Got a first look at Novation's new Launchpad controller, which is dedicated to Ableton Live. It's quite a bit smaller, thinner, and lighter than the Akai APC-40, which I got to see next to the Launchpad at Ableton's great party after the show on Friday. (Ableton are really great people, so please don't hate on 'em for having a cool top-floor loft office with big windows and hardwood floors in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC.) Apologies for the poor sound on this video. but if you turn your speakers up you can here Ben Davis and I clearly enough.
Whereas Akai went the route of physical knobs and faders in addition to their matrix of buttons that corresponds to clips in Session View, Novation has a mode where a column of their backlit buttons turns into a fader--just run your finger up and down it to adjust the level. You can even split the panel so that some buttons are triggering clips while others are acting as faders. Plus, you can gang multiple Launchpads, and they include Automap, Novation's method of mapping software controls to physical ones. In related Automap news, I griped in a recent review of the ReMote SL Mk. II that Automap wouldn't work with Logic's native plug-ins (though it did of course work fine with AUs and VSTs). Well, scratch that. Now it DOES work with Logic plug-ins thanks to an update announced at AES.
Trouble seeing the video below? Click here.