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Novation Launchpad Controller for Ableton Live

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The Novation Launchpad is a compact control surface that's designed to give you ultimate control over Ableton's software and bring the Live experience to your fingertips. Whether you are a studio producer, Live DJ, or Live Musician, the Launchpad gives you a musical, intuitive means of controlling almost anything in the Ableton software without going near your keyboard or mouse. As you'd expect from Novation, the Launchpad looks great, and can be operated effortlessly so it's an awesome tool for live shows!

Madeon Pop Culture Novation Launchpad Video

This video (see below) from remix artist Madeon really shows off what the Launchpad can do! It's a mashup of 39 well known pop and dance tunes which went viral within a couple of days. Check it out!

The Center of the controller features a 64 button pad which acts as the main interface for changing scenes, manipulating clips and modifying mixer settings, whilst the surrounding buttons allow you to change the various functions of the controller. The buttons are backlight colour coded to make it quick and easy to find the clip or channel you want and select it.

If you want to get really clever (or just like feeling like you're behind the desk at mission control!), you can use up to six Launchpads at once or pair up with another Novation controller such as the Novation Nocturn Keyboard and use the keyboard knobs to control plugins, and the Launchpad solely for clips.

The Launchpad is only ten inches square and is powered from your USB port making it highly portable and easy to set up as well!

Thanks to Novation's innovative Automap feature, it is really easy to use the Launchpad with any DAW just like any other MIDI controller. Automap allows you to control almost any automatable element of a DAW. It automatically maps all the parameters, and you can remap them quickly using the ultra-fast 'learn' mode.

Don't miss out on one of the coolest new products of the year. Even if you aren't a Live user, Ableton can bring a new dimension to your music. The Launchpad comes bundled with a special edition of Ableton Live 8 so there's really no excuse not to try it out!


  • "Pros: Stunningly simple. Great build quality. Portable. Reasonably priced. Handy user modes. Stable operation. Cons: Pads aren't velocity-sensitive."
  • "Suffice to say, we can't imagine that many Live users who take their show on the road who will regret buying a Launchpad. And at a thoroughly reasonable £150, this is surely a product that's about to take off in a big way."
  • "An excellent effort from Novation - Launchpad will surely make Live complete for a good many users."

Read the whole review on Musicradar by clicking here

  • "Launchpad has uses beyond being a Live controller thanks largely to Novations Automap technology. If you download and install this, it can control other daws and third-party plugin in all major formats."
  • "Why Buy? Highly portable; Very small footprint; Clever Control System; Works with Automap; Comes with a special version of Live 8; Great way to get hands on control over your projects."
  • "Walk on by? The lights could be stronger to aid operation in daylight; Compact size means some flipping between modes"#
  • "9/10 Stars!"

  • "Pros: Well built with a clean and simple design; Small, lightweight and portable; Multiple devices can be used. Cons: Buttons slightly sticky (at least when new); Occasional button illumination glitches; Could be better documented."
  • "The Launchpad's buttons are comfortable and respond best to a firm push, and the unit feels robust enough to withstand the kind of enthusiastic, stabbing fingers it will be likely to encounter during live performances."
  • "The Launchpad is designed first and foremost as a controller for Ableton Live, and does that job well. If you already have Live up and running, you can install the Launchpad in a couple of minutes and begin working with it almost immediately.
  • "Once you get used to it, the Launchpad's grid of illuminated buttons serves a good, tactile interface for Live's session view, and encourages the kind of improvisation with patterns and arrangements that has always been the program's forte."

Paul Sellars - Sound on Sound Magazine - Read the whole review in the December 2009 issue.

Here's What Novation say about the Launchpad

Jointly designed by Ableton and Novation, Launchpad places Ableton Live at your fingertips. Whether you're a DJ, performing musician or studio producer, Launchpad gives you all you need to truly 'play' Live.

