What Is A Launchpad? How To use A Launchpad

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In this video, I’m going to explain what a Launchpad is, and demonstrate how you can use it. This tutorial is suitable for beginners, and requires no previous experience! I’m going to also give a demo of how track are made, with an example audio file.

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*These are affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission if you buy using them. It makes no difference in the price, it’s just a normal Amazon sale, and I really appreciate the support for the channel that you provide by using these links to buy.

In order to WIN A FREE LAUNCHPAD – This competition has ended, but keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways coming soon.

If you have any questions at all about this video, or anything to do with music production, then you can click on any of the links below to get hold of me directly, and I’d be more than happy to help you:


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*These are affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission if you buy using them. It makes no difference in the price, it’s just a normal Amazon sale, and I really appreciate the support for the channel that you provide by using these links to buy.


Free e-book! ‘The 7 Key Elements Of Music Production’ , if you’re serious about learning this skill, make sure you grab this free extra resource which will boost your progress rapidly! Get it here: http://bit.ly/7keompbook



720 thoughts on “What Is A Launchpad? How To use A Launchpad

  1. Hi I have a question. we have the launchpad mini and Ableton. now my son would like to put the pirates of the caribbean track in ableton. We found an he’s pirate project, but I don’t know how we can use it in Ableton.
    Could you gave us an discription? Like to hear how you put an track you downloadin to ableton and use it.

  2. Drummer Rocks Games

    - Edit Reply

    whats the software and where do i download it? i have the launch pad but i got rid of the box and now i cant find the software

  3. when i plug my lauchpad in and do some of the sounds the lights dont work and i try pressing the buttons that are lighten up that u have put none work can i get some help on this

  4. Robin Thornton MMus BMus (Hons) ATCL (Dip) MISM Singing Piano Guitar Bass Drum Teacher.

    - Edit Reply

    This video is clearer than the Tutorials on Ableton.

  5. Hi John! Thanks a million for this video lesson. I just bought the Launchpad and this was exactly what I needed to know to get going with it. You’re one of the best instructors I’ve seen online, so I subscribed to your channel without hesitation. Kudos!

  6. This looks to be the start of an incredible journey. Had Ableton Live 10 since about the first of November, Launch Control XL MKII since Christmas, and a used Launchpad Pro on the way from a friend on iPad Muscian FB page. So needless to say I don’t even know the questions yet let alone the answers. But I have already learned a lot in the last 14 minutes and look forward to many more. This is going to be fun.

  7. This was helpful thank you! Just bought a launchpad today. Can’t wait for it to get here so I can set it up and use it!!!

  8. after initial launch light show, no lights are coming on the top row or the scene play button row. also, the pads don’t trigger green squares and there is no red rectangle around my tracks. ableton recognizes it as a midi controller because I can play notes and trigger sounds, but there is no light.

  9. You mixed up explaining how the launchpad works with how ableton works and ended up not explaining the different uses of the launchpad.

  10. Hi, please help me. When I search 125 (at 4:11) I am not able to find any clips. Mine seems to be empty. How can this problem be resolved? Thanks.

  11. I am interested in buying one. I like to produce beats and rthyms. I like chill lounge music. Groups like climactic and tangerine dream. I want to make music like that is the novation launcpad better or the akai or the arturia? What is the difference? I am leaning towards the novation Thanks in advance

  12. I really want a launchpad but I never knew about all the effort that goes into making ONE song. And I never knew that you acttully had to launch the sound into it

  13. Can you please solve my two questions?
    1. Is there hanging problem in launchpad mk2? If yes, then how to fix it?
    2. Can I save projects? So that whenever I want to play the samples live, I play from the saved project?

  14. Can you just play sounds individually? Like just a piano note, or a snare drum, bass, etc? I don’t want it’s preset stuff tunes, I want to make my own.

  15. great video!
    but i have some questions?
    – whats the programme called ? the one where you can control the sounds and record from the computer?
    – is it best if i get a mac book for the programme or is it ok with microsoft?

  16. He said no prior knowledge but we need to know how to work Microsoft XL what if I don’t know how to work that shit????????

