This Novation hardware just got a lot more powerful and usable.

This Novation hardware just got a lot more powerful and usable.

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.)

This iPad app (touchAble 3) just got a lot more powerful and usable, too. It now follows whatever you're doing with your hardware. So you can actually play, rather than squint at your gear and get confused.

This iPad app (touchAble 3) just got a lot more powerful and usable, too. It now follows whatever you’re doing with your hardware. So you can actually play, rather than squint at your gear and get confused.

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:

LaunchSync PRO & LaunchControl XXL Remote Script + touchAble 3… from Isotonik Studios on Vimeo.

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.
  • Max for Live patchers get access to the User Two page so you can combine custom Max creations with the default functionality – you don’t have to choose.
  • Watch:

    LaunchControl XXL – Part ONE from Isotonik Studios on Vimeo.

    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.

    LaunchControl XL / XXL

    LaunchSync

    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!]

    Novation’s LaunchControl XL Has the Faders and Knobs You Need for Ableton, MIDI [Obsessive Review]

    touchAble 3 Controls Ableton Via Wire, Mimics Live Devices on iPad [Gallery]

    • tiny pete

      would be great if there was two completely different videos showing what is possible with max for live, and showing what is possible without max for live for the super dense like myself. extremely small thing just saying

      • Darren E Cowley

        https://vimeo.com/111504731

        There you go Tiny Pete, the LaunchControl XXL script video on it’s own showing whats possible without Max4Live…

        Anything else is a Max4Live feature… Syncing, the mappable dials etc.

        • tiny pete

          thanks for the clarification : )
          (redface)

    • tiny pete

      would be great if there was two completely different videos showing what is possible with max for live, and showing what is possible without max for live for the super dense like myself. extremely small thing just saying

      • Darren E Cowley

        https://vimeo.com/111504731

        There you go Tiny Pete, the LaunchControl XXL script video on it’s own showing whats possible without Max4Live…

        Anything else is a Max4Live feature… Syncing, the mappable dials etc.

        • tiny pete

          thanks for the clarification : )
          (redface)

    • tiny pete

      would be great if there was two completely different videos showing what is possible with max for live, and showing what is possible without max for live for the super dense like myself. extremely small thing just saying

      • Darren E Cowley

        https://vimeo.com/111504731

        There you go Tiny Pete, the LaunchControl XXL script video on it’s own showing whats possible without Max4Live…

        Anything else is a Max4Live feature… Syncing, the mappable dials etc.

        • tiny pete

          thanks for the clarification : )
          (redface)

    • Freeks

      “You want to improvise with Ableton Live.”
      No. I’d like to have great iPad App to control Live Arrangement view.

      • Darren E Cowley

        What precisely would you like to have control over? The clips within Arrange view aren’t exposed to the Live API…. The rest is however, including control over the loop brace, cue points etc…. We’ve built both an Arrange View Looper and Arrange Cue Jumper in Max4Live, making MIRA versions of these wouldn’t be impossible…

        • Right, I think part of what is missing here is a complete API to Arrange from Ableton.

          • Darren E Cowley

            TOTALLY AGREE!

      • Sylvain/ touchAble

        Unfortunately this is yet not possible, Live doesn’t send information concerning Arrangement view 🙁 We hope to see that changing in the future.

        • Tormod

          Me and a few others were sending in feature requests regarding this during betatesting. But it was clear that arrangement view is not a priority for ableton. Sad, really…

    • Freeks

      “You want to improvise with Ableton Live.”
      No. I’d like to have great iPad App to control Live Arrangement view.

      • Darren E Cowley

        What precisely would you like to have control over? The clips within Arrange view aren’t exposed to the Live API…. The rest is however, including control over the loop brace, cue points etc…. We’ve built both an Arrange View Looper and Arrange Cue Jumper in Max4Live, making MIRA versions of these wouldn’t be impossible…

        • Right, I think part of what is missing here is a complete API to Arrange from Ableton.

          • Darren E Cowley

            TOTALLY AGREE!

