Ableton Live has so many external controllers available for it that you wonder why they bothered creating their own user interface. There’s Push, Launchpad, Akai APC, Touch OSC and Lemur off the top of my head that offer touchy feely control of Live. So do we need another one? ScreenForge seem to think so and offer up Yeco for your consideration.
So what does Yeco offer that’s not already covered? Well, simply put, this is the first Live controller that understands the power and potential of the desktop touch screen. You’ve got your iPad apps of course, Lemur and TouchOSC are awesome, but they are separate to the system you are running Live on and require a bit of network jiggery-pokery to setup, and then the screen is quite small restricting the amount of information you can have on the screen in a touchable size. Yeco is running on your DAW, on the same system as Ableton Live, using the full power of a regular computer, connected internally giving you hands-on control over every aspect of Live without an extra piece of gear.
Yeco is not an app, it’s desktop software running on either OSX or Windows that can use any multi-touch monitor connected to your system. So any Windows hybrid laptop, tablet, all-in-one, Surface or desktop with a whopping great big multi-touch screen attached that is already running Ableton Live is going to love this. If you’re running a Mac then you might have to go and get yourself a touch screen.
Ableton Live suffers from having a tiny interface making it frustrating to use with touch. I often perform with it on a Microsoft Surface which offers all this touch control but you can’t rely on hitting those tiny play icons accurately enough, and so I always have to take my Launchpad along. Yeco sorts that out but giving you a full, multi-touchable session view where everything is responding to my fingers. But it doesn’t stop there. As this is not a hardware controller it is infinitely configurable and so Yeco can also be a mixer with full LED monitoring, drum pads, a MIDI keyboard, MIDI controller, synth editor and they also included this strange Hex Controller – Melodic table note layout thing. As it’s not an iPad you have more screen space to have more than one thing on the screen at a time.
The interface looks great – large and friendly – utilising both OSC and MIDI control to give full communication with Live. I’ll be interested to know how well it scales between my 23″ desktop touch screen and my Microsoft Surface. Along with the Ableton Live integration it can also act as MIDI controller for any other software on your system. It’s not editable as far as I know, unlike Smithson Martin’s Emulator software which lets you build your own control surface, but instead it’s ready to go for Live which is something Emulator has never been able to achieve.
ScreenForge Yeco is available now for Window and OSX for €49.
For more information head over to the Yeco product page.