AbletonTweets - The Blog

22/02/2011

Isotonik Octop4d Review

Isotonik Octop4d - M4ster 1.1.3 from Darren E Cowley on Vimeo.

Isotonik Launchpad - Octop4d 1.0.8 from Darren E Cowley on Vimeo.

http://thestudiosessions.co.uk/

I’ve recently had some time to test out a really exciting Max for Live Patch from Isotonik called OctoP4d. What is particularly exciting about this patch is that instead of just adding some monome-like buffer shuffler functionality to the launchpad or apc40 that we’ve seen before; this patch turns the launchpad into a useful and functional tool for ableton live.  Obviously, I’ve had some frustrations with the launchpad’s inexplicable limitations in customizability. Yes, the midi options on user1 and user2 are useful, but the fact that they don’t offer any access to the LED’s has always baffled me. I bought the launchpad because I hoped that it would provide a controller that I could design an matrix of effects and controls, and the Octop4d is the first patch I’ve tested that actually makes worthwhile progress toward that goal. 

 

I was going to give a rundown of all the functions of the Octop4d, but instead, I think the creator does a really good job of running down all the options. 

 

So, I’ll just skip right to the highlights for me. Basically the Shuffl3r setting is a buffer shuffler mode that can also reverse and skip notes as well as just beat repeat through the sample in the buffer.  If the shuffler makes you happy, you’ll freak (ok, I freaked) on the Eff3cts mode. This one is really the big reason I’m so stoked on this patch. The LED feedback and combinations of effects in this patch is really well implemented to be fun to play with tons of effects combinations to jam out on in real time. The other highlight for me is the Util1ty mode. This one is something I have no idea why ableton and novation didn’t think to include in both the apc40 and the launchpad. Its not exactly an intuitive control because of the pads can’t be labeled, but this is one that will keep your hands completely off the keyboard and mouse.

 

The other highlight of this patch that I was really disappointed that the momome type emulations patches for the launchpad was missing was the fact that all of the patches that are included by default in the lanchpad are preserved. which means you can still switch back to session mode to quickly launch a new clip and get right back to jamming out effects. 

 

The other functions of this patch include the ability to loop in ableton clips (a funtionality glaringly absent from the software and completely necessary for people djing in ableton).  The drum sequencer mode is also really dope, but not really something we haven’t seen before, its just a good addition to the complete package this patch offers. 

 

And now, the downside: I’m not really sure that this is a downside for the whole patch, but more built in limitations of the way that buffer shuffler works. Basically, in my live set with tons of tracks loaded in and any buffer shuffler patch on the master, I get cpu spikes occasionally that cause the beat of the set to jump as the program samples to buffer. The buffer shuffler is not really a problem when running smaller clips and less of them, but with the 4 gigs of ram I have running, this is not really suitable to live performance the way I have my live set right now. Another small limitation is the mouse movements in the Util1ty are clunky, but with the directional arrows that are built in, I don’t really find much need for the mouse movements. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who will read the manual and/or advanced ableton users who are familiar with the limitations I talked about above. I have integrated this into a single channel in my ableton set and have been using it to manipulate samples and acapella clips and I’ve found it well suited to that. I will have to report back when I upgrade my ram and computer for a more final decision. I would definitely like to see more work on this one, this has the potential to really change the way people use the launchpad and apc40. 


18/01/2010

06/11/2009

AbletonTweets Content on @KraftGear

I am excited to announce that part of the AbletonTweets blog is now syndicated on KraftGear.com: an up-and-coming place for live online music production news! Be sure to check their site out and follow them on Twitter as well!

-eBerry

26/10/2009

Midi Sync in Ableton Live: Why so Complicated?

Ableton Midi Bar

A reader of the blog Mark sent me an email this morning. It seems as though more share my opinion of the current state of Midi sync in OSX and Live.

