Launchpad update – Novation get ready for iOS10

Novation Launchpad - Novationlaunchpad logo 2I posted a full review of Novation’s Launchpad when it was first released back in spring 2013. For those that like to mix and match loops as a creative music making option, Launchpad is a brilliant concept and, as the basic app is free to download, you can give it a try without having to make any commitment to a long term relationship.

Novation have kept up a pretty good pace of updates with the app and it has gained new loop content (via IAPs) and also the ability to load your own samples (again via an IAP) since then. Further updates have added some excellent new FX options via some inexpensive IAPs and, more recently, Novation added MIDI Clock Sync (as the clock master) support.

Launchpad v.3 - now with added colour :-)

Launchpad v.3 – now with added colour :-)

Obviously keen to keep things moving, Novation added some significant new features in v.2.0 in June – support for Ableton Link and a real-time tempo-stretch engine for loops and, when v.3.0. arrived just a month ago, the app’s trigger buttons became colour-coded based upon the instrument type of the underlying sample/loop in much the same way as happens on the Launchpad hardware. This might be a purely visual change but it certainly makes selection of loops that bit easier (especially in a live context). And, of course, the app is still a free download :-)

The colour-coding makes it easier to keep track of what samples/loops are positioned where in more complex layouts....

The colour-coding makes it easier to keep track of what samples/loops are positioned where in more complex layouts….

Anyway, a further update has arrive today; v.3.0.2. The App Store description brings just one line of text that says ‘support for iOS10’. Apple’s latest iteration of their mobile OS is due to be available later today so it’s good to see some app developers are well up with the game and ensuring compatibility with the latest version of iOS. Quite what this might mean in terms of tweaks under the hood for the apps concerned I’m not sure….  but let’s hope moving from iOS9 to iOS10 is a relatively painless experience.

Launchpad requires iOS8.0 or later, the base app is a 62MB download and it is universal (iPad 2 or newer required). And, as Launchpad is free, I don’t think we can have too many complaints about the IAP model to get access to the more sophisticated features. Potential users have nothing to lose; just download it and explore…  and, if they like what they find, they can invest further. However, the app is excellent in its own right and it has a super-intuitive user interface. Well worth checking out if you like to throw a few loops together and see what musical inspiration might result….


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    1. Novation’s Launchpad was the first IOS music making app that I really got into, because it’s so accessible and works flawlessly. Now, along with Blocs Wave, it is poised to become something bigger and more integral; a self-contained process which, at the same time, plays nicely with others via IAA, AB support and Link. Unlike some of the big name developers, who seem to think they’re doing us an enormous favour by tossing out an IOS version, Novation watches the forums and uses customer feedback to improve and innovate. It’s a clever strategy, which works more often than it doesn’t and usually means everybody wins.

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