P.S. Remember that now Windows users can enjoy Griid control of Ableton Live too…
P.S. Remember that now Windows users can enjoy Griid control of Ableton Live too…
The celebrations continue….
Last week we celebrated our new collaboration with LiveControl.
Now our PC friends can also join the party. Griid is now fully PC compatible.
See what Mac users have been raving about and enjoy powerful, professional control of Ableton Live.
Buy Griid here.
Download the Windows drivers and Setup Guide here.
You can read the press release here but if, like us, you’re too excited to read all about it then pop open some champagne and find out how you can help us celebrate.
We will be giving away one free Griid or Griid Pro (your choice) promo code* every day for 10 days from Wednesday 6th October 2010. To enter and win it’s very simple.
Go to our Facebook page and click on “Like”.
Look for the “Liine welcomes LiveControl” post.
Reply in the comments with your answer to this question:
Which control module would you most like to see in Griid? Describe it and use your imagination!
We will choose one post every day (it doesn’t matter on which day you actually post the comment so get it up there early to maximise your chances!) and if it’s yours we’ll send you a private message with your Griid promo code. Then simply fire up iTunes and get your free copy!
* Promo codes are only valid for US iTunes customers
A friend of mine recently pointed me in the direction of a very cute music app called ‘Bebot‘. People can be very categorical with apps and music software in general, either they fall in the toy or the tool category. Bebot is a good example of something between the two. At first, it really seems like a toy. Straight off the bat, one of the biggest strengths is the graphic design. The little robot is strangely inviting, politely waiting for you to make your move. The whole screen becomes an XY playing area, with horizontal movement controlling the pitch and vertical movement controlling the timbre. You can choose which sound to use, and you get a few options for tweaking the synth parameters.
However, once you get past the cute outlook you have a very musical device capable of some serious expression. The best feature is the ability to change pitch quantization settings. It can either be free, quantized to scale degrees of your choice, or somewhere in between. The touch surface is so sensitive on the iPhone and iPad that you can even do a surprisingly expressive vibrato!
Part of the Liine team are working with a well known UK techno producer on a top secret new music/art project. One of our immediate goals has been to find a way to integrate granular synthesis in Ableton Live and use Griid alongside another controller to mashup the sound. Also, it’s really important for us to keep the notion of a rhythmical pulse rather than something totally abstract, so Max for Live is looking like the ideal solution as it integrates seamlessly with the clock from Live. I can’t go more into details, but along the way, I have come across a really cool little App for the iPad called Curtis.
I’ve been using granular synthesis since my university days. While the principle behind this technique will obviously never change, it’s really interesting to see a new way to control the effect, with super intuitive graphical feedback. With ‘Curtis for iPad‘, there’s no numbers, no percentages, just a pretty representation of the waveform and an inviting GUI. If you’re any sort of electronic musician: it’s a great tool (you can drop in your own WAV files!). If you know nothing about music, it’s a super fun toy. Fun for the whole family indeed.
At Liine we’re currently working on the next steps for Griid, thinking about its future as the ultimate touch controller for Ableton Live on iPad and iPhone. The fact that devices like the iPad are now affordable and accessible to everyone has huge implications for dynamic control of music software. Touchscreens will be with us for years to come, this is just the beginning. However, they won’t be the final destination but a stop along the way. Quite possibly a lengthy stop; enough time to grab a bite to eat, stretch your legs and have a good look around, but a stop nonetheless. I wonder if this team in Tokyo working on touchable holograms is looking at one of the next big advances?
At Liine we’re not only thinking about “what features?” but also “how?” – we’re always asking ourselves how to best interact with sound using a touchscreen. This is why, with Griid, we first focussed on the cliplauncher. Launching clips in Ableton Live is a task for which no hardware controller can compare. The touchscreen is dynamic and can change from one moment to the next, giving us all of the information we need. Our next steps for Griid are also focussed on methods of control which really take advantage of the iPad/iPhone touchscreen rather than simply taking a control device’s hardware counterpart and putting it on screen. Every object we develop is carefully designed and optimised for touch manipulation.
However, it’s interesting to think a few years into the future. How will these design decisions change when software interfaces can give us physical touch feedback? Could touchable holograms bring us one step closer to actual physical control but with all of the huge benefits of dynamic software interfaces? What do you think?
Plastikman Live. The hi-tech laboratory and extreme stress-test for prototypes and experiments.
All systems go!
I’m sure most people reading this are fascinated by music and the fact that is so evocative. More then simply the auditory sense, these configurations of sounds and tones, rhythmically arranged can convey emotion, bring back memories, keep you up all night or put you to sleep. Did we evolve to be able to appreciate music or is it somehow innate? These are big questions, but the neurology underlying the perception (and creation/performance) of music is most definitely fascinating. Why is the human brain such an efficient musical processor, or indeed, in a small minority of cases, completely unable to comprehend music? Why does the sound of someone learning the violin drive some people nuts whilst others will happily sing out of tune in the shower every morning?
