▶ Push Envy -Hacking the Novation Launchpad to do Scales

After rewatching the Ableton Preview Event video, in which Dennis DeSantis gives a great demo of the Push’s scale mapping capabilities, I decided to see if I could mimic this on my Launchpad using Max for Live.

With the help of some of the Novation tutorials and a little inspiration from the MaxforLive.com repository I figured out how to place a diatonic major or minor scale on my User 1 mode. The grid goes stepwise on the X axis and in diatonic 4ths on the Y axis. The lighted pads represent the tonic note. The layout is exactly like the one shown in all the push videos, although the lights aren’t accurate when the key is changed. Like I said, it’s a hack. And a dream.

I’ll post more details on how I did this later if anyone is interested. In short, it isn’t pretty, and it isn’t a workflow I’d probably use in practice. But it did let me make this cool jam:

What kills me is how fast it is to play scales. Just by learning a simple finger pattern I can play multiple octaves of scales or modes. I can also do sequences (of the music theory variety) and chord blocks very easily. I can’t wait to try this kind of thing on a device that’s actually designed for it!