Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Using Python with Live

I use Ableton Live, some free version that came with my audio interface, for recording and goofing around. Garage Band seems better in some ways, it's easier to make and fix up a simple recording, but Live is hyped as the right tool for performance. There is lots of flexibility available, and key mapping, midi mapping, etc. Despite this, there are things that I'd like to do that aren't built in: trigger a segment to record say, and have it switch off and start looping after four bars without another interaction, that kind of thing. I think they have a tool (Looper?) aimed at this, which might or might not suffice, but you need the full package, which I haven't been able to justify yet. You can also cruft your own with carefully designed set of mappings and midi triggers in an external virtual midi tool, of which Bome's Midi Translator is the only one that I know will work, and is also just expensive enough to make me hesitate. I'd really like to just be able to program it, in C or a scripting language. A full programming environment does exist: it's called Max4Live, but that requires both MAX/MSP and Live -- again, expensive, and heavyweight for what I want. It turns out that Live uses Python internally, and you can just talk Python to it, if you know where to talk. There's a package called LiveOSC which claims to do this... gotta try it.

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