It this intrigues you as much as it does me then you could do a lot worse than reading Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. Sack’s previous book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat was a series of case studies on a number of patients suffering from different neurological disorders affecting mental faculties such as memory, perception and speech. Musicophilia, however, details patients with disorders relating to music and teaches us a lot about its neurological basis along the way.
Sacks studies patients such as the man with little more than a passing interest in music who is struck by lightening and then becomes completely obsessed with the piano, becoming a very accomplished musician. He discusses brainworms, when those annoying tunes stuck in your head become pathological and won’t go away. He investigates musical hallucinations which can’t be distinguished from music itself and synaesthetes who “hear” music in their other senses. He describes the condition of amusia, which makes it impossible to piece sounds together into “music”, instead hearing something akin to “pots and pans being thrown around the kitchen”. Sacks also touches upon the therapeutic effects of music, in the treatment of dementia, for example.
These touching, yet fascinating tales highlight how complex, yet delicate these systems we’ve developed for enjoying something we take for granted really are. Next time you are rocking Ableton Live with Griid on your iPad to a rapturous audience in a sweaty club, think about the grey pulsating mass that allows you to be doing what you are doing right now – a humbling thought!
Today an insight into something which has influenced Griid‘s aesthetics.
Sometime last year when my iPod Touch was brand new I downloaded a cool yet super-abstract game called Eliss. The game features coloured circles which can not be allowed to touch their differently coloured acquaintances but will happily merge with their same coloured comrades. To win the game, circles need to be placed into wormholes of the same colour and of the appropriate size (if they’re too big they won’t fit!). It’s good, clean, unusual fun.
The thing that strikes me more than the gameplay (I’m personally not much of a gamer) is the aesthetics. It looks simultaneously old-school and retro yet futuristic and stylish. The overtly two dimensional feel, super-sharp one-pixel lines, absence of colour gradient and slick animation gives it a very distinctive feel. Most of all, this really makes playing with Eliss a lot of fun.
Eliss is currently iPhone/iPod Touch only but the low-fi feel actually looks just as nice blown up in compatibility mode on the iPad. It also makes it even more enjoyable to play -you can actually squeeze several people around the iPad to play at the same time!
We will definitely continue to explore the aesthetics of Griid in future. We always want Griid to feel fun and playful, as well as being the most serious, professional controller for Ableton Live on iPad/iPhone. We’ve talked before about our focus being on the quality of user-experience rather than being purely featureset-driven, and part of this is definitely how it looks and feels.
Well hello, and welcome to our blog.
Things have been absolutely crazy since those first iPads arrived at the door back in April (and much before that too to be honest).
After the excited unboxing and first play with what is, after all, a really cool device, it’s been heads-down all the way.
There’s been the brainstorming, the crazy ideas and scribbly diagrams, debates over tiny details. There were those first exploratory Plastikman shows. We’ve stayed in a small confined space, building the control system we’ve always dreamt of from morning until… morning again… every day. We’ve all developed the ability to sleep one hemisphere of the brain at a time (just like dolphins!) so we never have to be completely down for more then 3 or 4 hours at a time. During this whirlwind period we only really came out for two-hour flash-clubbing sessions to see friends’ sets and the very occasional big party to let off steam after a big show or a big breakthrough – but we’ve been pretty strict with ourselves. Ask any of our friends who thought we’d turned into hermits! Etienne developed a love affair with a drink called Club Mate and became the most efficient caffeine to code convertor ever. He’s even been known to put vodka into at weekends (though we didn’t let him do that too often), making it a drink for working and…well, not working!
It’s been really exciting following what else is going on in the field. We’ve seen a lot of exciting, innovative Apps being put out there which has definitely motivated us even more. It’s been super-exciting working in such a dynamic area and seeing everyone’s different visions and directions. I think that with this kind of project, somewhere between art and technology, the teams’ personalities can really shine through, meaning that everyone’s product ends up being very unique. Our own philosophy is to focus on a limited feature set, and spend hours and hours working out how to do those specific things really well. We’re primarily interested in the user-experience and the feel of performance systems during the performance itself, and we want people to use our work to augment their other tools. I have the feeling that with so many talented people working in the field, things will get very interesting.
One late night we submitted to Apple. By then we had so much steam to let off that Nick, our usually very composed creative director, ended up (still awake far too long after that late submission) trying to trigger clips and scenes on my face. I think the whole team was very tired.
Griid finally landed early this morning, Thursday 5th August, 2010. Check it out here!
Now it’s time for one night off. If you’re in Berlin tonight, come and catch us at Bar25 if you fancy a drink and a chat!