Ready for more dynamic control of Ableton Live, on the cheap? My how-to on MIDI Remote Scripting in Ableton Live was just last week, but it has already inspired new scripts for hardware, this time on the Novation Nocturn. (My examples for the tutorial were the Korg nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL.) The Nocturn is also very easy to slip into a backpack or carry-on, and very affordable at US$100-130 street. It just happens to become more valuable with a little user hacking.
Why the Novation Nocturn? After all, Novation touts their own Automap technology for just this purpose. But Novation assumed you only want to use the Nocturn Automap with your plug-ins and not to control Live. Here’s the non-dynamic hack from Novation:
Musician NCKN (“Nicken”) of Aachen, Germany has a better solution. He uses MIDI Remote Scripting to create a downloadable file that will map the Nocturn’s eight knobs to your device racks automatically. If you did pony up for Automap PRO, it’s useful, too, as it allows mapping buttons to Live keystrokes. (Bome MIDI Translator would be another option.)
Complete instructions and a free download at NCKN’s site. Be sure to check out his music, too; there’s some wonderful stuff.
Beautiful ambient-ish tracks with field recordings and acoustic noises blended elegantly into an electronic production:
Back to the controller that has an Ableton logo tattooed on it, we’ve got still more APC40 hacking going on, too. Darren Cowley sends along his Live rig and a video:
The “short” film clocks in at nearly eighteen minutes, but here’s the basic ingredients:
Korg padKONTROL + the free Farmpad customization tool for Mac + Akai APC40 + the mighty, powerful Bome MIDI Translator for more control over events + the now-discontinued Lucifer VST (which I believe has now been replaced with the audio-recording-manipulating Live Sync Recorder.)
There are some really tasty hacks here. Scene launch buttons glitch the sound or impact launch quantization. Controls provide quick access to recording and playing audio loops. Effects are on summed tracks for DJ-style effects manipulation. There are clever tricks for using lights for additional feedback. It’s all proof that no two people really approach Live or even this fairly clearly-mapped hardware in the same way.
Side note: I received a comment from a gentleman who is color blind and therefore can’t see the red/green light feedback on the APC40. Anyone with tips? I don’t think you want to rip out the APC’s lights, for sure. It does really prove that one size can’t possibly fit all in hardware.