Good Watching: Synth Interviews, British Synth Artists, Musical Pioneers from Detroit to Berlin

Pour some port, find a comfy spot on the couch, and fire up the YouTubes. A surprisingly-rich raft of terrific documentary video for synth and electronic music enthusiasts has been making the rounds. In our queue: Analog Suicide interviews a legendary vintage synth spot in Berlin, an hourlong documentary features not only Richie Hawtin but a range of techno pioneers, as well as other shorts from T-Mobile (yes, the phone company), and the BBC scores more history of the British side of the synth revolution in music. Sit down and get ready, because here we go. From Detroit to Berlin …

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Music Patchwork: Ableton Makes Max for Live Cheaper, Showcases Creations by Henke, Hawtin, More

As Max for Live matures, Ableton is working to convince more people to try this open-ended tool – and creations built for it – as a way of extending the experience of using Live for performance and production. For years, music software has focused on trying to do everything you need, to be a solution to problems you haven’t even considered yet. But recently, we’ve seen a move to software that considers customization and extension a core feature – not just the province of the hard-core hacker or DIYer, but something basic to the tool. FL Studio, Renoise, Reaper, Kontakt, …

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Griid, iPad Ableton Controller, in Exclusive Photos, Looks Clean and Colorful

The developers of Griid, the Ableton Live controller on iPad created in association with Richie Hawtin, have shared photos and screen captures early with CDM to give us a look at the upcoming app. Just over a decade after its original inception, Ableton Live itself remains a ground-breaking user interface design. Love it or hate it, it’s a benchmark in thinking about how music apps might look. Griid is compelling in part because it re-imagines how that central Session View and clip launching might work, now in the context of a touch tablet. Personally, I like the results. As on …

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Richie Hawtin Teases Modular iOS Ableton Touch Control at SONAR

Well, I can’t quite see it, but this picture is really flattering. Come to think of it, I sometimes look a little better with a short depth of field, a sharp focus, maybe some haze over the lens. Yeah. That’s better. I don’t even need to shave. Touch performance control on devices like the iPhone and iPad has become increasingly popular, but the question remains: can developers push these interfaces further? Richie Hawtin has initiated a new touch control project and promises more “advanced” control of Ableton Live for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. Details remain murky – developers …

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Locative iPhone for Audience Interaction, with Plastikman’s SYNK App

There’s the music player, the device in your home or your pocket on which you listen to the album. And there’s the concert experience, where you have a couple of longnecks and get sweaty and dance with your friends to live musicians. But wait a minute – now the musicians are using computers and music players to perform. What if that music player became part of the interaction at a live gig? Richie Hawtin is going live with a new show via his Plastikman persona – great news to those of us who love his original work. Part of the …

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NI’s Traktor Kontrol X1: High-Res Traktor Controller, MIDI Mode

The Traktor Kontrol X1 is an exercise in minimalism, reducing the various uses of Traktor to a few encoders and buttons and a compact form factor. But while it supports MIDI for use with any DJ software, its “high-resolution” mode – as with Maschine before it – uses a proprietary protocol. The unit will sell for US$229 when it ships in February of next year.

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NI Teases New DJ Controller in Richie Hawtin Maschine + Traktor Video; Twitter App

It’s Richie Hawtin Watch time! The latest: NI teases an upcoming DJ controller by sharing video of Richie playing it in a club. The surprise: it’s actually what he’s doing with Maschine that seems most interesting to me. And if you recall the Twitter DJ app that he promised in the spring, it’s here, ready to use so long as you have Traktor and a Mac. (If you’re reading, Richie, do let me know if I’ve gotten my facts straight…)

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Richie Hawtin Talks Performance, Brings Back Plastikman – By Survey

Plastikman in Second Life. Now, could Plastikman get a second life? Survey says yes. Photo: (CC) Torley. Richie Hawtin has been the subject of adulation and sometimes seemingly-random scorn by readers of this site — blame the passions of the Internet. But amidst that noise has been a clear signal: bring back Plastikman. Richie is a terrifically talented DJ, but for many of us it’s his work as a producer that we love. And for all m-nus has done over the years, the handful of work that comes from Richie’s Plastikman persona remains significant. He’s announced he’s bringing Plastikman back, …

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Free and Discounted Ableton Live Learning in NYC, KJ Sawka’s Chops, Richie’s Controller

Richie Hawtin’s custom-built Ableton Live controller makes up part of his unique live music and visual rig as Plastikman. And, yes, I’ll bring the grassroots “do more as Plastikman” campaign to Mr. Hawtin when I see him. Side note: there’s more than a passing resemblance to certain features of the Akai APC40 here, huh? We talk about tools a lot, but it’s really learning how to make tools expressive in your productions and performances that matters. DubSpot, the music tech production and DJ educational center here in New York, brings its multi-city Ableton Live Sessions tour to its hometown for …

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