There are mass produced controllers for… well the masses. And then there are the more niche but probably more interesting ones coming out of small companies that are designed to fill or indeed create a specific need. DJ TechTools have their Midi Fighters, and them there’s Livid who make all manner of performance based controllers. The Livid Base however wanders off into new territory – touch controls and pressure sensitive pads.
The words from Livid:
Introducing Base: a new foundation for all your creative productions. Combining the technology of drum machines and touch screens, Base merges pressure sensitive pads with touch faders, all brilliantly lit with full-color LEDs. The Base inspires beats, new melodies, instant sound tweaks, and invites control of just about anything that supports MIDI. Designed in an ultra sleek, high-quality aluminum body with no moving parts, it’s the ultimate mix of ruggedness and portability.
Base puts your fingers in the mix with 32 pressure and velocity sensitive pads, eight function buttons, nine capacitive touch faders, and eight capacitive touch buttons. Full RGB backlighting keeps you connected to your set and focused on control. An LED character display shows which of the ten presets you’re using. Creative coders will be pleased to discover the characters are MIDI-controllable, too! The Base editor web application allows you to customize all its settings for your favorite DAW, VST, plugin, or application.
Designed to Travel
No sliders to bend, no knobs to catch: under two pounds, less than an inch thick and a face that’s probably smaller than your laptop (10.25”x11”x0.75”.), Base goes in and out of your bag from studio to show. A single USB cable powers the device with RGB back lights bright enough to see in daylight.
Built to Last
Base is proudly engineered, and assembled in Livid’s very own manufacturing facility in Austin, TX. Solid extruded aluminum, tight tolerances, and the assembler’s signature with every product, you can have confidence in Livid’s latest controller.
At Your Fingertips
With just enough controls to fill your hands, Base keeps you focused on playing your set. Velocity-sensitive pads give you expressive control for playing and pressure sensitive pads offer unique control of your effects. Low-profile pads sit in line with a soft rubber faceplate, allowing your fingers to glide over the buttons with ease, mixing the tactile feel of a real controller, and the unique possibilities of a touch screen. Touch-sensitive sliders can be used like a regular fader, but have the advantage of instant access to any value. The touch sliders also output a note when touched, which can be mapped to turn effects on and off only when the slider is active.
Base is designed as an instrument to work with any software that supports MIDI. Whether creating beats or mixing visuals, our library of applications and presets is ever-growing. Base has some of the most sophisticated scripts available for Ableton Live, Max/MSP, Traktor, and more.
Pricing and Availability
Shipping March 1st, Base has a street price of $399 and is available for pre-order from lividinstruments.com and dealers worldwide.
Some basic specs taken from the Livid Base page:
- Dimensions 10.25” x 11”x 0.75”
- Weight 3 lbs
- Completely editable with on board presets
- Works with anything that supports MIDI learn
- 32 velocity / pressure sensitive pads with aftertouch
- 9 touch faders with multiple LED modes
- 8 touch buttons
- 8 function buttons
- All controls have RGB lights
- USB powered and class compliant (no drivers needed)
- Constructed from high quality aluminum and rubber.
- Design and assembled in Austin, TX
You wacky Americans and your imperial measurements. So that’s a bit smaller than old fashioned vinyl and a little heavier than a bag of sugar. In that context I can get a feel for the Livid Base. With no moving parts and all RGB controls, this is clearly aimed at the overwhelmingly positive response that Keith McMillen’s QuNeo garnered, but in a format that is perhaps a little more logical to existing controller users.
What interests me the most are the touch faders. Clearly they’re more then just a slider and have all manner of things happening. Some may remember the VMeter touch fader – the Livid Base faders remind me of those, but obviously have more going on. It seems that they’re not just fader as they offer velocity and note messages. The potential from the faders alone for all manners of effects craziness is high. And as ever, Livid have their own controller editor to allow you to get considerably more intimate with the finer points of the Livid Base.
And it’s this level of customisation that is likely to see it being used for a wide range of applications. Ableton Live springs to mind, especially with Live 9 on the way, as does “secondary controller” that Serato bandy around with Serato DJ. God knows the SP-6 is underpowered from a hardware perspective. And of course, should NI open the Remix Decks (still not sure that they will though), then this is ideal.
I’m suffering from media blur right now, so I’m not really taking everything in, but you can rest assured that people far cleverer than I will be spending time with the Livid Base at NAMM.
LINK: Livid Base