He writes:

Thank you for the informative article concerning stable sync between two computers running Ableton Live. We have been struggling with this issue for several years now and reading your article confirmed we are on the right track. Currently we are both using macbooks and syncing via ethernet with Audio File Engineering’s “Backline” app to generate MTC. This method has been about 95% reliable, but after reading the article on Ableton Tweets we are going to acquire the Motu Timepiece. We have a quick question for you - will an older Timepiece be sufficient? (as we are not able to shell out $500 at the present time.) It occurs to me that the Timepiece needs to be a USB version since we are sending a lot of midi to the external midi-ins of our audio/midi interfaces (Motu Ultralite and Presonus Firebox.) Do you agree?

On a slightly similar note, it’s my opinion that the situation with syncing laptops together with Ableton Live shouldn’t be so problematic in this day in age. The Ableton Live forum posts regarding sync are fraught with dissention and are excruciating to read to say the least. I feel I’m empathetic to the complexities of programming audio applications, but in my estimation Ableton tech support’s explanations toward this issue have been mostly open ended. Certainly there are enough customers who want a better solution.

I feel it’s time to launch a concerted effort to organize users and demand that Ableton addresses this issue once and for all. Perhaps this solution wouldn’t even involve midi at all. Ideally this would be an open protocol such as OSC, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a proprietary solution - just as long as there is a reliable one.

[redacted]
Perhaps we could get [dedicated individuals] involved with this mission? […]Clout could be helpful in garnering additional leverage to demand better sync ability between two (or even multiple) laptops running Live - even from unlike computer manufacturers. You guys have the Glitch Mob connection (awesome!) and undoubtedly [others] would know performers with valuable expertise in this area.

Also, it might be possible to query better known Ableton acts such as Underworld, Daft Punk and DeadMau5 and discover the solutions they have obviously refined.

Once again, thank you for the great info and continue the great work you’ve started.

Mark Kunoff and Patrick Petro of “Othership”
http://www.othership.com

To answer Mark’s question in the first paragraph: Yes. There are many methods of syncing Midi clocks, and I see no reason to believe an older timepiece would be any less effective than a brand new Motu.

This might be where we need to start a feature request for a future version of Live. Perhaps a built-in sync function would allow reliable ethernet (or male-male usb) clock sync between computers.

I completely agree with the need to use some leverage to get this issue addressed. Whether it’s figuring out what the pros use or getting a software solution, it is so important that musicians who play in groups get a solution to this problem. After all, we are the ones who use and pay for the software.

25/10/2009

Tips for Recording a Live Set

Straight from the Ableton Wave, Fernando Fonseca (@fjfonseca) shares his methods for recording a live Live set in its entirety.

Q - from GuideWire: I’ve also wondered about recording while performing live. There have been a few times while I tried to record performances and it’s missed recording the parts. I figured I couldn’t “add tracks” while recording and thus have moved to just setting up all tracks before hand.

A - from Fernando: I have two solutions to record my live acts, all of them working inside of live:

  • Setup a extra track that is recording what comes out of the master (Post-FX)
  • When I am using lots of effects on the XONE-3D/XONE-92 I just setup one extra track to record what is coming from the Master Channel of the Mixing desk inside of Ableton.

If you want to get in on discussions like this and happen to have an invite to Google Wave,* check out the Wave set up by @fjfonseca at http://tr.im/CPfR.

* Sorry, but we don’t have an invite for everyone.

12/10/2009

Happy 10th Anniversary, Ableton!

PlayBox and PlayLive: Multitouch Control of Ableton Live and Beyond (CDM)

via Peter Kirn at CreateDigitalMusic

As computer music practice – part composition, part instrumental play – spreads, the idea of software interface as performance tool is becoming second nature. Putting those opposable thumbs and sensitive fingertips to work, multitouch controllers are growing in number, variety, and sophistication. Berlin-based artist Marco Kuhn shows off his beautiful creation, the PlayBox multitouch hardware, and its first app, PlayLive. That first software focuses on Ableton Live performance, but Live could be just the beginning – Marco has worked with Pd in the past and promises other apps to come. He’s interested in selling this device in the future, and he shares with us the tools he used to create this work for those of you doing development along similar lines.

