The developers of Griid, the Ableton Live controller on iPad created in association with Richie Hawtin, have shared photos and screen captures early with CDM to give us a look at the upcoming app. Just over a decade after its original inception, Ableton Live itself remains a ground-breaking user interface design. Love it or hate it, it’s a benchmark in thinking about how music apps might look. Griid is compelling in part because it re-imagines how that central Session View and clip launching might work, now in the context of a touch tablet. Personally, I like the results. As on the Lemur, bold, saturated colors and contrast on a black background are central, of course. It’s also nice to see extraneous visual information removed. And for anyone with epic-sized sets of clips in Live, you’ll like the massive overview.

This also makes me wonder what may be possible with Renoise’s pattern editor, which also uses colored blocks to show off units of patterns and the like (and could similarly be controlled from new input devices thanks to its API). All in all, I think we could see an explosion of thinking about control in performance. If that leads to better performances – or if we just have more fun – I’m for it.

Let us know what you think of the shots, and if it gives you any insights into what’s happening with the app or how you might play your own live sets. For that matter, is touch something you’d consider in the first place, or would you prefer tactile control?

  • nylarch

    drool.

  • Ken

    Is this only a clip launcher? If they've got an easy way to get it set up, I'm game! While I do like tactile control, the limitations of physical knobs and buttons gets to me sometimes. I love touchOSC, and this looks pretty sweet too!

  • dstroud

    This is going to be amazing and may make my APC40 completely obsolete. I like the tactile feel of buttons, but a scalable clip view with colors and names trumps all. Still nice to have all the other dedicated APC40 knobs and such though.

  • http://music.cornwarning.com chaircrusher

    "The developers of Griid, the Ableton Live controller on iPad created by Richie Hawtin…"

    That sentence fragment is boggling the inner curmudgeonly editor in me. Richie didn't 'create' the iPad, or Griid, or the developer. Too many subordinate clauses!

    The Liine website claims 'Liine is a collaborative project founded in 2010 by Etienne Noreau-Hebert , Gareth Williams, John Acquaviva, Nick Bugayev and Richie Hawtin.'

    Hawtin's contribution is most likely limited to ideas and cash.

  • tchan

    hey peter, did you get any hints about the release schedule? really looking forward to testing this out in tandem with other controllers!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I think it's pretty soon. ;)

  • Nate H.

    I'd rather use midipad since it's likely to work with more software than just Ableton, on the other hand I haven't heard anything about that project in months. Damn!

  • http://www.youtube.com/fsk1138 FSK1138

    what is the point??

    – after you buy a computer and a ipad – you could have just bought a 20inch touch screen for your mac or pc or a HP touch smart all in one pc or just convert your mac or pc laptop to touch with a screen overlay

    and run Ableton live.

    this is one app that is sort of pointless

    i get the portability issue

    but i would rather have screen real-estate

    -

  • Ryan Biggs

    @FSK1138:

    The point is that I already have a computer and an iPad, but I don't have an external control surface. Also, Ableton's session view UI was designed for mouse clicks, not fat fingers.

    On the other hand, if the developers of Griid decide to charge too much, like oh say $299, I'll have to agree with you. That would be like the iPhone GPS apps that cost as much as a dedicated GPS.

  • M

    It would be really nice if Renoise let you launch individual clips apart from a whole pattern at a time, this is probably the one thing that keeps me from wanting to explore using it in a live context.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @FSK: I think you just answered your own question. Portability is pretty substantially different. Also, I haven't been impressed by the responsiveness of many of those displays. I'd say what you're describing is a solid option, but I wouldn't quite go as far as saying it eliminates any rationalization for a $500, mobile setup with high-quality multi-touch.

  • Machines

    @Nate H

    Agreed. The promise of apps like Midipad is one of the main reasons I snagged up my iPad. At this point, I'm getting close to classifying it as vaporware. It was 'supposed' to come out at the end of May. Midipad's website says nothing about release and hasn't been updated with any news/content for months, either. Maybe it's because they're still feverishly working on the app. Maybe it's because it's dead.

  • http://www.quikphix.org xonox

    Can't wait the day i will be able to have an ipad or something similar to control my music software. Dedicated controllers are great but for something like the mixer in a DAW, it would be much easier for me to have a redefinable tactile control surface.

    Can't comment on this specific app as i do not use Ableton Live.

