Ableton could someday make their own iPad app for controlling Live. But it’s getting increasingly tough to imagine how to outdo what third parties have already created.

TouchAble 2, the anticipated update to one of the most popular iOS control apps, is nearing release. (“A few weeks” is the timeframe.)

The developers have always made the app that was the most extensive in regards to Ableton’s desktop functionality. But TouchAble 2 goes further: this update packs almost everything you could wish for. While the experience of using physical hardware is radically different from that of using the iPad – each having its own tradeoffs – TouchAble is also an iPad app that can rival some of the integration of Ableton’s Push with Live.

And look at what you’re getting:

It’s free for existing users.

You can play melodic instruments.

You can draw your own controllers right on the app (as seen recently in Lemur).

You can edit notes and create sequences.

The developers say they’ve completely rebuilt the app from the ground up. Quoting from their announcement to the press:

– Complete rebuild of the app
– New and faster Engine
– New Graphic interface
– New server
– New Template editor module : build your own controllers pages
– New Midi editor/ step sequencer
– New Isomorphic keyboard
– New Browser lets access to your library
– Complete rebuild of XY pad module
– Hundreds of new features, change and improvements

And it’s compatible with “Live 8 and Live 9, Intro, Standard & Suite.”

In fact, the only thing that seems missing, really, is a comprehensive Arrange View template. But with custom controllers and pattern editing and mixing, you still get quite a view arrange and mix workflows – more so, I’d say, than even with Push (which Ableton has always said is about “starting” tracks).



Meanwhile, TouchAble isn’t even the only app due in the next weeks. Conductr, the app we previewed here after it debuted publicly at SONAR in Barcelona, you can expect shortly; we’re watching for app approval.

Likely date: 22nd of August. You know – this week. (Come on, people, I want to sleep, too!)

Conductr doesn’t do nearly as much as TouchAble, particularly after the version 2 TouchAble upgrade, but I still think some of its unique control methods could be appealing. That is, I could see having Conductr onstage in certain rigs and scenarios even if I kept TouchAble around for the studio.

As teased on their Facebook page:


We look forward to testing both.

  • kot

    I almost bought Launchpad. Then I almost bought Push.
    Now I’m certain :)

    • surt_the_fire_giant

      I’ve got both. Push owns.

    • Philip

      Yeah, Push is great. I’m wondering if Touchable can be used alongside Push. Obviously there’s a lot of crossover between the two devices but some big differences too – i.e. tactile control on the Push, XY pads and physics based controllers on Touchable. If they work well together it’d be helluva setup.

    • Sylvain TouchAble team

      We’ve been testing touchAble 2 alongside Push since a while now, and it feels like the best combo ever. Also if you don’t own push, you can also use the hardware midi controller integration to use touchAble like you could with push….You can plug any kind of usb midi controller to the ipad using a camera connection kit or something similar and get the best of both worlds, touchscreen and real knobs tweaking. A lot of interactions are possible, + this feature make all devices auto mapped to your hardware midi controller. Description videos are coming next.

    • heinrichz

      ok..but what other controller would give me the 64 pressure sensitive pads that push has?

    • Philip

      Very nice! I already own Touchable 1 and Push so I’ll definitely be trying this out when it’s released. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Gray

    How are touchable loading instruments, effects etc.? Its fantastic to see this level of progression.

  • Sylvain touchAble team

    Features walkthrough videos are coming next. There is so much to show…:)

  • JustAnotherDude

    All these apps are great in the studio. It’s almost as if you have a tactile version of Live on your iPad….BUT… If you’re performing live, they’re pretty useless to me, from an audience point of view it’s like you’re checking your email while the music streams..I’d still go with something physical like an Apc/Push/Livid/etc even if they’re less capable than an app like Touchable2.

    • Sylvain touchAble team

      TouchAble 2 includes hardware midi controllers integration: plug your midi controller with a usb camera connection kit into your ipad and get all of your fx, instruments mapped and more.
      This way you get the best of both words 😉

      More details and infos very soon in our features walkthrough videos

    • mercury

      holy crap, this thing is going to be a monster. i hope it is not as bad of a fiasco as the lemur livecontrol2 disaster. so many people having issues getting that one to work at all. no documentation. limited videos. i think their marketing strategy was 50s soviet era based!

    • iwaiwa

      if TouchAble 2 really works as presented, it could be the defacto L9 ipad controller. In regards to: Livecontrol2, while “neat” (when it works), is a disaster in terms of not all functions working all the time (i.e. velocity doesn’t work on my 2 iPads in L8 or L9), they charged $50 with no full / clear setup instructions and they discontinued Griid just 2 months after I paid for that one. Seems like a bunch post-college kids doing things to be “cool” but having no sense of professionalism and quality of product. Not all of us have Hawtin budgets/staffs to change technology every 6 months. Would be nice if Liine had something that worked solid (on more than just Richie’s hardware). I’m rooting / cheering for TouchAble to deliver a real-world / workable iPad controller and if they succeed: watch Abes buy them.

    • Steo

      Or just fix MU… It was really good.

