Novation Launchpad Reviews4.3/5.0 based on 8 customer reviews
Probably the most simple and intuitive Ableton Controller around. The size, capabilities, and not to mention the ease of use, put the Launchpad at the forefront for modern DJ and live PA technology.
The Novation Launchpad makes controlling Ableton Live a fantastic hands-on experience. The light-up multicolored controls are slick and intuitive. Sixty-four touchpads lay perfectly under the fingers and the unit as a whole has a very solid feel despite its portability and light weight. Eight additional function buttons navigate functions in Ableton Live such as volume, pan, send levels, track solo and mute, as well as two “user modes” that allow you to easily customize any mappable parameters.
June 14, 2012Music Background:
LaunchpadPerfect for any occasion, ideal for Ableton Lovers...
from West Islip, NY
January 7, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Remix Artist
From sparks to fireworks!Whether your mixing your own loops or remixing another's the design and approach of the launchpad coupled with Ableton Live makes the task fun and less daunting! Previously I would gather loops and mix each of them one by one using a sequencer (time consuming and boring). Now I can just add all loops to project bin and mix them instantly, if they work then they stay, if not, they're removed and I go forward. When it comes to the initial planning of a mix this item is a must! Got a song already laid out? Use this to remix it! You'd be amazed at how much faster your creativity and projects are sparked!
from Red Lion, PA
January 6, 2012Music Background:
Works incredibly well for live and studioI bought this product back in Aug/Sept 2011, and have been using it in my recording studio/bed room. This controller was specifically designed for Ableton Live, and it works so well with it. The device is set up to control most basic features such as volume and pan, but can be configured to control other things as well. Ableton's Clip feature is terrific, and the Launchpad allows for easy launching and stopping when used as a DJ control surface. The only real improvement that can be made is the addition of transport controls and a crossfader, features that can be found on the Akai APC40. The real advantage of the Launchpad over the APC40 is it is bus powered, so you only need one cord. Overall, it is a must have if you want a simple control surface for the studio, or performing live
from Chicago, IL
April 25, 2012Music Background:
Too much funA lot of the manuals and videos don't explain this very well, especially for a dumb musician like me. But for those of us who don't like mice and trackpads this thing will open up Live and really get your juices going. The Launchpad gets you off your butt and on your feet.
from Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA
January 8, 2011Music Background:
Keyboardist, 24 years; Studio Engineer
Neat ProductI bought this a couple of months ago to use as a live triggering surface for Ableton clips and click for my band.
I'll be very honest about one important fact: the learning curve on this is pretty steep. I'm extremely experienced in the areas of MIDI, interfacing hardware with DAWs, keyboards, etc. and the way it operates seems wildly confusing at first. That being said, once it's figured out, it is extremely usable and completely logical. To be sure, I do not use any of its default functions. I use only the custom user profiles and build everything from the ground up, but the depth and usability cannot be matched with anything else out there.
Akai makes some great surfaces that are definitely easier to use at the outset (plus they have faders and knobs, which many people prefer), but if you don't need those things (I don't), then this is a solid option. With the competing options, you sacrifice some depth of customizability in favor of simpler up-front operation. In my case, I value the ability to make it my own over ease-of-use.
Personally, after spending the time to get comfortable with the device, it'll take a remarkable product to get me to move it out of my live keyboard rig. I highly recommend it, but just be ready to spend a day or two figuring out how to make it fit best into your workflow. I've talked with other artists who use it and have yet to find two who use it in exactly the same way. That fact alone, to me, is the mark of a great product.
