We asked to see inside the Ableton Live sets you use in live performance, and you’ve responded with an overwhelming variety of responses. There are plenty of very practical submissions, from beginners and advanced users alike, which should give us a real sense of the ways in which people are playing Live as an instrument. Naturally, there are also some more unusual entries.

At top: Mark Gutierrez has used the Live arrangement grid as a palette for animated pixel art, with 8-bit game characters from Space Invaders and Super Mario Brothers dancing across the screen. At bottom: Manuel Palenque has connected Live to the patching environment and 3D visual tool vvvv for live, animated visuals. (Manuel, maybe you can tell us – do you output those visuals to a screen, or use them as feedback during your set?)

Insane examples, yes, but they do illustrate what’s possible. Videos after the jump.

Keep your Live sets coming. Grab a screenshot or video and send to:

Ableton Live 8 bit Space Invaders from mark gutierrez on Vimeo.
TP2 from Manuel Palenque on Vimeo.

As seen in Japanese on Hideyuki Fukasawa’s blog.


vvvv Adds Music Features; Get Your Synesthesia Patching On, Free on Windows

  • manuel

    Hello. This is a work in progress, the idea is, in the same computer, perform image and music in real time, but with no need to monitor both. The same (midi) controls are modifying music and image variables. If you can make music with Ableton, the visuals would perform as well.

  • Captain Howdy

    The Mario/Space Invaders one is about as stupid as it gets. The visuals are completely arbitrary, in that they are obviously not even triggering the music that is being played.

  • rhowaldt

    the mario/space invaders one is about as brilliant as it gets. employing a high-end software DAW with lots and lots of capabilities for playing and composing all sorts of music, to create another picture of Super Mario in pixelart. a bit (haha) like using a Vaio for making a campfire. isn't that what true life is all about?

  • I posted part 4 of the creation process of my set yesterday: http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-CovOps-Blog/T

    It comes with a video that shows an experimental application I wrote to get more sense and use out my BCR.

    The cool thing is that I may be able to adapt this app to be suitable with most MIDI controllers out there.

    Parameter Feedback is only useful on controllers like the BCR, but I guess the labels will come in handy when there are some familiar layouts to work on. 16 pads + 8 knobs comes to mind.

    Most audio software has 'soft takeover" these days, so it might be fun to play from other controllers too.

    So I am now mainly focusing on how I will control my set. This application is an interesting side project, because it started out as a solution to a totally different problem which I've also solved now.

    Here's the scenario: You're about halfway thru your set, you improvised a bit and realize that the current values of parameters in your set are messy. This may mess up some songs.

    An often requested feature is the ability to store and send "snapshots" with values for specific songs to Live. An "initialize song" button if you will.

    The BCR application is built upon the mechanism that collects snapshots from Live. Which is as simple as a [ctlin] connected to a [jit.matrix 16 128].

    Fun fact: when you load a Live Set (or turn MIDI Learn on/off), Live sends out all the values of all the currently assigned parameters out of the remote output.

    – Bjorn

  • Sah

    nice! i'm still trying to learn more about music production, never really thought it is possible to create animation with ableton!

  • Secrets Beets

    THe mario/space invaders is REALLy pointless in the sense that no one can see it while your playing live, it triggers NO sound at all anndd its 8-bit (show me some Piccaso and i will be throughly impressed!!)

    The ONLY cool thing is it REALLy shows how versatile ableton is.. SO props to Ableton, FAIL for Mark :/

    Spend your time actually making a beat or a set next time!!

  • Secrets Beets

    Mauel that stuff is AWESOME!

    i would love to be able to have something like that when im playing my live set…

    If you could help or point me in the right direction that would be amazing!!

    AIM = Seedlessforsecrets

    Email = Secretsbeets@gmail.com

    thanks bro!