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 Post subject: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:48 pm 

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:52 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lehi, UT
Who picked up a Launchpad today?

Salt Lake City Guitar Center had about 8 of them in stock. $213 with tax.


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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:36 pm
Posts: 1127
Location: Berlin
ryanisflyboy wrote:
Who picked up a Launchpad today?

Salt Lake City Guitar Center had about 8 of them in stock. $213 with tax.



Im going tomorrow to sound and drumland to buy one :mrgreen: if they got it 8O


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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:56 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 9:19 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Ruff Raleigh
i got one but can't get it to setup in live 7... :? i can use it like a normal midi control and assign functions to pads. just not like it does for 8. the launchpad edition of 8 has it all setup great and works awesome. it's just a lite version of live so it's super nerfed down and i can't load any of my own songs. overall kinda disappointed for now.

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:39 am 

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:52 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Lehi, UT
My first impressions after fooling around with it for an hour:

Live 8.0.8 got it running with no headaches (Windows XP here). This is my first controller of this type - so - I am easily impressed. This is a very affordable integrated controller. The nerfed version of Live that ships with it is really just a promo item to get you to upgrade to the full version. Pretty much standard fair for this type of gear. Everyone ships with "light" versions of software. I am a registered version of Live - so I tossed the sample version that came with it.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was how well it integrated. I went in to options and set up the Launchpad in about 8 clicks, per the instructions. And instantly the lights came on and I was integrated. Not too impressive really, because that is what I paid for. What was most enjoyable was to pop open a couple of sessions and start work right away. It made it "fun." Which is, after all, what this is supposed to be about, right?

I'm all for summaries, so here ya go.
The Good:
- Integrates with 8.0.8 right out of the box (does what it says it will do).
- Very easy to learn. The button functions are intuitive and easy to memorize.
- Tri-color lights, and also a 'dim' mode for some functions (track mute, for example).

The Bad:
- The biggest draw back I'm seeing immediately is a long 'refresh' time while bouncing between functions. For example, going from mixer to session takes longer than it should. It 'draws in' the LEDs. This needs to be improved for serious live performers. Hopefully Novation/Ableton can improve screen re-draw performance. It really is distracting. Try this: mash the session/user1/user2/mixer buttons really fast, you'll see your Launchpad freak out until it clears all the pages. I mashed them fast for 15 seconds, and got it to freak out for like 3 minutes. And yes, until the buffer clears, your gonna have to wait! Fix please! UPDATE: I am happy to report that adding a dedicated USB controller to my system for the Launchpad solved this issue. The refresh rate went from about 350-400ms down to ~60ms. This invalidates my previous statement.
- Color consistency seems mixed. For example, all the lights do not have the exact same amber hue. It is noticeable enough it may throw you off.
- Some folks might find the right side USB connecter a little annoying. It does ship with a right-angled USB cable. Having the connector on the back would have been more flexible.
- No transport controls. I chalk this up to the price of the unit. Not that big of deal, but it would have been a nice touch.
- It stinks. No seriously. It smells bad. The plastic on the buttons or whatever gives it an unpleasant oder. Hopefully that wears off. You may not notice depending on how serious your BO is.


Last edited by ryanisflyboy on Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:00 pm
Posts: 37
I've got one. It's a slam dunk product, really. For a couple hundred bucks this thing is worth every shiny penny.


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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 2:06 am
Posts: 1334
Location: seattle
ryanisflyboy wrote:
- The biggest draw back I'm seeing immediately is a long 'refresh' time while bouncing between functions. For example, going from mixer to session takes longer than it should. It 'draws in' the LEDs. This needs to be improved for serious live performers.


the led refresh seems slow, but i've noticed that actual control is still instant...i.e. the buttons work even though the led's haven't caught up yet. for me at least...

ryanisflyboy wrote:
- Color consistency seems mixed.

yep.

ryanisflyboy wrote:
- It stinks.

yep. i have fond memories of the 'freshly opened action figure' scent from childhood, but this ain't it. probably made from all the stuff that they can't put in kid's toys and dog food anymore. thanks for the free high, chinese industrial complex!

edit: another thing to note: nothing to tell you that its active until it's selected as a control surface in live. a "yes, i'm on" led would be helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:05 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:13 pm
Posts: 6806
gc is holding mine I just couldn't get out of the house today, but it sure looks like of all the controllers this is the one to travel with. looks like the perfect thing to knock out remixes with on a plane as well as to not get those 'he's a computer music dude how stupid+smirk' looks at the local starbean, looks easy to hide under a piece of paper or a book.

