This Luddite Needs Assistance

I’m considering getting a Novation Launchpad Mini to use with my Dwarf, but I’m not sure it’s the ideal solution for me.

It seems to be geared more toward Ableton Live integration specifically, but my needs are “simpler” than that. I just play my guitar and write boring traditional pop/rock songs.

What I am looking for is basically a combination of:

  • Drum machine style control of drum plugins on the Dwarf - I need to be able to control at least a 8 row x 32 column sequencer. I think that will require 4 ‘pages’ on the launchpad.
  • Some extra parameter controls and toggles

The only thing that has me hesitating on getting the LpM is that I’m wondering if I’d be better served with an actual hardware sequencer, where I could control tempo and everything directly on the device, and use it to control the Dwarf - As opposed to just a ‘dumb’ MIDI controller toggling steps on an 8x8 sequencer plugin on the Dwarf itself.

My priorities:

  • Size - MUST be as small as possible. I want to use it on the sofa. If I could find a pocket-calculator sized unit with 8x32 grid of buttons I’d jump on it.
  • Simplicity - I want to make music with it, not spend time configuring or learning how to use it.
  • Price - I don’t mind spending the money to get something decent, but I can’t justify a huge cost for something when I’m not even sure what I’m wanting to get out of it.

I’ve had literally ZERO experience with MIDI sequencers, and don’t even know what options there are out there beyond the Akai MPC stuff.

So I guess my questions ultimately are:

  1. Does anyone have experience using the LpM on MOD devices, and can give their thoughts and experiences? Do they work well together?
  2. Are there better options for simple midi control than the LpM, in the same price/size range?
  3. To those with experience working with hardware sequencers - Based on the limited information you have about me and what I’m looking for, do you think that is the better way to go?

Sorry for the long-winded post. I appreciate any input you have.


Hey! Thanks for your post.

If you haven’t seen this before you might find it interesting

After the performance Benn chats about the set up. He might have more details in this other video, but I can’t remember.

Hope that’s helpful in some way.


Based on your needs, I’d think the LpM would be a bad choice for you, specifically citing your desire to work on the couch and not spending a lot of time configuring the setup. Mapping its controls to an internal sequencer in the Dwarf would be a tedious task and would take a long, long time. On top of that, the Dwarf would not be sending any data back to the LpM for you to be able to get any visual feedback for what you are doing: you wouldn’t be able to see steps with notes on them or a running cursor to show where you are in the sequence. I think you’d probably be best off getting one of the Novation Circuit models. They are pretty easy to learn and you’ll be able to start programming sequences quickly… and on your couch! Plus they are deep enough that as you learn more, you’ll be able to do more with them. And because they also have MIDI out, you’ll be able to still connect to the Dwarf and use them to tweak plugin parameters and sync clock, etc! Hope this helps!


I relate very strongly to this post. Can’t wait to see some responses from some of our more mid-savvy members.

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The new Polyend Play looks like an easy but mighty option if you want to connect a stand-alone hardware sequencer with nice features and sounds.

Another option would be to use an iPhone or iPad (you might already have anyway) and use an app for sequencing. I think there are many apps that might help you to build the rhythm section you hear in your head…


I fail to see how this feeds my GAS :laughing:


I was looking at that and really like what I see, but it’s quite a bit more than I was hoping to pay, and quite a bit more powerful/complex as well. I wish there was something with a similar pad layout that was just ‘dumb midi’ and cheaper - But even though it’s 2x what I was hoping to spend it’s actually still in the running.

That’s something I will look into (I assume similar Android options exist)

This is something I hadn’t seen yet, and is a serious contender, though the number of pads is a concern for me, and I’m not sure I like the drum1-drum2 composition style. I’m used to thinking of drums as a self-contained instrument, not individual pieces, and I honestly think that might be a problematic shift for me. The price is certainly right though.

Do you have an opinion on the new Circuit Tracks vs the original Circuit, which I can get for almost half the price?

It is helpful, thank you. This workflow is far more familiar for me. The time it will take to configure is irksome, but hopefully that’s a one-time thing, and iterative from there. I think the LpM is still in the lead for price/pad ratio and familiarity.

The external sequencing ‘brain’ is still intriguing me though. I think I may get more out of that than I can understand with my lack of experience.

Can anyone speak to getting more ‘organic’ sounds out of one of these sequencers? In my current workflow I use 32-step with humanization and organic samples (x42 Black Pearl kit) and most of the videos detailing these are very much oriented in a different style, so it’s hard for me to connect the dots.

Any thoughts on the Akai APC or Fire?

Edit: The more I look at the Polyend Play, the more I’m internally justifying spending way too much money. Somebody please talk me down off this ledge.


Terrible firmware updates generally.

After the tracker launch, they seemed to get better about firmware updates, but they do take a while to get them out.

I have had a good customer service experience with Jacek in particular, and he went out of his way to assist me with an issue with my Medusa.

Ended up selling that synth off before the final FM firmware. Looking back on it, it’s my only synth sale I regret.

I have heard Polyends customer service has tanked, but I believe that’s more of polish culture rather than being maliciously rude. Regardless, that bit is Hearsay.

The trackers are pretty decent, but everything has its limits.

The build quality of Polyends stuff is actually pretty decent. I have a tracker I refuse to let go, because they changed the build on later revisions.

