March 4, 2011, 9:18 a.m.
The very awesome grid controller you see me playing with here is the Novation Launchpad. I've been eyeing a Novation Launchpad ever since they came out. My relationship with Ableton Live as a live looping tool has always been very love/hate. Sometimes I wish for the simplicity of a loop pedal and was seriously considering the Vox VL-1 due to come out sometime in april. However, finding a used launchpad at less than half the price inspired me to give Ableton one last shot. I'm proud to say that I'm very happy with my decision so far.
Looping with Ableton requires more time setting up the sound and for me so far is a little less improvisational in that I have to put more thought into what is coming next and plan. The only prerecorded sounds in the video above were the drum loops. I've experimented on and off with using a click and generating everything live, but the most natural way i've found so far is to just record everything on top of preexisting drum loops. The only other feature I wish I had was a way to assign a keyboard key or midi note on a foot control to a genric "stop recording and play loop" button for any tracks currently recording. This would allow me to keep my hands on the instrument and play pickups into the start of the loop.