Category Archives: Technology


Griid touch controller for IOS raising bar for Ableton users

San Francisco- You know that the team here is super hype on all things music tech related, so when we saw a post from Dubspot talking about using Mac OSX Automator to fire up different things in Ableton, we had to see what was up.

While the article itself is pretty interesting, the thing that jumped out at us was a slick looking IOS app called Griid.

While we haven’t had a chance to play with this yet (if any of you have, please let us know what you think!), the concepts behind this application are interesting and look like they could play a major part in anyone’s Live setup.

Griid is comprised of 3 primary modules (descriptions taken from Liine’s website):

  1. Miixer
    • “Miixer introduces track based navigation: any fader on any track in any combination. Options include ultra-fine resolution and volume limiting.”
    • Features:
      • Track based navigation: choose any fader on any track.
      • Miixer button: show/hide all faders.
      • Support for the maximum number of sends in Ableton Live.
      • Variable precision fading.
      • Option to limit volume at 0dB.
      • Absolute or relative touch mode for all faders.
      • Fader size matches zooming in clip grid.
      • Stereo Loudness Indicators on each track.
  2. Tutorial Video for Miixer:

  3. Cliip
    • “The Cliip step sequencer module allows you to create and edit Ableton Live MIDI clips directly on the iPad or iPhone screen.”
    • Features:
      • Piano roll with zoomable keyboard and timeline.
      • Percussive mode for short notes and Melodic mode with two finger note length gesture.
      • Snap and fine modes. Snap note position (or note end) to the grid, or use fine mode to add some groove.
      • Drag up the velocity lane and add dynamics to your music.
      • Copy and paste functions allow you to copy the contents of one clip to another.
      • Duplicate function allows you to duplicate and extend the current loop (e.g. to copy a loop 4 times so that you can add a variation on the 4th loop).
      • Clear all.
      • Remotely create new MIDI clip.
      • Hide/show velocity panel with toggle.
      • Note names shown on all white keys.
  4. Tutorial Video for Cliip:

  5. Griid
    • “The core Griid clip launcher module is the most fluid and reliable clip grid controller for Ableton Live. If you want the best controller on the market for launching clips, you need Ableton on your mind and Griid on your iPad.”
    • Features:
      • 11 x 11 clip grid in landscape; 8 x 16 in portrait on iPad.
      • 6 x 6 clip grid in landscape; 4 x 8 in portrait on iPhone and iPod Touch.
      • Fluid clip and scene launching and stopping.
      • Full clip information: name, color, playing status, loop/one-shot position.
      • Track names, scene names and scene colors.
      • Smooth inertia scrolling.
      • Whole Live set Overview mode. Move anywhere with a tap.
      • Tap track header to show playing clip.
      • Group track support.
      • Clip grid independently zoomable in track and scene dimensions.
      • Large font mode.
      • Enable/disable scene launching.
      • Dedicated safe space for scrolling in the scene area.
      • BPM scene names highlighting.

Ableton Live Reskin Pack & Custom Editor

If you’ve ever felt like the default UI options that AbletonLive offers left you wanting for more, well my friends, you now have some options!

With the release of the Ableton Live Skin Editor, users can tweak the UI to their heart’s content and set up a myriad of different skins to meet different purposes. For example, you may want a lighter screen for when you are working in your studio, but when you play out in the clubs, that light & bright screen really sucks, so now you can setup a new skin to allow for black, grey, etc. so that you can dim that bad boy down when you’re rinsing out the latest tunes.

If that sounds like a lot of work for you, no worries, I found this reskin pack in the Ableton User Forums that will be sure to please.

Massive shouts to Will Marshall for sharing this & all of the developers and skinners out there that are busily cranking out new, DOPE UI’s for AbletonLive.


Apple bringing MIDI support to iOS 4.2

Cupertino, CA- Apple continually seems to have its thumb on the pulse of the creative community and since the release of the Apple iPad, music producers and hobbyists around the world have been feverishly coming up with new innovations to take advantage of the multi-touch screen and the portability that comes with the device.

The latest announcement that iOS 4.2, the OS release said to finally bridge the gap between Apple handheld and tablet devices, will be able to take full advantage of Apple’s Core MIDI framework and give users 2 new uses:

  1. WiFi MIDI, via Apple’s proprietary implementation, which should allow communication with other Apple handhelds and Macs, though it probably won’t support other devices. (WiFi is a common standard, but the way MIDI is transmitted over it is not necessarily so.)
  2. USB MIDI support for class-compliant devices, using the iPad Camera Connection Kit’s USB adapter.

So enough of the tech-speak…WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH IT?!

Well, for starters, we’ve been covering the use of OSC to do cool stuff like this for some time and apparently companies like guitar FX company, Line 6 with their MIDI Mobilizer (that also supports iPhone) are also starting to enter the fray with their own interpretations of what can be done with this technology.