  17. Overrated Casual

    - Edit Reply

    Realised two minutes in that I neglected to change my input on one of my channels. A whole hour of searching for answers and it turns out I was being a massive throbbing imbecile. Thanks guy. I enjoyed your video regardless.

  18. Deborah Dicembre

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    Thanks . Very helpful. I’m an audio logic user. My son has just got the launch pad and we’re pretty happy about it.



  21. ANYT Productions

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    When I start my launchpad mkII none of the buttons along the top light up or do anything when I press them. Why is this?

  22. ANYT Productions

    - Edit Reply

    It doesn’t let me “assign” a sound to the MIDI tracks. It just assigns it to the entire track. There are also no clips in Ableton

  23. followthedmntrainCJ

    - Edit Reply

    Is it easy to find already made projects just for fun? I wanna play some of it but I don’t want to have like to make and record the samples and stuff. Is this available? Download free projects without the premade projects?

  24. Hello. Curious question.. can you use a launchpad in a podcast but not for music but to use it for putting in sound effects while doing/recording the podcast?

  25. I’m watching this even though I don’t have a launchpad. I couldn’t sleep so I thought I’d watch something boring, but this was fascinating so now I really can’t sleep. I am also thinking about getting a launchpad.
    Thank you Youtube for making me spend money on something I don’t need ?

  26. Hey! not sure you’ll get this since it’s been a while since you released this, but if I do not wish to create my own music, are there essentially pre-packs that others have created that i can load an play? I only wish to play things others have made and wondering if this is the right product for me. Also when you showed yourself making this music all you were doing was activating a long clip, how would you achieve creating like a bass button, snare button, kick button, etc. and then individual intro buttons that one button isn’t the entire intro if that makes sense.

  27. Neeraj Sharma Musician

    - Edit Reply

    Hi I want to play a set of virtual instruments for my live performance. I also want to quickly flip through them while playing live. For example I put 4 midi tracks with Strings, Piano, Flute and Guitar. I want to use Launch pad to create a bank of sounds ,where I arm String ,Flute and Guitar ,and assign it to a Launchpad button. In my next move , I want to quickly arm Piano and flute ,while playing live and without missing a beat. Is that possibility using launch pad?

  28. I have a launchpad, but I wanna make it into a soundboard. Is there any way to do that without a DAW running in the bg? If there is a way with a DAW, I use FL cause my guy just gave me his pad.

  29. I’ve got a launch pad but as soon as I plug it into my laptop it doesn’t light up or show on the screen the buttons I’m pressing…. can you make a ableton live launch pad for retards video???? Like legit, I need help hahahahahha!!!!

  30. Hey can u help with this please. I want 2 use launch 4 my podcast 4 live sound bites and music throughout my show. I’m totally lost on how 2 do this though

  31. I’m think to buy one…so you used a app for it…right…?
    I’m using Android…so it’s doesn’t help that much..!

  32. Is it just me or does he have really nice eyes?
    Beside that.. I don’t own a launchpad nor do I know anything about music production… The magic of Youtube!

  33. Un Rincón Random y Divertido

    - Edit Reply

    Where did you downloaded the sound clips? I have the Ableton Live 10 and I don’t find them nowhere.

  34. Caitlin Astrid

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    Thanks for the tutorial! Cause my birthday is almost there cause i will buy a launchpad though I’m small 9 years old but good thing you teach me, thank you!?

  35. Well you see you have to pay for the program because when I first got my launchpad (1 year ago) I tried to save my song but it said you need to buy the full program to have more features added

  36. duketranslucent3rd

    - Edit Reply

    Thanks, helpful. When I started getting into this I was watching some vids on launchpad-style controllers and actually thought they themselves were instruments making sound. I sat through a whole Maschine MK3 vid thinking “amazing box!” and never realised until later you need software… Guess we’ve all been noobs at something.

  37. Thanh KB Nguyễn

    - Edit Reply

    anyone can help how to sync launchpad to macbook please, sometime it can but a lot of time it don’t
    and sometime when it sync but later it’s gone
    i really need your help to handle my launchpad
    i’m from vietnam btw

  38. you make it sound like it’s make for ableton only
    it’s a midi conroller and can be used with any midi interface and instrument

  39. “launchpad” is really a stupid name, wonder who came up with that shit,no wonder why people get confused”

  40. Wait… i just wanna be told on text… How do you upload an already-existing track like an existing song to Ableton to be able to play it?

