Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
djlaslo
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by djlaslo » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:29 pm

Hi everybody,

I would start to do some music but i'm a new bee (or kind of) in Computer Assisted Music. Moreover, I'm not so patient and I'm looking to have fun quickly.

I'm seeking to compose electronic music (such as DnB, Hardtek, Hardcore and also why not trip hop etc...) in my room.

Here is the dilemma (I know that purist will say that we cannot compare those 2 products, and I already read everything on the subject on the web) : Novation Launchpad (with maybe after a Nocturn addon) or APC 40 to start, learn and have fun.

Here is my points :
- Launchpad : fun for sure, but will I not be limited pretty quickly ?
- APC 40 : Is it not too much complex for a beginner?

May be there is other product which could fit my needs, it this case, let me know.

Thanks for your help,

Hermanus
Posts: 1648
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:47 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by Hermanus » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:58 pm

Hey welcome :D

I got both so here's what I can say:

If you can afford apc40 price, you'll be super happy.
You got faders for levels, 3X8 sends controlers available
Blue hand really useful for controling devices [FX and instruments]
IN live performances, apc40 is all I need.
the big + for me about the apc40 is monome emulation.
Awesomely working as a monome AND as an apc40 thanks to the Monomulator from TrackTEAM AUDIO.
No MaxForLive required
Launchpad has some monome emulation with nonome [not M4L required] and one emulator in M4L,
but not so efficient as the monomulator.

Finaly, the size; winner is ... Launchpad!

I found a nice backbag where I can put my 17"laptop and apc40+Launchpad and external soundcard[saffirepro24DSP], before this purchase, carrying my live setup for gigs was true pain.

So if you fall for purchasing apc40, be sure finding a nive bag for carrying it.

Last thing to say;
Launchpad is a great device, portable and usb powered, small compared to the apc40.
you also have access to levels and send control but on another page, apc has direct access with faders and knobs.

I love turning knobs and moving faders :mrgreen:

You can buy 2launchpads for less than the price of apc40.
in this situation you can have one for scene/clip launch and the other for controling levels or whatever you want.
there it becomes very cool and still very portable.

Hope it's gonna help you man.
Good luck and have fun :wink:

djlaslo
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by djlaslo » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:56 pm

Thank you very very much for your quick and really complete answer.

I'm wondering if the APC40 is as easy to use and learn as the launchpad?

Is the launchpad and nocturn controller the perfect combination, may be better than APC40 itself?

Thanks again,

antarktika
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by antarktika » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:59 pm

I use a Launchpad and a Korg Nanokontrol (first generation), which stands in for the faders and knobs of an apc40. There's a remote script that was made for the gen 1 controllers http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=5510 (not compatible with the gen2, as far as I know) that expands the usability many-fold, giving access to the controls of the first 16 tracks, master fader/cue, navigation between tracks, and within tracks to device focus, macro controls, etc...
it's something to consider given that you can pick up the first generation nanokontrol for around 40 bucks. You'll probably find you don't really want to navigate a bunch of the sub-menu's on the Launchpad to change levels and such (and the stepped increases can be annoying to use effectively), having the nanokontrol sitting right there below the launchpad makes mixer mode entirely unnecessary.

grunzlaut
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:57 am

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by grunzlaut » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:24 pm

im pretty much a beginner, too. what imho is a big selling point for the novation stuff is the automap software, which makes it way easier to set up your midi devices. but I guess the apc is pretty easy to set up as well, since there is a special script integrated in the live preferences / midi tab. and the blue hand works with novation controllers, too.

In general I would recommend a midi keyboard with some knobs to a beginner, because I think, a LP or APC really starts to make sense if you plan to play live. A keyboard instead is a big workflow enhancer when you are writing a new tune, even if you cant play properly.

so my recommendation would be: nocturn or impulse keyboard + launchpad

antarktika
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by antarktika » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:46 pm

yeah, but even without the benefits of automap (which I've never been horribly fond of tbh) the APC is designed specifically for Live, it is a dedicated controller for the exact program we are using. Also, keyboards are good, but honestly, when I'm just trying to knock out a melody or chord progression I'll use the Launchpad with the LPC script, map all the chords I want to use to the "chord" sub-menu, mess around until I find something I like, then go to into the "scale" sub-menu, set up the scale I want, and it's all ready to go. This may be purely the result of my cramped studio setup, where my launchpad is right behind my computer keyboard, while my keyboard controller is off to the side of my desk, but yeah, the launchpad is getting more and more love the longer I've owned it.

djlaslo
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by djlaslo » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:40 pm

Guys, again you are, all of you, ...wait for it... Legendary ! ;)

Ok, so if I well understand, a good starting point could be Launchpad and something like nocturn.

