In-app editing, at last. Without switching to your Mac or PC, you can now edit or create layouts right on Lemur. Images courtesy Liine.

Once the layout is done, using an iPad as an interactive, do-anything-you-want, Star Trek-style music and visual controller is a unique pleasure. But as your fingers surf through virtual knobs and faders, the idea has surely occurred to you: why can’t I actually do my editing and layout on the iPad?

Lemur is perhaps the most powerful controller app anywhere, a terrific demonstration of why a tablet controller can be useful. And its editor – directly descended from the editor that went with the original, pre-iPad Lemur hardware – is powerful, unquestionably. But switching between an editor on the desktop and the layout on the tablet definitely feels less intuitive.

A Lemur update at last brings what users have wanted: now you can directly edit those layouts on the iPad (and iPhone/iPod touch), ideal for “improvising” layouts and adjusting to what feels best on the controller. See the video for a first look. (One bonus, very interesting to a few of us: this also means, since you’re no longer tethered to the editor, you can more easily use Lemur as a controller with your Linux rig, whether that’s a laptop or a Raspberry Pi.)

It should be available on iTunes now. (Some country stores don’t get all updates immediately, so keep an eye out.)

That’s not all Lemur developers Liine are announcing today. Lemur also adds three new “skins” for a bit more control over how your layouts look. And coming early next year, there will also be a free layout for Ableton Live from one of the best creators of this stuff, ST8. (I would expect this is tailored a bit to some of the subtle but significant controller changes in Live 9.)

The new Lemur – in-app editing, new skins, and still the mobile controller app to beat.

Entirely tailored to iOS interface paradigms, in-app editing does everything you need to customize control layouts, says Liine. Here’s how they describe the use cases for the functionality:

So what does editing templates directly In-App mean?
For novice users, this means a much smaller learning curve and an immediate initial experience. Any basic configuration, such as a typical bank of faders, can now be created with a few familiar taps and gestures. And any factory template can be adjusted quickly to suit your particular needs.
For advanced users, the In-App Editor provides the possibility to quickly edit templates without breaking the musical flow. Whether you’re playing with live musicians or engineering a track in the studio, designing and using the Lemur controller becomes improvisatory. Need to add an extra fader for the reverb effect? Two seconds and you’ve got it.

We don’t know a whole lot about LiveControl 2.0, but knowing how powerful some of this stuff has been in the past – and knowing ST8 was involved – I expect hard-core Live users who love touch will be intrigued. (It’ll be interesting to stack this up against Ableton’s own Push, which should become available in roughly the same timeframe – how you might choose one over another, or even use the two together.) What we have from Liine on what’s coming:

Experience the ultimate Ableton Live controller, designed in partnership with master designer ST8. Improvise a riff on the Play page, then switch to the Sequencer page to edit the pattern. Choose a key and scale to guide your melodies and use Quick Chord to instantly create harmonies. Use the Modulate page to flawlessly map any parameter from any plugin to the MultiBall object and take advantage of Physics, LFOs and gesture recording. The Launch page gives you everything you would expect from a clip launcher, and more. We even integrated snapshots and morphing. LiveControl 2 will be a free download available in early 2013.

Let’s have a look at the new releases in images:

The New Lemur

Some people may still prefer doing initial editing on the desktop app, but it’s hard to imagine anyone will complain about at last being able to make adjustments on mobile. And if you do want to start from scratch, you can do that, too. The new Lemur app, editing away.

You have complete access to widgets and parameters. And, as you can see, by using iOS-native UI components, Lemur makes sure those editing tasks are fat-finger-friendly.

LiveControl 2.0

A new Ableton Live controller template will be available as a free download early in 2013, says Liine.

Info on the updates:

  • Øivind Idsø

    Yes and yes! Great addition to a fantastic app. Strangely, it won’t show up in the App Store, only in iTunes. Guess it’s propagating through the channels as we speak – can’t wait!

    • Peter Kirn

      Yeah, precisely.

  • Aaron Levitz

    I’ve been loving that feature in Beatsurfer. Glad to see it here, too. Makes a huge difference.

    • Peter Kirn

      Absolutely. I didn’t mention Beatsurfer here because, well, they’re completely different animals – in wonderful ways – but it’s clearly an ideas whose time has come.

    • Aaron Levitz

      Beatsurfing. I got the name wrong. Sorry, everyone.

    • Bruno Afonso

      Given Lemur’s powerful programming, does it not fully replace Beatsurfing?… I was on the verge of getting it but now I wonder if Lemur is not a better choice.. specially as it will interplay with future OSC excursions I have planned in the future..

    • Aaron Levitz

      One simple but critical difference between the two: Lemur protects your controls from each other. You can drag press a button and drag out to a slider, and that slider won’t activate because your touch is associated only with the button. Or you can drag from the middle of nowhere over your button, and that button won’t activate because your touch is associated with the empty space outside of it. This is desired behavior in most instances, but it’s the antithesis of what’s required for a beatsurfing-like interface.

