Ableton Live Beat Building Blocks with multiple MIDI Clips

Create a powerful personal song creation tool in Ableton Live with this Pocket Tip… Continue Reading

Livid Release Builder V2

We’ve been a fan of Livid’s for a while at OD, catching up with them at shows when we can (check our YouTube channel for an interview with CEO Jay) and we really liked their Block controller last year, and their gradual growth from small boutique to genuine player in the controller market is admirable. Their Builder was a way of helping to spread their boutiquey ethos, and the announcement of Builder V2 brings perhaps the most simple and capable way to create your own controller we’ve seen into the market. Continue Reading

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NAMM 2012: Livid Instruments Interview and CNTRL:R Walkthrough

We’ve been fans of Livid for a while, we reviewed Block last year and were quite taken with its aesthetic – and its usefulness, of course. Livid have some modular controls in development that we got to take a quick look at, and I’ll write about them soon, but the star of their stand at this year’s NAMM show was the CNTRL-R, which has been designed in conjunction with Techno legend Richie Hawtin. I think Livid are going for the CNTRL-R live performance crowd with CNTRL-R, but we really think that it’s got a future in the studio too, as workflows become more fluid and less stuck in the mud.

We had a chat with Jay, Livid’s CEO, about how they make their controllers, and the process by which they try to make instruments rather than MIDI controllers that don’t have much of a vision. There’s a bunch of interesting stuff in here! We also got to watch Gabe take us through some of the workflow with CNTRL-R and Ableton Live along with the custom Max 4 Live patch that powers the step sequencer control. Enjoy!

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First Look Video: Nektar Panorama P4

It’s the first day of NAMM, and there’s not much to see for the lowly press yet. We did get a sneaky look at the Nektartech Panorama P4, though – check out the video for the scoop!


Video: What is a MIDI Controller?

In this tutorial, we’re going to give you a complete beginner’s guide to MIDI – something to build on for future guides, where we’ll be taking more in depth looks, looking at production software and hardware, and how to connect everything up and start making music! Enjoy…


Video: Alesis iO Dock Review

The Alesis iO Dock is designed to be the missing link between your iPad and the growing number of production focused apps for it and your studio equipment. Ins and outs galore, it’s not got a lot of competition right now, so can it step up to the plate? The usual dose of words and photography will follow shortly; here’s our video breakdown of the Alesis iO Dock…

IK Multimedia iRig MIDI

IK Multimedia Announce iRig MIDI

Devices attempting to solidify the music production capable status of iPad, iPhone, and iPod are trickling onto the market.

iRig MIDI plugs directly into the iDevice’s interface socket and enables MIDI in, out, and thru, as well as a USB connection for power

We’ve got an Alesis io4 in testing at the moment – review to follow this week – and IK Multimedia have just announced their iRig MIDI, a small, convenient, and low cost device that plugs directly into the iDevice’s interface socket and enables MIDI in, out, and thru, as well as a USB connection for power. 5 pin DIN breakout cables are hooked up via 3.5mm sockets to keep the size of the unit to a minimum, and the package also promises to come with a special iOS version of IK’s Sampletank with 1GB of samples. With no firm release date yet, the iRig MIDI promises that it’s coming soon, and at a not unreasonable price of $69.99USD/€54.99… We’ll be sure to give you the low down when we get one for testing.

Review: Alesis QX49


Miniaturisation has been vogue for some years now – 25 key keyboards were first, and then mini controls blocks saw 49 and upwards sized keyboards increasingly forgotten in the budget market. Alesis know that when it comes to keyboard control, bigger can be better; here we have the QX49, a 49 key controller with a host of features. How does it fare?

In/Out: USB out, MIDI out, MIDI out from computer.

Bundled: Ableton Live Lite 8 Alesis Edition

Dimensions: (WxDxH) 32″ x 9″ x 3″

Weight: 5.9lbs

Styling wise, the QX49 nails the smart casual look with matt black plastic, round bevelled edges and an ice blue backlit display.

The QX49 nails the smart casual look

The pads illuminate red when pushed – the transport controls don’t, though, however much they look like they might.

The QX49’s main attraction however is the sheer number of controls it features for its knockdown price. As well as a 49 key keyboard with dedicated pitch and mod wheels there are eight faders, eight pots, four velocity pads, transport controls and system buttons. You also get expression pedal input, a MIDI out for the keyboard and a thru from the computer. There’s a 9V DC power option for controlling other hardware (not included), although the QX49 takes power directly over USB.

All these features do come at a price, though… and in lieu of the actual price tag going up, build quality inevitably takes a hit.

The top panel bows when banging on the pads and tweaking the controls

The top panel bows when banging on the pads and tweaking the controls, and whilst it doesn’t feel like there’s any danger of it breaking it does have have an effect on the feel.

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