      • Sylvain/ touchAble

        Unfortunately this is yet not possible, Live doesn’t send information concerning Arrangement view 🙁 We hope to see that changing in the future.

        • Tormod

          Me and a few others were sending in feature requests regarding this during betatesting. But it was clear that arrangement view is not a priority for ableton. Sad, really…

    • Freeks

      “You want to improvise with Ableton Live.”
      No. I’d like to have great iPad App to control Live Arrangement view.

      • Darren E Cowley

        What precisely would you like to have control over? The clips within Arrange view aren’t exposed to the Live API…. The rest is however, including control over the loop brace, cue points etc…. We’ve built both an Arrange View Looper and Arrange Cue Jumper in Max4Live, making MIRA versions of these wouldn’t be impossible…

        • Right, I think part of what is missing here is a complete API to Arrange from Ableton.

          • Darren E Cowley

            TOTALLY AGREE!

      • Sylvain/ touchAble

        Unfortunately this is yet not possible, Live doesn’t send information concerning Arrangement view 🙁 We hope to see that changing in the future.

        • Tormod Vold Mikkelsen

          Me and a few others were sending in feature requests regarding this during betatesting. But it was clear that arrangement view is not a priority for ableton. Sad, really…

    • duncan speakman

      what we really need now is for the XL to work with a usb host device (i’m using the kenton one) so we can use it with midi hardware (i wrote to novation, they said they’ll look into it, fingers crossed.. if anyone has other computer free solutions would love to hear them

      • Anfim

        Yes! The LKXL would be a perfect companion for hardware like the octatrack if we could just make it speak midi without computers.

    • duncan speakman

      what we really need now is for the XL to work with a usb host device (i’m using the kenton one) so we can use it with midi hardware (i wrote to novation, they said they’ll look into it, fingers crossed.. if anyone has other computer free solutions would love to hear them

      • Anfim

        Yes! The LKXL would be a perfect companion for hardware like the octatrack if we could just make it speak midi without computers.

    • duncan speakman

      what we really need now is for the XL to work with a usb host device (i’m using the kenton one) so we can use it with midi hardware (i wrote to novation, they said they’ll look into it, fingers crossed.. if anyone has other computer free solutions would love to hear them

      • Anfim

        Yes! The LKXL would be a perfect companion for hardware like the octatrack if we could just make it speak midi without computers.

    • Frank

      Yeah the LCXL is all nice and good, BUT:

      Is it so hard to build a controller that is a mixture of the BCR2000 and a Korg Nanokontrol, in other words just like the LCXL but with 1) endless encoders and 2) 3 DEDCATED buttons for record, solo, mute ?

      I mean, how hard can it be ?! The Nanokontrol costs like 30 bucks and even that managed to mangle 3 dedicated buttons for each fader – i think all the shift button stuff you have to do with the XL (and most other controllers) really gets in the way of a natural workflow.Same goes for non-endless encoders – you always have to check where the current value is, not very intuitive.

      Really, the manufacturers build new stuff all the time, but still not a single controller out there that does these things (and no, the APC40 doesn’t count because it only has a 5×8 grid instead of 8×8) ?!

      • mercury

        Well if it’s so easy, build one! I’ll buy it!

        Ultimately these are business decisions…I’m sure it is easy to build, the question is always how profitable something will be.

        Although I wonder sometimes with Peter’s blog being so successful and MIDI controllers being so critical now, it seems like a ripe time for a new company to come out there and really make the end-all mixer for Live, like Ableton Push is for what it does…anyone have an idea as to how big this market is? Is it a 10,000 per year or 1m per year type of product? I have no idea but I would invest in something like this!

        • Darren E Cowley

          The Ableton user market is estimated at around 1million users…. Peter may correct me, but this is the number i’ve been quoted…

      • Jan Willem

        Like the Vestax VCM 600, the original ableton controller??? Discontinued but still available on e-bay

    • Frank

      Yeah the LCXL is all nice and good, BUT:

      Is it so hard to build a controller that is a mixture of the BCR2000 and a Korg Nanokontrol, in other words just like the LCXL but with 1) endless encoders and 2) 3 DEDCATED buttons for record, solo, mute ?