  41. Alexander Allen

    - Edit Reply

    Is it possible by any means to use a launchpad to play certain audio in your car? I didn’t know if there was some way to do it.

  42. Thank you so much for this video, my son, after watching Joe Hahn of linkin park, really wants to give a launchpad a try. I was confused as to what was involved but now have more clarity! Do you think a mini would be better for him? If so is it the same to run?
    I appreciate your help 🙂

  43. “Or you might have recently bought one”
    Who tf is going to buy something without knowing how to use it??? Poor poor humans…

  44. Christy Romanic

    - Edit Reply

    My son who is almost 15 has been wanting to go into music production. What would he absolutely need to start? My hubby and I want to make this happen for him. Is it just the Launchpand and a PC? Or does he need anything else? Thank you for your help

  45. I just thought that people played music and started clicking buttons to make it look like they are making the sound and it looks cool, I thought
    “Those people aren’t doing anything but clickingl

  46. Shanitra Potier

    - Edit Reply

    Other than the launch pad, laptop and software (that comes with it) is needed to make music using a launch pad?

  47. android is better than iOS when It comes to music because you can get unipad and plug in your launchpad and play amy song you want

  48. This was the best starter video for my lauchpad, Novation should use yours – much clearer. Thank you SO much!

  49. I thought a launchpad is kind of a piano or a keyboard,but it is also an another for headache.see 1:57.

    I’ll just focus on my school.

  50. Excellent presentation: properly paced so we can see what you’re doing, calm/coherent verbal explanation that is easy to follow, and basic functionality that leads to a final creative product fully demonstrated. I just wish that every would-be presenter on YouTube was as calm, focused and professional as you. Thanks man!

  51. I just bought the mini mkII for my sons 15th and I’m looking forward to using your guides to help us.
    We are both really in to gadgets, Gizmos and whatchamacallits so I have no worries at all as I know he can do this and crack what this controller can do along with Ableton live. I look foreward to watching more of your videos.

  52. this would be cool for any other purpose than music production as well. just for launching programs or photoshop tools & filters or for excel macros or for mmorpg spells etc. if it can be used for a simple key mapping that is.

  53. I have my launch pad, the only issue that I have is that it sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t work, and the lights doesn’t show when it works

  54. How much does it usually cost and does it also download instrumental sound together with electronic sound in different buttons?

  55. excuse me. i want to ask about the launchpad pleasee. can we add real life song like “the spectre”-alan walker and the others? i see youtube channel named “clement show” can do it but i dont know how to do it. please help me.

  56. me:wants one
    me: thinks you just have to add some beats to each button

    me:sees this video.. and started getting scared
    also me: *maybe i dont need one*

  57. hello! I found this video very helpful, but now i feel i’ve kind of graduated the basics of using midi clips with launchpad. I make a lot of my own beats/clips so I was trying to figure out if there is a way I can simply map a certain drum/note to a launchpad key, the same way if i was using a midi keyboard and used it to control drum rack, there’s a key that corresponds to the kick drum, a key that corresponds to snare, to high hat etc. Is this possible or was launchpad made for use in session with looping midi clips?

  58. i wanted a launchpad to just post cool tracks on insta and i got a genius idea (i dont know if this is genius) launch ableton, do what the guy said for beats, keys and bass, connect a speaker to your laptop/PC play the song and record it with a camera, DONE

  59. ?*00212.645.75.23.01* *whatapps*?
    شــبــاب?‍♂️ صــار لـي بــقــرأ كــثــيــر مــن الـكـومـنـتـات عـن صـغـر الـقـضـيـب وســرعــة الــقــذف
    وأحـب أقــولــكــم بـمـعـلـومـة مـفـيـدة? أنـي حــصــلــت عــلــى وصــفــة رهـيـبـة مـن الـدكـتـور?‍⚕️ الـلـي بـيـيـتـواصـلـو مــعــاه كـثـيـر مـن الـنـاس
    وبـصـدق جــربــتــو كــم أسـبـوع وصـار لـي قـضـيـب رهــيــب تـتـمـنـاه أي زوجــة?
    هـذا رقــم الـدكـتـور عــلــى الـواتـس *00212.645.75.23.01*?


