I'm about to start some projects with the Launchpad, and I just read the programmers guide last night. I am somewhat new to using Max, but I am about a year into a computer science BS program. I have made a simple patch that takes the MIDI notes sent by the Launchpad, and takes out all the notes that aren't in the C minor scale so I don't have to play a chromatic scale.
...but my question is more of a general one. With all the MIDI controllers that are coming out, is MIDI the lowest level access point for these things? Is everyone programming for this gear simply catching the MIDI information as it comes in, then manipulating it and sending it back out to the controller LED's for feedback? From reading the Launchpad guide it looks like I could access every button's LED with just MIDI notes and CC messages. Is this the case, or are some of you going beyond this?