  • http://www.virb.com/rumpelfilter rumpelfilter

    All this touchscreen controller frenzy might prove to be a bit like the softsynth frenzy not too many years ago. Back then we thought it would render hardware synths completely useless, but now we know it wasn't totally correct. It might be the same with all these controller softwares and touchscreen enabled solutions coming out now. Sure they are interesting, but in the end, the tactile controller still has some advantages you can't replace completely. Personally I'm not all that exited about it. I like my hardware, and I like my tactile controllers…

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/ninjaontherocks NinjaOnTheRocks

    Your move Akai and Ableton… I would love them to make an APC V2 with an interface like this and to keep the tactile faders and knobs. just get rid of the clip launching section and drop a fake ipad in there. Throwing in Wifi and a NIC would be the icing on the cake. You would be able to rely even less on your computer's screen. And Akai, if you are listening, i'd pay double for my rendition of the apc40 than i did the current model.

  • Sigmatibet

    @ninjaontherocks:

    I was thinking exactly the same way. I've bene usino iPad for 2 months now and I see it has its good and its bad. It certainly cannot completely substitute Real faders and knobs. The future is in the hybrid technology you described.

    I imagine Akai, or even Behringer producing a controller with faders and knobs, with a space for iPad in the middle. A big euphonix, or a little Tango.

  • Simon

    I've heard a rumor that one of the Covert Op's guys has been working on and nearly finished an Ipad controller using Max for Live that has a XOX sequencer, a Melodic Sequencer a Bouncing Balls Seq (Like the Tenori) a 40 track Clip Launcher with mute solo and arm buttons, a mixer , a device controller, a keyboard and drum pads.

    Now that sounds exciting – anyone got any news on it ???

  • newmiracle

    FSK1138

    "…you could have just bought a 20inch touch screen for your mac or pc or a HP touch smart all in one pc or just convert your mac or pc laptop to touch with a screen overlay"

    As someone else said, Ableton Live was designed for mouses- not my fat sausage fingers.

    But even besides that, there are a couple other concerns. The past few years I've been looking at touchscreen stuff for music and there's a couple issues.

    Buy a 20" touchscreen? For how much? Does it have multi-touch? Does it have good drivers? Is it responsive enough for musical performance?

    I have also been keeping my eye out on those TouchSmarts. They look nice, but decent ones are fairly expensive. It would be pretty sweet to have one for music though- but you're not getting one for $500, that's for sure.

    And then again, what's the touch performance like? Is there lag? How much? I haven't played with one in a store in a long time. But I have doubts about the multitouch integration for anything but "pinch to zoom" photo app features and "page flicks" for browsing activities. Those are all cool things, but could the TouchSmart act like a Lemur? Then that's the other thing- what apps are you using? Are you going to have to learn Max/MSP to code the cool Star Trek interface you've been dreaming about?

    I don't mean to shit on you, it's just that I've thought the same things but when I investigated they weren't as feasible as what I first thought. Perhaps that's why the Lemur has been kicking around as long as it has.

    Companies need to work on their multi-touch drivers and implementation a whole lot before they will address the needs of the music making community. Unless I just haven't kept up with the multitouch news, lately? I hope the industry will prove me wrong soon.

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CqQx0jBhW4

    Working on get it as grid controller (with haptic honeyfeel sparkfun pad buttons)

    ;)

    Anyone interested?

  • Shammie

    Midipad? Yeah, what has happened there? The app looks to be done and dusted, and working impressively on their promo videos, but there's only an eerie silence moving through the house.

    All the other iPad / iWhatever apps I've tried as music controllers (requiring server software to run at the same time) are a pain to use and a headache to remember.

    Someone's going to get rich if they can come up with an app that will work with multiple music-making progs. Sad to say, it does look as if the midipad guys are going to be first (or ever) over the line.

  • HEXnibble

    @Shammie: "All the other iPad / iWhatever apps I’ve tried as music controllers (requiring server software to run at the same time) are a pain to use and a headache to remember."

    I have LiveControl working painlessly here. Live and TouchOSC are automatically connected when they're launched since LiveControl/TouchOSC supports bonjour/device names so there's no need for any kind of manual setup like typing in ip addresses.

  • neu

    it seems the creators of mu on the lemur interface are behind it Line, the company behind Grid is a collaborative project founded in 2010 by Etienne Noreau-Hebert , Gareth Williams, John Acquaviva, Nick Bugayev.

