Monome . Launchpad pad stiffness comparison

  • I am considering buying a 256 and arc 4

    Currently I have a Launchpad and find the pads really too stiff to use for fast and light pad pressure.

    Is the monome less stiff than the launchpad?

    Many thanks for any comments,

  • newest monome pads are light and quick. some older models may be stiffer and less sensitive. we've put a lot into working on this over the years.

  • Thank you very much for your help

  • Is the difference in the pads alone? (will the new pads respond as well in the old enclosures and faceplates?)

    If so... any chance you might consider selling an upgrade kit? =)

  • the pads on my 2012 monome 256 are painfully stiff to press compared to the older GS128 model. should this not be?

  • I believe those are the exact two models that I own.

    I understand the relative stiffness is a quirk of that whole batch; it's not what Brian aims for or has since achieved again, but your unit isn't an aberration either. Whether that "should not be" is a subjective judgement.

    I find the stiffer pads are actually better for menu selection type tasks, where you don't want to accidentally trigger anything but the button you are very deliberately pressing. But there are some interaction models that I'll always go back to the 128 for. (see "trails")

    Every batch is different; ours aren't defective. But if softer/lighter pads were available, I'd personally consider that a worthwhile upgrade.

  • I suppose that my original question was aimed at being able to use the pads for articulating fast melodic sequences, using the pads. The relative stiffness of the launchpad kills me.

    I also love the design and manufacturing aesthetic of the monome and arc. So being able to choose the degree of stiffness of the monome pads might be worth considering. Not all of us use it in just one way.

  • i've got some of the new 2013 pads in my 2011 monome. while they are better than the original pads, they still don't always trigger reliably. like karaokaze said, you can't trust that every button will register and some buttons register much more easily than others. they're just not very suitable for live performance. from my experience, the most responsive pads seem to be 2010 and earlier.

    i'm also curious if the difference is in the pads alone? could the grid pcb's or firmware have anything to do with it?

  • "newest monome pads are light and quick" ---

    @gtz: i agree that the stiffer-pads of the 2012 varibright model are great for menu type behavior, as a result of this stiffness problem, menu type behavior has become the use case for my 2012 256.

    like karaokaze has reported, it's so severe that triggers are 'missed' (due to stiffness) and even worse, my hands become very sore/tired, quickly. the gs model has been the most friendly in this regard (as in, i can use it as i imagined a monome to be, free of the maddening pain from longer jam sessions).
    the 2011 monome 256 walnut enclosed edition i found slightly more stiff to press compared to the gs models, while the 2012 monome 256 has been the most difficult out of the whole bunch (which doesn't remotely equate to pads are light and quick, more like hard to press and painful). the trend seems to be getting worse, not better. i cannot imagine how others are performing (non 'menu type' functions) with the newest model if the button presses feel as they do when pressing buttons on my 2012 monome.

    with all of that being said, i really do love the 2012 monome 256! just sharing my experience and feelings.

  • just to share some thoughts on the differences:

    I find the greyscale has less 'travel' in the buttons and generally feels 'quicker'. But! I also find its a bit too easy to accidentally press the button slightly sideways and therefore not trigger the input.

    The most recent monomes have a bit more travel in the buttons (a bit more 'squish') but I generally find the presses a little more reliable (its very rare I try and press something and it doesn't trigger).

    Just my personal experience. And honestly, I wouldn't have noticed without doing a really direct comparison, so it's subtle. If it's a concern then I guess you need to try it yourself and see what you think though!

  • figure i'll throw in some background!

    manufacturing consistency of the keypads has been our major hurdle for the past 6 years. this is not just due to our molding company, but also material suppliers changing formulas, etc. we've made various tweaks to the material handling procedure (mixing various durometers to achieve a particular "snap" etc) and have recently settled on what i feel is a good mix of reliability and trigger sensitivity. while in the past we were creating large amounts of reject parts, recently things have been going smoothly. there have been some sore moments, to be certain-- part of 2012 was very off. but given our small scale, key quality and always been, well-- qualitative. we always ship the best of the batch and get rid of the rest, but from batch to batch there may not be sufficient muscle memory for cross-generational comparison. it's the rare case when a 2008 unit comes in for a repair and i notice (wowww) that things were different in many regards. the sensitivity may be different in several respects (noise vs. speed etc) and the mechanical snap has certainly gone through some massaging.

    throughout the editions i've always solicited outside opinions (as i'm too hard on myself and think everything, well, sucks) and i've gotten good responses, so they've gone out to mostly very happy users.

    that said, i've seen some cases where there have been deterioration of performance over time. i can't possibly explain this, neither can the material suppliers. internal cleaning helps a bit.

    i've been putting off offering widely available replacement keypads, because i suspect numerous people would get them needlessly, hoping for a magical upgrade that would be a bit of a let down. on the other hand, i've seen units that clearly could use new pads.

    before you all start e-mailing asking for pads, perhaps just drop a note to voicing your potential interest in getting a replacement set, then i'll try to work out the details.

    much of this has to do with expectations, i think. the original 40h required a pretty serious push. the mechanical pushback is tough, hence it required a force which made a good contact. i adjusted my playing accordingly. the newest editions feel different, and my habits changes. but this is different from pure malfunction.


  • in addition to all of the above, there are a few differences between the electronics of the keypad sensing circuits between editions. i remember tehn talking about adding a comparator stage to the sensing logic to attempt to avoid super light touches accidentally triggering. i believe this was the 2011 series and might(?) also apply to the 2012/13 models.

    anyway - i merely bring it up as this might also explain a degree of difference in required pressure between batches that has perhaps compounded with stiffer buttons for a particularly stiff pressing action. atop this there are firmware differences with different debouncing times / mechanisms to add another layer.

    personally i find my 2013 model noticeably (though slightly) stiffer than my gs. my old 2008 model has a similar weight to the press as the gs, but definitely a sloppier action in general (feels more rounded?)...

    definitely a qualitative discussion...

  • trent is correct of course!