Logic, Ableton and FL Studio are all powerful music production tools. However, the initial complexity of these tools can be daunting, which often throttles the creative music-making vibe. Launchpad for iOS was designed to allow a fun and intuitive way to begin making music, without getting bogged down by feature-rich, complex music-making software.
However, If you’re willing to delve a little deeper, Launchpad for iOS has some cool advanced features. One such feature is Audio Import, which can be used to bring external sounds into Launchpad, giving your sounds or laptop-based projects a whole new lease of life.
Audio Import is an In-App Purchase that costs £4.99 / $6.99. It allows you to import audio from your computer or laptop into Launchpad for iPad or iPhone. This is a perfect way to free yourself from the routine of your DAW environment and then perform, effect and alter your sounds within Launchpad. You can even work on your own sounds and performances on the go.
There are a few primary ways Audio Import is normally used, and here we will cover three: Dropbox, AudioShare and Airdrop. To access your audio samples, press the Your Samples tab (the little head icon in the bottom-right corner of the Edit Pads screen). Now hit the + icon and choose your desired way to import audio files.
The app contains a short tutorial that explains how to set-up and use Audio Import. If you hit the ‘i’ icon in the Your Samples tab, the tutorial will show this. Prior to importing, check that all your samples are well-named and in either AIFF or WAV format. We haev recently added support for m4a files also.
When using Dropbox, you’ll need to make sure that you have downloaded the Dropbox app from the App Store. Once installed, log-into the Dropbox app with your user details. Once complete importing into Launchpad is now a breeze
Importing multiple files really easy. Once you’ve navigated to the Your Samples panel prior to selecting any samples, note the Import All option at the top right hand side of the menu – this is a useful way to import all files within the folder for use in your current session.
AudioShare works in a very similar way. Download the AudioShare app, and once installed it will now appear as a source in your import list. From here you can import your sounds into Launchpad.
For the next step, you’ll need to enter some information to help Launchpad import the sounds sensibly. You’ll need to know either the BPM or length in beats for each file. If you name your files with either Tempo or Beats, Launchpad will automatically find the BPM. For example importing a file named 'superdrum_112' will help Launchpad import a file automatically at 112 bpm. After you’ve entered the relevant settings, hit import. Your file will show up in the Your Samples tab, just like when using Dropbox.
Airdrop is a very convenient way to share multiple files between Launchpad for iOS and your Mac or other iOS devices. Airdrop uses bluetooth, and requires an iPad 4, an iPad Mini and upwards. You’ll also need a Mac running OSX 10.10 Yosemite and above. Once your iPad and Mac are paired, open the folder on your Mac that contains the samples you wish to import.
The following tutorial has everything you need to know about using Airdrop with Launchpad:
Crucially, most input sources are now capable of importing only single files; however some apps allow easy multiple file importing such as AudioShare. In this example, all your files must be in a folder before importing
Now that you have imported your own files into Launchpad, check they have imported correctly. Navigate to the browser, add the sounds to some pads, and play them in context with some similar content. If something seems amiss, or the sounds aren’t looping properly, then you can always use the in-built tutorials or youtube video tutorials to troubleshoot any problems.
Most importantly, when importing your own sounds, remember that Launchpad requires the exact BPM, or length in beats. When importing, we reccomedn adding the BPM to the file name to help Launchpad work out the beat length and BPM. We recommend starting with some pre-made samples produced by one of the many great online stores for buying audio loops and samples, such as Loopmasters.com.
There are also some great resources on-line to help you take your next steps. The highly active http://launchpad-pro.com community also has some great free downloadable content to help you get going straight away. Check out this performance to see what can be achieved and inspire you to give it a go.