Ableton Live excels in giving the performer the opportunity to bring their own tracks to an audience by using Live’s Session View to give improvisational possibilities that are rarely rivalled. With MIDI controllers released at regular intervals offering deeper levels of integration the desire to get away from being locked to the laptop screen is an obvious one to the casual observer.

With AKAI and Novation dominating the volume controller market, and companies like LIVID Instruments and Faderfox offering more boutique solutions, there’s an emerging alternative of providers utilising touchscreen technology like the iPad. touchAble from Zerodebug is one of those at the forefront of this touch technology. The first version of touchAble was released to critical acclaim and has benefitted from numerous high end artists proclaiming their love for it.

Today however sees a new age with the release of touchAble 3. We’ll have a full review in a few weeks time along with the not-announced details of how touchAble can be synced to other Ableton Live supported controllers like the LaunchControl XL and APC40 MKII.

For now sate your techno appetite with some words from Zerodebug themselves:

touchAble 3 brings easy plug and play USB connectivity and 42 new templates for Live’s Instruments and FX.

Berlin, Germany – Zerodebug has announced the release and immediate availability of touchAble 3, the new version of its dedicated Ableton Live controller app for iPad.

After the successful redesigned version 2 last year and lately touchAble Mini for iPhone/iPod, the Berlin-based developer team Zerodebug have focused their efforts to create touchAble 3, a new version based on straightforward connectivity and better control over Ableton Lives Devices.

touchAble has become the definitive Ableton Live touch controller:

A cheap and portable controller compared to other dedicated controllers available on the market, that gives users control of nearly every aspect of Ableton Live. The first version was released In September 2010 and was one of the first iOS music apps for iPad, and has been the most successful iOS Ableton Live controller since. Countless artists around the globe – from bedroom producers to award winning artists – use it on stage, in their studio or while on the road.

touchAble 3 now features a completely recoded Server which insures perfect communication between the computer running Ableton Live and the connected iOS
devices. In addition to provide wireless connectivity using an ad-hoc WIFI network on stage or router for home studio use, connecting to Ableton with touchAble 3 now has never been easier : plug in a simple USB cable to the iOS device and to the computer, and user is ready to go.

USB connectivity has been a major request from touchAble users who want to avoid WIFI interferences or failure while playing on stage, a place where they need absolute reliability.

The new Server is automatically launched, managed and stopped by OSX or Windows and is therefore available to be connected to at all times. There is no need to start it manually, which makes the connection process as convenient and fast as plugging in a hardware MIDI controller or Instrument.

Users can now have accurate control of every Ableton Live Stock Effect and Instruments Plugin, thanks to the Live Device Template Pack, available as in-app purchase within the new integrated store. It provides a well designed layout for every single Live Device, Audio Effects, Midi Effects, and Instruments.

All of Lives devices, including the most advanced ones such as Operator or Analog, will appear on the iPad nearly exactly as they do in the software, and including, for some of them, a secondary live mode consisting of a double XY Pad and a Gesture Recorder.

Rotary pots integrate a smart “2 axis” feature : the first finger gesture on each pot determines if the change of value will be triggered horizontally or vertically. A floating popup will also move right above the finger and will remind the user of the parameter that is controlled. Every template is able to provide a graphical representation and manipulation of complex parameters like Filter-Curves and Envelopes.

Device Templates can be displayed in 3/4 view for the ultimate multi touch control experience.

In addition to being able to run multiple iOS devices in order to control and interact with a Live Session, users can now combine them to one big control surface by using the new iPad/iPhone Link Mode. With this feature, the position, order and size of each device’s clip view can be freely set and all linked iOS devices will constantly depend on each other.

touchAble 3 now supports Devices in Racks. A simple tap opens a rack and unveils the chains, a second one will gives access to every Device contained in the selected chain. By exceeding the traditional 8 macro control limitation, touchAble allows users to get full control over any type of complex Set.

As with previous versions, touchAble 3 is compatible with all iPad generations. All new features of version 3 are available to users running touchAble on iPad1, with the same level of performance as on newer iPads. A few tweaks to touchAble’s Graphics-Engine greatly increased energy efficiency and performance.

Some of the others enhancements and new features are:

  • Completely recoded Server. (Goodbye Java!) From now on, the Server is running in the background as a System Service.
  • The device module can now follow the selected device in Live (Blue Hand). Devices can now be loaded to any place of a track’s device chain using the browser and drag and drop.
  • Users can now play notes with the keys of the piano roll within the MIDI Clip Editor in the scales tab.
  • XY PAD and Template Editor can now assign parameters inside racks.

New Settings, including:

  • Follow currently launched scene option.
  • Choose and assign different MIDI channels for Drum Pads, Keyboard, Isomorphic Keyboard and Piano Roll (MIDI Clip Editor).
  • iPads & iPhones Link Mode: combine several Devices to one big control surface.
  • Rotary controller sensitivity setting.
  • Snap and Timed Snap Mode 4 different envelopes: Exponential, Linear, Logarithmic, Hanning.

Countless of bug fixes, optimisations, and enhancements.

Combined with its strong integration in Live, its seven different modules (Clips, Mixer, Devices, Keys, Pads, XY Pad, Template Editor) and a MDI Clip Editor touchAble 3 covers every control element of Live’s session view.

touchAble opens up a wide range of creative performance techniques beyond the typical knobs and faders paradigm. It takes a musical and seamless approach to controllerism, with all areas of the interface carefully designed and optimised for intuitive and efficient touch-screen operation as well as Ableton Live workflow. In short – it makes Live Sessions touchAble.

  • Device/System Requirements:
  • Compatible with all generations of iPad.
  • Requires iOS 5 or later
  • Ableton Live 8 & Live 9
  • Mac OSX 10.5 and above or Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
  • touchAble PC or MAC server software (downloadable for free)

Pricing and Availability:

*touchAble 3 for iPad is $24.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Music category. The update is free for previous owners.

*touchAble MINI for iPhone and iPod is $9.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Music category. The update is free for previous owners.

*The Live Device Template Pack is $21.99 USD and available as in-app purchase exclusively through the touchAble Store within the touchAble App for iPad.

*Limited time offer on touchAble Bundle (touchAble 3 + touchAble MINI) : $28.99 USD