As you may already be aware, Ableton was originally founded by Bernd Roggendorf, Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke, with the latter two men first coming to public attention through the electonic group Monolake. Behles now spends his time running Ableton, leaving Henke to carry on Monolake, along with new recruit, Torsten Pröfrock. In addition to Monolake duties, though, Henke still plays a technical role within Ableton, chiefly working on Live's included instruments and effects.
What's more, Henke is now offering up a bunch of awesome new MIDI and audio plug-ins for the company's Max for Live program. The new devices consist of PX-18 MIDI plug-in, which is based on Behles and Henke's original step sequencing software of the same name (in fact, Henke says that the original unit was used to create many Monolake tracks, as well as providing inspiration for some aspects of Live); Black, which simply displays the track time in hours, minutes and seconds on a black background, and may be useful for listening to your mixes in detail without seeing them as blocks onscreen; Distance, an audio unit that adjusts the volume, pan, filtering and stereo width of incoming signals to simulate spatial effects; Circular Doppler, which emulates the effect of two microphones rotating around a central sound source; and finally, our favourite of the new effects, Grain Freeze, for creating skittering, mashed-up sections from any audio source.
That's your lot, although Henke promises some more Max for Live plug-ins in the near future, including some cool Live.API devices. We can't wait to find out what he has in store for us, and we'll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, head to www.monolake.de/technology/m4l.html to pick up all of Henke's fantastic freebies.