  • word

    "Your move Akai and Ableton… I would love them to make an APC V2 with an interface like this and to keep the tactile faders and knobs. just get rid of the clip launching section and drop a fake ipad in there. Throwing in Wifi and a NIC would be the icing on the cake. You would be able to rely even less on your computer’s screen. And Akai, if you are listening, i’d pay double for my rendition of the apc40 than i did the current model."

    interesting idea. i actually would like to see akai go in another direction.

    I'd love to see an apcV2 with velocity sensative pads with the ability to have full volume/latch and note repeat.

    PLUS MIDI OUT!!

  • Pointless

    Totally Pointless.

  • http://www.2beats.com samim

    nice article, great device – can´t wait to get my hands on one! The future has arrived and i can finally sell my lemur ;-) Unfortunately i decided to skip the IPad 1.0 and wait for 2.0 which is usually the smart thing todo with apple stuff. I´m bit amused that this article just yesterday mentioned "created by Richie Hawting" and now says "in association with.." I guess if your in bed with a giant its hard to escape his shadow.

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    Hi guys…

    if you want velocity pads and touchfaders…

    then you are talking about this:
    http://www.technoboard.at/lofiversion/index.php/t

    ;)

  • Mike

    @ Pointless….. Your comment and user ID are pointless. So you think it has no value… That is your opinion. My opinion is that the interface will be useful to many and even I could see myself using it despite already owning a Lemur, Launchpad, and two APC40's (perhaps excessive but I almost always work with someone else in my studio and it's nice to be able to dedicate the Launchpad to Drum Racks while using the rest of my controllers for other things). While I am currently using the Mu template for the Lemur, I would still find Griid useful because it would give me a nice layout of the Session View while dedicating the Lemur to controlling Ableton Devices. The iPad also has the advantage of being battery powered and quite mobile whereas all of my other controllers require a power supply except the Launchpad.

  • http://www.youtube.com/fsk1138 FSK1138

    if this was ableton live for the ipad

    i would run out and buy a ipad today

    —- the ipad in not a hi quality multitouch display

    - the lemur is high quality multitouch

    ableton live was — not designed — for the mouse ———–

    this is createdigitalmusic.com right ?????

    and your telling me ableton live was designed for the mouse ???

    come one …!!!

    if your fingers are to fat just use a something like a TrueTip Finger Stylus

    the hp touchsmart is less than the 16 gig wifi ipad and the response is far better than the ipad – it works with the actual software this this app is trying to control

    so how is this app not pointless in this case??

    this is just my opinion

    if you already have a ipad you may feel differently :)

  • Moveair

    ???

    I thought this was gonna be more than just a clip launcher.

    If it is what a waste I would rather use liveControl useing touchosc it's a little buggy but hey it's free and the developer us always updating.

    I would love lemurs live controller on the iPad that thing looks amazing, but can't afford buying the lemur though.

  • http://ezmyrelda.com Ezmyrelda

    I think what people are missing here is specifically why this type of app would be helpful and amazing in anybodies setup.

    I have a Nocturn and a Launchpad. I got each of those for the possibilities of what I could do with them. The Nocturn because I wanted something with a crossfader. The Launchpad because I wanted something similiar to a monome. I wasn't focused on using the Launchpad for a clip launcher. I am going to be using it for more interesting things like chord grids, innovative sequencers, or x/y pads. I have recently become interested in getting a BCF-2000 because I want a dedicated piece of hardware for volume and send controls. The iPad and something like griid has major possibilities for being that one thing that I don't want to wast a tactile piece of hardware on. Launching clips, and finding my way around a set. Launching a clip is a pretty simple thing. click a mouse, tap a screen, or hit a button. I don't need to have something that has a pretty light or aftertouch controlling it. Furthermore. With an iPad I can walk away from my monitor and set it down on a table, hit a clip and then look into my audiences eyes while twisting a knob or messing with my crossfader. All of these wonderful control options should be used to remind the audience that we are performers and that everything we do is making the music change. Computers should be invisible amongst the hardware that is controlling them.

  • http://routeit.noisepages.com gbsr

    looks like sessionview to me.

    the melprocess (the black separator with play buttons) looks like a group container if you ask me.

  • 23fx

    So awaiting a descent pc ipad clone/portable mutitouch screen, I already got the soft: usine.

    if some are interested,

    i ve been working for a while on a similar

    interface for touchscreens/tablet pc.

    it's a free patch and work with usine free, lot

    of controls, and second version is coming soon

    with scalable matrix. an horrible quality vid but let imagine possibilities here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fIG0mpVEOE

    can get it free on http://www.sensomusic.com
    in addons section.

