The Novation Launchpad does what it does, and does it well. No doubt. But, it’s most useful with Ableton Live (basically what it was designed for). It really can do a lot, but to me, it’s a little overpriced, especially because it’s most useful with Ableton. The one I used to own (Launchpad MK2, the full-color one, which I just sold yesterday) sells for $149 new. Launchpad Pro is $299. What the Launchpads cannot do is just change their MIDI channel, or change the MIDI notes the pads are assigned to. You cannot do this. There’s no generic “midi editor” available for Launchpad. For the Launch Control XL, YES (and I love mine), but not for Launchpad.
Enter Maschine Jam.
Tonight, I discovered how the Native Instruments Maschine Jam (released a couple years ago) can be used as a Launchpad on crack, for Ableton Live 9 and 10, thanks to meticulous scripting (copy a folder to your Ableton folder, set Maschine Jam into MIDI mode, using the 4 necessary Ableton templates (using the Native Instruments Controller Editor), and boom. You get this:
Please note— Maschine Jam is an awesome, useful controller for Maschine, to begin with. But that video shows just how amazing this little controller is, and how freakin’ VERSATILE, too.
I initially dismissed Maschine Jam. I was like “oh. Kinda cool, but.. necessary?”
After seeing this video… and how it works as a BETTER LAUNCHPAD for Ableton… I’m sold. I had to freakin’ order one (on my usual 12-month payment plan) from Zzounds.
The best part about the Maschine Jam (as well as ALL Native Instruments controllers) is that it, and they have a generic “MIDI MODE”… which, you can map basically all their buttons/knobs/encoders, etc… to any MIDI message (notes, CC, etc)… this is especially useful when you want to use the controller with OTHER DAWs (not just Maschine, or in this case, Ableton 10)… but, Reaper 5! I am still the biggest Reaper fan, alive… I am continuously amazed with everything Reaper can do (and it really can do EVERYTHING)…
Combining Reaper 5 with Maschine Jam, running a couple Reaper 5 templates (and assigning the buttons/performance strips, directional pad, etc to random Reaper functions) just puts excitement over the fucking top for me. Over the fucking top. Whoa.
I have owned Maschine since 2009, and have bought various NI products over the years (mostly used Maschine controllers, or the Komplete Kontrol keyboards)… Native Instruments has continuously upped their game and are fucking killing it, in 2019.
Sometimes I’m late to discover stuff like this, but when I do… I’m like “what the flying FUCK… this is amazing.”
I really hope this knowledge helps other people out there…. technology still blows my mind, man. It still fucking BLOWS. MY. MIND.
I love you, N.I. Keep doing great things.
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