The Project:
“Play Box” is is a User Interface for Natural User Interaction.
    • allows multi-touch and object recognition (TUIO marker)
    • hovering is also possible
    • 22 ” TFT display , 1680 x 1050 pixel
    • robust
    • plug`n play
“Play Live” is a dedicated multitouch controller surface for Ableton Live.
    • GUI Elements support multi-touch interaction
    • easy to setup , just load the “Play” Control Surface
    • you need no controller assignment
    • you can control 32 tracks and 127 scenes, that are 4064 clips
    • track controls are mute, solo, record, send1, send2, pan, level
    • scene feedback name and state
    • clip feedback color, name and state
    • Transport control
    • 2 Returns
    • Master
    • support bidirectional communication
    • display track level meter, name
The whole app is coded in python.
    • use Python Ableton Live API
    • and libavg www.libavg.de for the GUI and Trackingengine
    • PyPortMidi receive/send Midi Messages
“Play Live” Future plans:
    • FX View per Track
    • subpage for abstract clip controlling
I tested it with my mac book pro, “Play Live” and “Ableton Live” is running at the same machine. It should work on all platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X). That Project started with my Diploma Thesis in Applied Computer Science 1 year ago.
Everything is coded and built by myself. The GUI – elements has been designed by Gösta Wellmer.
In this work, I created a GUI-Controller Library which allow me to Develop very rapidly Multitouch Interfaces for other Audio Environments.
More Apps coming soon ;-)
I [plan] to sell the” Play Box” and Apps like “Play Live” if anyone is interested.
The price is yet not specified.

That`s not my first multitouch Interface. 2 Years ago I created forfour http://forfour.hi-pi.de/ used PD, Processing, Reactivision and OGRE.

But the “Play Box” is another level;-)

For more on the project:
www.hi-pi.de/play

01/10/2009

Ableton is very happy to announce Launchpad, a new dedicated controller for Ableton Live, co-developed by Novation and Ableton.
Launchpad features a multicolor, 64-button grid for launching clips, as well as dedicated scene-launch buttons. Despite the big grid, Launchpad is compact and portable: it’ll fit in your bag for gigs and won’t hog your desk space in the studio.Launchpad doesn’t just launch clips. In mixer mode the button grid offers a unique way to control Ableton Live’s mixer. Two fully customizable user modes transform the grid into a drum pad controller, a DJ effect controller or anything else you can think of. These user modes make Launchpad the ideal hardware counterpart for Max for Live (coming soon).Launchpad is Automap-enabled, and if 64 buttons aren’t enough, you can link up to six Launchpads together.Launchpad comes with a special Live 8 Launchpad Edition and 1GB of sound content.Launchpad will be on sale worldwide starting on November 1, 2009. Pricing is expected to be around USD 199 (MAP)/149 EUR (VAT not included).For movies, tech specs and more information, visit:http://www.ableton.com/nl398-launchpad***Be the first! Get your itchy fingers on Launchpad before it’s released to the public: visit Novation’s stand at BPM (Birmigham, England) and AES (New York, USA).***

Ableton is very happy to announce Launchpad, a new dedicated controller for Ableton Live, co-developed by Novation and Ableton.

Launchpad features a multicolor, 64-button grid for launching clips, as well as dedicated scene-launch buttons. Despite the big grid, Launchpad is compact and portable: it’ll fit in your bag for gigs and won’t hog your desk space in the studio.

Launchpad doesn’t just launch clips. In mixer mode the button grid offers a unique way to control Ableton Live’s mixer. Two fully customizable user modes transform the grid into a drum pad controller, a DJ effect controller or anything else you can think of. These user modes make Launchpad the ideal hardware counterpart for Max for Live (coming soon).

Launchpad is Automap-enabled, and if 64 buttons aren’t enough, you can link up to six Launchpads together.

Launchpad comes with a special Live 8 Launchpad Edition and 1GB of sound content.

Launchpad will be on sale worldwide starting on November 1, 2009. Pricing is expected to be around USD 199 (MAP)/149 EUR (VAT not included).