If any of you out there get a chance to experiment with this stuff, we’d love to hear your feedback!

SOURCE: Create Digital Music


Töken Multi-Touch Interface Changing the DJ Game!

CHILE-  A man by the name of Rodrigo Campos has designed what could quite possibly be the coolest design for a digital DJ setup that we’re ever seen. The Töken Mutli-touch pedestal uses a rear-projector enabled sheet of glass and just like an iPad, accepts touch inputs that can be used to control software.

Outside of what was used for the video elements, the other construction details are hard to come by at this point; what got our attention, however, is the way Rodrigo combines Töken with a Traktor Pro controller titled Emulator, turning an otherwise boring DJ experience into something that looks straight out of Minority Report!

Check out this amazing video:

TECH TALK: Roger Linn Touch Screen Protoype

Berkeley- If you didn’t know already, Roger Linn is a God amongst men when it comes to electronic music. He’s probably best known for his invention of the LM-1 Drum Computer, the first programmable, sampled-sound drum machine in 1979. The LM-1 and its successors the LinnDrum and Linn9000 provided the drums for countless hit records during the 1980s by artists including Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Devo and Bruce Hornsby, and are considered a major influence on the music of the era.

In 1988, he designed the MPC60 for Akai, with his signature appearing on the product’s front panel. Combining a sampling drum machine with a real-time MIDI sequencer, this product gradually became the industry standard in the production of hip-hop, rap, dance and related music styles throughout the 1990s, and has been credited as a significant influence in the evoluation of hip hop music. This was followed in 1994 with the enhanced MPC3000 and others, and the MPC product line is still successful 20 years later.

Now it appears that he is taking on touch screen devices with the LinnStrument. The prototype (we need an iPad version of this application STAT!) he’s built consists of a multi-touch, pressure-sensitive, high-resolution USB touch surface from a company called TouchCo (which alas Amazon bought and put out of business), plus a Max/MSP patch written by Roger and his wife Ingrid, and an OSC/TUIO driver written by Tim Thompson.

Check out the video:

TECH TALK: DIY Digital Delay & Reverb Units Using 3.5″ Floppy Drives

With May fast approaching, garage sale season is kicking off in the US. For the DIY crowd, that means a lot of digging through piles of obsolete technology in the hopes of finding something usable, then bargaining with the seller to pay as little for it as possible.

This year, you can add 3.5″ floppy drives and disks to your shopping list, courtesy of Daniel McAnulty’s project Floppy Audio Effects. Dan figured out a couple of neat tricks to create delay/reverb effects by writing audio to the disks directly, then reading that information back using a tape head.

This type of analog/digital collision is an excellent deliberate misuse of an outdated technology. I can picture someone DJing an entire live set from Floppys pre-loaded with recorded loops of sound, queing up each ring of audio and letting them phase against each other like a cross between Richie Hawtin and Steve Reich.

Here’s another experiment, performing a “continuous record” by multiplexing the sound across multiple drives. This is a great hack to get around each floppy’s somewhat limited record time. Note the use of an Arduino to keep everything synced up.

Dan says he’ll be posting more information shortly for anyone interesting in setting up their own floppy-based delay line system.

(Original Post Courtesy of Michael Una @

TECH TALK: Using iPhone or iPad as Midi Controller using TouchOSC

The folks over at Hexler seem to be pushing what we would typically consider the boundaries for what we use our iPhones or the latest i-darling, the iPad for in our day to day.

According to their website: “TouchOSC is a universal iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad application that lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network using the UDP protocol.

The application allows to remote control and receive feedback from software and hardware that implements the OSC protocol such as Pure Data, Max/MSP/Jitter, OSCulator, VDMX, Resolume Avenue 3, Modul8, Plogue Bidule, Reaktor, Quartz Composer, Vixid VJX16-4, Supercollider, FAW Circle, vvvv, Derivative TouchDesigner and others.

The interface provides a number of different touch controls to send/receive messages:

  • Faders
  • Rotary controls
  • Push buttons
  • Toggle buttons
  • XY pads
  • Multi-faders
  • Multi-toggles
  • LEDs
  • Labels (New!)

It supports full multi-touch operation, five controls can be used at the same time. Additionally the program can send Accelerometer data. The application comes with five default layouts that are organized in multiple pages but custom layouts can be constructed using the TouchOSC Editor application.”

Granted the TouchOSC software is not for technophobes, but with the tutorials that they provide and a bit of free time, you too can be controlling your rig remotely.

Check out this example of what you can do using TouchOSC and Ableton Live:

Quick Demo of controlling Ableton Live with iPhone-Application TouchOSC.
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