Little Boots gets hands-on with MAUD, a massive modular controller

For many of us, the last few years have seen our music technology getting smaller, but  Victoria Hesketh - AKA Little Boots – has demonstrated that big can still be beautiful by performing a live remix of her track Shadows on the MAUD ‘Macro Modular Vertical Synthesizer’.

This floor-standing controller is described as half art installation, half interactive musical instrument, and is located at the incite technology and design studio in Los Angeles. Inspired by classic modular synths, it features conductive paint, reactive LEDs and ultrasonic and IR sensors, and can be programmed to play back and control the parameters of custom sounds and samples.

For this performance, stems and loops from Shadows were programmed into MAUD using Ableton Live. Little Boots could then stack loops, play melodies and improvise as she wished, adding vocals over the top.  

“When I first saw video footage [of MAUD] I was blown away, as I’ve always been fascinated by ways of bringing electronic music to life in performance, and was obviously attracted by the classic modular synthesiser design on a life size scale,” says Hesketh. “The effect of MAUD was so instantaneous I knew I had to reach out and see if there was a way we could work together. Nate, Dave and the incite team were incredible from the start, and made me think about new ways of playing and performing I would never have come up with alone. Their interpretation of my latest track Shadows was truly unique, and I think we all feel we have achieved something very special with this performance.”

Judge for yourself by watching the video above. Shadows is taken from Burn, Little Boots’ latest EP.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.