Using a Novation Launchpad for Live Looping Performance

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.

  • Jordan, can you show settings for looping?
    Paul - May 29, 2015, 9:34 p.m.
  • hey man, i've been seeing your vieods for a long time, how does the remote Zero hold up on ableton? i have a launchpad and a nocturn keyboard, intended on getting a remote zero but due to certain logistic issues causing inconvenience i thought i'd just settle for 1 APC40 + remote 25, i'm still not sure if it's a good idea to get the APC40 instead of remote zero
    Daniel - Sept. 10, 2012, 12:16 p.m.
  • Thanks for commenting Daniel! APC40 would be a good standalone controller. I use one at church and it has some pretty great integration features with Ableton. Personally I just use the launchpad and a small korg nanokontrol.
    jordancolburn - Sept. 11, 2012, 4:33 a.m.
  • Thanks for the comment! Glad I helped out someone's decision. I was on the fence for a long time, but i'm very glad I finally got one. Post some videos in the comments once you get it!
    jordancolburn - April 6, 2011, 7:56 a.m.
  • hey real cool video! i just read through a lot of articles on the <a href="http://pitchgear.de/novation-launchpad-test/" rel="nofollow">launchpad</a> (im from europe ;) ) and now when i saw the video i defenitly decided to buy the launchpad .I Think thats what im looking for :) best regards and thanks for the video,great idea! silvia :)
    equipmentcheck - April 6, 2011, 7:11 a.m.
  • Hey, Problem I'm having is that my guitar playing ( on a loop pedal) and the Drum track ( on Launchpad) eventually go out of timing after a few bars....both are looped independently from each other! any ideas on how to fix this? Next purchase with be a Direct Input box for both the devices ( Guitar and Launchpad) will the DI box work at keeping both instrument in time with each other?
    Sara - May 13, 2017, 12:43 a.m.
  • No, there is no way to keep a hardware audio loop pedal in sync with the computer. It's basicially like trying to keep to separate loop pedals in sync: they will always drift. I would recommend trying to loop your guitar using the ableton or whatever software you're using with the launchpad. Then everything will stay in sync. Search for my posts on looping in mainstage, and I think you can get a pretty similar workflow to a hardware loop pedal, but have the advantage of being able to use backing tracks and have multiple loops and song sections for looping your guitar.
    Jordan Colburn - June 19, 2017, 8:44 a.m.