Camp Ableton founded in Berlin, 2005
In November 2005, the first ever "Camp Ableton" was established in Berlin. Inspired by the benevolent nature of the Ableton Live community and the passionate work of the dedicated Live user base, Ableton called on their most prolific beta testers, bug chasers and forum participants to meet at the Ableton offices in Berlin for a weekend-long discussion on the future of Live and its user community. The goal was to bring developers and users together to tap the heart of what makes Live special, and to explore the best direction forward for both Ableton and its flagship product. The group met in two separate panel discussions--ideas developed rapidly and many exciting new concepts began to take shape.
The first panel session was devoted to "The Future of Live." In addition to the in-depth exploration of many program features, the session included an animated discussion about the future course of Live: How can new functionality be added without compromising the simplicity that makes Live special? What do we gain and/or lose by crossing over from production to, say, DJing within a single application? The participants jointly advocated the addition of more instruments and effects to the Live platform.
The second session, "The Future of the Live Community," focused on how to further strengthen the Live community, which has become an essential and powerful part of the Ableton Live phenomenon. While this discussion was as passionate as it was wide ranging, everyone agreed on the importance of educating the Live user base with newbie tutorials and independent user groups held all over the world. Discussions also covered the future of Live tutorial movies, podcasts and what future Ableton camps might look like.
Reactions to the weekend's discussion were positive. "This program continues to be more than just a piece of software--it's a way of life," was how one participant summed it up. "The camp raised the company/community concept to another level of real cooperation," said another. "It was a brave experiment that I'm sure will echo throughout the world of software companies that really care about their users. A lot of great friendships were formed as well as an even deeper respect for the amazing, insomniac, workaholic guys at Ableton who keep their toothbrushes at work and really do believe in what they're doing and appreciate that others do too."
Ableton co-founder Gerhard Behles reflected on the first ever Camp Ableton: "The community surrounding our product is just incredible. Everyone at our company is grateful for each camper's willingness to travel a great distance to talk about Live. Each one of them brought something special, and we are now carefully considering how we can live up to their expectations."
Thanks again to all who participated!