the Novation's "sliders" feel, look elsewhere. Maybe an Akai unit or something.

The launchpad probably won't replace your keyboard if you're a keyboard guy. It's not really meant to do that anyway. I actually use this more as a DJ or producer than I do as a musician. It's not an instrument in the classical sense. What's special about it is how flexible it can be. I think everyone uses it differently. Some guys use it as a songwriting tool, others use it to keep themselves on their toes creatively, and some guys just like to use one live. I like it for all these things. But it isn't the end all be all. Just a great and original unit.
moosers07/22/2010

moosers's review

Novation Launchpad
Novation's LaunchPad is a USB and MIDI based controller for Ableton Live software. It was designed by both Ableton and Novation, and only will work with Ableton since it's specifically designed for it. It's designed to be used for live shows to give you easier access to Ableton without having to use your computer's keyboard and mouse. It's bus powered, so you don't need to hook it up to any power supply, making it easy to set up and go anywhere you might be. It has 64 buttons it total, with transport parameters, and a button for each track that you have playing. The LED lights are very bright, so you can see them even in the dark if you're at a show. They've made the device as simple as possible, so you can use it on the fly and without having to think too much about it. I haven't gotten very in depth with the LaunchPad, as I don't own one myself. I've used a friend's a number of times, but never for a live show myself. My friend uses it all the time when he plays out with his Ableton Live set up. If I were a bit more knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of Ableton Live, I might use some of the more in depth features on the LaunchPad, but as of now I don't have much of a use to use all of the parameters on the LaunchPad. While not necessary for all Ableton users, if you are indeed going to be bringing your rig on the go, this is a very useful tool to have in tandem with Ableton. The price is more than reasonable for a specified MIDI controller. If you do have Ableton Live, you probably already know about the LaunchPad, but if you don't I highly suggest checking it out!
songboy01/31/2010

songboy's review

Novation Launchpad
What I like most about this device is it puts Ableton's Session view launch capabilities into a physical, easily accessible midi controller.  I have not used any of the Akai APC units, but this thing seems to be the perfect answer for anyone who uses Ableton in a live situation.  It makes things super easy by allowing each pad to light up yellow (to show you there is a clip that there that is not being played) Green (shows you a clip that is currently being played) Red (clip is being played and is in overdub/record mode) and of course no light to tell you there is no clip in that region.  Another great and essential option on this device is to control different areas of the session view trigger grid.  On the screen in ableton there is a green box surrounding the area that the Launchpad is currently displaying.  By using the arrows on the top, you can move this box to display any area in the session trigger screen.  This is great (and fun to watch), as you can launch any clip on your screen, and, if you are pretty familiar with your set, you can move around comfortably without looking a the computer screen.  On top of that, you can hold down the session button and the lauchpad will allow you to "jump" to different areas on your screen.  Say you are launching clips in your set at the top portion of the screen and you want to launch a clip all the way at the bottom many rows down.  Hold down that session button and select the grid (in this mode, each button represents a whole grids worth of clips) and select what "grid" you want to jump to, in this case, the bottom one.  The great thing about this option is that the Launchpad will only show you areas that have clips in them.  If thats confusing, check out videos on Youtube and it will make sense.  There are many more great features about this device, but I could spend all day talking about them. 
What I don't like most about this unit is that for some reason (and I can't understand why) when you a pad down, it will "double-click."  What I mean is that you push it down and it will "click" once, then you push a little harder and it will "click" again.  Every trigger reacts on the first click, so the second click is completely unnecessary.  In reality, its not a big deal, it just feels weird and is a little annoying.  As for my opinion on the price, I paid $180 for a brand new one shipped to my door.  Overall, its functions make it worth every penny.  But, when I first got it, it was smaller than I imagined (the person in the photo must have very small hands) and its made of very light weight plastic.  For around $200 bucks, they could have used some cheap metal or something, that would have made this thing feel like a real professional piece of gear instead of a cheap toy.  No sound quality from this device, only midi operation.  I have a couple of M-audio boards that I was using to trigger clips in ableton, but they don't even compare to this device, mainly because of the "light up" buttons.  Yes, I do wish it was made of stronger/heavier material, but I would definitely make the same choice again.
Pierre-M08/15/2014

Pierre-M's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Automap ...."

Novation Launchpad
A device with ease of use has been neutered by the intolerance of its software. Too bad, then I do not have time to make a patch Max / MSP in order to get something out of ableton.

Potential in reserve ...
I have no doubt that it serves a lot to others, but it does not come I my needs.
DJ Posh03/21/2014

DJ Posh's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Really limited"

Novation Launchpad
I use the Launchpad for one or two years before leaving in his corner. The device is too small for intensive use.

It allows the Clip Launch the rest of the functions is not really usable.
Jeffdigit11/06/2013

Jeffdigit's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Engaging"

Novation Launchpad
I almost since its release with Live and I still use it regularly. It has become an indispensable tool for me to play synchronized loops with my other machines or to trigger quickly recording patterns I play keyboard.

I see it as a necessary extension of Live which allows you to completely disregard the computer when I play.