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Rock that Launchpad with SquareGuitar !

4 February 2012

Dear friend,

Winter is still there and because it's cold out there, we need to make music and dance as much as we can. Forget your traditional musical instruments (Keyboards ? That's for losers !), and even your futuristic controllers (no, this one is nice, actually) : the only Sainte-Force approved musical thing you need is something that turns your Novation Launchpad controller into a screaming electric guitar with some spicy expressive superpowers !

Assuming you own Ableton Live, Max for Live and the Launchpad, you just have to download SquareGuitar (Max4Live device, Ableton Live 8.2.2, Max 5.1.8) and to put it on a MIDI track before an instrument to start jamming. Your Launchpad must be in User1 mode and you should configure the Device part of SquareGuitar before you go.

Eddie Van Halen would have sold his mother to have this in the 70's.
Eddie Van Halen would have sold his mother to have this in the 70's.

The original idea comes from a Max for Live device called FRETpad, that used the "User1" mode of the Novation Launchpad as a guitar-like fretboard. For more info, see the original FRETpad device page and the video from Zeal. Compared to the original FRETpad, SquareGuitar keeps the orientation of the Launchpad (whereas the FRETpad was oriented 90° counterclockwise), and adds several useful features.

Apart from plain notes, there are some ways to play expressively with velocity, pitch bend, legato, modulation. There's also a hold pedal (using the lower right "play" button, that you can trigger with the palm of your hand) and there are 3 buttons left for custom assignations (handy way to spice up some notes with massive delays, for instance).

You can change the tuning between All fourths, which tune all the strings to perfect fourths, and Guitar, which is the standard guitar tuning (but with two more strings and less frets). There's also a way to change the time it takes to slide between the different pitch bend and modulation values.

Feel free to try out things, modify, report bugs and jam hard ! This device has also an entry at MaxForLive.com.

  • SquareGuitar (Max4Live device, Ableton Live 8.2.2, Max 5.1.8)

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Hubert Sainte-Force