Stereo Underground built a custom spaceship Ableton controller
It took the Israeli producer and DJ a year to build…
We often talk to producers about what bit of kit they'd take with them if they were deserted on a remote island, unable to use anything else but one piece of gear to make music. Often, the Juno-106 is mentioned, so too is the DSI Prophet-6, but rarely does something as unique as Stereo Underground's choice come up.
Inspired by spaceships and designed around the Mini Cooper, it's a one-off Ableton controller for Stereo Underground's live shows. We spoke to him about how it was made, how it works and what's on the cards for the future.
"My desert island kit is my The “Opponent1” My Space Controller! He is one of a kind in the world, it took us almost a year to build it. I've had it for around six months now. It’s got a touch screen, infrared eye for hand gestures and the unique Spaceship Shift handle."
"I decided to build it because I love space and innovation, so I had a vision that I would control all of my live shows from a kind of a spaceship control bridge. The first challenge was the design. I wanted something that is timeless, futuristic, but still classic. One if the references was the Mini Cooper. The other challenge was the functionality – you need to imagine the things you’ll want to control in the show, but still to keep it simple."
"It’s essentially a MIDI controller, I use it to control my live session in Ableton. It has a touch screen, with six different switchable modes, 10 channel mixer with a fader mode, two sampler modes with eight pads, send FX mode and an XY Pad mode. We also added an infrared eye, I use it to control reverb and delay send FX with my hand. The controller has a big knob, usually to control cutoff on the different synths that I play and it has four rotary knobs for Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release. The highlight of the controller is the Airplane shift handle that I connect to a macro of FX in Ableton for different transition FX."
"We're planning to build some more hardware – I work with Lior Munitz the designer and Eyal Egozi – programmer and electrician – on a Spaceship keyboard with unique touch sensors, similar to ROLI but much crazier!"
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