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 Post subject: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:38 am
Posts: 2851
I have been in the music making / mixing game for over 10 years (since Fasttracker II \ Cubic Player days.... Who here knows these beasts?). It's a hobby of mine and has been great. I have slowly been building up my hardware over this time and I now have a great "play room".

These days I use Cubase 5 for my main recording, Buzz tracker for hammering out sequences and effects but recently I stumbled on Ableton for a bit of a test run. I have the KORG nano series controllers, Alphatrack, BCF2000 and an Evolution MK-461C keyboard. Within a few hours I had all these devices playing nicely in Ableton, controlling all the channel volumes, drums and effects. Using Bomes MIDI Translator Pro I also had copy, paste and duplicate functions creating cuts and samples etc on the fly.

This software just felt very fluent to an old tracker based musician such as myself and I just had to get more in to the thing. After experimenting with pads on my nanoPad to trigger clips I decided to look into APC/Launchpad areas for some fun control. My desk is already full of control surfaces (with an MPD on the way) and the APC looked too big for me (and the 9 faders without motorized control was a bit lame after using the BCF and AT). So I decided on the Launchpad which I found 2nd hand for a bargain thanks to eBay.

It arrived at my work on the Friday and I was very excited to get home and start playing. After everything was installed and I updated Ableton to get the Launchpad control surface remote file I loaded up, configured and saw the pads light up to life. I pressed play on my AlphaTrack, triggered a couple of clips to start things off and....

Problem... :cry:

Not in a hardware sense, but in a worse sense. Something that can't be "fixed".

I am color blind with certain shades of RED. The cheap use of green/red dual LEDs to produce the colours is a BIG issue for people like me. In CLIP view, the entire grid appears the EXACT same color for loaded and playing clips. I could tell absolutely no difference. The thing is though, if you go to the mixer page the intensity of the green/amber LEDs is different and I can easily see the difference. butb in clip view the leds are so bright that I cannot register the Green from the Amber pads. For those that don't suffer this it's hard to imagine but I am sure I am not the only one since this is a common form of color blindness.

I have contacted Novation who say they are aware of the issue and are looking into it (we will see). My theory is that the remote script files (that can't be decompiled easily/at all) should be able to control the color/intensity of these files and should be able to be modified to just dim the leds in clip view a bit more. This would be great :D

Being impatient I have managed to create a "stop-gap" solution until someone can help me out on this. I am into Photography as well and I just happen to have some color filter lenses. When I look at the launchpad through a RED filter I can instantly see the difference in colors. I tested a filter over the buttons using a couple of layers of red transparent contact (used for covering childrens books) and it made a big difference. It was easy to see the differences in colors at the slight trade off of making the pads slightly duller (but still very easy to see). I put a nice layer down over the buttons and... it looked like shit but did do the trick. This was short lived as the contact caused buttons to stick down etc so I was forced to think again.

Taking the launchpad to my workbench I pulled it apart (easy done) and removed the rubber membrane. I then set about cutting out 64 round "filters" to stick on the underside of the trigger pads. I don't need to filter the control buttons. This took a couple of hours but has worked. I played on the controller all day and did not miss a cue.

I would love an actual programming fix for this but for others that are out there with issues seeing the colors, I hope this is of some comfort.

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:51 pm
Posts: 2
i am red green color blind and have the same problem.

so i wrote novation. they replied within 2 hours. that's the only good news. they discussed it with the dev department but there is no way around a firmware update to add additional colors. and this is not possible with the launchpad.

so i was thinking more of a workaround. it would help me a lot if the playing clips/scenes would flash so i don't get lost.

so i played a bit with live and here it is:

you have to touch every clip. change the launch option to "Play Again" under "Follow Action".

isn't that flashy?!


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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:30 pm
Posts: 12
Could you or someone else find a solution to the problem? The "Play Again" solution seems not the best one...


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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:09 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 259
you should be able to fix this with a really simple remote script edit. when i have a free minute i'll try and sort this out. What colours are better for you guys?

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:29 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:49 pm
Posts: 2667
Location: Bristol, UK
I am also colourblind and this is the main reason I didn't buy a launchpad :?

