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Christopher Willits, my show this Sat. in Nashville

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:45 pm
Browsing this afternoon led me to an interview with Christopher Willits. I've been following his work for a while now and knew he had a custom MAX system. Apparently, he is now using Live running custom plugs he write in MAX.

Here's an excerpt of the section referencing Live. The link is below.

Much has been made of your custom-made software in the past when talking about your music. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Is it based on Max/MSP?

It’s based in Max/MSP, but I have new setup recently. I'm now making plugins using Max and using those in Ableton Live. So, the bones of the sync system are now in Live and funky processing, folding, cutting, strange sample mapping, and whatever else happens in these plugins that run in sync with it all.

Have you found Ableton to be a better tool than Max—or is it apples and oranges?

Yeah, they are very, very different tools to me. Max is my favorite tool for making my own processing systems and customizing things—and Ableton is great for live sequencing. But I don't even compare in terms of what is better, because they complement each other so much in what I do. ... illits.htm


I'd love to see Ableton do a video with Christopher Willits talking about his Live setup. I've been playing with these things too and want to compare notes!

If anyone is near Nashville and wants to attend, I have a reception and show (of paintings) opening at Tag Art Gallery Saturday. More information at my site:

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:27 pm
by dj superflat
i like willits alot, would like to know about his live setup. though what he does seems to require less complex routing, because he doesn't have, so far as i can tell, defineable breaks/sections that require complex moves. i'm sure that's wrong, but when i've heard him live, the main thing seems to be the fx (seems easier to set up if you don't need to switch scenes, seamlessly lay down lines that harmonize or somesuch).

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:34 am
I don't think he's merely triggering effects. There's a free set available as mp3 download here:

His performances have become very dense and increasingly balance improvised and composed elements.

I personally hear a lot of Allan Holdsworth's chordal work in Willits but I'm biased that way - closed chords approximating piano voicings and extensive melody reharmonization.

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:56 pm
by dj superflat
thx for the link.

i didn't mean he's just triggering effects. i meant that what he's doing is not like kid beyond or others, who require very precise transfer to next track, next scene. i'm not denigrating what he does, just seems like there's more time to tweak things on machine, etc., which makes for a different setup.

but he may be doing different stuff now. and it's great, regardless.