Safety asked :
- How did the whole project start?
In quite a boring way. It didn’t start at the end of a long weekend of clubbing and partying with the stars, travelling up to the top of the local mountain range, and having a vision, that vision being of a box with lights on, but these lights were somehow more….. colourful, and the box had pads, which were more squishable and could output… velocity and the much elusive… pressure...
Nope, it was market research. Quite a few spreadsheets which make up a document which is presented to our board of directors and reviewed for sign-off.
Before that, we’d been talking about going RGB, and adding velocity + pressure for a long time -- it was just a matter of getting all our ducks in a row and then kicking the project off.
- What was the creative process?
Novation is a company full of music makers. Most people who work here do out of the love of music production and performance. We therefore have a great wealth of internal knowledge and experience. We can’t rely on just our own experience though, so we watch what the community has done, speak to performing artists and producers, go to concerts, club nights and festivals. Basically a combination of my own experiences as a Launchpad and Ableton user, combined with feedback from the community and artists.
- Was Ean Golden involved like with the Dicer? (Anyone else we might know)
This was a project that Novation did with just our internal team, in parallel with a small team at Ableton.
- Why did it take so long to go RGB?
Would you accept 'Sausages' as an answer to this one?
- Did the pads change on the Pro / RGB version compared to the Original / S Model? (stiffness / feel)
Because the LP is velocity and pressure sensitive and the LED technology is different, we have had to completely re-design the rubber pads so that they can effectively work with the contact and electronics on the circuit board. The stiffness has been tweaked so that it can be used as a expressive instrument.
Is anything open source? (apart from the MIDI documentation - e.g. firmwares / pcb drawings / files for 3D printing our own cases / etc.) (Custom firmwares would be cool)
We are open sourcing the firmware for Launchpad Pro, and doing a programmers reference guide for both Pro and Launchpad (MK2) this allows any software developer or someone with some programming knowledge to customize their Launchpad to do stuff it wasn’t designed for. We really love to see what people can do with our products so we design in the ability to hack and customize.
The programmer's guide for Pro is already available. It's at the bottom of this page:
- Will the Launchpad Pro work without the Power Cable? (Low Power / Low Light Mode)
Power from USB cable will give you almost the same brightness LEDs than with the power cable.
- With USB-C on the rise, are there plans for adopting it to your products?
We haven't looked too much into it, actually. We'll poke around and see.
- Does this possibly hint at a (future) partnership between Novation and the Launchpad Pro forum / community?
We're happy to stay in touch, sure. You guys help us make the products that allow you to be more creative with your music; we're always happy to support our communities where we can.
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