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Launchpad Pro mk3

Before we start

– Make sure you’ve checked out the Installing Everything, Pad Layout and Summary/Quickstart lessons because everything you need to know is explained there in general terms.

USB Drivers (Windows)

– On windows you might need to install the latest drivers before the device will work.
– Go to https://downloads.novationmusic.com/novation/launchpad-mk3/launchpad-pro-mk3-0 and download and install the drivers.
– On Apple computers the device will probably work out of the box.

Novation Components

– You can update and configure the Launchpad devices from your web browser!
– It works in Chrome, Edge, Opera and any other WebMIDI enabled browser.
– Safari is not supported at this time for as far as I know.

– Make sure your Launchpad is plugged in and everything lights up the way it should.
– Go to: https://novationmusic.com/components.
– Click Go to components.
– Choose your product, in this case Launchpad Pro.

– You might see a firmware update screen now.
– If so, follow the instructions to update your device to the latest version.

– Now you can create a custom mode, or upload a custom mode.

– I suggest you upload my standard 4×4 QFG custom mode first to see what that does. You can afterwards decide to ditch my custom layout and make your own custom layout of course.

Download (click) and unzip my preset file.

– Now upload the preset to components and you should get a layout that looks like this.

– I’m going into more detail on how to link sounds to pads below, but let me first tell you about this layout.
– This layout is a special version of the standard 4×4 layout that I tell people to use. I added an empty row on the bottom, so that the space between your thumbs and the rest of your fingers is a little bigger, which plays more comfortably.

– I also added an extra row up top, that can be used to copy the tom sounds on. This way you can hit each tom with both fingers and you don’t have to fight for space. On controllers with bigger pads it is no problem to share one pad between two fingers but the Launchpad pads are tiny!

– The purple pads next to the sidesticks can be used to add even more snare variations, like a shallow rimshot, a cowbell, or anything else you might think is handy. With 64 pads we have more than enough space to add some more sounds 🙂

– Finally, I added pink pads next to the cymbal pads. These can be set up to choke the cymbals. So you hit those if you want a cymbal to stop sounding.

– But for the rest, this layout is the same as my standard 4×4 layout, so it will be super easy to play along to the lessons and read the diagrams!

– Alright, next step is to send the custom layout to an empty bank on the controller.

– Now select an empty bank.

– The numbers 1 to 8 correspond with the small buttons on the bottom of the device. Left to right.

– Once the layout is loaded, you can press custom and then you press on of the buttons on the bottom to recall the bank.

– Now you’re ready to start linking your device to some drums sounds!
– But before you do, maybe mess around in the Components setup screen to learn how it works.

– For example, try and drag a note onto an inactive pad from the sidebar. The screenshot is a Launchpad X, but everything works the same way for the Pro.

– Or click on an active pad and see the side menu pop up with all kinds of options.

– There’s more you can do, but now you understand the basics of how to build your own layouts. Let’s move on!

Velocity and Aftertouch

– One more thing!
– If you notice when setting up the device that it does not respond the way you like it, you can try and messing around with the velocity settings.
– Press and hold the Setup button.
– While holding, press the second button from the left on that bottom row of buttons.

– This gets you in the velocity screen. You can set the velocity curve (how hard do you have to hit to reach the maximum velocity) and the trigger treshold here.

– How to set this is a personal choice and also depends on your specific unit a bit. Just know that you can tweak how the device responds by messing around in this screen.

– You have to keep holding the setup button while setting the configuration. A little annoying…

– Pressing the third button from the left takes you to the aftertouch screen. If you use the device for drumming you can disable this completely. No need for pressing a pad down after hitting it. Picture is a Launchpad X, but the Pro works the same way.

– Ok, now we can actually start linking sounds to pads!

Linking sounds to pads

– The easiest way is to use MIDI Learn inside Addictive Drums, or whatever drum software you use. I have a step by step guide with Addictive Drums below. So most people should scroll down now.

– If your drum software does not have MIDI Learn, you need to figure out the drum mapping, which will always be somewhere in the manual or visible in the plugin itself. It will show for example that the Kick drum is linked to note C-1. You then have to make sure that the pad you want to link to the kick outputs C-1. You can do this in Novation Components by clicking a pad and selecting the right note and octave.

– Don’t forget to upload the new configuration to your Launchpad!

– Some extra help for specific drum software that is not Addictive Drums can be found in a later lesson.

Step by step guide with Addictive Drums 2

– First make sure Addictive Drums has your audio interface enabled and your Launchpad controller connected and enabled as incoming controller.
– Note that my audio interface is named “ASIO Fireface USB”. It depends on what audio interface you have what this is named. Ususally you do need to select ASIO. And then select whatever audio interface you bought.
– The controller I used in the picture is a Presonus Atom, so in your situation you should see the Launchpad pop up instead of the Atom.

– Also, make sure the harddisk that you installed your Addictive Drums 2 kits on is plugged in, in case you installed the samples on an external HD.
– Now Press, Top right corner menu >> Map Window

– Navigate to the sound you want to select, press “Learn” next to it and then hit the pad you want to link to the sound.

– On certain (smaller) screen resolutions Addictive drums looks a little different and the “Learn” button is only an “L”.

– Go through all the sounds that way so you end up with the pad layout below.
– The 4×4 grid corresponds with the orange pads on the device. The other colors are optional extras as explained earlier on.

Low Tom
Mid Tom
High Tom
Cymbal A
Hi Hat
Open HH
Hi Hat
Ride
Sidestick
Snare
Snare
Sidestick
Cymbal B
Kick
Kick
Cymbal C

– Addictive drums has a lot of different choices to pick from within the “snare” and “hihat” categories. So just to be clear, here’s a list of the exact sounds I would pick for your basic setup if you’re using AD2.

– Kick: (just a kick)
– Snare: Snare Open Hit
– Sidestick: Snare Sidestick
– Hihat: Hihat Closed 1 Tip
– Open Hihat: HH Open A
– Ride: Ride 1 Tip or Ride 1 Bell (whatever you like, I switch a lot)

Toms from left to right: Tom 3, Tom2, Tom 1.
Standard would be open hit but I regularly switch to rimshot for sound.

Cymbals I just switch based on what I need. This changes from song to song, but it does not really matter what cymbal you put where in the beginning!

– You probably want to turn “Cymbal chokes on aftertouch” off for now. When enabled you’ll end up choking your cymbal hits accidentally a lot. You can easily assign one of the extra pink pads to trigger a cymbal choke, the same way you assigned a regular hit. Just press midi learn next to the Cymbal Choke sound and hit the appropriate pad.

– Now save the map and set it as you default map when you boot up AD2, so you can immediately start playing next time.

That’s it, check out troubleshooting guide later on in this course!