  • Richie autist

    I don't think the interface looks good. Who needs better visualisation, we are talking about live music on stage, typo is too small and not enought sharp, colourful ok, but not that useful…RIchie Hawtin, indeed…..

  • newmiracle

    "…and your telling me ableton live was designed for the mouse ???"

    …uh, yes. It's a program on a computer. You use the mouse to navigate and use the program. Yes, you can use hardware to control it as well. But as a program, it was made with a mouse in mind.

    A finger stylus isn't that bad of an idea… maybe a bit awkward and not best suited for 'finger drumming' but could be fine in a clip launching or live sequencing scenario.

    What TouchSmarts are you looking at for a price comparison? The 16gig Wifi iPad is $499, while the cheapest (not used) TouchSmart I could find is $599. And that was a lone entry from a less popular site that I'm a little dubious of. Any normal retailer seems to be at selling them for at least $700.

    Which isn't bad for the machine you're getting, mind you. It's just more expensive than an iPad. It's not that I want you to be wrong or anything. Quite frankly, touchscreen computers should be putting apps like this out of business… but again, it just simply doesn't seem to be there yet. There are good options, but you either sacrifice some kind of price point or convenience (or both).

    I'd be interested to hear from people about their touchscreen music setups. How much you paid, performance, the software used, etc…

    No, I don't own an iPad. I'm kind of waiting out the touchscreen wars until some clear winners start appearing.

    I think the real question was raised earlier: how is this better than TouchOSC?

  • Tom

    Well if it's $5-$10 for this app and you have an ipad, then why not.

  • Mike

    For those who are saying that the Lemur has a higher quality multi-touch surface than the iPad…. ARE YOU SERIOUS? The Lemur is low-res and moderately sensitive. The iPad is high-res and can transmit the slightest tilt of a finger as a smooth value. I own both and they each have their uses but if the iPad was Lemur sized and $1000 it would make the Lemur look excessively overpriced.

  • http://le-k.org Le K

    multitouch on ipad is awesome, and I agree its resolution is better than Lemur.

    Lemur is a dedicated machine for music & musician, ipad is not, but it is 100% usable as one.

    Lemur technology is getting old, ipad is young.

    Lemur has lan connection, Ipad has a reliable wifi connection (works perfectly with an ad hoc network, don't be scared).

    Forget about controlling Ableton live with big touchscreen monitors, if you want to waste your time , do it guys, but, as an hardcore user of that software, playing with it since ages, and knowing every features of the beast, it is just waste of time, none built for that.

    Even if it has some lacks, Live is on my opinion the most flexible, intuitive and easy complete audio software ever. 1000 ways to use and perform with it, that the beauty of the thing.

    but Clip launcher is not the only stuff I ve been waiting for dedicated ableton live ipad controller…it deserves much more.

  • LexVan

    I use several controllers for different purposes: nanoKontrol for mixers and effects, Launchpad for clip launching and the User 1 and 2 mode for playing 5 octaves with one hand, and iPad with TouchOSC for it's ability to control f.i. 16 effect parameters with 8 fingers on 8 X/Y pads. Perfect combination.

  • Neil

    @Tom – EXACTLY. I think – subject to pricing – some people here are missing, or overstating, the point. I very much doubt the Griid folks are thinking 'this is the one app alone that will make people buy an iPad'. No app is, that's the point. And it's clear that plenty of people don't even want one single 'does everything' controller for Live and/or other software.

    It is however (a) a potentially useful app for Live; and (b) a further demonstration of the potential of iPad for music

    Loads of comments here are setting it up to fall short of their own unreasonable expectations.

  • Brian

    wow now all that someone has to do is somehow integrate this into a case with the rest an apc40s bits and you will have the most awesome ableton controller ever

  • Brian

    @NinjaOnTheRocks

    "Your move Akai and Ableton… I would love them to make an APC V2 with an interface like this and to keep the tactile faders and knobs. just get rid of the clip launching section and drop a fake ipad in there. Throwing in Wifi and a NIC would be the icing on the cake. You would be able to rely even less on your computer’s screen. And Akai, if you are listening, i’d pay double for my rendition of the apc40 than i did the current model."

    Make that two orders, id say a fair price is around £5-600. Get on it please!

  • crazyal02

    looks like a clone of Renoise's pattern matrix.

  • crazyal02

    don't get me wrong, looks awesome too.