You want to improvise with Ableton Live. You want to reach out and turn a knob, and know what it’ll do. You want to be able to grab controls that have something to do with clips that are playing.
Yeah, so Merry Christmas to us. Permit me being a little excited, as I am immensely grateful to the developers. It’s a rare case where you say “wow, I wish that this –” and then suddenly get what you asked for nearly before finishing the sentence.
Just last month, we saw a way to get grids in order using LaunchSync, a tool designed to make it easier to synchronize multiple controllers. Combine them for more control; synchronize them so that, for instance, the faders on a Novation LaunchControl XL can correspond to the clips on Ableton Push.
But we asked for more.
We asked for more hardware compatibility. Well, the creators gave it to us – for free.
We asked for more controllers. That’s available in LaunchSync PRO, which adds four pages of controls that follow the “Red Box” so you have more hands-on parameters with whatever you’re playing.
But, wait, wouldn’t it be great if your iPad could also sync up with your hardware. So, for instance, you look at touchAble, the most extensive iPad app for controlling Ableton Live, and have it stay in sync with whatever your hardware was doing. (That’s doubly useful, because the iPad can easily show more parameters and reveal clip names all at once.)
I asked the developers at Isotonik and the one developer of touchAble to make it so, and… well, they did. It’s amazing. They did this in their free time, as independent developers, on their own. (I actually stuck them on a shared Facebook chat and watched as they buzzed back and forth.) So, please, go buy stuff from them, so they do this more often. (That script is only 5 pounds; touchAble is easily worth the App Store cash.) Here’s how it all works:
And remember the Novation LaunchControl XL, the hardware I said was nearly a perfect selection of knobs and faders – limited only by software?
Well, it isn’t limited any more.
The LaunchControl XXL Remote Script lets you do powerful things with LaunchControl XL even if you don’t have Max for Live. For GBP9.99, the LaunchControl hardware does everything you wish it would.
- You see a Ring Focus Box, so you know which tracks correspond to the faders on your LaunchControl hardware (instead of having to guess).
- 24 pots control parameters of any in-focus device.
- You can enable and disable devices, and select devices, parameter banks, and tracks.
In fact, you’ve just gotten so much under the tree from Santa Claus, it’s good to take stock.
1. With touchAble 3 for iPad and LaunchSync, sync your iPad display with a wide range of supported hardware. (Max for Live required.)
2. With LaunchSync PRO for GBP4.99, add parameter controls, too. In fact, just go ahead and buy that, because doing so supports the development of #1. (Max for Live required.)
3. With a Novation LaunchControl XL and the GBP9.99 LaunchControl XXL script, get total control over everything from Novation’s faders. (Max for Live not required.)
Combine #3 with #2 and… you sort of conquer the galaxy, because everything is in sync and there’s control of everything. And that’s before we even get to Isotonik’s terrific step sequencer script for the LaunchControl XL. But even if you don’t own the Novation hardware, #1 and #2 are fairly revolutionary.
But there is no Santa Claus. Ableton doesn’t have magic elves. This is actually the work of Darren, Christian, and Lee. So do go buy this stuff, because, well, it’s fantastic. And tell your friends. Grab some egg nog and jam together on Live. God Bless us, every one.
Manuals, downloads, and more details on the Isotonik site, but hopefully I’ve made it clear why this is so cool.
See also the developer behind LaunchSync: Sigabort
And the cast of characters:
Get Your Ableton Grids in Order, Free, with Launchsync [but do pay those 5 pounds and get the fancier version and buy the developer a sandwich in the process!]