Novation today launched an update to the Launchpad Pro grid controller, which brings immense playability to what is already a feature-packed Ableton Live controller. The new functionality — implemented with an easy and free firmware update — adds a Scale Mode to the ubiquitous controller, enabling any Ableton Live user to effortlessly play and record perfectly in-key basslines, melodies, chords and leads.
Until now, Note mode used a ‘chromatic fourths’ layout, which requires an element of expertise to learn the position of the notes in your preferred scale. With the new Scale function, simply press Launchpad Pro’s Shift and Note buttons, then choose from a roster of 32 keys and modes, from major and minor, through phrygian, whole tone, bebop minor, iwato, etc. Once selected, Launchpad Pro’s 64 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads will assign themselves contiguously to only the notes of the selected scale, removing all the rest.
Seven Overlap options enable the relative positioning of notes on each row to be offset, changing the chords generated by any given finger positioning. For fans of the original note format, chromatic fourths mode keeps the pads assigned to the chromatic series but highlights the notes of the selected scale, so you can see which notes are in key, but still play the notes in between if you want to.
Scale mode isn’t just for Ableton Live; you can use it to play virtual instruments in any other DAW, as well as your hardware synths. Launchpad Pro does not require connection to a computer; it can send MIDI via its 1/8th-inch output (and an included 5-pin Din adapter), so you can play external synths without a keyboard controller.
How to update your Launchpad Pro
To update your Launchpad Pro, just download the latest Firmware from the Support pages of the Novation website, connect your Launchpad Pro and run the installer. It’s really simple.