Crafted from aluminum, this DIY controller puts some of the store-bought options to shame. Photo by the creator, Adam Dzak.

DIY Maven: Apollo 13 is a Beautiful, Handmade Aluminum Ableton Live Controller

Years ago, when the phrase “controllerism” was still yet-to-be-coined and there was no official hardware for Ableton Live, DJ Sasha had one hell of a custom piece of kit. The Maven featured oversize, hard-to-disconnect plugs and beautiful metal hardware. Years later, it’d still make any Ableton user drool. What’s a Live user to do? Stop drooling, and start building. DIYer and musician Adam Dzak did just that. He created his own MIDI controller, constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, and used Ableton Live scripting to tailor control to software. The result is something a bit like the APC40 made by Ableton and …


DJ Sasha's Live Visuals, Full of LEDs

The shift may be gradual, but big-name musical acts are beginning to be more mindful about the involvement of visualists, closer in their collaboration, and quicker to credit the visual artists. And well they should: adding powerful visuals to a set and promoting the visual artists involved is now a terrific way to promote the musical act, too. One example: DJ Sasha, the Ableton-based DJ and electronic artist, has a terrific-looking LED-based show that accompanies him, the work of Picnic Electronic (the visualist, not the Montreal outdoor party) and Immersive. Details from Sasha: The V_rtek show has been meticulously produced …