A question about this combination : may I modify/tune/tweak during a "live" with the nocturn's knobs each sample individually or nocturn is just to set up each sample before and after I have to play them with the launchpad. Because, if I well understood its possible, with the APC 40, to tweak, during your play each sample/midi individually by tweaking the knobs dedicated to the track (1-8)...

If the answer is yes, how could I do that? (complicate or not)

You know, what I like about knobs is tweaking speed/reverb and so one of the sample during my play...

Thanks guys,

tigali
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by tigali » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:52 pm

Just my 2¢ but I didn't really enjoy using one Launchpad on it's own. I picked up a second one used and it really made a lot more sense. Especially if you plan on recording clips full of riffs that you intend playing on the user 1 mode of the Launchpad. Trying to get switch between modes quick enough to be useful was just a pain in the ass. So, to sum up, unless you are getting two Launchpads, I'd go for the APC 40.

doghouse
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by doghouse » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:24 pm

djlaslo wrote:I'm wondering if the APC40 is as easy to use and learn as the launchpad?
The APC40 is easier to learn (and I own a Launchpad) because of the dedicated controls for the various functions.

The only reason to get a Launchpad instead is because it's a lot cheaper.

antarktika
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:54 am

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by antarktika » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:13 am

tigali wrote:Just my 2¢ but I didn't really enjoy using one Launchpad on it's own. I picked up a second one used and it really made a lot more sense. Especially if you plan on recording clips full of riffs that you intend playing on the user 1 mode of the Launchpad. Trying to get switch between modes quick enough to be useful was just a pain in the ass. So, to sum up, unless you are getting two Launchpads, I'd go for the APC 40.
psst, or launchpad and a $40 first gen. nanokontrol. Then you can arm tracks, and clip launch from the nanokontrol, while staying in user 2 mode. I dunno, maybe I'm overzealous in my advocacy, but I find it brilliant. The LPC remotescript for the launchpad helps too, as you can, among many other things,go into a sub-menu of user1, and play a bunch of different types of scales on a 16 pad grid, whilst record arming and clip launching from buttons on the same page. http://www.nativekontrol.com/LPC-Live.html
also: step sequencer and drum sequencer modes, and chord learn mode, and, well, just seriously, consider it! They have one for the apc as well

djlaslo
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by djlaslo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:45 pm

Hi Guyz,

I really do appreciate your inputs, thanks.

What about my previous question about can I tweak each sample during a live play with a nocturn (as you could with APC40) or I can just tune the overall or pretune my samples before playing them?

About the learning curve of the APC40, I saw some tutorial on it and they seems a bit complex...so I don't know...

Thanks again,

doghouse
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by doghouse » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:30 pm

If you really think using the APC40 is complex, you will be lost with a Launchpad. OK, I'm done :?

23kon
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:08 pm

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by 23kon » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:49 pm

If portability is an issue then bear in mind an APC is a hefty bit of kit whereas a launchpad (or two) and nocturn will fit with your laptop in a standard laptop bag comfortably.

2xLaunchpads will give you 16x8 grid instead of the 8x5 grid of APC40
Personally I had two launchpads and preferred it over the small apc grid for more channels available at once. I returned my APC for the two launchpads.

I own a Nocturn and I love it. The great thing (i think, but a lot of people dont like it) is the automap software! The GUI allows you to label all your knobs so when you want to control an instrument you can see what all the controls are onscreen instead of having to create stickers or labels for your hardware to remember what controls what.
---

STRATEGY_510
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:48 pm
Location: Oakland, Killafoolya

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by STRATEGY_510 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:59 am

Wow, are APC40's really only $220 now?

That makes me want to buy something I don't need, which is disturbing.


STRATEGY

rosti
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Location: HELLsinki

Re: Novation Launchpad (+may be Nocturn) or APC 40 for a newbee

Post by rosti » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:23 am

About the learning curve of the APC40, I saw some tutorial on it and they seems a bit complex...so I don't know...
what am i reading? :D

APC = Direct control of Lives parameters = As simple as it gets

LP = Direct control of clips + menu jumping and midi tweaking for other parameters. = Quite simple. But personally i find the menu jumping bit too annoying, so i just stay at the clip launch view for the most of the time and use my midi keyboard for everything else.. LP + nocturn.. maby, but i think APC would still beat them at usability..

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