    - Edit Reply

    I know what is a launch pad will someone watch this video with out knowing what is a launchpad some won’t know if guess

  61. So I recently bought a Launchpad, and at the start of this video you said that Launchpads come with the Ableton Live application. I just want to double check if that is correct?

  62. Great video! This really helped me understand the purpose of this device! My kids is interested in one of these and I needed to know more. Thanks.

  63. I don’t know if you’re still getting notifications about this vid, but I have a question. Can a Launchpad be used as a MIDI controller WITHOUT Ableton? I am looking for something to send session loading commands to a program called AUM on the iPad. It will recognize MIDI note numbers, or MIDI CC commands for this. So I am trying to find out what exactly a Launchpad sends. Any assistance will be very welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

  64. Hi, I have a small question…
    Which launchpad version is worth to buy, the Mini, Normal or the Pro version (The one, which are in your link)? I never played it before but I am very interested and want to learn it. I would be very happy if you could answer it 🙂

  65. hey so i got a launchpad mk2. Ive had the mini before this one. its been a while tho. I downloaded abelton live 10 bc i think thats the one that im supposed to use. The only problem for me is that Im confused with the pages of the launchpad, like how to switch from page to page. It was pretty easy a while ago whan i used the mini. Plus the lights arent coming on. I tried testing out the spectre song but all i got was the first page of it and no lights for the actual thing. I could be the project file but I used the same one as i did with the mini and the mini lights worked. I dont know if you could make a video or help in any way but i feel a little lost. Thanks for this video tho

  66. Is it too hard to practice? I want one but there’s no one who can teach me. So basically I have to learn by watching YouTube and all. So can I be able to learn it that way ?

  67. Just got the mini for Christmas. Spent a good hour playing with it trying to figure it out. It got extremely aggravating, watched this and it has all just clicked. Very good video. Thank you very much.

  68. I was recently gifted a launchpad and a few other goodies. I’ve been making DnB for about 20 years, but the majority of it was done solely with software. I’m excited to have a more hands-on setup. Now I just need to learn how to use it, lol

  69. I use Logic Pro to make music but i wanted to try to play stuff live so I have to use Ableton for this. Is it really complicated to learn how to use it if i already know how to use Logic Pro ? thanks 🙂

  70. Thanks for this video! I bought one today and this really helped. New to Ableton and DAWs in general. I have a question about the clips. Can I edit the clips individually and then use the edited ones on the launchpad? I have noticed a whack of the clips I have are super aggressive when they start and I want to soften their entry. Do I just throw some audio effects at them? Or do I have to manually edit each clip?

    yeah I am a bit lost…But its amazing fun thus far!

  71. Miscellaneous McC

    - Edit Reply

    Thanks for this video! I bought one today and this really helped. New to Ableton and DAWs in general. I have a question about the clips. Can I edit the clips individually and then use the edited ones on the launchpad? I have noticed a whack of the clips I have are super aggressive when they start and I want to soften their entry. Do I just throw some audio effects at them? Or do I have to manually edit each clip?

    yeah I am a bit lost…But its amazing fun thus far!

  72. I’m not sure if all the other tutorials got the the lid of the jar loose for ya, but after this I’m up and running! Thanks!

  73. I just watched a Launchpad cover and was like “Can you even call this an Instrument” because it just looks like a Pad with a few Play buttons of which you just play pre recorded tracks in a Specific order and not just notes. I’ll play the piano

  74. The Man Downstairs

    - Edit Reply

    you’re telling me an $80 novation launchpad mini will also get me ableton live free version?
    hold on let me get my wallet

  75. That One Guy With The Face

    - Edit Reply

    Dude you got a lower that camera little bit bring it out a little bit it’s way too close and way too high kind of creepy

  76. After I watched 100 times I finally figured it out! loaded as many clips and loops as the launchpad could hold. Having a blast. this launch pad sat under the bed in the box for a year. Kudos to you sir. I use ableton live 10 intro. Really do not wAnt to be a music producer. will that software work . I use a focusrite 2i4 and have a mini key. All this equipment sat under the bed? I want too learn and have fun. positive influence you are sir

  77. i just got this launchpad and got the app and everything, but i’m really confused because when i opened ‘clips’ there was nothing there-

  78. I went to the link to get the clips that were listed as “free samples” but it says I have to pay for an account to get them. Anyone know where I can get the same clips he used?

  79. This boring 🙁 but I watched it anyway ;3 you know why………(whispers)c-come closer ok my secret is……I am very very stupid :>

  80. 0:58 is it ONLY ableton live? do u have to hook it up to ur pc to use it? can i just play it without headphones or anything? i have questions.

  81. Hello! I want to learn how to use my LaunchPad Mini Mk2 as a MIDI controler, not for Ableton Live, but for a hardware sampler (1010Music BlackBox) in order to launch samples or sequences with pad…where can I find a tutorial? thanks!

  82. Really clear and concise explanation and demo of the launchpad and Ableton, the best one I’ve seen. Thank you (and yes, I’ve subscribed).

  83. Hi John, thanks for posting this video. I’m an old-school musician who plays multiple instruments but I want to add an “electronic” element to my music. I”m pretty skilled with ProTools but I’ve had a Launchpad for a while and haven’t been able to figure out how to use it. You got me up and running in one video! Definitely going to subscribe and watch your other videos. Thanks again, good stuff. ROCK ON!

  84. current_interest

    - Edit Reply

    I have a Ableton lite because of my focusrite but I’ve never used it. It’s interface looks so ugly to be honest. That’s not your fault though, you make great videos.

  85. Hi i won’t to use lonch pad in luve shows in india can i have facility to increase the tempo and can i change Schell while perform live? Pl help me my name is parimal +919825597757 my whatsapp

  86. Just got a launchpad mk2 added Ableton 10 live my question is (i feel stupid) but i have No clips is that standard ?

  87. me: (ordered a launchpad minutes ago) sees picture at 1:50
    also me: 𝙊𝙧𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝘾𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙙

  88. Yours clips aren’t in Alberton Lite. Since you reference the lite, wished you would work with the free version clips. This way we could get an idea how to use it like you’re showing us…

  89. I’ve never been somatosensory disgusted and attracted to someone until now, you are truly the most beautiful ugly person I’ve ever seen, so congrats, I guess?

  90. Vladimir Kruglyak

    - Edit Reply

    dude, please hide out your square face …. this is not primary product here …. rather, you should have filmed closely all the nest connections and cables … would have been much more helpful

  91. Hi i have a question. How can i do That the lights come only on one page up? So that i can make new lights e.g. on Page 2. thanks for your help 🙏

  92. It even sounded like a beginner track 😂😂 what the hell are those demo sounds that come with the software 😂😂😂😂😂

  93. Dose it need to be connected to to your pc to play it or does it have its own internal memory ? So you can pre load banks

  94. is this good for adding custom sounds like cutting sound files and adding them to the soundboard and use them in a game or such?

  95. I’m a complete novice with this but which has more versatility, the Launchpad or Launchkey? Definitely going to start out with one of them and I want the more useful one.

  96. If I buy Launchpad Mini MK2, would I also be able to download the software Ableton for free?
    I am assuming yes for the description on Amazon “Software for Mac and PC, includes Ableton Live Lite” but I just want to make sure 😀

  97. Hi, when I changed the colors of the clips in ableton live it didn’t change in the launchpad…I did it in session mode, I don’t know what I did wrong, great channel!

  98. Thanks John. Looking to venture into music production so you have just gained a new subscriber. As a DJ I can mix on decks but have never tried to create music of my own before so looking forward to learning more.

  99. Easily the clearest, most assumption free explanation I’ve seen. Ten minutes ago Launchpad and Ableton made little sense. Now they do, thank you! 🙂

  100. hello john very useful clip ,thank you , but i have a question to asking , i hhave launch pad + roland t8 + akai keyboard and the other controlers which shhould connect to computer but how when all of them have USB cable . my computer has just 3 usb port . sorry for different question but any suggestion would be appreciated/.

  101. im so frustrated trying to set my launchpad up, after so many tutorials and explanation i still cant find the screen or things i need to get to. i got this launch pad years ago and hooked it up for a couple days and then stopped using it. I now want to get into it again but, dont have the original computer i used it on.

