Always the consummate MIDI nerds in an industry filled me-too controllers, Livid‘s booth is always a little gem in the unending basement of NAMM. We got to play with their new Livid Base controller and I have to say, I was impressed. For the stats, it has 9 touch faders with 8 touch sensors above them (one for the master volume). There are 32 velocity sensitive pads, and everything is RGB.
The most interesting thing that Livid has done is implement a VST to use in Ableton. Instead of just working with remote scripts, to use the Base you can use a remote script, but more of the controls will run through the VST. We weren’t able to get a look at it yet, but I was assured that we will have a chance soon.
There are 3 modes built in for Ableton: a clip launching mode, a drum rack mode and a keyboard mode. The Keyboard mode is lit up to resemble a real keyboard, with light blue LEDs for white keys and dark blue LEDs for black keys. You can scroll up and down the octaves, and Livid made mention of offering other okeyboard modes for more advanced technical control.
There are also four user assignable modes, giving you more accessibility to fit your workflow and needs. I was really impressed with the accuracy of the pads, the feel of the faders and the look in general. The body is solid metal and while it isn’t heavy it has some heft to it. I know I am holding a controller, and have security that it won’t fall apart on me. It’s being released for $399 and will start shipping March 1st.
We also got to look at the Alias 8. This controller is a strict utility controller, and it’s just what everyone else isn’t making. In a trade show overpopulated with deck controllers, it’s just nice to see a controller that is strictly built for other important tasks besides sexy jog wheel spinning. The faders were tight, the buttons were not velocity sensitive but they felt good to press. The body is all metal as well, and while it’s lighter than the Alias, it also had a reassuring weight to it.
The rotary knob quickly cycles throughMIDI channels instead of presets, which can be extremely useful for communicating with different MIDI applications, and when you press the knob it starts sending a CC message, for one more control. The Alias is $299, and is shipping now.
All in all, the Livid booth is always a great place to hang out, mainly cause their stuff just looks like so much fun.