Well, I can’t quite see it, but this picture is really flattering. Come to think of it, I sometimes look a little better with a short depth of field, a sharp focus, maybe some haze over the lens. Yeah. That’s better. I don’t even need to shave.

Touch performance control on devices like the iPhone and iPad has become increasingly popular, but the question remains: can developers push these interfaces further? Richie Hawtin has initiated a new touch control project and promises more “advanced” control of Ableton Live for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users.

Details remain murky – developers Liine say they’ll tease out features over the coming weeks. But the system, when fully revealed, will be modular, with a set of touch objects and gestures across a set of apps that provide touch control. The first application is Ableton Live-specific, and provides a new mechanism for controlling Live’s grid of clips. The developers say Griid makes it easier to find clips and see information about them, even when navigating large sets of clips. (You know who you are, those of you with enormous Live sets with a zillion colored clips.)

Different editions will scale to different screen sizes, with Griid Pro for iPad, and Griid for iPhone/iPod touch, plus a Lite version for free.

What all of this means or whether it lives up to these claims is, well, a complete unknown outside of the Plastikman stage. That is, unless you happen to be in Barcelona at SONAR this weekend. Tomorrow, Saturday, Richie will be demonstrating the app in person. Liine tells us:

“At the hands-on Richie will show how he uses the app in his Plastikman Live show. There will also be another laptop or two set up and hooked up with Griid so that they can give it a try themselves.”

If you can make it and want to report back to the rest of us, I’d love to hear it. And I expect to bring more info to CDM soon, if not. But it certainly works for Richie; check out the video below of him using the tool at Detroit’s Movement festival, for his new Plastikman Live show. (And yes, this is bringing back Plastikman and more of the live performance, rather than simply DJ, the side of Richie a lot of us love best.)


If you’re at SONAR, check out http://ghost.m-nus.com/ (and if you’re not, that site has live streams and audio – warning, audio auto-plays!)

The video cuts fast, but in these still images, you can get a better view of the software and Richie’s setup, including the JazzMutant Lemur touch hardware and Behringer BCF-2000 motorized hardware faders alongside the iPad:

  • Cody

    Is it possible to run multiple instances of the same app in iOS? I really like this, though it seems he's putting down Hexler, who made his plastikman fan app… Also, I'm interested in the way that Griid communicates with Live. I'm hoping it's a custom osc server script like live control.

  • lematt

    sounds good !

  • Le k

    I bet than something much better than a simple grid controller is on the way, wait and see…

  • mat

    An interesting thing to notice is, that most of the Liine-crew, are the same people who developed Jazzmutants MU for the Lemur… http://www.jazzmutant.com/mu.php

  • nice!
    and I love the BCF2000 inside all these touchscreen 🙂

    btw, this is the only thing useful that can be done with iPad fmo.

  • Aaron

    Liine, Griid, iPad… looks like the i's have it.


    sorry ;p

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  • Mastah Lee

    Looks pretty promising. This would be great for controlling a large clip grid in an intuitive manner, as long as you don't require too much rhythmic precision. This, of course, is the unsurmountable technological fault with the iPhone / iPad in their current incarnations, especially since they tend to link via WiFi. I think it'll be awhile before there will be a controller that can replace my launchpad (or any button-grid varient) in beat-chopping or rhythmic clip launching.

    Definitely will be interested in this as supplemental to my setup, though.

  • jsph

    @david prouty

    the ipad is new and there are a lot of new audio/midi/osc apps coming out for the ipad…? that's like asking peter if he works for korg, akai, ableton, cycling, or any other audio tech company that has new products? this is create digital music and the ipad has fallen into this category now.

  • I saw it in action @ Sònar, well I think Richie has used just to launch a few clips… set a few things, nothing special to see, but the show overall has been impressive.

  • @David:
    Do you read this site? Do you read at all? You might start with…



  • @Andrea: yeah, clip launching alone is interesting but not huge news. I'm curious what the other modules will be.

  • Flplsx

    Competition for TouchOSC or is it in a different league? Difficult to tell

  • mat

    I guess it is more a competition for http://livecontrol.q3f.org/ (a plug and play Ableton control done with TouchOSC)

    TouchOSC himself is a editor, which is btw not compareable to the Lemur. I tested it last week and must say- there are generations between. This is not dashing on TouchOSC… but I am tired of all the folks comparing that to a Lemur. (I miss a whole bunch of objects, programmable interactions, lights (additional to on/off!), physics ect.) Also the Ipad is much to slow, if it comes to complex 2-way interaction (as Mastah Lee already pointed out).
    To my point of view the Ipad is one of the most overestimated things (if using it as a music tool) As you see in the photos, he still uses 2 Lemurs 😉

    Sorry for offtopic.
    And Ipad fans, please don´t hate me. I think it is a great thing. But it never had the focus of making music with it and therefore it is very restricted…

  • jsph

    Might be able to catch a little more @ http://www.plastikman.com/ on the movement, Detroit video.

  • Flplsx

    The reason I ask is because the article mentions "The first application is Ableton Live-specific" which leads me to believe that other DAWs will be supported, putting it more along the lines with TouchOSC. It's rather vague and I could be misreading it, however!

    Lag seems to be the biggest issue, and one of the main reasons the Lemur will continue to sell and why I won't be purchasing an iPad. I'm more a fan of actual buttons and sliders anyway (as I patiently await the arrival of the new monome kit). I still find it very interesting to see all of these apps being sold so cheaply

  • HEXnibble

    @Flplsx: "Lag seems to be the biggest issue…"

    Not sure where you got that impression but I don't experience any lag when using TouchOSC/LiveControl.

  • simon

    @HEXNibble well try playing drums or cueing songs (DJing) on the ipod/phone.

  • HEXnibble
  • Ryan Biggs

    It sure takes an awful lot of fancy equipment for Plastikman to make that shitty music…

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