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Ableton Live is happily running on your laptop. It’s not yet running on your iPad or tablet, or optimized in any way for touch. And that’s left a window wide open for touch controllers.

Now, the question is, is there room for yet another control app? touchAble retains the crown for all-around control of Ableton Live; there’s very little this app doesn’t do, from replicating Live devices to MIDI editing to custom templates.

But the relaunched LK, released today, has a few reasons for consideration, as an alternative or complement to other solutions.

First, if you’re an Android user, LK’s Android tablet support alone means it just became your go-to choice if you have a tablet that isn’t an iPad.

Second, LK’s simplicity and modular design I find appealing, as you’ll see in screenshots here. LK’s narrower focus in its main controller view make it particularly accessible. Devices open below the clip/mix view and expand and collapse just as they do in Ableton Live. And dedicated views for MPC-style pads, an X/Y viewer, and MIDI control are clean and easy to understand.

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The MIDI PADS module alone I find worth the cost of entry, even if you’re already using another iPad tool for Ableton control. With chord mode, friendly controls, and a built in arpeggiator with sync, plus lots of space for your fingers on the layout itself, it’s darned-near perfect. I increasingly find an iPad mini an essential accessory for work – and something I can fall back on when I can’t lug around extra gear but want to keep making music. It’s also easy to imagine this running alongside a Push for even less reason to go over to the computer screen – which can be a real concentration breaker when you’re trying to stay in the flow.

When you do want to connect LK, you can use either a wireless connection or a wired MIDI connection. The latter works with a 30-pin or Lightning (or Android USB) cable, so that you don’t have to worry about a wireless connection getting flaky when you’re trying to work.

MIDI control isn’t limited to Ableton Live, either. The app outputs MIDI, so with a little configuration, you can use it with external gear alongside your Live set, or control something else altogether.

Last week, we saw another option for routing MIDI between apps and computers in the form of midimux. Developer Nuno Santos and I just tried out Midimux in conjunction with LK, and it works perfectly. That opens up additional routing options for those with more sophisticated setup ideas in mind. Previously:
Now, Across iOS and Mac, Everything is Musically Connected [Video]
Hereโ€™s How To Connect the iPadโ€™s Easiest Pattern Maker to Your Mac [Video Tutorial]

There’s really nothing stopping you from trying LK, too. The app is free, with each module operating for 15 minutes. That gives you time to see if you like this approach. If it fits your approach, you can unlock modules a la carte. I’m also intrigued to see where the LK developer goes next with future modules – I’m hearing word of a piano style controller and a step sequencer.

Current pricing:

LAUNCHPAD – US$8.99
MIDI PADS – $4.49
MIDI CONTROLLER – $4.49
XY PAD – $4.49

Important note: On iOS, In App Purchases are currently broken. A fix is now in review with Apple. I have access to the modules, and can tell you they’re working nicely – you should finally be able to buy them yourself shortly!

LK replaces the previous app LIVKONTROL, but if you already bought LIVKONTROL, get in touch. Nuno tells CDM, “We are offering the activation of the respective modules to all previous buyers that present to us the purchase receipt.”

Nuno’s tech startup Imaginando in Braga, Portugal has been busy. It’s also the source of the excellent TKFX, which I find – by far – the easiest way to control effects in Traktor when DJing. More on that soon:
TKFX Gives You Crazy-Easy iPad, Android Control of Traktor Effects, KAOSS-Style

http://livkontrol.com

Documentation is online:
http://livkontrol.com/lk-live-controller-help

I’m having a lot of fun with it. Here are some shots of it running on my device:

IMG_0070

IMG_0069

IMG_0068

IMG_0067

IMG_0066

LKBRIDGE

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  • joshspoon

    Looks like touchable and Conductr had a baby.

  • Looks like touchable and Conductr had a baby.

  • newmiracle

    I looked around on the site and didn’t see too much about direct connection via cable.

    I was a little cheesed after getting Lemur for my iPad, and then MIDI over USB cable gets announced… for the android version. I’ve seen these new MIDI over USB apps, but there hasn’t been a Windows client release yet.

    So, for us Windows folks with iPads, it looks like it is either an iConnect device or touchAble. Until this. General MIDI *with* Ableton clip support? Could be good. It looks like there is a ’15 minute free’ version that you can use to try out the app before you buy. Might try a wired connection when I get home to see how well it works.

    I hope Lemur will get the hint and build this into their app, too.

    • Nuno Santos

      You are right! Currently, USB connection is only valid for MIDI (accessories or midimux). I’m trying to look for the best alternative to implement USB connection to Live on all platforms. So far I have only found for iOS/Mac. Any suggestions regarding this topic?

      • newmiracle

        Nuno, do you mean to say that:
        LK, going from iPad> Wired USB > Windows PC
        Will work with the general MIDI functionality, but not the Ableton clip view and navigation?

