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.