Analog Industries notes that Ableton architect Robert Henke (Monolake) has created a successor to his custom Monodeck controller. The new controller has lots more knobs, LEDs, and buttons. I thought perhaps the controller used Doepfer DIY parts, like its predecessor, but a reader on Analog Industries says it’s actually a MIDIbox-based project. We’ll have to wait on Robert for specifics; I’m sure he’ll be open about what he used.

It appears that Robert has added additional emphasis on clip triggering and possibly (via the LEDs) status of playing/actively looping clips. As far as controlling Live’s various effects and synth parameters and clips, the controller looks fascinating. I have to say, I wouldn’t really want anything like this for performance, because I’d rather concentrate on more musical controllers — continuous controllers, and instrumental interfaces, rather than endless knobs. (In other words, I want to feel like a musician more than a DJ or studio engineer, though of course it’s always nice to have some knobs handy.) But for precise control of musical structures, I can see why Robert built this.

Monodeck II [Monolake]
Monodeck I [Monolake]

We should know a lot more once the hardware is finished; there’s still firmware work to be done and Robert promises more details later on.

We’ve seen a lot of the Monodeck (and now Monodeck II). So what other custom (or pre-built) controllers do you like for Ableton Live? And have any of you tried building your own?