Moldover’s MOJO, Now Open Source; Grab Build Details and Ableton Live Sets and Effects

Live electronic musician Moldover’s MOJO is the Sherman Tank of controllers: enormous, indestructible, destructive. It’s also a deeply involved build, costing US$1999.00. If you want to get some of that … um, MOJO … but don’t have two grand lying around, or if you want to adapt it to your own mojo, Moldover’s work is now fully open-source. If you’re an experienced hardware maker, you could use these files to build your own MOJO or adapt ideas into your own design. (Moldover uses the excellent, powerful Livid Builder line of parts.) If you are a builder, you can get an …

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Leak the Future: Traktor Controller, Loads of Synths, Livid, Akai, Casio, Nord, and Teaser Tracking

The only good teasers are Malteasers. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Ranma Tim. Guess who’s gotten really bad at keeping a lid on upcoming product announcements? The manufacturers. We’re suddenly utterly awash with teasers. Yes, it seems from intentional leaks to advance campaigns, we’re now destined to see every significant new piece of music gear before we see it, cast in shadows and partial photos and more. Apparently, the folks doing publicity think that this will cause people on the Internet to talk about them. They’re … right, in fact. And with the biggest American trade show for music gear landing next week, …

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It Comes in Colors: An RGB Grid Controller from Livid, RGB Grid Roundup

Lovers of the grid for music control now get to reenact the scene in MGM’s The Wizard of Oz, stepping out of the world of black and white into one of color. The OhmRGB, the latest controller from Austin, Texas-based controller and custom hardware shop Livid Instruments, adds multicolor LEDs behind its array of controls. We’ve already seen red, green, and yellow add color feedback on Novation’s Launchpad (and of course the APC line from Akai). The Livid piece bests Novation’s three colors with seven possibilities. For those who prefer their grids to come with knobs, faders, and crossfader, the …

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Nicolas Jaar, Making Electronic Music Eminently Live, Talks to MTV About Honesty

Nicolas JaarGet More: Nicolas Jaar, MTV Hive A few decades is a short time in the history of instruments. But something magical is happening: the electronic instrument, the computer, is finally easily shifting into performance scenarios, into improvisation, and into bands. (The performance features Livid’s Ohm64 and Ableton Live, with sax, guitar, and drums, at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. See a note on the rig at Livid’s blog.) Look no further than Nicolas Jaar. In an insightful performance and conversation for MTV Hive, he reveals how he thinks about music – and puts his chops where his mouth is. …

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A Controller Love Supreme: Beautifully-Crafted Wooden Jazz Controller with Ableton Live

Nick Francis poses with his DIY, wooden controller – good enough for jazz. Photo: Justin Steyer for Seattle’s KPLU radio. In a world of disposable computers and electronics, making something “custom” is an antidote to throwaway hardware, a way of putting one’s own handiwork, care, and attention into the object with which you play music. Of course, it’s one thing to say it, and another thing to do it, but Nick Francis falls squarely in the “doer” camp. A jazz-focused radio broadcaster from Seattle’s KPLU, Nick says he’s been chopping up audio since he was doing it with razor blades …

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Hypersampling, Whatever Your Grid: Free mlrv2 Instrument, to monome and Beyond

Owing to a tradition that goes back to the first samplers and hip-hop pioneers, sampling and digital performance have become a kind of instrumental technique. You might play well, you might play poorly, but even working with samples, you can actually play. You can look at the simple design of the monome as the hardware embodiment of digital, a reflection of an array of pixels. You can see it as an extension of Roger Linn’s MPC and other drum machine concepts. It’s probably both those things. But since the monome itself makes no sound, it’s been software that has made …

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Want Encoders? Livid Reveals Hardware Covered with Them

Image: Livid Instruments. Livid Instruments has just revealed their next hardware controller. Well, sort of revealed – this evening on Twitter, they declared that it was a “Top secret sneak peek of our new controller.” Top secret – you know, just on the Internet. No one will see it there. It’s full of encoders, if that’s your thing. It’s called, cleverly, the “Code.” In addition to accompanying Livid’s own grid controllers, put this next to a monome, and you can manipulate continuous parameters alongside triggers. I could imagine someone doing some insane granular patch with an absurd number of parameters …

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Visual Control Done Right: Ohm64 Automaps to GrandVJ

Arkaos Grand VJ Ohm64 Template from Livid Instruments on Vimeo. What’s your favorite controller of choice for live visuals? Jay Smith from Livid points us to this lovely use of their Ohm64 controller, right out of the box with ArKaos’ GrandVJ audiovisual software for Mac and Windows. It’d be great to see some of this eventually working with OSC, given that GrandVJ (and other tools) now have an excellent OSC mapping many people are exploiting with devices like the iPhone. But MIDI works well enough here, and the integration is thoughtfully set up. The Ohm64 is actually bundled with Cell …

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Livid Builder: Modular DIY Music Controller Hardware System

Tired of needing xx more knobs or yy more pads or a specific feature in your control hardware? Ready to dive in and build your own? You’ve had a variety of options for some time that can help get you started, but Livid’s new Builder set of modular platforms is uniquely well-suited to the kinds of gear people now want to build. It’s loaded with inputs and outputs – necessary for the button- and knob-laden controllers of today – while at the same time uses modular boards and smart software to ease the learning curve. It’s probably still a little …

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GrandVJ Update Goodies: Quartz Composer, APC40, TripleHead2Go, PC Fullscreen

GrandVJ, ArKaos’ Mac/Windows, ground-up new software (replacing the legacy ArKaos product) may have had minimalist beginnings. But recent builds have added some really powerful features. Most importantly, there’s more elaborate two-way controller support. There’s a preset for the Akai APC40, but other hardware – like Livid’s Ohm64 and recently-announced Block, the classic monome, and the svelte Novation Launchpad – should work, too. Now I just need one more feature – the, erm, time to sit down and learn how to build FreeFrameGL plug-ins. New in 1.2b1, from the company blog: New ultra smooth engine Support for Akai APC40 & Generic …

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