TouchAble 2 Puts Ableton Live Beneath Your Fingers: Gallery, Video Tutorials

Ableton still doesn’t make an iOS app for Live. The software seems to lend itself to direct touch interfaces, emphasizing live performance and improvisation and real-time workflows. But there’s little reason for the developer to make one themselves: there are just too many superb third-party solutions, and they continue to dazzle. TouchAble 2, available now, goes further than any app has before. If hardware controllers or the mouse or computer keyboard act as narrow windows into what Live can do, the latest TouchAble just seems to do … everything. Short of Live running on a touchscreen directly, TouchAble brings what …

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Ableton Goodies: Push without Push – Free Lemur Template Puts Shove on iPad

It was only a matter of time. An intrepid Lemur for iPad user has devised a template that emulates Ableton’s Push hardware. Cleverly entitled “Shove,” the template isn’t just a little like Push. It actually allows you to use the iPad as surrogate for Ableton’s hardware. You configure the iPad input and output and then select Push as the control layout. Ironically, that means this script may appeal as much to current Push owners as it would to anyone who wants to use their iPad in place of the hardware. I leave my Push comfortably sitting in the studio, because …

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Try FL Studio on Mac Right Now; Or Touch a New Image-Line App on Windows 8

In one fell swoop, Image-Line has given computer musicians two things they might have thought they’d never see. One is a version of FL Studio that runs on the Mac – something the developer once actually vowed openly would never happen, but which is now actually happening in beta. See video, above. The other is a full-featured music app for Windows 8 touch devices you can download from the Windows Store. It turns that touch-enabled Windows tablet or laptop into something that’s more than a Windows PC you jab your finger at, wishing your finger were a mouse. See video, …

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TouchAble 2, iPad Control of Ableton, Nears Release, Kind of Does Everything; Conductr This Week

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 …

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Multi-Touch with Your Current Keyboard, And How Expressive, Crowd-Funded Keys Stack Up

Augmenting keyboards with additional expression is a tradition that goes back nearly a century. Inventors have tried keys that bend and wiggle, add-ons from pulleys to ribbons, wheels and pressure sensors, and more – anything to extend the piano and organ beyond their on/off playing methods. But now, the Web has accelerated the ability to communicate and develop these ideas. Crowd-funded invention is becoming widespread. And that means we’ve actually seen several polyphonic touch expression schemes this year. Rather than just presenting papers at conferences, instrumental experimenters are going to musicians and trying to fund real products. American-born, London-based composer, …

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iPad DAW Control App To Beat? V-Control Pro Offers Direct Window on Desktop, More [Gallery]

Various third-party apps have turned your iPad (or, occasionally, Android) into a control surface for DAWs. Many simply emulate the features of Mackie Control, a popular inter-app control protocol. Steinberg offered its own tool with the awkwardly-named but powerful Cubase iC Pro. Killer features: keyboard shortcuts, visual arrangement overview for navigation. Then, came Apple with the wide-reaching Logic Control. While strikingly similar to Steinberg’s offering, Apple earns points for adding instrumental control, interactive help, and something called Smart Control. What Apple didn’t do was provide touch interfaces for all its instruments and effects. And as I said in the review, …

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Begone, Mouse: The Latest Upcoming Ableton Live Touch Controllers [Gallery]

The “live” in Ableton Live suggests making musical decisions in real time – not slowly with painstaking editing, stopping and editing and drawing, but as you listen and work. But while the onscreen interface is built around the mouse, and the precision of the mouse, focusing on those settings in performance, DJing, or studio work really wants something else. So, you have two choices. One is to use external physical control, like a conventional MIDI controller or the just-released Ableton Push. And that works very well for many people. Or, you can use a touchscreen. The advantages of the screen …

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Convertible PCs Could Transform Windows Music Software, But Many Models Won’t Stick

What if your computer could do what tablets do – without having to kludge together multiple devices? That question probably doesn’t keep ordinary people up at night. But with music makers unusually ravenous users of touch software, they might just be at the vanguard of new convergences of creative computing. Picture this scenario. Your computer behaves the way it always has – with the usual complement of software and the same comfortable form factor and editing tools. You have the precision of the keyboard and pointer. Then, when you need it, that computer can also be a tablet. You pick …

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Acer Hopes Music Making Will Propel Touch Tablets, Ultrabooks; Report from Taipei

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of traveling to Taipei, Taiwan for Computex, where Acer was promoting its latest touch hardware. Normally, I’d ask whether there was reason for musicians and DJs to care. But this time, the computer maker is hoping the passion around music will be a factor that woos users to their newest machine. Let’s get one thing straight: the PC market itself isn’t going anywhere. In the final quarter of last year, PC makers shipped hundreds of millions of units. (That includes Apple – and it’s another reason Apple may not want to get out …

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Imagine a Musical Interface, Mirror it on Your iPad: Max + Mira

I heard David Zicarelli once describe Max as a blank sheet of paper – a canvas on which you can imagine any musical creation. Until now, though, there’s been no way to touch those creations directly – other than with a mouse. Mira is a lovely solution to that idea. As users “patch,” visually creating tools in Max, objects that impact user interface interaction (knobs, faders, buttons, musical keyboards and the like) are visible both on your computer screen and on your iPad. You even can add images, new objects for multitouch and motion, text, and images. And you can …

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