      I mean, how hard can it be ?! The Nanokontrol costs like 30 bucks and even that managed to mangle 3 dedicated buttons for each fader – i think all the shift button stuff you have to do with the XL (and most other controllers) really gets in the way of a natural workflow.Same goes for non-endless encoders – you always have to check where the current value is, not very intuitive.

      Really, the manufacturers build new stuff all the time, but still not a single controller out there that does these things (and no, the APC40 doesn’t count because it only has a 5×8 grid instead of 8×8) ?!

      • mercury

        Well if it’s so easy, build one! I’ll buy it!

        Ultimately these are business decisions…I’m sure it is easy to build, the question is always how profitable something will be.

        Although I wonder sometimes with Peter’s blog being so successful and MIDI controllers being so critical now, it seems like a ripe time for a new company to come out there and really make the end-all mixer for Live, like Ableton Push is for what it does…anyone have an idea as to how big this market is? Is it a 10,000 per year or 1m per year type of product? I have no idea but I would invest in something like this!

        • Darren E Cowley

          The Ableton user market is estimated at around 1million users…. Peter may correct me, but this is the number i’ve been quoted…

      • Jan Willem

        Like the Vestax VCM 600, the original ableton controller??? Discontinued but still available on e-bay

    • Frank

      Yeah the LCXL is all nice and good, BUT:

      Is it so hard to build a controller that is a mixture of the BCR2000 and a Korg Nanokontrol, in other words just like the LCXL but with 1) endless encoders and 2) 3 DEDCATED buttons for record, solo, mute ?

      I mean, how hard can it be ?! The Nanokontrol costs like 30 bucks and even that managed to mangle 3 dedicated buttons for each fader – i think all the shift button stuff you have to do with the XL (and most other controllers) really gets in the way of a natural workflow.Same goes for non-endless encoders – you always have to check where the current value is, not very intuitive.

      Really, the manufacturers build new stuff all the time, but still not a single controller out there that does these things (and no, the APC40 doesn’t count because it only has a 5×8 grid instead of 8×8) ?!

      • mercury

        Well if it’s so easy, build one! I’ll buy it!

        Ultimately these are business decisions…I’m sure it is easy to build, the question is always how profitable something will be.

        Although I wonder sometimes with Peter’s blog being so successful and MIDI controllers being so critical now, it seems like a ripe time for a new company to come out there and really make the end-all mixer for Live, like Ableton Push is for what it does…anyone have an idea as to how big this market is? Is it a 10,000 per year or 1m per year type of product? I have no idea but I would invest in something like this!

        • Darren E Cowley

          The Ableton user market is estimated at around 1million users…. Peter may correct me, but this is the number i’ve been quoted…

      • Jan Willem

        Like the Vestax VCM 600, the original ableton controller??? Discontinued but still available on e-bay

    • Alberto

      Is it possible to use a ipad as a monitor(display) for a macmini? That could be an alternative to a macbook pro. Then with touchAble 3 and a controller…Or am i dreaming again?

      • Darren E Cowley

        There are things you can only do with the screen…..

        • Alberto

          oh, too bad.. I thought it would be possible in theory to make an app that emulates a monitor.

    • Alberto

      Is it possible to use a ipad as a monitor(display) for a macmini? That could be an alternative to a macbook pro. Then with touchAble 3 and a controller…Or am i dreaming again?

      • Darren E Cowley

        There are things you can only do with the screen…..

        • Alberto

          oh, too bad.. I thought it would be possible in theory to make an app that emulates a monitor.

    • Alberto

      Is it possible to use a ipad as a monitor(display) for a macmini? That could be an alternative to a macbook pro. Then with touchAble 3 and a controller…Or am i dreaming again?

      • Darren E Cowley

        There are things you can only do with the screen…..

        • Alberto

          oh, too bad.. I thought it would be possible in theory to make an app that emulates a monitor.