With a multi-colour 64-button grid and dedicated scene launch buttons, Launchpad is purpose built for triggering and manipulating clips in Live, it also offers a totally new way of controlling Ableton Live's mixer. Launchpad's buttons can be used to sketch out beats with drum racks, and they can be assigned to other functions in Live using Ableton's 'Learn' mode.

Launchpad ships with a dedicated 'Launchpad edition' of Ableton Live 8, but can control almost any other music software using Novation's award-winning 'Automap' control software.

Launch clips and scenes

Launchpad's 64-button grid and dedicated scene launch buttons are ideal for launching and controlling your clips and scenes.

Innovative control over your mix

Including volume, pans, sends, track arming, soloing and muting. Launchpad lets you jump to different levels across eight channels at once.

Sketch out beats

Launchpad can be used to play drum racks, creating beats and triggering samples in real time.

Controlling other functions

Launchpad can be used to control other functions using Ableton's 'Learn' mode. This includes Ableton's knobs and faders, which can be assigned to rows of buttons on Launchpad.

Go Large!

Launchpad supports multiple unit operation. Connect up to 3 Launchpads at a time. Expand your grid with multiple Launchpads, or have one Launchpad dedicated to mixer mode, and the other to launching clips.

Expand your Ableton control solution

Novation's Automap-enabled controllers work seamlessly together – a ZeRO SL MkII to control the mix, whilst Launchpad triggers clips!

Launchpad can also be control other DAWs and plug-ins using Novation's Automap control software. Automap can assign controls to software parameters on VST/AU/RTAS/TDM plug-ins by simply clicking on them, and touching a controller!


For instant, intelligent control over VST/AU/RTAS/TDM plug-ins and all MIDI compatible standalone software applications.

See what you're triggering

Automap provides a customizable heads-up transparent display across your computer screen. Ideal for seeing at a glance samples that you're about to trigger.

Unleash the power of QWERTY keyboard shortcuts

Automap PRO, an optional upgrade available to purchase online, lets you assign almost any computer keyboard shortcut, and combinations thereof, to Launchpads buttons.

Old-school MIDI control

Utilising Automap, Launchpad can operate as a standard MIDI controller, creating custom MIDI maps with 72 of its buttons transmitting either CC or MIDI note data.

Flexible trigger platform for Max MSP and Reaktor programmers

Programmers can utilise variable brightness and multi-colour LED states to their full advantage when designing new and innovative tools in Max MSP and Reaktor.

Launchpad and Max for Live

Max is a visual programming environment which allows you to custom build instruments and effects. Ableton announced 'Max for Live' when they launched Live 8. This means that Max and Ableton are now integrated, so you can build your own instruments (or tweak other people's) within Live.

Launchpad can be used to control these instruments. For example, parameters on Max for Live's step sequencer can be triggered using Launchpad's buttons. Launchpad gives you a huge amount of visual feedback. Multiple colours and brightnesses across different buttons display visual information about whether the note is on, the velocity, note length, pitch, and whatever else you want to see!

Novation have created a Max for Live step sequencer patch utlising Launchpad's multi-colour and brightness variations, available to download from:


  • 64 (8x8 grid) square multi-colour back-lit buttons
  • 8 round multi-colour back-lit system buttons (assignable)
  • 8 round multi-colour back-lit function buttons (not assignable)
  • Connectivity
  • L-shaped USB 1.1 connector

Macintosh system requirements

  • OS: 10.4, or later recommended
  • Computer: G4 or faster / Intel Mac
  • Memory (RAM): 512 MB RAM / 1 GB recommended

Windows system requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or Vista
  • Computer: 1.5 GHz or faster
  • Memory (RAM): 512 MB RAM / 1 GB recommended


  • Unit: W = 240 mm / 9.45 ", H = 20 mm / 0.79 ", D = 240 mm / 9.45"
  • Box: W = 308 mm / 12.13 ", H = 90 mm / 20.98 ", D = 320 mm / 12.6 "


  • unit weight: 717gms /unit
  • boxed weight: 1kg/unit

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