Posts categorized "Launchpad" Feed

Novation Launchpad S vs. Launchpad Mini

launchpad s vs mini

I used to use the hell out of the Launchpads in the studio and in my show rig from 2010-2012. In 2013 I sold both my launchpads when I switched to Maschine. In 2014 I then moved on to Push which I simple love! Recently I decided I wanted to pick up a Launchpad so I could:

  1. Have a backup controller for Push that wouldn’t take up a lot of room in my carry-on
  2. Use a Launchpad to control session view so I could stay focused on Note Mode on Push thereby reducing mode switching on Push
  3. Be able to perform some songs off of my 2nd alien invasion album I Hear Your Signals, like “Celebration and Voices” were created using  custom Launchpad mapping that I’ve never been able to quite replicate on other controllers
  4. I wanted a small footprint controller to sit next to my Octatrack on a Roland Laptop stand so I could play using Octatrack and Live from a single table (and Push is too big for that sort of thing.

Of course today there is a choice to be made these days.  Launchpad S or Launchpad Mini? While researching this I found a fantastic in-depth comparison video on Chris Hahn’s YouTube channel.

I ended up going with the Launchpad Mini. I went with the Mini because, for what I needed, the smaller footprint was better. As Chris mentions in his video, the small buttons are great, you can reach them all with your thumbs (holding it more like a Tenori-On), and the fully rubberized back is great for popping the unit on the right-side deck of say a Nord Lead 4 or Blofeld.


My only concern in getting the Mini was it uses Micro USB which I hate because they snap off so easily. I’m happy to report that Novation supplies a really great 4.5’ cable with the jack mounted in a block of plastic. When the cable is plugged the block of plastic snugs up against the body of the Launchpad Mini so stresses from cable tension are distributed along the block instead of just on the metal jack. Nice one Novation! The Mini is also an excellent value at $99 – especially considering you get Ableton Live Lite with it.

launchpad mini cable

I have to say I’m using it even more than I thought in conjunction with Push and for easy chair production sessions. Welcome back Launchpad! Welcome back :^)

PS – Here is an video from a few years back of my song “Celebration and Voices” which I can now play again.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO (meetup)

Early Experiment Using Launchpad as a Cable Patching Matrix for U-he ACE

U-HE Ace allows you to use MIDI CCs to control the source and destination of patch cables. This video is my first experiment to use a Launchpad as a patch cable matrix. I have a cable plugged into the Filter Gain. By pressing buttons on the Launchpad, I'm essentially plugging cables into input sockets without touching the computer. I'm using the  QWERTY to trigger notes but not move cables.

Special thanks to my cat who photo-bombed the video at the end :^)

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Performer

Gotye Live Show Powered by Ableton Live and Launchpad


I’ve been a fan of  the track “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye since I first heard the track on the radio. I was surfing around tonight and noticed and article on the Novation website which mentions the band’s use of Ableton Live and Launchpad. The article mentioned the viral video which I somehow missed – lol. It’s pretty cool so I’ve embedded it below. I then found a live performance video which shows them performing the same song live. For me it’s nice to see Ableton and Launchpad’s in the wild with charting bands. Also, bringing a bunch of Launcpads along is certainly carry-on ready for touring.

Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) - official video

Gotye performing "Somebody That I Used To Know" on KCRW

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site:
Listen/Download Albums:

Two Live Electronic Music Performance Videos for Free Music Friday - "Alone" and "Celebration and Voices"

Here are two videos for you for Free Music Friday.

Watch embedded video of “Alone” by Mark Mosher

This video has an HD version as well so check it out from your home theater using your Tivo or or other streaming box.

In this video I'm playing my original instrumental electronic music song "Alone" from my album REBOOT ( name your price, enter $0 for FREE). I'm about half way through arranging and programming the synthesizers and controllers so I can add this song to my live set. I'm pretty excited about the progress I'm making on the performance so I thought I'd share a rehearsal video.

It's such an organic and textural piece, I decided to play the entire song from Percussa AudioCubes using only spatial control via hand movement. Ableton Live is playing back the pulsing drone, but almost all other elements are being played live via the AudioCubes. The AudioCubes are in "sensor" mode so placing my hand in front of a cube face plays a note on a virtual synthesizer hosted out of Ableton Live - almost like a Laser harp.

I only use the Novation Launchpad on my right to change which tracks are armed thereby allowing me to switch which synths I'm playing on-the-fly throughout the song.  At the 2:00 minute mark I start playing chords by using multiple faces simultaneously.

Watch embedded video for “Celebration and Voices”.

In this video, I'm rehearsing an original composition "Celebration and Voices" from my album I Hear Your Signals ( name your price, enter $0 for FREE).

I'm using a Novation Launchpad and Ableton Live 8 to control the session, effects, and I’m playing melodies in real-time from the Launchpad. I'm using standard Live 8 features to communicate with the Launchpad. No additional middleware such as Max for Live is being used. I'm using additional MIDI tracks to route MIDI back out to the Launchpad to get visual feedback on sequences and to give me feedback on the notes I'm playing.

