Using old controllers in new ways, using new controllers in old ways … when playing live, having some controller gear is a must. Gustavo Bravetti sends video of himself playing Ableton Live using various novel controllers, live from Colombia. (That’s Colombia, not Columbia.)

Yes, you can wow crowds playing with laptops — especially when you perform synth lines with drumsticks. (Pity some of us are worse drummers than keyboardists; this solution would definitely not work for me!)

As it happens, Gustavo’s email hits the night of a MIDI controller “brain dump” at the Warper Party here in New York City. That’s tonight, Monday, at 7pm. It’s basically just an informal hang, but we can hopefully demonstrate the cooling effect of thinking about MIDI on this blazingly hot day. The event has something extra to recommend it: namely, me wearing some kind of absurdly silly hat involving a circuit board. I’m not even sure what this means yet, but I’ll be sure there are pictures so we can embarrass me internationally and not just locally.

Alternative controllers aren’t the only way to go. There’s also taking the controllers you have now, and attaching more of them, then programming them into a monster, eight-keyboard rig of M-Audio Oxygen8s so that partygoers can try their hands controlling Ableton Live. That’s what my co-host tonight at Warper, Matt Moldover, does with his Octamasher. Here’s a video from Austin, Texas. It shows anyone can get their hands dirty playing with Live.