Flight of the Bumblebee: Ableton’s Push Gets Its First Virtuoso Demo – And Lovely Piano Ambience

The melodic layouts of pads on Ableton’s new Push hardware do place notes in closer proximity, allowing you to perform virtuosic materials with added ease. Well, some added ease. You can bet what you see in this video isn’t that easy. Yes, even before Push is available to the public, there’s already one insane video on YouTube of Flight of the Bumblebee. In fact, I’m not sure how anyone will top this, exactly, even once Push is publicly available. While requiring less dexterity than the piano might, this still requires some dexterity – and practice adapting to a layout that …


Ableton Gives Dates: March 5 for Live 9 Release, Push Pre-Order

If you’re eagerly awaiting Live 9, we now have solid dates from Ableton. The Berlin developer will release Live 9 to the public on March 5, available for immediate download. Their new Push hardware should be available shortly thereafter; from March 5, you’ll be able to preorder. CDM will have a full hands-on review of Live 9, and the world-exclusive first online English review of Push for the launch date. So, if there’s something you’d like us to test or something you want to know, shout out in comments. Now, that review will focus on how to actually make music …


Ableton Posts Nearly Hour-Long Live 9 and Push Preview Event from Berlin

Can’t get enough Live 9 information? In cased you missed it, here’s a nearly hour-long presentation. It’s notable for Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles talking about what matters in an instrument, then “discovering” that Push fits in a backpack, for Dennis DeSantis doing a beautiful job of showing what really musical workflow looks like, and Jesse Terry brave enough to do a live set on hardware that’s only just been finished. I say this partly because I have to do presentations, too, and – it’s not easy. I think they do a good job of sharing their ideas honestly …


Ableton Push: Integrated, Touch-Sensitive Hardware Control for Live [Details]

Now, Ableton is doing its own hardware. Sure, Ableton’s logo was on the Akai APC40 and Novation Launchpad, and yes, “engineering by Akai” is stamped on the Push. But make no mistake: this is really the first Ableton hardware, and it shows. Push is a grid controller with extra keys and encoders for navigating features. It shows the influence of devices like the monome (and divides up that grid like the Pages and 7up patches from the community). But it also includes controller features that are specifically integrated with Live, recalling custom controllers used by Monolake. Ableton pitches this as …


Thrift is Knowledge: A Radio from a Tube Map, Navigating Sound and Design with Yuri Suzuki

Designers in Residence 2012: Yuri Suzuki from Design Museum on Vimeo. Amidst an onslaught of disposable, impossible-to-repair electronics and waste, the best weapon to fight back can be know-how. That’s the message in a beautiful short film that paints a portrait of sound artist and designer Yuri Suzuki, a resident of London’s Design Museum. (Via our friends at Engadget DE) In this case, Yuri navigates the maze of an electronics PCB quite literally, mapping out a functioning radio on the schematic of the London Underground. But he also speaks poetically about why understanding the inner function of electronics is so …


Video: Multi-Touch Soundplane Meets KYMA in Resonating Digital Instrument

Resonations from bar|none on Vimeo. Digital instruments have the extraordinary potential to sound like anything – really, absolutely anything. Delivering on that potential, though, is another matter, a complex dance between physical input and sonic output. The Soundplane from Madrona is unique in that it provides highly-precise touch input across not one but three dimensions – pressure-based input across the X and Y axes, with multiple touch points. (See also: Haken Continuum.) Back to the dancing bit – you have to then use that input musically. Here, we see one possible application, using the insanely-powerful KYMA sound design environment. Description …


gTar, Digital Guitar that Scales from Easy Mode Up; Now Does Ableton Control, Too

Music games like Guitar Hero introduced the notion of musical instruments that scale digitally to the masses. By the time Harmonix introduced the latest version of Rock Band, complete with MIDI controllers, you are able to go from something that’s a toy to simply playing the instrument in a conventional way. The idea of scalability isn’t even new in instrument design – from capos to an instrument like the Autoharp to the very invention of frets, instrument builders have always designed instruments in ways to make them easier to play. In a digital/software realm, though, the plasticity of an instrument …


Matthew Herbert’s One Pig, On Tour, and the Making of a Sty Harp

Composing the sounds of an animal’s life cycle and ultimate consumption into a musical portrait, Matthew Herbert’s “One Pig” is in turns grotesque and sentimental, rock and opera. I expected squeamishness and vegetarian conversions when I saw it on tour, but instead, the crowd eagerly devoured the creature at the end. (Make of that what you will.) One Pig is in Manchester, UK tonight before continuing to Brighton and Portugal. As my own incurable appetite is for musical instruments, for me a highlight of the show is Scotland-based, American artist Yann Seznec’s Sty Harp. (See also our coverage of his …


AlphaSphere, Spherical Music Controller, Becomes A Messe Favorite; Keyboard Mag Video Hands-on

Music trade shows are typically full of sensible and useful instruments. They may not always represent something revolutionary, but people find homes for them in their musical lives. Of course, the world’s fair futurist in us may want something really different. It was a real treat to get my hands on the AlphaSphere, a UK-engineered alternative instrument that maps pitch across touch-sensitive surfaces arrayed in a sphere. It’s what a lot of people were talking about at Messe when people asked “what’s cool?”, as friends rounded up friends to march them over to the booth. (It’s Hall 5.1, stand C27 …


With Just One Contact Mic, Any Surface Magically Becomes a Gestural Instrument

Look around the room you’re in. Drum your fingers against some of the objects around you. Now imagine that you could turn those touches into any imaginable sound – and all you’d need to play them is a single contact mic. And we’re not talking just simplistic sounds – think expressive, responsive transformation of the world around you, all with just that one mic, thanks to clever gestural recognition. Bruno Zamborlin has made that idea a reality, with hold-onto-your-chair results. It’s not available yet for public consumption, but it’s coming. Bruno explains to CDM: