If you’ve not heard of the Ableton Push, I suggest you check it out, if for no other reason than to see what’s really possible with a touch sensitive grid these days. Alongside everything else it does, I’m particularly impressed with how they’ve chosen to lay out their instrument controller mode. Rather than try to awkwardly squeeze all 12 tones onto the grid, or arrange the 8 ‘in key’ notes in straight octaves across each row, each row is in key and a fourth up from the last. I’ve never felt comfortable using a grid to control an instrument or play a melody because of how unnatural it feels, but this configuration really turns the grid into a comfortable way to play phrases:
But If you’re like me you’ve got two problems:
1. You’re an FL Studio user
2. You don’t own an Ableton Push
With the release of FL Studio 11, FL Studio now tightly integrates with the launchpad. In addition to some pretty handy premade tools (including one or two of those awkward note layouts I was lamenting earlier), they’ve included the ability to create your own scripts. Everything can be edited in Notepad. Command lists and language can be found here: http://forum.image-line.com/viewtopic.php?p=672604.
I’ve whipped up 7 different scales in the key of C. Feel free to use or edit these scripts. Just copy and paste them to C:\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line_FL11\FL Studio 11\System\Hardware specific\Novation Launchpad (this may be different depending on your machine and how you chose to install FL Studio) and delete the name of the scale from the filename (“Page15 Lydian.scr” should read “Page15.scr”).