We are checking in today to talk about Live Loops performance, sound design, and composition. The obvious application of Novation’s Launchpad integration with Apple’s Live Loops has to be the ability to trigger various vertical slices of a song project in order to rearrange it or just simply perform and record new versions of the original idea. But it is the more creative side of things we are particularly interested in, taking collections of our musical parts not just to alter the arrangement of the verses and choruses but also to create layered sounds and rhythmic ideas that can result in entirely new song ideas/audio resources. Today’s Logic Pros Live Loops Launchpad Diary is here to explore some of the elements and functionality to best accomodate this kind of creative approach.
Live Loops performance, sound design, and composition
As interesting as it has been to experiment with song arrangement in Live Loops — specifically taking traditionally recorded projects and re-arranging them inside of Live Loops with the Launchpad — one of the most intriguing elements of Apple’s vertical, non-linear environment is the performance potential. And not just live performance, but rather the type that is part of the actual song creation process. The idea, the dream even, of being able to perform and then almost program vertical slices of my musical ideas — full songs, random collections of harmony and motifs — to create one new cohesive idea is, and has been, the potential I’m really most inspired by. And not just crazy glitch music (but also crazy glitch music), vertical slices of melody and harmony to create what could be used as as single, layered sounds. Something more akin to a sample of a song you were listening to, except it’s one you have created and retain full multi-track control over through the entire production process. It is typical to see producers and sound designers layer multiple sounds into one, both with various software instruments or with those capabilities built-in to wavetable/sample-based instruments themselves.
But Live Loops can provide and even more musically-unique, tactile, and personalized approach, if you come at it with that in mind. It’s not just layering some loops, or a single three-oscillator bass sound, or some instruments stacked into a giant lush string pad, but rather all of these things in one — triggered, or more appropriately, played as a single musical entity and remaining completely editable by the creator.
You might land on some amazing new chord hit from a pad that incorporates a small piece of a vocal line, and a percussion hit, and some guitar feedback from the bar before that all of the sudden transforms into a single unique musical resource by way of its application as a “new sound” in Live Loops. Almost like you might have just landed on it ripping through a list of presets on some odd boutique software instrument. It all depends on the creative musical approach of the Live Loops user.
There are a few key factors at play that most accomodate for this kind of approach to jamming and composing with Live Loops, and some that can really enhance the Launchpad experience when coming at it with this sort of creative mind set. While truly transforming a Live Loops deck of cells into an instrument(s) you could use, say, literally jamming along with a band or guitar player really starts with the content you put in the Cells from the get-go, diving deeper into the quantize options and the basics of the Cell Inspector are key. They have been some of the most important building blocks in my journey through Live Loops Launchpad sound design/composition, so let’s take a quick look: