How to Control the LEDs on a Novation Launchkey Mini II

I picked up a Novation Launchkey Mini II controller last year when I was working with those musical floppy drives, and recently I fell down the rabbit hole of Launchpad LED performance videos. That got me thinking: is it possible to control the LEDs on a Launchkey Mini like you can on a Launchpad?

There’s surprisingly little information about this. Novation’s user guide for the Launchkey Mini has no mention of how to control the LEDs. There is some information available in a “programmer’s reference” manual for the Launchkey II (not the “Mini” version), but sadly the LED components don’t function the same way.

It required a bit of reverse engineering and the result isn’t quite as pretty, but I’ve figured out how to do it.

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DIY Ambilight: Videos and Gifs

Project complete! The LEDs are in place, the code is done, the PCB is built, and everything is installed and running. So what is there left to do? Shoot some videos of everything in action!

In all of these videos, the ambilight is generating colors in real time based on the monitor’s image. The monitor image is as-filmed and is not superimposed.

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