    • Steo

      I disagree, alongside a custom Lemur Interface it looks awesome. TouchAble is the best controller to launch clips in session mode because you can view the names and it is so much more reliable than other similar apps. If you show the interface to the audience they will understand you’re not cheking your e-mails.

    • Nagasaki Nightrider

      Can we please retire the old “checking email” chestnut? This is a concern leftover from the late 90’s when laptops on stage were a new thing. Everyone is up to speed by now. Stop worrying about how you look on stage and concentrate on what the music sounds like. Showy displays of physicality with knobs and faders don’t add much to a show for me. In fact, it’s pretty obvious when a performer is simply mugging for all the cell phone camera shots they imagine are being taken. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s all a contrivance from the word go, anyway. We all know how easy it is to make music with computers, so just worry about the soundcheck and presenting the best music you have to offer. If you look like a computer nerd on stage, maybe it’s because you are, and that’s OK.

    • Peter Kirn

      Yes, I have to agree, too – this is really more about what feels comfortable. So I’d sometimes choose physical hardware over the iPad, but not for what it looks like – having watched a *lot* of live sets lately, even in the front row, the basic effect is pretty similar.

    • JustAnotherDude

      “If the music is any good, any crowd worth it’s salt is going to be drinking and dancing too much to worry about the placement of your index finger.” Then why bother and not just show up with an iPod on stage and press play ? I mean, whether you’re re-creating your music live or just playing it as is from an ipod is just “hair splitting” for the audience right ?

    • mercury

      minus very basic beat matching skills, if you break it down, that’s actually exactly what djing used to be. in fact some of the best djs of all time were just great at picking really great music to play…

    • JustAnotherDude

      “but we all know how easy it is to make music with computers” Well I don’t know about that..Thats’ just contributing to the cliché that electronic musicians are not real musicians. Not everyone is making simple four on the floor tracks botched in 15minutes on a hacked copy of Live while eating a sandwich. Real creative and interesting electronic music takes as much hard work as any great rock or jazz music, even if less physicality is involved. So no, it’s not that easy. And what you call “showiness of display of physicality with knobs and faders ” is not simple “showiness” to look cool to girls in the audience or whatever you might imagine, it’s re-creating something that has been lost in the art of elctronic performance, wich is the link between a perceived sound and it’s trigger. Anyway , that’s a whole complex subject that can’t be summarized here…

    • Oriol @ Conductr

      I know what you mean. And that’s exactly what CONDUCTR is about. Not an Ableton replica for iPad, but a tool to play Ableton live (no pun intended) in a very dynamic, intuitive and… well, “physical” way.

  • Softcore

    The only reason Im still using Lemur with Live is the fact I can create my own cotnrols to my already thought-out existing “Performing” Live template. Perhaps the new additions of Touchable though may make me re-consider. Very intriguing indeed.

  • fdffgfege

    really wish more of this kind of stuff was available for android…

  • john

    is it possible to use touchable in 2 or more devices at the same time? for example, an iPhone controlling effects and an iPad to launch clips?

    • Mark Triant

      i seem to recall this working on touchAble v1.x so i’m guessing Yes.

  • HoraceClownsAndSalmon

    anyone have an inkling if “free upgrade for existing touchable users” implies that there might be a price hike after this drops?

    i’m deciding between this and lemur, and was gonna wait until some people who’ve used it give feedback, but that might change my calculus, especially considering they have a Robert Henke endorsement…

    • john

      go for lemur you wont regret it, touchable doesnt allow you to create your custom templates, lemur does and it is easy

    • bloodynails

      this article above seems to suggest that this new version of touchable will allow you to create custom templates.

    • john

      yeah you are right didnt see it. Will touchable allow multiple devices at the same time?

    • p4cm4n

      It already does :)

      Wishing as hell to come out :(

    • p4cm4n

      As a bonus, touchable 2 will support browsing files and patches from the couch errrr touchscreen ^^

  • Rene Alexis Penaloza Munoz

    Got Conductor. Super fast response. Can’t wait for TouchAble, combined with Push it’s gonna be a killer.

    • Oriol @ Conductr


  • MrBim

    man i just want it. cant wait v1 is/was great v2 looks amazing. That said, can we have a wired connection please. nothing worse than wireless issues in a venue.

  • teleman78

    Is this going to allow USB connectivity? If not then it’s useless for me… I want to use it to jam with friends over WIFI, I need to be able to connect via USB to my computer.

    • MrBim

      i think that having wired functionality would be a massive improvement. tho in the mean time i just want it to exist. this article was posted over a month ago. :( that said ios7 has just happened and that may have thrown some spanners in the works.

  • deecodameeko

    Ok, it’s been 2 months since the teaser video came out….I’m just hoping v2 isn’t vapouware…

  • Horatio Horny Blower

    Ahhh!!! I can’t wait any longer!!!! We want Touchable 2!!!!!!!!

  • Sasori

    great, now, where are the instructions to set this up? I have no reference to how to set ableton’s controller section up.

  • daleks

    this app is thoroughly awesome and you guys have outdone yourselves. keep up the good work!!!