        Not sure that is clear in the things I’ve read. Most definitely would want to call that out in future text describing wired connections.

        I’m not technically advanced enough to tackle the solution myself, unfortunately. Just a potential iPad/Win8 customer. The only thing I can think of is the fact the Touchable seems to have pulled off “clip control over wire on Windows”, so it isn’t impossible. But that is where my expertise ends ๐Ÿ™‚

        • LudovicLubit

          Hey newmiracle
          Happy to inform you that LK 1.0.4 is out and comes with USB wired connection for both iOS and Android. Sorry for the bump, but I think its still pretty relevant ๐Ÿ™‚

  • newmiracle

    I looked around on the site and didn’t see too much about direct connection via cable.

    I was a little cheesed after getting Lemur for my iPad, and then MIDI over USB cable gets announced… for the android version. I’ve seen these new MIDI over USB apps, but there hasn’t been a Windows client release yet.

    So, for us Windows folks with iPads, it looks like it is either an iConnect device or touchAble. Until this. General MIDI *with* Ableton clip support? Could be good. It looks like there is a ’15 minute free’ version that you can use to try out the app before you buy. Might try a wired connection when I get home to see how well it works.

    I hope Lemur will get the hint and build this into their app, too.

    • You are right! Currently, USB connection is only valid for MIDI (accessories or midimux). I’m trying to look for the best alternative to implement USB connection to Live on all platforms. So far I have only found for iOS/Mac. Any suggestions regarding this topic?

      • newmiracle

        Nuno, do you mean to say that:
        LK, going from iPad> Wired USB > Windows PC
        Will work with the general MIDI functionality, but not the Ableton clip view and navigation?

        Not sure that is clear in the things I’ve read. Most definitely would want to call that out in future text describing wired connections.

        I’m not technically advanced enough to tackle the solution myself, unfortunately. Just a potential iPad/Win8 customer. The only thing I can think of is the fact the Touchable seems to have pulled off “clip control over wire on Windows”, so it isn’t impossible. But that is where my expertise ends ๐Ÿ™‚

        • LudovicLubit

          Hey newmiracle
          Happy to inform you that LK 1.0.4 is out and comes with USB wired connection for both iOS and Android. Sorry for the bump, but I think its still pretty relevant ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Grant L Allen

    is it possible to connect an android directly to midi gear?
    or does there always have to be a computer intermediary?

    • LudovicLubit

      no computer needed as intermediary, just a usb>midi converter.

      • just a USB On-The-Go into a standard USB MIDI Interface like this?
        http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMOneMk2

        i’ve seen usb-midi keyboards play androids via midi but never in the opposite direction.
        ipads yes.

        • Nuno Santos

          Yes, in our dev tests we have used precisely Roland UM-ONE. If it works or not will also depend on the device you are using. They must have the kernel compiled with USB-MIDI support. Our test devices were ASUS Memopad 7 HD and Bq Edison 2 10″

          • that’s great.
            i will try this out this week on my nexus 7.
            thanks.

  • is it possible to connect an android directly to midi gear?
    or does there always have to be a computer intermediary?

    • LudovicLubit

      no computer needed as intermediary, just a usb>midi converter.

      • just a USB On-The-Go into a standard USB MIDI Interface like this?
        http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMOneMk2

        i’ve seen usb-midi keyboards play androids via midi but never in the opposite direction.
        ipads yes.

        • Yes, in our dev tests we have used precisely Roland UM-ONE. If it works or not will also depend on the device you are using. They must have the kernel compiled with USB-MIDI support. Our test devices were ASUS Memopad 7 HD and Bq Edison 2 10″

          • that’s great.
            i will try this out this week on my nexus 7.
            thanks.

  • John Pazdan

    Won’t install to Live 9 Suite/Win 7 32bit. Followed the instructions, dropped the Live exe. file in the LKbridge window, restarted Live, and it doesn’t show up in the drop down. Also..after DLing the program and starting the install, it wanted to update..when I tried to do this, the whole thing wouldn’t install..had to get rid of all of it, re install the one on your site and go from there. I REALLY want this to work.

    • John Pazdan

      figured it out..if, like me, you had installed the previous edition, make sure to stop it then remove it all, then a fresh install.

      WOW this is a great app.

  • John Pazdan

    Won’t install to Live 9 Suite/Win 7 32bit. Followed the instructions, dropped the Live exe. file in the LKbridge window, restarted Live, and it doesn’t show up in the drop down. Also..after DLing the program and starting the install, it wanted to update..when I tried to do this, the whole thing wouldn’t install..had to get rid of all of it, re install the one on your site and go from there. I REALLY want this to work.

    • John Pazdan

      figured it out..if, like me, you had installed the previous edition, make sure to stop it then remove it all, then a fresh install.

      WOW this is a great app.