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  Launchpad At a Glance
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Sam Bretheim ( writes:
If your controller keyboard doesn't have enough switches, dials, and pedals for you, you currently have 3 options: buy a new keyboard, engineer your own add-on, or get a Launchpad. I didn't have the money for the 1st or the time for the 2nd, so I bought the Launchpad. It really should cost $150-200, but since it's the only thing remotely like itself (except maybe the PC-1600), there isn't much of an option.

You connect the Launchpad inline between your keyboard and the rest of your setup (it merges its MIDI In into its Out), and it gives you a goodly number of things assignable to any MIDI control: 5 sliders, 1 button, 1 footswitch input, and 1 proportional pedal input (voltage or resistance). You also get a pitch wheel, increment/decrement buttons to switch songs, banks, and programs (though the bank option doesn't work right), a really hokey MIDI Beat Clock feature, 13 wretched transposable velocity-sensitive "drum pads", and a bank of 6 buttons that can be in either "transport mode" (sending MMC/Sequencer Control SysEx) or "trigger mode" (locking on notes to play background pads or rhythms, assignable to any note and channel).

The Launchpad does what it does quite well. E-mu could have put a lot more effort into the "drum pads" - they *really* suck. And it should be cheaper. Other than that, it's a great niche product.

(Thanks to Sam Bretheim for this info.)

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