      Lemur can create a grid of buttons, and within that grid, you can drag your fingers from one button to the next like you would in beatsurfing. That’s pretty satisfying, if you wanted your buttons evenly sized and arranged in a grid, and if you don’t start a gesture from outside of its borders.

    • Andreas Wetterberg

      Not true – turn off “Capture” and you can drag across non-array Pads to do triggers, much like you can in Beatsurfing. Now, you don’t have the variety of pad shapes you do in Beatsurfing, but you can certainly get close.

    • Aaron Levitz

      Nice! That is definitely closer.

      Beatsurfing’s pad shapes aren’t so important, but being able to orient them to any angle makes a huge difference. And the option for a pad to trigger different notes depending which direction the trigger arrived from is a stroke of genius.

      Playing around, I do wish there was a hybrid semi-capture available on some of the object types. I’d love to trigger buttons without releasing control of a RingArea. That would provide a level of interaction beyond Beatsurfing’s capabilities (albeit with more work to set up your templates. the editors are optimized for very different workflows)

    • Aaron Levitz

      Another quirk of the Lemur in-app editor (which is probably me being ignorant and unable to find answers again): I can’t find anything in the way of depth controls. “Move Forward”, “Send to Back”, that sort of thing.

      That’ll probably resolve itself in the next update…

    • Bruno Afonso

      Thanks guys, this was really informative!

      (even though it still seems the answer is “both” :)

  • Jos Smolders

    ow, I have been using TouchOSC for the past months with great satisfaction and also tried Lemur but decided it was not working in my studio workflow. This development is tempting and I will try again. Since the TouchOSC development seems a bit offffffff.

  • AfroDJMac

    Wow the iPad music production world is really getting exciting all of the sudden :)

  • mh

    i really want to be able to make my own bidirectional live interfaces without having to spend alot of time figuring out max4live etc….i hope this is the ticket

    • nivekevil

      Just as a warning, Lemur isn’t necessarily all that intuitive for a non-coder. If you just want simple MIDI mapping you should be ok, but once you get into scripting, it can get pretty complicated rapidly. I’ve made a few templates with SysEx (Matrix 1000 template on the Lemur site), and as someone learning to code from scratch they take me many hours to get right. Not to suggest you shouldn’t try, because it’s definitely worth it, but I don’t want you to take a $50 plunge without understanding how deep the water is.

    • ray

      would you send me the matrix 1000 template? I tried to make one with the original lemur hardware but it did not work for some reason related to sysex, i do not remember.

  • Leon Trimble

    touchosc and livecontrol was why i got an iphone, i bought an ipad for tagtool but this looks bloody lovely. i was miffed at liine for headhunting st8 and then development on it seemed to stop, obv not! this has been a couple of years in the making, too cool.

  • cassiel

    We’ll see how the edit-on-iPad works out… certainly, the Mac/PC editor is a bit of a dog, at least partly because the Lemur configurations don’t support parameterisation and common sub-components a la MaxMSP, so replication, heirarchy and structuring are painfully awkward. Also, decent support for the Lemur scripting language is a must.

    FWIW, I’ve personally decided to head in the opposite direction, with a system to create, assemble and load templates using a Clojure-based DSL. It needs some layout logic a la HTML filling, but, as the artilleryman says in War of the Worlds, I’ve made a start. I just hope Liine don’t kill the TCP/IP XML protocol. Code here:

  • DJ Autom8

    As an original hardware Lemur owner, it’s a shame that Liine is not doing anything with even attempting to translate some of this to the old hardware.

    • stop cryiing lemur boy


    • Grolly

      I also own the hardware. It is a shame, but that’s the software business. Hardware Lemur is now a ‘legacy’ product. Companies have to make money and once a product becomes discontinued, it’s buh-bye in terms of support. Just how it is.

    • Peter Kirn

      Right, but even that said, you can’t fault a *completely different company* for failing to support a product they didn’t make.

    • Peter Kirn

      Maybe because Liine didn’t have anything to do with the Lemur hardware — and that Liine is an iOS developer, and this is an iOS app? The Lemur hardware was developed independently by JazzMutant/Stantum. I appreciate the regret here, but to me the main point is that you can take those Lemur templates and run them on iOS.

    • for the crying lemur wad

      boooo hoooooo

  • youngcircle

    I have an unfortunate correction to offer: the in-app editing is apparently only for the iPad. Here’s hoping that iPhones and iPods will soon get this badly needed feature…after all I’m pretty sure I forked out the same amount of money as did iPad users, so if Liine doesn’t fix this soon I for one will be hitting the streets in my sea turtle costume for a, erm, virtual riot. Vive les proletariat, etc…

  • Jim Warrier

    Having spent the last few days playing with Lemur 4 im finding the edit function works perfectly and is as fully featured as the desktop editor.
    Im finding myself making rough templates on the ipad and then dropping them into the editor for tweaking.
    Then doing all the automapping on the ipad.

    The integration is fantastic

  • csciurba

    I finally have an iPad on the way, and this will need to be among the first apps purchased for it when it arrives.