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Microphone Month 3

How Do I Make the LEDs brighter on the Novation Launchpad S?

Q: I have a new Novation Launchpad S, and I was told that it is possible to make the LED lights in the buttons even brighter for use in sunlight. How do I do this?

A: The Launchpad S has a few “hidden functions. One of those is the ability to select between two power modes: low power and full power. The Launchpad S ships set to low power mode, which is compatible with iPad USB bus power and with passive (unpowered) USB hubs. Full power mode makes the LEDs much brighter, but is only compatible with bus power from a computer USB port or when the Launchpad is connected to a powered USB hub.

Before switching modes, make sure that you will not be using the Launchpad S with an iPad — full power mode will not work with an iPad.

Here’s how to change the power mode:

1. Enter the Launchpad S’s “Bootloader” by holding the Session, User 1, User 2, and Mixer buttons while connecting the USB cable. (These are the four round buttons on the upper right of the Launchpad S.

2. When in the Bootloader, various buttons on the Launchpad S will illuminate. We’re looking for the two red buttons in the third row from the bottom, on the right. Pressing the brighter of the two red buttons selects full power mode, selecting the dimmer of the two red buttons selects low power mode.

3. Once you have selected a power mode by pressing a red button, exit from Bootloader by pressing the green button on the bottom right.

The Launchpad S Bootloader is also where you do firmware updates, check the firmware version, and set the device hardware ID (useful if you have more than one Launchpad S connected to the same computer).

All of these hidden features are explained in the Launchpad S New Features Guide (aka Advanced Features Guide), which can be downloaded from the Novation website.

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