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Using Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3 With Digital Performer

MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques By Mike Levine
Published August 2022

Screen 1: Configuring DP for the Launchpad Pro Mk3.Screen 1: Configuring DP for the Launchpad Pro Mk3.

We get hands‑on with Novation’s Launchpad Pro Mk3.

If you use the Clips window, DP11’s support of the Akai APC and Novation Launchpad controllers opens up a whole new world of power and convenience. You can launch Clips and Scenes, record MIDI into Clips, control effects sends and change volume and panning, all with tactile control.

One of the most potent supported controllers is the Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3. It features an 8x8 grid of pads surrounded by large function buttons on the left, right and top, and a double row of smaller buttons across the bottom. In this article, I’ll show how this unit can be used to control actions in the Clips window. If you have a different Launchpad model or an Akai APC controller, you’ll get most or all of the same functionality, although the pads, buttons, and other controls you use may vary.

To get started, you’ll need to get the Launchpad Pro Mk3 configured in DP. Connect its USB cable, launch DP11 and go to Setup / Control Surface Setup (Screen 1). In the dialogue box, click the plus button to create a new configuration. Select Launchpad Pro Mk3 in the Driver field and then in the Input field, choose ‘LPProMk3 in DAW’. If you’re working on a Mac, you need to click on Unconfigured Ports in the Input Port field, and you’ll see the Launchpad Pro Mk3 setting to select.

Test your connection by opening a DP project and hitting the Play arrow on the right‑hand side of the Launchpad Pro Mk3. If the transport goes into Play, you’re good to go. Directly below the Play button is the Record button, which you can use to initiate recording in a Clip slot or in DP tracks.

A quick tip: If you disconnect the Launchpad Pro Mk3 while DP is on and then plug it back in, you can lose the connection between them. If that happens, restart DP and your session, leaving the Launchpad Pro Mk3 plugged in, and they’ll reconnect.

Modus Operandi

The row of mode buttons above the 8x8 pad grid lets you switch between various modes. If you’re working in DP’s Clips window, pressing the Session mode button gives you an overview of the Clips in your session. You’ll see pads lit up, mirroring not only the position but the colour of any of your Clips, making it easy to see the state of your session at a glance. Therefore, it’s important to colour your tracks (which you can do in the Sequence editor or Tracks window), which will then colour the Clips, as in Screen 2.

Screen 2: The pads on the Launchpad light up in the same position and colour as the Clips.Screen 2: The pads on the Launchpad light up in the same position and colour as the Clips.

In the Clips view, a blue line surrounds eight Clips on eight tracks, showing which are controlled by the unit. To adjust those...

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