It’s a master class for creators from the creator himself – Robert Henke has done a two-part, must-watch series for Synthtopia on the new Ableton Live 11 PitchLoop89 Device.

It’s great to see this inspiration (and my neighbor, too) team up with one of our favorite sites – labors of love meeting labors of love.

PitchLoop89 requires Ableton Live 11 Standard + Max for Live (or Live 11 Suite):

It’s an Ableton Live 11 device with some Robert-y twists, but its inspiration is vintage gear – the rare Publison DHM 89 pitch-shifting delay. Preservation Sound have this lovely upload of the sales sheet, which looks so vintage – ca. 1978 – you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a modern creation intended to look like 1978.

Linkhole alert – hold your calls on this site!

The Publison DHM 89 B2: Highly advanced signal processor/sampler c. 1978

Specs on the original hardware:

  • Dual digital delay with adjustable bandwidth
  • Dual pitch shifting (-2 to +1 octave)
  • Dual automatic arpeggio
  • Dual reversed sound
  • Dual memory latch mode
  • 16-bit, 52.91 KHz

I have to confess while I knew the DHM 89, I was not familiar with the KB 2000 companion, which makes me ponder some new MIDI mapping for the PitchLoop89.

And here it is in action:

Robert Henke led the development of this tool, together with Ableton and Eric Carl on UI, so he’s the perfect guide. As per usual, he’s inspired by vintage hardware but riffs on it in some new ways. (In more of a stretch, I understand he and Gerhard were influenced by the Synclavier in the original Ableton Live – plus Gerhard’s love of LEGO toys – in ways that clearly got developed in new directions in the software.)

In part one, you get functionality, audio capture, and MIDI control, plus a general intro:

Part 2 integrates with drums and (as contemporary counterpart to that KB 2000) Ableton Push, among other topics:

But surely, Robert, no one needs a pitch-shift delay. It’s unthinkable. It’s a really exotic effect. I can’t see anyone using it.

Enjoy, thanks Synthtopia for this one! I know what I’m doing this evening… (now also waiting for the PitchLoop89 remix, someone…)