  102. I didnt think i had a chance in hell at this until you used excel as a comparison and i really appreciated that, thanks!

  103. I’ve had a Launchpad for about 3 years now, sitting in my closet… I gave up really quickly because it went over my head. I think I might dust it off and use it now so thank you!!

  104. This is the best explanation of basic functions within Ableton, love the Excel comparison. Many pennys have dropped! I’m about to buy an old mk2 for around £30 from Ebay. Cheers!

  105. Hello, quick question and I’m sure this is quite basic but I just cannot figure it out!?!?! I have a Push 2 and a launchpad MK2. I am wanting to trigger scenes on the launchpad independently of the push 2, but when I do that the push follows to the track/scene that I have selected on the launchpad. How do I stop this from happening so I can continue to, for example play drums/keys on the push whilst launching scenes on the launchpad?

  106. lionel saquilabon

    - Edit Reply

    for those who say “i have launch pad but I quit using it”, I would love to have it. give it to me. I can’t afford to buy one but love to have one.

  107. how do you get like, youtubes songs for example spectere from alan walker how do you do that pls give me an answer

  108. ASH_gacha gameing

    - Edit Reply

    I just got 5 OF THEM it was my b-day and I asked for one and 5 people bot me one lol and I have to say I love thes so cool

  109. Sebastián Ametro

    - Edit Reply

    Can you press stop at the beginning of a phrase and it will finish the whole phrase? I’m a violinist and I want to produce my own loops to jam to, but I can’t use my hands on both things, this is why I’d really like to know if I can press the stop button for a phrase at any given time and it will stop once it reaches the end of that whole circle? Or can this feature I’m looking for can be mapped or programed somehow? I used to do that with the BOSS RC 50 and the feature “stop: end loop” and it was very handy.

  110. Would you rather recommend a Novation Launchpad Pro or Ableton Push 2? Speaking of Novation: What is your opinion on their Launch Control XL device?

  111. I have a launchpad mini but in that, I cant change the colour of the buttons like you did by simply clicking pls help anyone?

  112. Okay everyone who is wondering this is kind of like customizing different key-binds on a video game. You are assigning each button when pressed to do a action. In this case play a sound

  113. Dude! I thought at first your voice was dull and hard to understand but I FFed a little and you explained this the best!!

  114. I got a Launchpad X last week. I was going about it all wrong! Trying to write the song on the pad. Watched your tutorial. Load clips etc, launch them using the pad.
    Launchpad! It all makes sense now. Well on the way to completing my first track now. Thanks so much for getting my on my way.

  115. Once you run out of fun with your 8×8 page you are working on can you seamlessly get a new 8×8 page going. Forgive the terminology.

  116. if you have a lot of samples and you just want to mess around pressing buttons and pretend to be a dj, it’s fun. but i was wishing it did a lot more than it does. i’m glad i got it from cash converters on the cheap.

  117. ok so if your trying to learn a song that you downloaded from someone else is there a way in Ableton to read the notes or what buttons to press?

  118. Can a beginner use this to make music? How much of a learning curve is there? Does it really pair best with a pc in order to use it as intended?

  119. Wow! This was a really good video! You explain things very well.

    This video was about the Launchpad Session Mode. You mentioned you were going to record some tutorials on other modes. Did you make those recordings and ever post them to YouTube?

  120. GFG Nickname_not_chosen

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    the trick here is to get an apc mini, it’s way cheaper but works the same and also has faders. you can control ableton wayyyy better with an apc

  121. How to know if I need a LaunchPad I am planning to produce my own music something quite similar to twenty one pilots and people just keep talking about launch pads and samplers and I still have no idea why do I need this and what for

  122. Great tutorial. I have been through a ton of vids to find this one. You simplified the whole thing in an instant with the Excel comparison

  123. I am a beginner, should I go for the launchpad mini? If so, what one are you using and what is the difference?
    Please reply,
    Thank you

  124. Fan of Leafnation

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    If I could name what interfaces of games and programs i hate the most i would give some examples:
    Old Sony Vegas
    Its everything I have been using and its in that obsolete style

  125. Bert