Novation’s Launchpad S: Brighter, Faster, Driverless, Friendlier with Other Apps [Artist How-to]

Novation’s Launchpad may have begun its life focused mainly on controlling Ableton Live. But a new update, while not radically different from the original, is more flexible, working with more software and more operating systems – including the iPad. It’s also brighter and refreshes faster than the original. Updated – for a newer Launchpad, check out our hands-on guide to the Launchpad Pro. The Launchpad S is, generally speaking, still a Novation Launchpad. It has the same complement of controls, and unlike some recent hardware, it lacks features like velocity sensitivity and full-color RGB LEDs. This is still just a …

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Deckadance 2 Hits Beta; FL’s DJ Cousin is Packed With FX and Envelopes, VST Support

What would happen if Traktor DJ and a KAOSS Pad had a love child, who went to school at Ableton and came home full of automation envelopes and triggers? Well, maybe something like this. Certainly, the results would be a DJ tool the likes of which only FL “Fruity Loops” Studio maker Image Line would dream up, in a demo video only they would make. It’s beta 2 of Deckadance, the underdog Mac/Windows DJ app that’s surprisingly full of functionality. And while this isn’t the first DJ software to do sampling and effects, those features are now tied to some …

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3D Music Visualization, Powerful Editing, Rendering – Now as a VST Plug-in

I hear it all the time – people want something that just plugs in and visualizes musical inputs. But then, on the other end of the spectrum is a crowd that wants that and powerful editing capabilities. For both, this could be a compelling development. Image-Line, the developer behind the Windows music tool FL Studio (popularly known as Fruity Loops) have quietly released a VST plug-in built around the powerful open source, OpenGL 3D tool ZGameEditor. ZGameEditor Visualizer takes that engine, and adds musical visualization and movie rendering, plus loads of presets. (See video.) A modest Windows PC (or Windows …

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FL Studio 10.5 Performance Mode in Beta: Bridge Arrangement and Live, Easy Hardware Control

FL Studio’s live performance functionality has been teased for some time online, attracting enraptured eyeballs and plenty of discussion online. Now, you can give it a try for yourself in the new FL Studio 10.5 beta. My prediction: it’s definitely huge for FL Studio die-hards, but it could also attract some “lapsed” FL users back to the fold, and it’s almost certainly a reason to fire up a copy of Windows. (That’s the sound of a bunch of Boot Camp installations.) The best way to see what the performance mode is about is in the video above. It’s actually a …

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FL Studio Unveils Performance Mode Alpha; Live That Isn’t Like Ableton Live?

If you’re looking for a way of triggering sounds in live performance, but you want to meld that notion with the sequencer rather than play a drum machine-style sampling instrument, your commercially-available options are limited. And it seems, in particular, new creations simply work the way Ableton Live’s Session View does. Bitwig, a new DAW, struck many observers (myself included) to be strikingly close to Ableton’s Session View. More recently, a homebrewed effort for the tracker Renoise also aped Ableton’s interface. Today’s appearance of the much-anticipated (well, by FL Studio users, anyway) Performance Mode is something different. Seen in a …

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Fruity Loops Gone Live: New FL Studio Performance Mode in Alpha (Video)

FL Studio, beloved to its users by its original name “Fruity Loops,” has long had a Playlist mode that could be used to assemble simple live performances by jumping to sections of your music. But a new alpha mode takes this mode far further. It’s still based on the Playlist, but can add clips dynamically – including Audio, Automation, and Pattern. While still in early testing, developer Image-Line has released some information about how triggering works, as well as the video above. And oddly enough, just like the video we saw earlier this week in Renoise, it employs a Novation …

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Teaser: FL Studio Mobile Coming to Android, with Low-Latency Engine

Image-Line are quick to attach lots of disclaimers about when the work will be ready, but a teaser video demonstrates they have builds of their FL Studio Mobile software running on Android devices. It looks like a particularly good match for tablets, and is the latest indication that their may finally be a horse race in tablets for music. (Insert more disclaimers here.) The phrase “low latency” is likely to make prick up some ears. No computer is “zero latency”; digital systems introduce some delay from recording to playback. The quality of the user experience, therefore, is having things happen …

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Image-Line Unveils Additive Harmor Synth, Beta of Fruity Loops for Mac – via WINE

Didier Dambrin, FL Studio’s original creator, has a new synth entitled Harmor that looks like one to watch. There’s a beautiful crop of new synthesizers this season that could have you yearning for a winter spent with long nights somewhere deep in the Northern Hemisphere, producing new music – see also, to name just one, Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2. (Both Harmor and Z3TA+ 2 are Windows-only, so time to boot up the PC or, Mac users, update that Boot Camp partition.) VSTi and native FL Studio support; US$149 but on sale this month for $99. For some reason, releasing any synth …

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launchpad

A Live Mashup Video Goes Viral, with Ableton + Launchpad; What Have We Learned?

It’s easy to forget that some of the simple joys of electronic music are foreign to many lay people. Odds are, if you read this site, you’re an intelligent and well-informed digital musician. (I don’t mean to stroke my own ego, either; because so many of you are intelligent and well-informed digital musicians, you send a whole lot of the information my way that makes this site even possible.) But for all the extensive discussion, a lot of what digital musicians seek to do in their performance is simple: they want to make their work expressive and performative, and convey …

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FL Studio Mobile, Now Available on iPhone, iPad; Sampling, Android Support to Come

FL Studio Mobile, previously announced for iOS, is now available for iPhone, iPod touch, and, in an “HD” edition, on iPad 1 and 2. The biggest feature: if you’re an FL Studio user, you can take your projects and load them on the mobile version for on-the-go editing. That makes FL the first major, non-Apple studio app to do round-trip workflows between mobile and desktop. The release is also causing some mainstream outlets to notice, like BetaNews, who suggest this breaks a 13-year, Windows-only FL Studio run. That’s not entirely fair: Image-Line have released cross-platform software. The issue is that …

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