For movies, tech specs and more information, visit:

http://www.ableton.com/nl398-launchpad


***Be the first! Get your itchy fingers on Launchpad before it’s released to the public: visit Novation’s stand at BPM (Birmigham, England) and AES (New York, USA).***

26/09/2009

Ableton September Newsletter

Subscribe to the newsletter here!

(Reposted from the official newsletter sent to subscribers on September 25)

Ableton newsletter, September 2009
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Contents:

1. New update available: Ableton Live 8.0.5
2. New artist movie: Drum processing with Depeche Mode
3. Computer Music special on Ableton Live
4. Last chance! Get Line 6 POD Farm for free
5. Special offer: $150 discount on Strum bundle from AAS
6. Bring your talents to the Ableton team!

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1. New update available: Ableton Live 8.0.5

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Live 8 and Suite 8 users, it’s time to update: Ableton Live 8.0.5 is now available for download. This latest update is free, obviously, and fixes a number of gripes; we recommend that you download and install it.

Use the “Check for Updates” command from Live’s help menu or just get it here:
http://www.ableton.com/nl385-latest-versions

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2. New artist movie: Drum processing with Depeche Mode

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Kerry Hopwood is the Live Programmer/Musical Director for Depeche Mode. When it comes to staging a live DM show, there’s no cutting corners. Kerry puts it simply: “We need to use tools that work.” In concert, Kerry and Depeche Mode rely on Ableton Live as an integral component of shaping the band’s drum sound. In this movie, shot at a concert at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Kerry discusses the advantages that Live offers for on-stage sound processing.

To watch the movie, please visit:
http://www.ableton.com/nl385-depeche-mode

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3. Computer Music special on Ableton Live

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Computer Music presents Ableton Live – The Essential Guide 2009. Get to grips with the hottest tools and techniques for music producers with Computer Music magazine’s brand-new guide to Ableton Live.

Find out more at:
http://www.ableton.com/nl385-computer-music-live-special

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4. Last chance! Get Line 6 POD Farm for free

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Our friends at Line 6 are giving away some great sounds, and we thought you’d like to know. Pack a ton of premium guitar tone into Ableton Live or your DAW of choice with the POD Farm plug-in, worth $99, for free. POD Farm includes a comprehensive collection of 42 immortal guitar amps and cabs, 10 thumping bass amps and cabs, 29 classic stompboxes and studio effects, and 6 colorful preamps. (Please note: you’ll need an iLok to use the POD Farm.)

The offer ends September 30, 2009, so you’ll have to be quick. Find out more at:
http://www.ableton.com/nl385-podfarm

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5. Special offer: $150 discount on Strum bundle from AAS

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Our friends at Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS) are offering Ableton Live users a $150 discount on the Strum Bundle. Until October 31st, get both Strum Acoustic and Strum Electric GS-1 for $229.

Strum Acoustic and Strum Electric GS-1 are virtual guitar instruments that not only sound amazing, but also cleverly replicate playing techniques. Both versions include a comprehensive collection of acoustic and electric guitar types plus automatic chord voicing.

Get your discount here:
http://www.ableton.com/aas-strumbundle/AB-720E-6215-1D17-1

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6. Bring your talents to the Ableton team!

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Ableton is looking for experienced and motivated people for the
following positions:

- Application Developer (f/m)
- Python Developer (f/m)
- Web Developer (f/m)
- Studentische/r Mitarbeiter/in in der Applikationsentwicklung
- Studentische/r Mitarbeiter/in im Bereich DSP-Entwicklung
- Communications Professional (m/w) PR/Texte/Übersetzungen/ DEUTSCH (freiberuflich, ca. 16 Stunden/Woche)
- Interface Designer (f/m)
- Ausbildung zur/zum Kauffrau/-mann für Bürokommunikation ab Februar 2010

For further information, please visit:
http://www.ableton.com/nl385-jobs

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More news in the next Ableton newsletter.

