Ableton Link for jams with key changes

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Ableton Link for jams with key changes

Post by mattb » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:12 pm

I have a dream. I and all of you are in a band thats basically the Star Wars Cantina band ie we're having some future jazz experimental alien wigout jam session. And we're in sync, we're melodic, and we change key all at the same time on our various space age devices. Even though we're not all musos.

At Loop Gerhard spoke about his enthusiasm for group playing and jamming, which I totally share. I also spoke about this at Midihack, and Loop as part of my talk with Peter Kirn on Why electronic music needs to be a lot wi(l)der : jamming is one of the most fun part of music making, but its scope is usually limited by the lack of ability to communicate key changes.

Generally solutions to keeping key changes coherent in a group are:
-use completely fixed score/song
- improvise but stay on the same key ! its cool, but limits musical interest.
-improvise but using pre-known key change structures - 'jazz standard' approach. Cool but limited to set of structures.
-use a system to notify players of key changes e.g. James Brown shouting 'UHHHHHHHHH" 4 bars before key change. Not for everyone!

In electronic jamming, we should use the benefit of software to add a new way: group networked key/scale state changes.

Ableton Link is wicked for iOS/OSX sync and we are gonna implement it in our app Ninja Jamm soon. We had previously developed a (cross platform open source) thing like Link called SyncJams, that does a lot more than basic Link but isnt as solid. Like Link it is wifi, zero config, and uses OSC.

SyncJams has functionality for sending/receiving key and scale state changes

Key and scale state changes would be a killer feature to incorporate in Link and could IMO revolutionise group music making.

I wonder if Ableton would consider a 'dev' branch of Link that could incorporate this and that app developers could experiment with. One problem is that different apps take different approaches to key/scale (although that sort of functionality has become popular and is a life save for non-musos like myself). For instance, the Korg apps have a load more scales than the basic 8 or so that most have. But if the key and scale is shared in a standard form (ie a note number and a number/name for a scale, then each dev can interprete that as required to get it working , we'll have an experimental phase with some apps on board, and a standard will emerge later. Push already has its own scale system which could perhaps be adapted.

SyncJams is OpenSource and I think its fine to look at it and see if any of the ideas can be used.

Hopefully this idea is of interest and can go forward. Lets tune in! find the key! scale it up! etc.
Matt Black Coldcut/Ninja Tune

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Re: Ableton Link for jams with key changes

Post by carrieres » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:12 pm

nice idea, there is some similar idea here :
Yamaha CS-30, Roland SH-1 and MKS70, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6, Yamaha FS1R, Oberheim Matrix 1000, Novation Remote 37SL, Alesis M1Active 520, Novation Launchpad PRO
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Re: Ableton Link for jams with key changes

Post by gadbaruch » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:46 pm

hey thanks matt, i am working on this vision under the radar for the past 2 years, right now i am in the middle of assambeling the dev team
and going through the process of opening a startup business around it, i am a true believer in a more music able future and lowering even more the entry bar
to jamming together. i know the HARMOtools and actually, i developed a much simpler and free approach to this live harmony scaling problem

this should be a helpful tool for any musician that is lacking musical theory and just wants to play.

also if you are looking for ideas how to do this with apps this could be a great tool to test some concepts with.

jah bless

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Re: Ableton Link for jams with key changes

Post by garyboozy » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:22 am

gadbaruch wrote:i developed a much simpler and free approach to this live harmony scaling problem
:!: :!: surprised i've not come across this before - super fun, cheers gad!

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