I'm in User Mode 1 the whole time and controlling all elements via MIDI notes. The entire song is performed in Session view and all elements are either being played or generated live using multiple VSTs on the fly (no audio clips). Lots of Live effects plus SugarBytes Artillery II.

Like with all songs on this album, I composed and arranged the song around the controller as opposed to composing the song then trying to figure out how to play it live.

Composer Notes
Even though these songs are from two different albums, the are related in that they tell the same story from two points of view.


Mark Mosher, Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Overview and Time-Lapse Video of My Ableton Live Laptop Music Rig + Controllers


Over the years I’ve played hundreds of shows as a keyboardist using my trusty Apex column with various hardware synths.  In late 2009 I had a vision to create a new Ableton Live laptop-centric rig using only virtual synths running in Live.

While I wanted to play some keys, I was really excited to add alternative visual, tangible, and spatial controllers and selected Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On, a Novation Launchpad. I went with my trusty Remote SL 25 for keys as it also doubles as a controller for Live. In the 11th hour I added a Moog Ehterwave Theremin which was clearly necessary to play “They Walk Among Us” live :^).

I’ve played enough shows to know that you can’t always count on basic lighting and P.A. to be adequate, so I added these elements to my requirements as well – just in case. My goal was to be able to run a room of 80 people if needed with just my rig. My other goal was 4 trips from the car load-in max with a 15 minute setup time or less.

The sketch above shows all this on paper (click the image to see a larger view). After months of slowly building up gear, the reality - sans lighting - is shown in the fun little time-laps video embedded video below.

Here is a list of what's in the rig:

  • Laptop: Windows 7 32-bit, HP DV6t-1200 Pavilion w/Core2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53 GHZ, 3G memory, 7200 RPM Drive (Update I now use an HP Envy 14 I5)
  • Soundcard: Novation NIO 2|4
  • DAW Software: Ableton Live 8 Suite
  • Primary Controllers: Novation Remote SL 25 (updated to MKII), Launchpad | Tenori-On | Percussa AudioCubes
  • Primary Virtual Synthesizers: Tone2 Gladiator 2| Native Instruments Absynth 5 | Camel Audio Alchemy | U-He Zebra 2, ACE | Ableton Sampler, Operator... | SonicCharge Synplant | Lennar Digital Sylenth1 | reFX Vanguard, Slayer2 | Image-Line Harmless, Toxic Biohazard | Cakewalk Dimension Pro | FAW Circle | DCAM: Synth Squad...
  • Hardware Synthesizers: Moog Etherwave Theremin, Waldorf Blofeld (not pictured)
  • PA: Bose L1 Compact
  • Stand: Odyssey ATT2 Table, Odyssey L2 Laptop Stand

Links to lots of the software I use here:

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Quick Picture of Novation Launchpad and Percussa AudioCubes


After rehearsing tonight I took a shot of some of my Novation Launchpad and 4 Percussa AudioCubes. Click the picture to see a large version. I thought it was a pretty interesting shot so thought I’d share it.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

New Single "First Orbit" Performed Live + Percussa Audio Cube Presentation Video from Ableton Denver Meetup

On the 14th of March I gave a presentation on Percussa AudioCubes at the Ableton Denver Meetup. David Henderson was kind enough to shoot video and he even took the time to post on YouTube. Thanks David.

By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to his blog yet, you should check it out - Lots of cool insights on Ableton Live, Monome and more.

As part of this presentation, I decided to perform a brand new single called “First Orbit” using only AudioCubes and a Launchad. The song is in the second video below and starts at the 1:20 mark.

Watch embedded video

In this song I’m using AudioCubes to send MIDI notes and MIDI CC data to Ableton Live 8, specifically to:

  • Change scenes
  • Trigger Artillery 2 FX with MIDI notes
  • Modulate parameters of Ableton Live FX (Redux; PingPong Delay; Arpeggiator Rate, Gate, Distance)

I misspoke in the the video on what synths I’m using in this song. I’m using Gladiator 2, Absynth 5, and U-He Ace. Two synths that are well suited for cubes that are not in this song are Alchemy and Synplant.

The launchpad is used as a visual reference for what is going on inside of Live. at 2:55 I switch to User Mode 2 on the Novation Launchad and trigger a metallic sound then change the Rate by breaking the beam between cubes. I then play notes on the launchpad which plays both Gladiator and Absynth. When I pick up the Sensor cube, I’m modulating arpeggiator Gate and Distance. Opening up the gate makes the Absynth patch much more tonal.

Marc W. from Ableton Denver just gave me additional footage from a second camera angle and I plan to post a video on my channel of just the song by combining footage from both cameras. I’ll also post this live performance of the song in audio format and will also do a studio version down the road and release that as well.

Watch embedded video.

Thanks for watching!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer

Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

“First Orbit” Copyright 2010 Mark J. Mosher, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.