September 6, 2013

Novation Launchpad and Launchkey iPad apps

The Novation Launchpad is still one of the best selling and most sought after live production controllers.  There are few things that make it less of a contender than its competition.  It is light, portable, and cheap.  It is meant to mimic the layout inside Ableton, and it also frees the performer from having to find keyboard keys in the middle of the dark.  Before the Launchpad was a success, the idea had been floating around that producers wanted something better than a MIDI keyboard to trigger their cues.  Other devices like the MPC by Akai came close to settling the dispute, but for what it was worth – it was still better suited as a live drum machine.

Ableton’s Push is the supped up version of a simple MIDI controller, and it offers more control – but it also comes at a very steep price.  Beginners are less likely to drop that kind of money on something that is meant to be beat up.  Now that the iOS has become a stable platform for live production, pairing the Launchpad with a digital app version of it only makes sense; and since they are designed to work together it is actually quite easy to use well.