Moldover’s MOJO, Now Open Source; Grab Build Details and Ableton Live Sets and Effects

Live electronic musician Moldover’s MOJO is the Sherman Tank of controllers: enormous, indestructible, destructive. It’s also a deeply involved build, costing US$1999.00. If you want to get some of that … um, MOJO … but don’t have two grand lying around, or if you want to adapt it to your own mojo, Moldover’s work is now fully open-source. If you’re an experienced hardware maker, you could use these files to build your own MOJO or adapt ideas into your own design. (Moldover uses the excellent, powerful Livid Builder line of parts.) If you are a builder, you can get an …

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The Best New Stuff from NAMM, in Videos: Akai, Arturia, Livid, Moog, Smithson-Martin, Teenage Engineering

Can I have this fun, wacky, sound-shaping Arturia monosynth and the new Moog Minitaur, please? Actually, at their prices, you really could – and still spend less than the cost of a lot of standalone synths. There’s lots of new stuff for musicians. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave some of it out, and skip to what’s really interesting. Neil Bufkin did a great job last year covering NAMM for CDM, shooting some lo-fi, informal videos that got right to the heart of what we wanted to know. So, I’m pleased to share Neil’s work again, since …

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New Performance Controllers: Midi-Fighter Pro will Face Grid+Fader Rivals

With game-style arcade buttons – and the pre-mapped combos to match – DJ TechTools’ latest wants your pocket full of quarters. Midi-Fighter images courtesy DJ TechTools. What should DJing with a computer look like? We’ve seen over a decade of products that can emulate the vinyl turntable experience, of course. But a native hardware interface for the computer – with all its internal looping, slicing, and effects capabilities – by definition must be different. DJ TechTools, led by DJ Ean Golden, has mixed writing about technology with designing custom solutions to that problem, interacting with the community on the DJ-centric …

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Control with Room to Grow: Livid Adds Expansion Jacks; iPad Meets Tangible Controls

In the never-ending quest to find just the right combination of faders and knobs for piloting your music, here’s a thought: add expansion capabilities. An upgrade to the Block, a grid grid and knob control surface by boutique Texan maker Livid, does just that. And for good measure, they’ve got a short-run iPad dock alternate, too, for those of you who want touch control and apps but want hardware control, too. That raises another set of ideas gaining traction this week: why not add tangible controls to these multi-touch tablets and such? Room to Grow At the heart of Livid’s …

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A Controller Love Supreme: Beautifully-Crafted Wooden Jazz Controller with Ableton Live

Nick Francis poses with his DIY, wooden controller – good enough for jazz. Photo: Justin Steyer for Seattle’s KPLU radio. In a world of disposable computers and electronics, making something “custom” is an antidote to throwaway hardware, a way of putting one’s own handiwork, care, and attention into the object with which you play music. Of course, it’s one thing to say it, and another thing to do it, but Nick Francis falls squarely in the “doer” camp. A jazz-focused radio broadcaster from Seattle’s KPLU, Nick says he’s been chopping up audio since he was doing it with razor blades …

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Synth Madness, as Sound-making Manufacturers of Austin Gather Today at Switched On

Images from Bleep Labs (top), Livid (bottom) — that’s a SxSW-only edition of Livid’s Block controller, complete with a Texas star. Not pictured: lots of insane analog modules and other audio gadgetry, because I couldn’t get good images. I’m quite excited about those, too, so stay tuned. I’m guessing a lot of gear is showing up later today. Analog and digital, gadgetry and module, DIY and ready-to-play, today in Austin we’re blessed with a get-together at the insanely-amazing Switched On music store. Austin’s noisiest manufacturers are dropping in to show some of their wears. If you’re not in Austin, have …

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Renoise 2.6 Could Set New Bar for Control, Customization, Openness

Renoise, the tracker-style music production host, has gotten a massive injection of customizability, scriptability, and hackability. If all you want to do is plug in some controller hardware and have more tangible control of music making, that scriptability can be nicely hidden away. But if you are ready to hack on your music app, this is some enormous news. For that reason, Renoise 2.6 is being called even by its makers the “Renoise Geek Edition.” But if this hackability catches on, it could mean a music tool that’s more fun to use for everyone – not just scripting geeks. 2.6 …

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Want Encoders? Livid Reveals Hardware Covered with Them

Image: Livid Instruments. Livid Instruments has just revealed their next hardware controller. Well, sort of revealed – this evening on Twitter, they declared that it was a “Top secret sneak peek of our new controller.” Top secret – you know, just on the Internet. No one will see it there. It’s full of encoders, if that’s your thing. It’s called, cleverly, the “Code.” In addition to accompanying Livid’s own grid controllers, put this next to a monome, and you can manipulate continuous parameters alongside triggers. I could imagine someone doing some insane granular patch with an absurd number of parameters …

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Livid Builder: Modular DIY Music Controller Hardware System

Tired of needing xx more knobs or yy more pads or a specific feature in your control hardware? Ready to dive in and build your own? You’ve had a variety of options for some time that can help get you started, but Livid’s new Builder set of modular platforms is uniquely well-suited to the kinds of gear people now want to build. It’s loaded with inputs and outputs – necessary for the button- and knob-laden controllers of today – while at the same time uses modular boards and smart software to ease the learning curve. It’s probably still a little …

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Livid’s Ohm64 Controller: Full of Buttons and Knobs, As Open As You Like

  So, you’ve been looking at that Akai APC40. And it’s appealing. It’s got lots of lights and a huge array of buttons for triggering samples or video or what have you, and plenty of knobs and faders. Now the APC40 has some serious “indie” competition, though, in the form of Livid’s Ohm64. Let’s compare: APC40: Proprietary connection to Ableton Live A proprietary handshake that ensures only a real APC is being used with Live Fixed MIDI assignments – no MIDI assignment editor MIDI only No MIDI out jacks, so you can’t use it with outboard gear No bus power …

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