Ableton Live provides a somewhat non-linear, modular approach to creating music. It’s popular amongst DJs in particular, and producers of hip-hop, but it has some great tools for my workflow as well.
Max/MSP/Jitter is a visual scripting language which creates and manipulates audio and video. It’s traditionally been popular in experimental avant garde circles, but a new generation of electronic musicians have adopted it, thanks in part to the monome.
The monome is a grid of buttons that light up, allowing you to tangibly manipulate any idea that can be expressed in a two-dimensional grid over time. It’s minimalist in design, and open-ended in function. This makes it an ideal interface for something as open-ended as Max/MSP/Jitter, and in many cases, the ideal instrument for musicians who work with samples. This creates a strange overlap in the user base, which makes their community a fun place to be.
Recently, these worlds have merged further with the release of Max for Live, which allow Max/MSP/Jitter developers to re-imagine what Ableton Live can be used for, and build new interfaces inside it.
I’m involved pretty heavily in the monome community, mostly helping people with Max for Live. I’ve created some tools of my own in it, and several of those are at work in this video.
Technical discussion of those will be found here. At least in theory. Thus far, it’s just me in there.
(This happens a lot when I post something too far outside of the norm. Does silence convey reverence, or pity? I’ve left the world dumbfounded.)