Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - Ableton Live, Open at Last

Slow to be on the ball with this one, I know, but with the rush on the net about the Ableton Live API hack I figured I would let the commotion settle down, and then shoot a nice sweet injection back into everyone's veins who may have missed the news.

So what is this project? Well basically some hackers went and got their little fingers into Ableton Live to open it up through Python access. The project already has three packages including Python support, OpenSoundControl (OSC) and the Ableton Live API documentation.

Frankly, I am not a coder so I don't know what all this means, but here is what the boys have to say.


The trick here is to detach yourself from thinking MIDI, think combos, think interactions, think progressive organic behavior that you have control over using an object oriented language rather than being limited to 'on/off' of a note or 1-127 on a CC.

And finally, OSC isn't really 'the big deal' about LiveAPi, the Python API access is. It's basically an example of how powerful this interface can be, we shimmed in a network transport layer interface to allow remote control. Just imagine what you'll be able to do.

On the ho-hum side of things, you could recolor your clips automatically if you wanted. All bass immediately becomes green, all leads red, etc. You could do name matching on that type of stuff. Or, you could 'tie' knobs together.. Turn a dial from 1-127, another dial goes from 127-1 inversely. If that kind of stuff doesn't turn you on and you don't do performance stuff, then this probably isn't a big deal for you -- yet.

I've been dreaming up ideas since the release that have nothing to do with playing music, but are more about automating processes within Ableton to save me time.. But that's just what _I_ want. You've got the power to make what _you_ want.

1 comment:

Dragoljub Ćurčić said...

I'm into programming a little, and now one idea I had before may come to reality easier than before: triggering and controlling graphics (maybe in a separate application) with MIDI notes and parameter envelopes from Live - link music and graphics. I know that using MIDI routing it could be done, but what about parameters? I don't think Live sends out Control Change MIDI messages. Based on the quote you provided it seems that parameters (knobs on Live's effects and even VST instruments) could be read out and sent to another application.

How about a graphics VST instrument?