Friday, March 6, 2015

Problems with the Launchpad.

So all in all I like the Launchpad, however, It's not without its problems. First: there's the fact that if you drag a sound file over to the tracks, and hold it to the very top, bottom, right, or left it automatically scrolls in that direction. This can be useful when programming the Launchpad, however, it has a tendency to do this auto-scroll when you don't want it to. This sometimes causes you to drop a new file over one you already have programmed, which deletes it.

Second: It sometimes lowers the volume or mutes the sounds you have programmed. This is quite irritate because I have not yet figured out why it does this or how to fix it. It also sometimes deletes the sounds completely, and it deletes the sounds not the files, the Launchpad and program both register that the file is still there, they just don't make any sound, and as if this weren't bad enough, it also gives indication that that it knows the files are missing. At the bottom of the screen it says, "Media files are missing. Click here to learn more." However, there's no link to click on.

I'm sure if I look it up I'll find that most, if not all, my problems come from user error, but I'm to stubborn to believe that. Though, despite the problems, I still greatly enjoy this instrument.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book review.

     For this assignment I chose to review the Ableton Live instruction manual.  The manual was informative but very tedious and difficult to read.  I chose to read this book for a couple of reasons.  One being that it is the only book available on the required subject.  The second because I needed the information to learn to program my Launchpad. The manual was written about the entire Ableton Live program, however I am only interested in a portion of the program. Whereas the entire book was pretty boring, I was most interested in the chapter about how to program the Launchpad. This is an instructional manual, so as you would expect the information was very accurate and useful. The manual was written in order to obtain a very specific goal. That goal is to inform an individual about how to use the Ableton Live program. As a result, the book is very objective as it was intended to be. This manual has multiple authors Dennis DeSantis, Ian Gallagher, Kevin Haywood, Rose Knudsen, Gerhard Behles, Jakob Rang, Robert Henke, Torsten Slama. The authors were very thorough in their presentation of the information, as you would expect from any instruction manual. It was very clear and concise in directing one on how to use this program. The information that it contained was very useful. Although it took several attempts, I am now able to program my instrument with a modicum of success. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

No music skill.

So the world of music has really changed. It used to be you got an instrument, brought it home and started playing. Now you buy the instrument, download the programming, plug in the instrument, program the instrument, and then start playing. You also used to have to posses talent or at least some amount of skill in order to play an instrument, now you can have tunes that other people wrote play for you. You don't even need timing any more, the most basic of music skills; The Launchpad can be set to where you press the button at any time and it won't play until it sinks up with the beat. All you need to play music now days is a basic understanding of computers, and an editing system.

On the other hand the Launchpad can also be set up so that you can't play it unless you posses an immense amount of skill. You can set it up so you can play complex drum beats with one hand, and creative tunes with the other. In short: No matter what your experience with music is the Launchpad is a good tool to have.

Why I want a Launchpad.

So the reason I want a Launchpad is because I often find myself at home playing the keyboard with my right hand and hitting stuff with the other in an attempt to make a drum beat; With the launch pad I could easily program the buttons to play whatever drum sound I want, instead of relying on what I can find around my house. I think this is something that would greatly improve my music making ability, and I'm really excited about getting this because now I'll be able to sound like a whole band, instead of just one person.

As well as playing keyboard I also play guitar, and because Ableton is also a recording system I'll be able to record my guitar and play over it with a drum loop in order to create a more complete sound.(In case you can't tell I got the Launchpad mostly for the drum sounds; drums really complete songs. I'm also interested in the synthesizer sounds for techno and dubstep music.)

The new Launchpad.

Of course, Right when I order my Launchpad I find out there's a newer more advanced version coming out, oh well; I'm still glad I got one.

So Novation music recently announced that they have developed a new version of the Launchpad called "The Launchpad Pro". With more buttons and advanced control the launchpad pro increases your ability to create and perform songs live.

So what's new on the launchpad pro? Among other things the Launchpad pro comes with velocity sensitive buttons.(velocity sensitive means the harder you hit the button the louder the sound is.) It also comes with advanced LED lights, so now you can mimic the color of your clips on the screen on the launchpad where as before you only had three colors red for record, green for play, and amber to show the clip is active. Launchpad pro also gives you hands on mixer control, all you have to do is press and hold one of the mixer buttons (such as pan or volume control.) make a change and release.

There is so much more to the Launchpad pro that I didn't mention, and if you'd like to find out more click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Understanding the programming.

------------------       So from what I understand the Launchpad is designed to be used with a recording
[                     ]   program called Ableton. There are different versions of Ableton, but today we'll be
[                     ]   taking a look at the live 9 family. Ableton live 9 comes in three different editions,
[                     ]  intro, standard, and suite. They all share common features, however standard comes 
------------------  with more features, instrument packs, and effects than the intro version; and suite
           []                  come with all the features, instrument packs and effects that Ableton has to offer.
My interest is on suite as it comes with more sounds and instrument packs, so I'll be focusing primarily on that rather than on intro or standard. But before we continue I feel it important to say, I am new to Ableton and DAWs (Digital Adio Workstation) in general. So please forgive me if any of my information is incorrect. With that being said let's take a look at some of the features Ableton live 9 has to offer.

You can use two computer monitors at the same time to make it easier to control your music. The double monitors gives you the ability to see the session and arrangement at the same time. You can also record automation into your songs; This basically means you can program the volume of a track to turn up or down while your song plays, this way you can get rid of unwanted sounds such as a cough or breath in a vocal track. Ableton also comes with easy export options, meaning you can convert your completed work into files that can be played without the Ableton software.

This is just the beginning of what you can do with Ableton; To find out more about click here or here


What is a launchpad?

()()()()()()()()    So I guess I'll start out by explaining what a Launchpad is. A Launchpad is a musical 
[][][][][][][][]() instrument, however not a traditional one. Most instruments you can simply pick up
[][][][][][][][]() and start playing, with a Launchpad you have to program each of the 64 fully
[][][][][][][][]() editable pads. You can program these pads to play whatever sound you want,
[][][][][][][][]() including loops. (loops are tunes and beats that repeat over and over again. This way
[][][][][][][][]() you can create a whole band sound on your own.) Launchpad's also do more than play music, each of the 64 buttons also light up in various different colors, allowing you to create a light show as you play.

 Typically launchpads are used to make dubstep and techno, however, because they are fully editable you could use them to make what ever genre of music you want. The reason I bring all this up is because I plan to purchase one in the next couple weeks and document my progress as I teach myself to play.