Launchpad - What Is A Lightshow And How Do I Make One?

This Applies to: The Launchpad Range (Launchpad Pro, Mk2, S & Mini)

If you've been inspired by the vast array of Launchpad performance videos, lightshows and demos online and now have a Launchpad of your own, you're probably raring to go and get a lightshow of you're own started.

At present the recommended method of creating a light show involves using Ableton Live. We are working on a non-Ableton method that we will bring to you in due course.

Using the following video from Novation product specialist CALC, and article from our Global Content Editor, Chris Mayes-Wright, you can start creating lightshows as soon as possible:

Article: What Is A Lightshow And How Do I Make One?

A few steps from the article above :

Lightshow Basics

There are several ways to make a lightshow in Ableton Live, but you’ll need to know the basics first. Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up LED feedback and creating the backbone of a lightshow:

1. Make sure Launchpad is connected to your computer and your version of Ableton Live is up to date.

2. Open a new Set in Ableton Live.

3. Create a new MIDI track.

4. Set ‘MIDI To’ to Launchpad’s ‘Live Port’

5. Change the ‘MIDI To’ channel to Ch 6. (If you are using a Launchpad S, Classic or Mini, you’ll need to choose Ch 1.) (Note that this can be changed on the MK2 and Pro, see this article to check for that)

6. Ensure Launchpad is in User Mode.

7. In Live’s Session View, create a new one-bar MIDI clip by double-clicking on an empty slot.

8. Record arm the MIDI channel and record a sequence by playing a pattern on the pad.

9. Replay the clip to see the basics of your first lightshow.

Once you’ve gone through the steps above, you can start to tweak and customise your lightshow by opening up your clip and tweaking the individual MIDI notes recorded. You’ll see that changing the note velocities will change the colour of the pad, and you can normalise the colour of all notes selected by dragging the velocity sliders all the way up so they level out, then back to your desired velocity/colour.

You will want to neaten up your flashes, to make sure they turn on and off exactly in sync. You can use the quantization function for this — make sure both the ‘start’ and ‘end’ buttons are on, and that you choose an appropriate setting for your pattern (1/16 is a good place to start). Record quantization can be used to lock your steps in sync while you’re recording, but be prepared to move the MIDI notes around after playing them in if your timing isn’t so tight.


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