Novation Launchpad

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Novation Launchpad App Poster Image
Great professional remix tool is cool, complex.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can experiment with different beats and melodies, but they can also see how changing the pitch and tempo impact the music.

Ease of Play

A quick overview gets kids started, but the feature set is likely to be overwhelming at first, and some things aren't covered in the tutorial.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Content packs are available to purchase in-app without a parent gate. Free packs are also available in the store. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Novation Launchpad is an advanced remix tool for creating electronic music. While it has a professional feature set, kids can enjoy creating their own music and even using it in their YouTube videos and other projects. It starts off with an overview of features ("Tips"), which you can review at any time, but kids will need to be comfortable with a certain amount of experimentation, as there's a lot going on. A range of add-on beats, FX, and other content packs are available as in-app purchases. There's no parent gate, and there may be some pressure to buy, as some of the content appears grayed out in the app. While kids can enjoy and create with this, it wasn't designed specifically for kids. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared. 

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What's it about?

NOVATION LAUNCHPAD is a professional tool for creating and remixing electronic music. Kids choose from a variety of beats, vocals, bass lines, melodies, and FX to create their own music. They tweak the tempo or adjust the key, and pick and choose elements from different musical styles. They can also record and share their music or pair it with other high-end music tools and software, such as Ableton. The layout is customizable, and kids can swap out different elements, save favorite elements, and create just the board they want for their new composition. If they want more features, they can buy additional content packs. 

Is it any good?

While most kids won't access or understand the more professional features, any kid can enjoy mixing elements to create his or her own music. Creating amazing music with Novation Launchpad is as simple as tapping buttons to turn various elements on and off -- the app does the rest. Sure, there are a lot of buttons, but kids can freely explore to see what each option does and then just remember their favorites. In terms of overall friendliness, the only thing that stands out as a struggle is the record feature. It doesn't quite act like other record buttons, and it's not obvious where to find the recording when finished. Kids will eventually figure it out, but it could be clearer. If you've got kids who like music, give this freebie a chance. Just be prepared for the in-app purchase requests to start rolling in.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about music and creating with Novation Launchpad. What's a beat? A melody? A vocal? How do the different components come together to make music?

  • Discuss in-app purchases and how/if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: improvising and music analysis, music, rhythm
  • Skills: Creativity: producing new content
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (in-app purchases $1.99-6.99 for more features)
  • Release date: June 6, 2018
  • Category: Music
  • Size: 119.90 MB
  • Publisher: Novation
  • Version: 7.6
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later

For kids who love music and creativity

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