Launchpad update – Novation add some visual tweaks to their loop-based music tool

Download from iTunes App Storelaunchpad 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 Ableton Link and, a real-time tempo-stretch engine for loops and links to their other loop-based music tool, the rather brilliant Blocs Wave. And, of course, Launchpad itself is still a free download :-)

Launchpad – a great platform for loop-based music construction.

Anyway, a further update has arrived a couple of days ago; v.5.3. This is mainly to deliver some cosmetic changes but there are also some useful workflow tweaks. Cosmetically, you can now browse the Store, your projects or read the app ‘news’ without actually leaving the main loop triggering screen. However, on the workflow side, individual soundpacks can now be more easily restored or deleted – great if space is an issue for you – while Novation have also added a global ‘stop playback’ button located top right (see the screenshot above) of the main screen for those occasions when you just want everything to stop at once.

You can now do a number of different fuctions (such as browsing the Soundpack options) without actually leaving the main loop triggering screen.

Launchpad requires iOS8.0 or later, the base app is a 85MB download and it is universal. 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. Nathan Brazil says:

      Novation have had a good year, especially with sister app Blocs Wave, which has probably been updated more than anything else.

      Launchpad, is still drip fed when it comes to updates. Yes, at last, there is a universal stop button. But, why couldn’t it include double tap for off and single tap for pause/ restart from same position? I’d also like to see info displayed as to the key of a sample pack, and preferably a means to alter that key on-the-fly as with Blocs Wave.

      Then there’s the big one, a means of saving patterns created within Launchpad, with the aim of playing them back like when can in BW’s stacks. Do all of this, and Launchpad would become the equal of its upstart cousin.

    2. Nathan Brazil says:

      PS – Forgot to say I’d be very pleased to buy the suggested upgrades as an IAP.

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