Novation Launchpad Skrillex Sample Madness by M4SONIC

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M4SONIC in the studio with more knobs than you.

M4SONIC in the studio with more knobs than you.

How far can you take the Novation Launchpad? If you are Australian Launchpad maestro, M4SONIC, the answer is “Watch me”.

The Novation Launchpad has become the standard hardware controller for Ableton Live, arguably the Photoshop of music production. While the Launchpad eats the cumbersome mouse and keyboard for breakfast, and has been purpose-built in collaboration with Ableton, it has hard constraints compared to the tactile subtleties of a traditional musical instrument.

Things are either on or off, there’s no nuance. It’s a grid of rubber button lights. Insert argument about “real musicians” and mere “button pushers” here.

Like my Granny always says, are these tech limitations that can be overcome by new hardware or is it just what complainers say instead of skilling up?

Perhaps both. As for skilling up, check out M4SONIC demonstrating his Novation Launchpad demigod status using what appears to be 64 samples from every Skrillex tune ever made:

The dude can punch some serious rubber button lights.

This proves that great skills are more important than the best tools. Bruce Lee would no doubt agree. In fact if Bruce Lee had not died of excessive awesome and had taken up electronic music production in his retirement, I’m sure he would only need a controller with one rubber button. A one inch button for he could one-inch punch.

The device is excellent value, but you can’t expect to become M4SONIC just by owning a Launchpad any more than you can be Beardyman by owning a Kaoss Pad (or four).

But of course there are new, more capable MIDI controllers always coming out. Everyone is talking the Push. Another Ableton collaboration, this time with Akai Professional, this baby leaves the Launchpad behind and takes controller tech into orbit. Imagine what M4SONIC could do with something that also offers velocity and pressure sensitive keys!

Ableton Push MIDI instrument engineered by Akai Professional

Ableton Push MIDI instrument engineered by Akai Professional

Of course it’s pricier though.


2 Comments on “Novation Launchpad Skrillex Sample Madness by M4SONIC”

  1. 1 Dj Harry Zee said at 8:52 am on April 14th, 2015:

    Does it work with the launchpad app?

  2. 2 Christo said at 9:37 pm on May 2nd, 2015:

    Of course it would! You can load up the samples but I guess you’d need to practice on the glass surface. I know from using the Ableton Push the the rubber impact buttons really help with physically hitting the right thing.

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