A while ago, when I first professed my love for Animoog, I promised to show you how I planned to use it with Ableton Live. Well, it took me a couple of weeks, but I’ve done it! Here is a video of the workflow that I’ve cobbled together between Ableton and Animoog.
How I set up Animoog with Ableton Live
I used the Novation Launchpad
to quickly arm and launch new clips that I am recording the Animoog into. When I use a setup like this, where I am using one instrument (be it a synthesizer or an iPad app) to record into mulitple tracks, I like to map the bottom row of the Launchpad to the record-arm buttons of individual tracks. Remember that the default mapping of the Launchpad can be overridden with conventional MIDI mappings. This way, you can keep the whole affair on one page.
Make sure that your record arming is set to “Exclusive” in the Preferences. This will make it so that only one track can be armed at once. This way, with one button, you can decide which track the instrument is going to.
As for the I/O, I have to confess that I didn’t do anything special. I simply ran a y-splitter from my iPad headphone jack to 2 inputs of my Motu Ultralite. I really think that a lot of the supposedly low-quality of the iPad’s headphone out can be mitigated by having a reasonably good preamp. If you have any money laying around, I would recommend getting a good audio interface.
So, without further ado, here is my improvisation with the Animoog. All sounds except for the drum break are from the iPad app.
A few observations about working with Animoog
I couldn’t get a convincing bass sound out of the app. I think it’s because there is such an emphasis on sounds that evolve over time and I don’t really like that much sonic complexity in my bass sounds.
If you are going to be switching between Presets (as I’ve done here) during improv, I would name them something like _boomtown, with the underscore, or append a number. That will make sure that they are all sequential on the list.
I sure would like to see the ability to make the keys longer, or mess with the scale of the panes in general. I REALLY like the keyboard on this app (the ability to customize is key, har har), but it would be cool if there was more space.
Have any of yall worked animoog into your Ableton life yet?