Users of Ableton Live, among other tools, have a dilemma. A touch display like the iPad is really good at simple triggering and interactive displays – navigating Live’s grid of clips, for instance. It gives you visual feedback without having to hunch behind your laptop, and it makes seeing (and touching) clips far easier. But it gets fairly clumsy when it comes to manipulating mixer levels and effects: there’s no physical feedback for what you’re doing, and it’s too easy accidentally jump between values or bump the wrong mixer channel.

Physical knobs and other controls are perfect for mixing and effects, naturally suited to the task. But light-up grids of buttons don’t give you enough information about different clips, sending you back to the computer screen. (Hmmm… was the green rectangle three rectangles down from the other rectangle and next to the couple of rectangles in a row the one I wanted?)

If only you could combine the two, right? We’ve known Austin, TX hardware maker Livid Instruments and Berlin iOS software maker Liine were collaborating on doing just that. This week, that solution is available. You get hands-on, tactile control with Code hardware, and more options with Griid on the iPad, all via free scripts.

(If that doesn’t happen to interest you, you also get full Core MIDI support for Griid, which opens up lots of other possibilities.)

The basic idea: Code and Griid sync up. Navigate around a big set with Griid, and Code follows along. Then, use one of four control modes on Code’s physical controls:

  • Mixer
  • EQ
  • Devices (x2)

Core MIDI support is the additional good news hidden in this update. You can now use wires, if that makes you feel more secure than wireless (or, perhaps, you’re DJing a burrito-microwaving party).

If this all looks lovely, but you can’t afford the hardware right now, you can enter to win everything you need (apart from the laptop running Ableton): a contest will give away the iPad, the app, the Code hardware, and a handmade case.


It’s all very cool, although – am I the only one curious what it’d look like to have a setup that looks like this, but omits the computer entirely? (Nothing saying that isn’t possible: think Pd running on tablets, controlled by Code, for instance.)

Got questions you’d like answered, or want something in a hands-on? Liine are neighbors to CDM, so let us know.