So many Ableton Live iPad controller apps, so little time!

I’ve been getting quite a number of emails from users interested in using their iPad or iPhone as a controller for Ableton Live but confused about all the app options. I thought it would be interesting to explain in one short article the differences between Griid, Griid Pro, Kapture, Kapture Pad and LiveControl. I’ll give a short summary and a few bullet points about each app. By the end of this article, you should be able to know which app is right for you as a controller for Ableton Live, whether it’s in the studio or performing on stage with your iPad.

Our goal with controller apps is twofold. The first goal is to make your controller feel like an instrument. The second is to extend Ableton Live and let you do things that are normally impossible.

Griid

Griid was created to be the smoothest and most reliable clip launcher. The devil is in the details and Griid is all about the subtle difference which frees your mind to concentrate on music, not pushing buttons.

We worked extra hard on the graphics engine to get the smoothest possible scrolling feeling. Track, clip and scene names and colors are a given. We put in an option to increase the font size and you can zoom the clip grip to fit exactly how many tracks and scenes you want to see. We even made an Overview mode to view the entire Live set. You can tap the track header and the view jumps to the scene offset where this clip is located.

Scrolling and clip launching are controlled in different areas of the interface. A clip launch is detected immediately when you tap the screen. There is literally zero pause as there is no gesture to analyze: you touch, you launch. You can also swipe horizontally across to launch a few clips in a scene, but not the whole scene.

In short: we focused extra hard on all the details to give you the best clip launcher we could imagine. Compared to the days when each hardware controller was an investment of several hundred dollars, the price of an app means you don’t need to choose one Ableton Live controller app or another! You can buy every single app you need, and as an app developer we have the freedom to make a precise tool to do exactly the right job.

  • Griid works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
  • Griid is a clip launcher.
  • Griid does not require Max for Live.
  • Griid does not include Cliip or Miixer, but both will soon be available as In-App purchases.
  • Griid has been used by Plastikman, Avril Lavigne’s band, Luciano, Drumcell, Xhin and countless other artists as their clip launcher.

Launch Ableton Live clips from your iPad / iPhone

Griid Pro

There’s two main questions I want to answer here. First, what is the difference between Griid and Griid Pro? And second, what is the difference between LiveControl and Griid Pro?

The difference between Griid and Griid Pro is that Griid Pro includes the Cliip MIDI editor / step sequencer and Miixer modules. In addition, future modules will be included in Griid Pro for free or offered at a  heavily reduced price. Griid Pro is Liine’s controller suite for Ableton Live and of course it works on both iPhone and iPad.

The differences between Griid Pro and LiveControl are several. LiveControl is actually a TouchOSC template (albeit a very, very fancy one). LiveControl is free, but requires you to purchase TouchOSC. The installation for LiveControl is a little bit more complicated. The graphics engine for Griid Pro was built from scratch specifically for the purpose of controlling Live. LiveControl is built in TouchOSC and uses TouchOSC objects.

Griid Pro has a MIDI Clip editor (aka the step sequencer) and a mixer module called Miixer. Cliip is the only smoothly scrolling, zoomable MIDI editor for Ableton Live. You can edit notes straight on the grid, or you can turn off quantization.It works on iPad and even iPhone and iPod Touch.

LiveControl also has a step sequencer MIDI editor, but since it is built on TouchOSC objects, there is no smooth zooming and scrolling. There is no options for quantizations.

  • Griid Pro works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
  • Griid Pro is a clip launcher, a step sequencer and a mixer.
  • Griid Pro’s mixer is customizable: you can choose any fader on any fader in any combination.
  • Griid Pro does not require Max for Live or TouchOSC
  • LiveControl is free, but requires TouchOSC.
  • LiveControl is customizable, if you’re willing to get into Python programming or editing the TouchOSC template.

TouchOSC

TouchOSC is a universal iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad application that lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network using the UDP protocol. Out of the box, TouchOSC is a completely blank slate. You can use the free editor to make any template you want. It is 100% customizable. TouchOSC is NOT a Liine app.

OSC is an acronym for Open Sound Control. It’s a protocol for communication among computers, sound synthesizers, and other multimedia devices. It could be described as modern version of MIDI. In practice, it lives alongside MIDI quite happily. MIDI isn’t going anywhere, but more and more developers are supporting OSC. Ableton Live does not support OSC natively, but the LiveAPI and later LiveOSC (which turned into LiveControl) project added OSC support.

  • TouchOSC will let you control any piece of hardware or software that accepts OSC.
  • Some software, like MaxMSP, Pure Data or Osculator will translate OSC to MIDI.
  • LiveOSC is a Python script that adds OSC support to the Live API.
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One Response to So many Ableton Live iPad controller apps, so little time!

  1. alive wire says:

    Thanks for shedding some light on the subject. I’d love to see a similar comparison with TouchAble.

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