Handheld eggs, ironing boards, machinedrums, phones … live setups can involve all sorts of oddities, especially among the rabid (in a good way) Ableton Live fanbase, and we’ll be showing them in NYC. Saturday night, we’ll chill out after Dubspot’s day-long workshop with a free, open party in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District at 675 Bar to explore some new musical interfaces, have a few drinks, meet each other, and hear some new sounds. [Facebook RSVP]

For more on the whole week’s events with Dubspot, see our previous post.

Confirmed lineup:

  • Isomer Transition (aka RJ Valeo) doing some superb-quality techno with lots of knobs and a machinedrum + Ableton Live
  • Ted Hayes’ EggBeater wireless shaker for rhythms, built in free software Pure Data and used (in this case) with Ableton Live
  • Sound artist Ranjit Bhatnagar with a musical MIDI ironing board (pictured below) controlling Live, as seen at Handmade Music (at which it was covered by
  • Track Team Audio’s Michael Hatsis showing some tweaked-out Live control in action – hopefully including his APC40 hacks and monome patches.
  • Me, playing a set with control TBD – possibly Lemur and/or my Android phone

The “beater” application is really quite nice, and follows with a lot of handheld-style, gestural controllers we’re seeing lately. That could mean that soon we could have some sort of software layer that works with any of these controllers — substituting, say, a Wii or mobile phone. Here’s a great video from the ITP show (the bi-annual exposition of the work of interactive technology students at New York University):

The ironing board I’m also, as always, excited about; I’ll be working with Ranjit (and his dogs) tomorrow to try to map it intelligently, and we’ll be sure to share our results for everyone.

And here’s some nice work by Isomer Transition – I love that RJ can cover the gamut from dance-y to experimental.

If you’re in NYC, be sure to join us and bring friends – the event is free and open from 6:30-9:30pm, and 675 Bar has a range of tasty treats and drinks and looks like the basement you wish you had. (Hey, it’s NYC, so we just share a basement.) See the New York Mag review.

And, as a last-minute reminder, tonight (Thursday) 675 is also host to a free workshop on Live 8 with the insanely-talented KJ Sawka. We should have some video from this event (and a lot of the rest of the weekend) for the World Beyond New York. See Ableton’s announcement of tonight’s user group.

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And you can also follow my Twitter or the CDM Twitter on Saturday and through the weekend.

A History of Ableton Controllers

While I don’t think it’ll be done in time for the workshop I’m teaching Sunday, I’m compiling a history of Live controllers. There are too many alternative controllers in the world to cover, but over the years at CDM we’ve seen Live is a popular choice – even if only for prototyping, prior to building your own system. Nominees?