Novation’s new Ableton Controller: The Launchpad


Novation has teamed up with Ableton to bring you the Launchpad, a dedicated Live controller with a level of portability (weighs 1 1/2 pounds), flexibility (4 different modes of control), and affordability (coming in at 200 bucks), that it would seem the APC 40 has a viable challenger on-hand.

The Launchpad features a 64 button grid with a multi-color display and 8 dedicated launch buttons.

Especially worth check out are the 4 user modes, so in addition to the traditional clip-launching deal, users also have a ‘mixer mode,’ plus two completely customizable options.

Mixer Mode can be used to control track volume, pan, sends, mute, solo, and to arm clips for recording, all the traditional things you would expect.  The customizable modes can, as the name says, be programmed to do just about whatever you want, but they also come with some handy presets for using the grid as a drum-machine and also as a DJ effect controller.

Navigating through sets is easy with four directional buttons, and the grid can jump its full length in the program by doing an option-click type thing and holding the session button while you choose a direction.  You can also control an obscenely large number of clips at a time by connecting up to 6 Launchpads at once, giving the option of 400 assignable buttons and some great collaborative possibilities, on the stage and off.

Hitting the markets on November 1st at 199 bucks a pop, this piece could make quite a rattle.  Theres some great video and more information on the product at