Tired: controllers that need computers to operate. Wired (literally): controllers that work happily standalone. MIDI, CV – all good.

I’m still bleary-eyed but happy after a day yesterday of overwhelmingly cool Novation Launchpad Pro hacks, most of them standalone. The idea: hack into the firmware, and make the Launchpad Pro do whatever you want in your rig.

Now, today, Novation themselves are out with clever videos showing off the fact that a firmware update has made the Launch Control and Launch Control XL work on their own. (Note the the Launchpad Pro is preferable in that it has onboard MIDI. The other devices still require a USB host.) I think this is exceptional, partly because it extends the live of all these controllers that tend to accumulate.

The video at top shows the LaunchControl XL in action with Eurorack modular. The secret sauce here is Expert Sleepers’ FH1 module:


Here, this works as step sequencer and fader controller. Good stuff – and further evidence that the old categories of analog and digital, computer and controller, outboard hardware and accessory are all blurring together into whatever happens to make you happy.

I got a quick look at this rig yesterday at Novation’s London offices:


There’s also a video showing off standalone hardware – in case you don’t own the drool-worthy modular rig at top (I know I don’t).

Following a recent firmware development for Launch Control and Launch Control XL, both devices can now be used to control external hardware without a computer, using a USB host-to-MIDI converter — such as the Kenton MIDI USB Host, or iConnectMIDI 4+ — to provide full MIDI implementation, with standard 5-pin DIN connection.

This is a huge development for hardware users who love the amount of controls that the Launch series offers, but who do not want or need a computer in their setup.

Here, CALC is using the Launch Control XL and Kenton MIDI USB Host to control his the Elektron Octatrack.


And that new download