There’s not much to say about this news: if it’s the kind of thing you’ve been anxiously awaiting, you’ll know you’re in luck just from the screenshots.

First, for anyone with a recent MacBook and a copy of Max for Live, Juan Pablo Carrascal has come up with a lovely solution for on-the-go production. Using the trackpad’s multitouch input support, his Max patch transforms your laptop into a MIDI control device, for those times when you don’t have a controller handy. (See also a great, open source Mac touchpad tool.) I don’t have a compatible Mac on which to test this, but it looks great. And because it is a Max for Live patch, you could use this as a basis for other, similar tools.

Juan Pablo writes a detailed look at how he put the patch together and how to use it:

Macbook trackpad as controller for Ableton Live (with Max for Live)

You just need an external mouse, since this will take over the use of your trackpad. It could also be handy for adding an extra touch controller in a live performance (especially in cramped performance spaces).

Second, for Max for Live developers, Peter aka ShelLuser on the Live forums has come up with a patch entitled LOM.Navigator that gives you full access to every single function provided by Live’s internal control surface support. It’d be nice if Ableton had designed that control surface object in a more logical, consistent way, or properly documented it. (ahem) But Live hacker to the rescue: LOM.Navigator lets you explore all the capabilities Max for Live can control, opening up lots of possibilities for live performance. Full message thread:

LOM.Navigator v1.0 – With *full* control surface support. [Ableton forum; thanks, Mudo!]