Sending hotkeys with MIDI drum pad

Sending hotkeys with MIDI drum pad

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Drum pad

I produce music and have spent a good deal of time customizing my workflow. Once tool that I’ve added to my arsenal is a Launchpad X . This drum pad features the ability to create custom button layouts. In the image above, I am using a custom layout that I setup to work well with Ableton Live. In this post, I’ll show you how the software that I use to convert MIDI into keystrokes and how I have things setup.


The Layout


It’s worth noting that the drum pads, the 16 orange buttons near each other, is set to MIDI channel 10 and starts at C1. This is meant to be used for drums, primarily. I liked having the ability to have quick access to a drum pad while producing. I typically use a keyboard MIDI controller to enter keys, but I like the feel of the buttons for playing in drums.

Each button that has an icon on it needs to be mapped in your Ableton Live Session. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + M , clicking on button in Ableton, followed by pressing the drum pad note.

Bome’s MIDI Translator

I use a free piece of software, Bome’s Midi Translator Classic, to handle converting MIDI into keystrokes. There is a pro version of this software, but I’ve found that the free version is more than suitable for my needs. It is worth noting that there is a purchase reminderthat shows for 15 seconds upon first opening it.



Launchpad Scene

Go to and then select Launchpad X.


Grab a copy of my .syx file below.

LPX-Bomes setup.syx0.5KB

Upload the .syx file that you just downloaded. Now, between the Bome’s translator file and the custom layout on the Launchpad X, we are able to use our customized tool.

Next, we need to map the play, pause, rec, etc. buttons from the top row of the drum pad to those buttons in Ableton Live. Ctrl + M opens up the MIDI Map menu. When you are done, your setup should look like this:


Make sure that these changes are applied to the default set so that these are mapped for future sessions, automagically.

Wrap up

Now you should be able to use your drum pad instead of a keyboard. With this drumpad there is not many reasons that I need to interact with the keyboard, which helps me stay in a flow state for longer. As you discover new things you’d like to add to your configuration, you now have the groundwork laid so you can customize things further. Happy tinkering!


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