17/08/2009

Ableton August Newsletter

Hey everyone. I am almost positive that few people subscribe to the Ableton newsletter. You should, but I will try to make a habit of posting it here as well.


Ableton newsletter, August 2009
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Contents:

1. New Ableton T-shirts: MAKE MUSIC
2. Artist movie: Swayzak and their free Live Pack
3. Another artist movie: DJ Jazzy Jeff on Ableton Live
4. Ableton movie: Life as an Ableton developer
5. Sign up for the fall term at Berkleemusic.com
6. Waveforming: free Live Pack from MESA+
7. Remix competition from Freerange and Dancetracks
8. Special offer on Live tutorials from Streamworks Audio
9. Bring your talents to the Ableton team!

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1. New Ableton T-shirts: MAKE MUSIC

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Fashion can be demanding. How do you choose which of the two new Ableton T-shirts you like better?

The new T-shirts are both black, but feature different variations of Ableton’s MAKE MUSIC design. Both have numerous exclusive details, both are perfectly suited for a trip to the club, and both would go nicely with your favorite pair of pants.

If you can’t decide, just get both:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-shop-merchandise

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2. Artist movie: Swayzak and their free Live Pack

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Swayzak, UK artisans of compelling electronica, have made an exclusive, free Live Set for you to download. In their own words:

“…it’s a process of improvisation as we build up songs using the clips. The aim is to keep the music as fluid and organic as possible; we’re not trying to reproduce an existing piece of music, but rather to create something new and unique in real time.”

Watch the movie and get the Live Pack here:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-swayzak

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3. Another artist movie: DJ Jazzy Jeff on Ableton Live

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DJ Jazzy Jeff is a legendary DJ and producer with countless hits and even signature scratch styles to his name. Jeff’s skills and knowledge have earned him a reputation as one of the industry’s musical godfathers. With over 20 years in the game and a back catalog covering soul, hip hop, jazz and house, he’s still making records and developing the art of DJing.

In this movie, Jeff shows us how he builds a beat and shares his thoughts on Live and Sampler:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-dj-jazzyjeff

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4. Ableton movie: Life as an Ableton developer

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We figured the best people to persuade developers to come to Ableton are our own staff. We interviewed some of our developers and came up with this: a 16 minute movie about working at Ableton. We hope that once you’ve watched it, you’ll want to work here too:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-developer-jobs

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5. Sign up for the fall term at Berkleemusic.com

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Berkleemusic.com offers online Ableton Live courses and certificate programs for all skill levels. Master the creative tools and techniques required to compose, record, remix, improvise, produce and edit your musical ideas using Ableton Live. The fall term begins September 28th, so sign up today:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-berkleemusic

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6. Waveforming: free Live Pack from MESA+

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MESA+ has released Waveforming Free, a free downloadable synth sounds package developed entirely for Ableton Live 7 or higher.

Find out more:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-waveforming-free

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7. Remix competition from Freerange and Dancetracks

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Are you ready to remix? Freerange Records and Dancetracks are ready to listen. Remix Pezzner’s “Valldemossa” and win cool stuff including a digital release on Freerange and a copy of Ableton Live 8. The contest features a special Live Set with audio files warped and arranged for easy remixing. Get started at:

http://www.ableton.com/nl347-freerange-remix

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8. Special offer on Live tutorials from Streamworks Audio

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Streamworks Audio makes in-depth tutorial movies. They’re giving you a “Promotion Key Code” for a discount on their new Ableton Live 8 products. Here’s the code: 47d56d5a06fb8

Use it on purchases at the Streamworks Audio online store:
http://www.ableton.com/nl347-streamworksaudio

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9. Bring your talents to the Ableton team!

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Ableton is looking for experienced and motivated people to fill the
following positions:

- Application Developer (f/m)
- Python Developer (f/m)
- Web Developer (f/m)

For further information, please visit http://www.ableton.com/nl347-jobs

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More news in the next Ableton newsletter.

All the best from Berlin,

Claudia Weidner and Graham Ball, Ableton

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