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:30 pm
Posts: 12
@ST8: Such a solution would be great! Most of the colourblind people report, that they have no problem with the Mixer-Mode - only with the Session-Mode! Therefore the solution has only to change the colours in the Session-Mode. In addition, the biggest problem is the colour amber, respectively to see the difference between amber and e.g. green. The reason for this is, that amber is mixed by green and red.

A helpful mapping of the colours could by as following:

GREEN LOW: this slot contains a clip;
GREEN FULL: this clip is playing;
RED FULL: this clip is recording;

Another solution (if possible) could be:

GREEN: this slot contains a clip;
GREEN FLASHING: this clip is playing;
RED: this clip is recording;

The solution by AlexanderGutekunst "you have to touch every clip. change the launch option to "Play Again" under "Follow Action"." is not really satisfying. Not only that you have to touch every clip, but you also have to set the length of every clip. Furthermore, with this solution it is no longer possible to see how long a clip was playing.

So if you have the opportunity to solve the problem it would be great thing for all colourblind people. Until now Novation has not even solved the problem, although there are a lot of Forum Topic about that problem and it is well-known that 9% of all men have colour blindness.


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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 259
Heres a first version:
http://code.q3f.org/LaunchpadColour.zip

unzip this, then on mac:
goto your Live folder -> Live.app -> right click, show package ontents -> goto Contents/App-Resources/MIDI Remote Scripts

on windows:
goto your Live folder -> Resources -> MIDI Remote Scripts

drop the LaunchpadColour folder in there, then open live and select LaunchpadColour from the midi scripts instead of Launchpad

hopefully clip slot with a clip stopped will now be green, and playing will be green blinking

(ive not tested this as i dont have a launchpad, but the script compiles ok)

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:40 pm
Posts: 14633
Location: Belgium
I've tested it and the script works like a charm. All hail ST8, lord of the API :D

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:49 pm
Posts: 2667
Location: Bristol, UK
Nice. I may pick one up if I can get round this!

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
Posts: 3177
Location: Schmocation
No. No. This won't do at all - they're not blinking in time with the set's BPM.




Kidding! This is a fricking BRILLIANT solution! Thank you so much for this, St8!

Highly recommended for all of those who've been struggling with the colour issue!

And SHAME on Novation for not addressing this - they told me it couldn't be done. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:30 pm
Posts: 12
@ST8: First of all thanks a lot for the python script - it solves the problem! There are only a few little things I would change.

I would like to change it like that:

this slot contains a clip: GREEN_FULL
this clip is playing: GREEN_BLINK
this clip is triggered to play (waiting to play): GREEN_LOW
this clip is recording: RED_BLINK
this clip is triggered to recording (waiting for recording): RED_FULL or RED_LOW

I would like to be able to adapt the behavior myself, so I have more freedom. - I looked at the code and it seems not that hard but I don't know how to compile it and what I need except of python. For example, Python reports that it chould not find the import "Live".

Many thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:50 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:57 pm
Posts: 435
Location: France
Thanks ST8!
So much better than M4L workaround.

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 259
monsieurpetit wrote:
@ST8: First of all thanks a lot for the python script - it solves the problem! There are only a few little things I would change.

I would like to change it like that:

this slot contains a clip: GREEN_FULL
this clip is playing: GREEN_BLINK
this clip is triggered to play (waiting to play): GREEN_LOW
this clip is recording: RED_BLINK
this clip is triggered to recording (waiting for recording): RED_FULL or RED_LOW

I would like to be able to adapt the behavior myself, so I have more freedom. - I looked at the code and it seems not that hard but I don't know how to compile it and what I need except of python. For example, Python reports that it chould not find the import "Live".

Many thanks in advance!


you dont need python installed to edit the scripts, just open up the py file in a text editor, change the colours you like, save the py. deselect and reselect the midi remote script in ableton and you should be good to go :)

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
Posts: 3177
Location: Schmocation
Suh-weeet!

I will have a look :)

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 Post subject: Re: Launchpad - Color Blind Users
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:30 pm
Posts: 12
@ST8: This is so great :)! Big thanks!

For all other:

The possible assignments are combinations between:

GREEN
AMBER
RED

and

_THIRD
_HALF
_FULL
_BLINK

For example:

GREEN_FULL, RED_BLINK, and so on...


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