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Camp Ableton 2006

In December 2006, Ableton hosted the second Camp Ableton, a workshop for members of the company's public internet message board. Ten of the most prolific forum posters, bug squashers and beta testers were flown to Ableton's Berlin headquarters for a weekend-long meet-and-greet, workshop and showcase. Campers came from all over the world: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA.

The bulk of the weekend consisted of four workshops in which campers and developers discussed a variety of topics, including desired features, sound content, bugs, beta-testing, user groups and the Ableton forum. Not surprisingly, the most intense workshops concerned feature requests, bug reporting and the state of the forum. A number of solutions were proposed, discussed and argued over, and the developers came home with many new notes.

The surprise hit of the camp were the showcases, in which campers and Ableton employees described their performance and production workflows. There were a number of impressive lectures and performances, and some great music. Some of the highlights:

  • The dissection of a massive Live set with 10+ tracks, many with multiple racks inside of racks. The set is regularly used for performance in conjunction with a single MIDI controller and a Kaoss Pad.
  • A two-hour Live set composed to accompany a dancer while on tour.
  • Using the JazzMutant Lemur to control Live.
  • Another massive Live set, controlled by a MIDI controller, fed into vintage hardware for authentic dub mixing.
  • Multiple arrangement production styles, based on every conceivable workflow (traditional recording, deep sample manipulation, automation editing, etc.).

A huge thanks to the campers for making the trip to Ableton HQ!