I think novation should start making these in nano versions with
16 pads
4 scene buttons
and those other controller buttons
and all with the same functionality of the launchpad, call it the Nano launchpad and sell it for 50 bucks, they would not be able to keep them in stock, especially if you could daisychain them as well


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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:40 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:39 pm
Posts: 1523
Location: NYC
starving student wrote:
gc is holding mine I just couldn't get out of the house today


I take it the Large Professor Halloween costume was hit? :)

I kid.

Back on topic. Thanks for the summary!

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:13 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:14 am
Posts: 377
Location: Portsmouth, UK.
nate_D wrote:
i got one but can't get it to setup in live 7... :? i can use it like a normal midi control and assign functions to pads. just not like it does for 8. the launchpad edition of 8 has it all setup great and works awesome. it's just a lite version of live so it's super nerfed down and i can't load any of my own songs. overall kinda disappointed for now.


Oh dear - I have ordered one and am only running V7. Will be gutted if I HAVE to upgrade to V8 to use this thing.

The product spec doesn't suggest that by running V7 the Launchpad functions will be compromised.

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:18 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2196
Location: Switzerland
I know support for 7 would be nice, but then again, why do you think a fresh device of today magically just works with all it's new features on an application developed two years ago?

It would be nice, yes. Still it would be very unlikely, too.

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:20 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:29 am
Posts: 171
Location: UK
does anyone know if you can change octaves on the drumrack? from the video's it seems that you only get 16 buttons in the bottom left part of the user section...

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:34 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2196
Location: Switzerland
i've seen some video where they used the top right part of it.. other than that, hm, even a simple midi effect pitching the note could help? :) (and that one could be midimapped to the unused part of the drumrack mode)

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:35 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:14 am
Posts: 377
Location: Portsmouth, UK.
davepermen wrote:
I know support for 7 would be nice, but then again, why do you think a fresh device of today magically just works with all it's new features on an application developed two years ago?

It would be nice, yes. Still it would be very unlikely, too.


There are plenty of new MIDI controllers released every month that work with old software.

And I'd expect it to work because the product page on Ableton's website states that you need Live 7 or higher. These are the published specs on Ableton's website: http://www.ableton.com/launchpad:

"Software system requirements
Launchpad requires Ableton Live 7 or higher.

Mac: Any G4 or faster (Intel Mac recommended), 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended), Mac OS X 10.3.9 (10.4 or later recommended), QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive

Windows: 1.5 GHz CPU or faster, 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended), Windows XP or Windows Vista, Windows compatible sound card (ASIO driver support recommended), QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive"

It doesn't suggest that any of the advertised functions wont be available with a version before Live 8. If it says you need L7 or higher, why would I assume it wont work properly with Live 7? They mention minimum and recommended specs for RAM, why not a min/rec version of Live?

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:40 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2196
Location: Switzerland
well, it does work. as a midi controller. if not, then his setup doesn't.

but it does not have all the fancy features it has in live 8, making it mostly just a device with a bunch of buttons.

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 Post subject: Re: LAUNCHPAD - Day 1
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:50 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:14 am
Posts: 377
Location: Portsmouth, UK.
davepermen wrote:
well, it does work. as a midi controller. if not, then his setup doesn't.

but it does not have all the fancy features it has in live 8, making it mostly just a device with a bunch of buttons.


Well, if this is the case that's just not acceptable.

To have a whole page on the site showing those features, and not to state clearly that you NEED Live 8 to access those features... that is poor form by Ableton.

It gets worse. I ordered mine from Digital Village in the UK. The product description for Launchpad on the DV website states:

"Ableton Live 8 Launchpad Edition - Fully functional for performance and production. For existing users, Ableton Live 7 and 8 are Launchpad-ready."

Again, nothing suggesting that you will only get limited functions from Live 7.

I'm contacting Ableton, Novation and Digital Village for clarification because if this is the case this is just shocking false advertising in my eyes.

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