I’ve tried to use apps on my iPad, but I am a tactile guy, and I prefer to touch a physical button, plus I love that new gear smell.

I think there are more positives than negatives. However, if you dont need the sampling stuff, ask James to make a MOD Controller :wink:

Edit: if you don’t need the sampling, I will recommend the Oxi One. It’s slightly cheaper, but has a crazy feature set.

I originally backed this on indiegogo, but canceled my order before the campaign closed. Firmware version 2 has put in back on my buy list.

4 sequencers that can control 8 tracks each. Plus a midi splitter that can run up to 48 midi devices. Also has a “pipe” module for eurorack where the OXI One uses HDMI out to connect up to 8 modular synths

It’s a pretty powerful piece of kit. Also is a trs/usb midi/bluetooth midi to CV converter, and can do the reverse operation as well. So CV to midi lol


Man I’m a sucker I bit on a Musician’s Friend Deal of the day that was like $400 off a refurb NI Maschine unit. I’m not super optimistic but we’ll see how it goes…


I went a similar route as a guitar player with a lot of trial and error. I just want to quickly set up some drums, bass and sometimes a synth line - and ended up with two options: As hardware option I bought a Launchpad pro (had a Launchpad X before). It has a standalone sequencer that is powerful enough to control 4 different Instruments.

If you have an ipad or iphone I really recommend Xynthesizr. It has a powerful 32 step sequencer and works as a standalone synth engine with a pretty good sound. And its crazy cheap.

I also tried to use TouchOSC - which could be used as a sequencer in theory but is a pain to set up with the sequencer of the dwarf. You have to set up each note and use the mindi plugin to sync.


I’m not really into the idea of the phone/tablet solutions. Too much potential for frustration, too little upside with ease of use. And I’ve done the TouchOSC thing in a different context. It worked well after the initial headaches, but I’m looking for something more robust at this point.

I had originally glossed over the Launchpad Pro just due to the size. After watching Loopop’s video on it, it’s likely the one I’m going with. I wish there was a ‘pro mini’ version.

I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought if you hadn’t mentioned it, as I didn’t know it had a built-in sequencer. But now I think this is the route I’m going to go.

This is very interesting, it’s a perfect example of why I posed this question to you all - something I never would have found on my own.

Right now I’ve narrowed it down to either the Launchpad Pro or the Oxi One.

I absolutely love the size and pad layout of the Oxi One, but I’m not sure I need the extra power right now. I could see myself growing into it at some point, but the question I’m asking myself is do I spend the money on a more powerful tool now, or wait to ‘upgrade’ in the future.

This thread has been very helpful. Thank you all.


I use the Korg SQ-1 with the Mod Dwarf. It pretty much worked as soon as I plugged it in and routed the MIDI to one of the drum sound generators. I especially like that I can set up a sort of MIDI randomness with a MIDI Utility pedal inside the Dwarf, and then tweak just a couple of knobs or buttons on the SQ-1 to change the drum sequence and it sounds natural. I only use it as a drum sequencer, but I assume it would work equally well for bass or melody lines.


If you get that oxi one, can I please live vicariously through you?

That oxi one will replace most of my sequencers, and I happen to have a grand of fun money to play with. I’m just trying to be strong :frowning:

For reference, my current sequencer list:
Octatrack MK II (won’t sell)
Polyend Tracker (will sell)
Six4pix noodlebox (on the fence)
Korg SQ-1 (will sell)
Korg SQ-64 (will sell)
Arturia BSP Black (will sell)

This is my selling pile :smiley:

The OXI One, outside of the sampling stuff, will be far more powerful than any of the sequencers on my sell list lmao

This is a super hard thing to approach to be honest. I generally try to get the most featured sequencer, and then grow into it over time. The reason why I have so many, is because I am addicted to playing with new tech, and that’s largely my interest with music gear.

I don’t think Oxi instruments will be making a Rev 2 anytime soon, as they are working really hard on adding features and fixing minor bugs on the current unit. So in this instance, if you buy it, you’ll have the latest hardware for quite some time, and it will continue to add features as firmware comes out.

Regardless of you utilizing the advanced features, the basics are built in.

Edit: placed an order for the OXI with the case, no added accessories like the Pipe or Midi splitter.

This will be the total to ship to the US with the case. 748 bucks :frowning: (somehow still a savings over the polyend play :rofl:)

I should’ve just kept my preorder with the free case and pipe module lmao


Your decisiveness has inspired me to quit wavering and just go for the somewhat less exciting Launchpad Pro. After watching a number of videos, I think it will suit my needs very well.

I admit I’m a bit envious, the O1 is tempting.

Looks like we both have something to look forward to. Enjoy the new acquisition!


Hell yeah my man!

I’m glad you pulled the trigger, and you probably made the smarter choice for your situation.

I’ll let you know how that Oxi One is, it should be here next month or so.

Edit: sorry for the delay, parents were visiting lol


@FistfulOfStars great to hear. Please give a quick summary if you managed to get evertyhing working - i’m still using mine not as much i like to standalone with the dwarf.

@Elk_wrath the oxi one looks great - this is what I initially thought I’ll get when the LPpro was to fiddily for my process. Would be great to have short video with the duo and oxi one working together.


I’m pretty sure the O1 will be in stock in June.

I will definitely test it out when it arrives and let you know!


Also matey,

Welcome to the forum, and community!


Thank you!


Feel free to post in the “introduce yourself” thread, as well!