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My demonstration on using the Novation Launchpad and Drum Racks in Ableton that I did for Novation has been viewed over 25,000 times 🙂

Novation Launchpad – User Mode 1 (Drum Rack)


In this video we take a look at User Mode 1 on the Novation Launchpad, which is tailored for triggering Drum Racks in Ableton Live.

By default the Pad LEDs don’t respond when pressed in User Mode 1 or when notes are being played by Ableton so I’ll show you some MIDI routing that will allow you to get a visual feedback.

Using the Drum Racks in User Mode 1 it’s quite easy to build up a drum loop using Overdub in a MIDI clip.

In this video I’ll demonstrate an interesting feature of Ableton: MIDI Remote Scripting. This allows you to use any MIDI controller, in our case the Novation Nocturn, to access the first 8 Controls of a focused Device in Ableton. This is a similar feature to the Track Control section on the Akai APC40.

You can read more about it here & here.

I’ve uploaded the edited script and Automap Settings here:

As I mention in the video, being able to instantly access Device Controls is fantastic when working in the studio, however I prefer hard mapped controls when performing so I know what’s what.

Launchpad & Nocturn – Instant Track Control Using MIDI Remote Scripts

This is where the using the Launchpad as a Continuous Controller comes in handy as it is sometimes preferable to be able to cut to a specific value rather than having to cycle through values as you would with a Rotary Control or Fader.

In the first video we use the standard mappings with the Launchpad which will allow us to be able to use the other Launchpad functions such as Session Mode, Mixer Mode & User 1 Mode. The trade off using this method is that the LEDs do not give a visual feedback and you are limited to the pad’s default action: Toggle.

Example 1

In the second video we use Automap MIDI instead of the default mappings. The advantage here is that we can set the pad’s values to Momentary rather than the default Toggle. We also get some visual feedback from the LEDs however now we cannot use the other functions of the Launchpad such as Session Mode, Mixer Mode etc. My preferred approach is the first example.

Example 2