DJ Shine dives into Novation’s Launchpad S

The WaveDNA team is incredibly happy to have Jason Spanu back at the office. For a period in the past summer, we lost Jason, he went completely dark, as he was on tour across Canada, US and Europe. Jason is also known as DJ Shine, he is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and he is an incredibly passionate musician. It is always inspirational when Jason is at the WaveDNA Lab, simply because he pushes the development and design team to the edge, and sometimes makes us cry. ‘Can we add knob where to increase beat complexity? Lets add two knobs? Oh, lets drag and drop directly from the BeatBuilders barform list into the arranger. We should be able rotate all of those with a single button!’, the feature lists goes on, and on. Jason’s never satisfied. Welcome back to the team, as we look forward to many long Hackathons. 🙂

The first task across his plate was to understand our current MIDI scripting capabilities. MIDI Scripting is when Liquid Rhythm not only responds to actions on a MIDI device, it also has code to update the state of the device. Thus aspects of the user interface state are clearly visible in the device, and the hope is to allow seem less music composition without the need of a keyboard and mouse. We are currently actively scripting the following devices: Novation’s LaunchPad S, Keith McMillen’s QuNeo and Livid Instrument’s Base. All really amazingly fun devices to play with in Liquid Rhythm.

The first one Jason grabbed was the LaunchPad S, and went through to master it (and of course a whole bunch of new feature requests queue up for MIDI Script version 2 — how does he do it?). He couldn’t remember what all the buttons do, so Jason grabbed accounting’s label maker, and desecrated the our rented Launchpad S. Now all the little buttons have littler feature names (why didn’t we think of that?). In his first deep dive, of what I suspect will be many deep dives, he got his multi-cam setup, and quickly put together this LaunchPad S demonstration video. This goes through the default mapping of Launchpad S when you connect it directly to Liquid Rhythm Standalone mode, as of version 1.2.4. Keep in mind, this feature is currently marked beta, but it is available to our entire user base. We are absolutely looking for feedback and improvement ideas for future scripts we will be creating.

This scripting support is currently limited to Standalone mode. We are working to extend our ability to support MIDI Scripting to work in the Ableton Live 9 Max for Live mode, as well, if possible, in the plugins (VST/AU/RTAS). Keep an eye for updates along these line.

Author: Adil Sardar, Lead Developer


  • Gilles SY

    November 21, 2013, 3:34 am

    That’s interesting news ! An ABLETON certified trainer will probably help to get fluently working of LR into LIVE !

  • Adil Sardar

    November 21, 2013, 8:19 am

    Absolutely! Jason has a way of finding those things development overlooks. We are going to absolutely push ahead and improve the overall experience with Liquid Rhythm in Ableton Live 9. It can only get better 🙂

  • Mechanik

    December 12, 2013, 5:22 am

    I think the best way to implement Midi controllers would be to make a customizable midi editor where the user can assign buttons knobs and faders to as much parameters in liquid rhythm as possible. The same thing should work with midi-out so that you can send midi messages to your midi controller. With a little background on the behavior of the launchpad for example you could create your personal midi scrips and tell the launchpad which button should light up in which color when something in the program changes.
    With The optional option to Combine different midi controllers and the computer keyboard in this editor would make a powerful control interface.
    I always missed such a midi editor in ableton and it would be great if you made one for liquid rhythm.

  • Adil Sardar

    December 12, 2013, 8:49 am

    We have been considering that, we have been in talk with, they have this cool MIDI Emulator, and we were thinking of creating a MIDI template that looks like a LaunchPad. Then you program your controls into their template (WYSIWYG) , and its a visual MIDI editor, then we would need respond back with a “mirror” of the MIDI.

    A little more thought is needed, because the power of the launchpad and many similar devices is that they can be color coded. The color coding usually occurs through sending a velocity. Different velocities mean different colors. So the challenge is to give that control into the editor, so as you MIDI Scripter, you would be able say State A means Color X (which is Velocity Y)..

    Or in human terms, when the Beat is selected, I want the button to be Green. But when the beat exists and is unselected, I want yellow. And finally if there is no beat there, I don’t want any color. etc…

  • Mechanik

    December 12, 2013, 2:57 pm

    I also thought about an editor for known controllers like you describe it but also an advanced editor that just shows raw midi data for controller you don’t natively support. So the people who don’t have much knowledge of midi don’t have a hard time scripting controllers and other people like me can’t complain about to few possibilties ;P
    Thanks for the fast reply by the way 🙂

  • Adil Sardar

    December 12, 2013, 3:01 pm

    As soon as built our first MIDI Script, there were internal fights here over where the buttons should be. If you pay close attention, the current layout for the LauchPad based on the arrow keys, is for someone who is left handed :). The designer was left handed. Right Handed Musicians in the team immediately noticed it, and complained. MIDI Scripting wars at WaveDNA’s offices 🙂

    I totally agree, it would be awesome to have a specific editor, and maybe a generic editor, that would let you see the MIDI going in and out. I have put it on the future development list 🙂

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