01/10/2009 Bookmark and Share

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Novation Launchpad boosts Ableton Live

Live electronic music is becoming ever more popular, but many performers have found that even using software designed for purpose, such as Ableton Live, the keyboard and mouse limit improvisation.  In order to solve the problem, Novation have teamed up with Ableton to create a controller aimed at freeing laptop users from the constraints of the traditional computer interface.

Their efforts have resulted in the Launchpad, a 10 inch-square USB bus-powered device which sports a central 8 x 8 grid of buttons and 16 navigation keys, positioned along the top and right of the grid. Each of the buttons in the main grid can be used to trigger a clip or perform a variety of functions. A three-colour multi-brightness LED system displays the status of the button: an amber light means a clip is loaded, a green light tells you a clip is playing, and a red light shows when a clip is recording.

The 16 navigation keys can be employed as shortcuts to specific areas of Live, such as Session View, the mixer and the Instrument Racks, or used to quickly skip around a complicated Session in eight-channel sections, using the Launchpad’s Session Overview mode.

Further enhancing performance potential is compatibility with Cycling 74’s MaxMSP for Live (a modular audio-programming environment), as well as the ability to use up to six Launchpads on the same system. Assignment of the controls is designed to be intuitive, and the Launchpad uses Novation’s Automap software to handle controller mapping. The Launchpad will be available from the 1st of November and will cost £150 in the UK and around $200 in the US.

Novation +44 (0)1494 462246


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