I currently use the Novation Launchpad in live performance with my MacBook Pro running Ableton Live 8, Reason 5 in Re-Wire, and about a half dozen other control surfaces.
from Central, Illinois
February 1, 2012Music Background:
Home recording hobbyist
Great product for the moneyI have both the Launchpad and the Akai APC40. If you don't need the knobs and sliders then the Launchpad is a great choice. If I had to choose over the two, the I would have to go with the Akai. I wish the Akai had the same size & number of pads the Launchpad has.
from Eugene, OR
June 12, 2011Music Background:
Musician, Audio and Recording Enineer, Computer Enineer, Music Technology Expert, Student, Horn Player
Nifty, fun, well built, but would need two to work right.I would have Given this a 5, but it lacks some elements of customization that, to me, were a show stopper. I eventually ended up selling it to get an APC 40, a move which I do not know if I regret. I'll explain later. Overall, it is an awesome, rugged, less expensive solution to the APC series and don't let my decision discourage you from buying it, though it will give you valuable insight.
Its much smaller and lighter then the APC 40, is easier to move around the recording environment and transport, and has more clip launch/rec buttons. This is really nifty if you record on several keyboards or other instruments. The APC 40 is big and stationary and you need a table to put it on. The Launchpad is really light so you can move it next to whatever your recording so you can use the clip record buttons to get your loop right and do some improve magic. Which leads to the potentially show stopping con...
The stop clip buttons are not on the session page. You have to go to the mixer page to get to the rows of buttons that are stop clip/mute/solo/rec. This is OK if you have 2 Launchpads... in fact, this gives you 3 more rows of play/rec clip buttons then the APC 40, but doesn't help if your using it to perform the utility I described in the Pros sections. It would have been nice if they would have allowed you to customize this setting. I would have kept it despite this short coming. You can however get a product like the Korg nanoKontrol and manually MIDI map the stop clip buttons to that controller. This would be a good, low cost solution. I kind of wish I had done that, but its too late now. The APC 40 takes up a lot of space on my desk and isn't as powerful as several of these hooked together.
Also, it needs the Automap Pro software upgrade to work other Novation automap controllers, which costs $30. If you own one of their other keyboards, you should get the software that makes it work right for free. I just got an UltraNova, and Automap Pro came with it so I'm happy about that. I'm using that with a N.I. Machine and it's bad ***!!!
Another con could be that Novation has notoriously bad tech support. They make you leave a message on an answering machine and they call you back. They do call you back days later, but this is very unprofessional, but understandable. It costs a lot to pay someone to answer stupid peoples questions about how they didn't read the manual or actually try to read the on screen directions or find help on Google. But this product probably wont break on you because there isn't anything to break... you would be hard pressed to damage this unit. Its sturdy as a rock and doesn't have an knobs to break off. They are as prompt as any company through email though.
Overall, a combination of 2 of these and a Novation ZeRO SL MKII blows the APC 40 out of the water, but is more expensive. You can however get started for cheaper. Both setups are cool and have their ups and downs.
November 6, 2010Music Background:
Windows 7 problemsWorks great with Windows XP, but glitches HORRIBLY with Windows 7. Makes it impossibly to play out. Still waiting on Novation to find a proper fix for it.
As an admittedly entry-level Ableton Live user, the tangibility and ease of use of the Novation Launchpad allowed me to create and mix quickly and easily - all while feeling sleek and professional! I could turn off my screen and hide my keyboard and mouse and essentially "play" Ableton Live from the Launchpad. This instantly made my Live experience more musical and less technical.
The Launchpad from Novation makes controlling Ableton Live a fantastic hands-on experience. The light-up multicolored controls are slick and intuitive. Sixty-four touchpads lay perfectly under the fingers and the unit as a whole has a very solid feel despite its portability and light weight. In addition to their automapped integrated functionalities, the pads can also be easily MIDI mapped to any assignable parameter in Live! Eight additional function buttons navigate functions in Ableton Live such as volume, pan, send levels, track solo and mute, as well as two "user modes" that allow you to easily customize any mappable parameters.
USB MIDI Controller for Ableton Live with Backlit 64-button Grid, 8 Scene-launching Buttons, Bi-directional Ableton Live Communication, and Ableton Live 8 Launchpad Edition Software - Mac/PC