The Launchpad Mashinator is a Max For Live device that turns the User 2 buttons on Novation's Launchpad into momentary buttons for FX mashing awesomeness. It's inspired by the cool routines pulled off by the DJ TechTools crew on the MidiFighters. Here she is in all her glory:
You can download it at MaxForLive.com: https://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/1407/launchpad-mashinator.
The Mashinator lets you map up to 10 parameters to button presses. Eight of the mappings are tied to the buttons in the selected row on the Launchpad, the other two can be globals or combos. A global is a parameter that turns on whenever you press a button in the row. This is useful for controlling an FX rack when you want the rack off except when you bress any of the control buttons. If you map a global to the rack on/off switch, everytime you press any of the FX buttons, the rack will automatically activate. When you releae the last button, the rack will deactivate.
Combos are exactly what you think they are if you've done your time with Tekken. It is a particular combination of buttons that when they are all pressed--and nothing else is pressed--will activate a new parameter. If you have three buttons controlling FX units and put them into a combo, then you can have a fourth FX kick on when you press all three. This could be used for squeezing that last little bit out of a buildup.
I should probably have a video demo, but for now I'll settle for a simple written user guide. We'll walk through the Launchpad Mashinator quickly. Here are the main regions:
The red region A is where you select the Launchpad you want to control with the Mashinator. Right now the Mashinator only works with the Launchpad, but I'm thinking about porting it to the APC40 as well. I assume it works with multiple Launchpads, but I only have one, so I can't test that. The button to the left of the Launchapd selecter is a utility button in case Max For Live loses track of your control surfaces. This happened occasionally during development, so I left it there for now.
The blue region B is where you set up how the Mashinator works with the Launchpad. The top menu, labeld Row, let's you select which row on your Launchpad you want this Mashinator to control. You can have several Mashinator's in a Live set all controlling different rows. Row 1 is the top row in the matix--it's the row just below the the arrows, Session, User 1, User 2, and Mixer buttons. Row 8 is the bottom row of the Launchpad. Why am I trying to describe this? Here's a picture:
Next is the Latching menu. Latching uses the round buttons down the right side of the Launchpad--highlighted in yellow in the Lauchpad image above. They're also the scene launching buttons in the Session mode. The Mashinator supports 3 latching modes: All, Hold and Release, and Group. We'll dig into the specifics of each mode later.
The bottom four menus allow you to select the colors you want the row's buttons to have in the different states: Pressed, Enabled, Disabled, and Unmapped. The first three assume that the button is mapped to a parameter. So if a button is pressed and is mapped, then the button will show the Pressed color. An unmapped button always has the Unmapped color.
That's it for the B region. On to the green C region. This is the meat of the device because this is where you actually map buttons to parameters on devices in Live. The top row in region C maps the first button in the selected row on the Lauchpad. The second row in region C maps the second button, and so forth. As you move from top to bottom in region C of the Mashinator you move left to right on the Launchpad.
The text on the far right of each row in region C indicates which parameter that row controls. It's a simplified path to the control. The first item indicates which track the parameter is in. The middle item (items are separated by colons) indicates the device and the last item tells you which parameter is being controlled. So in the example image, row 1 is selected, so the first button on row 1 controls the Awww parameter in the FX Talking device in the Bass track.
We'll go through each of the controls in a row from left to right. First up is the On/Off control which determines if the mapping is enabled. Disabling a mapping is a quick way to temporarily turn off the mapping so something else can control it with out losing the mapping. When you're ready for the Launchpad to regain control of the parameter, just turn the control back on.
The next cotrol actvates mapping. When mapping is active, click on nearly any control in Live and the abbreviated path to that control will appear in the description. The appropriate button on the Launchpad now has control.
The two white boxes containing numbers indicate the relative values sent to the parameter when you press and release a button. The box on the left contains the button release value, and the box on the right contains the button press value. These work like the standard MIDI mapping functionality in Live. Note that button release value doesn't have to be less than the button press value.
The circle buttons just before the path is the forget button. Click it and the current mapping is erased.
The yellow region D is where you set up Globals and Combos. There are two rows in this region. The right side of each row is where you define the mappings, just like in region C. The left side is where you configure what fires those mappings. Each row has two sets of buttons on the left. The first is the Global button. If it is pressed, then that mapping is a global mapping. Anytime you press any mapped button on the selected row, this mapping will also activate.
If the Global button is not pressed, then the row is a combo mapping. You define the combo using the row of 8 buttons. In the example image, you can see that in the combo group, buttons 4 and 7 are pressed (orange). This means that if buttons 4 and 7 on the Launchpad are pressed, then the combo is triggered and the speaker on the A-Long Tail return track is activated along with the mappings for buttons 4 and 7.
Globals and combos are exclusive, you can't have a mapping be both. When a row is selected to be a global mapping, it does not work as a combo. And if a row in region D is selected to be a combo mapping it does not work as global. But you have two global/combo parameter mappers, so you can at least have one of each.
Now to Latching. Latching originated when I noticed that holding down more than three or four buttons with one hand is tricky. I wanted a way to temporarily have the buttons "lock" on when I pressed them. Latching gives you three ways to do this: All, Hold and Release, and Group.
If you select All from the Latching menu, then when you hit the latching button next to the row you're controlling, all of the assigned mappings will fire and you'll see all the buttons light up. They will stay on so long as you keep pressing the latching button. As soon as you release the latching button, all of the buttons will turn off. But wait, there's more. With the latching button held down, you can also press the buttons in the row and turn them off and on individually. While you're holding down the latching button, the row buttons will "latch". That is they behave like regular toggle buttons rather than momentary buttons. As soon as you release the latching button, the latch is released and all buttons turn off.
Hold and Release functions just like All, but it doesn't fire every button at the beginning. Instead, it waits for you to press buttons and then latches them. It turns all of the buttons off when you releaese it.
The Group button is the last Latching mode and the coolest. When you press the latching button with Group selected, Mashinator starts traking the state of every button. When you release the latch, it remembers what group of buttons you had pressed. Next time when you press the latch button, it will fire that exact same group of buttons, and when you release the latch it will turn them off. You can redefine what buttons are part of the group simply by turning them of and off while holding the latch button. Group latching is a great way to dynamically define and recall a particular set of FX.
That's the Launchpad Mashinator. I hope people find it useful.