Q&A: Can I control Ableton Live from my Android tablet?

LK - Live Controller is designed specifically for use with Ableton's DAW.
LK - Live Controller is designed specifically for use with Ableton's DAW.

We're used to disappointing people when it comes to talking about Android and music making but, in this case, there is some good news. 

Although there are more dedicated Ableton Live controller apps available for iOS (the likes of touchAble, LiveControl 2 and Conductr), one of them, namely the LK - Live Controller, does work with Android as well.

The app itself is free, but you can customise its features via in-app purchasing of different modules. These enable you to launch clips, play on MPC-style pads, work with virtual knobs and faders, tweak an X/Y pad and more.

• For many more Ableton Live guides go to our massive learning hub: Learn Ableton Live and Ableton Push: music production tips and tutorials

A touch of class

Another option is Hexler's TouchOSC, a modular OSC and MIDI controller app that works over Wi-Fi. This actually enables you to control any OSC/MIDI-compatible software - there's a bit of setting up involved and a learning curve to deal with but, if you're serious about turning your Android device into a controller, it's well worth the £3.99 admission fee.

Finally - and this is certainly a more obscure suggestion - we've also heard about a system from Hollyhook called midiHook, which actually enables you to translate data generated by your Android device's sensors (accelerometer, gravity and linear acceleration for example) into MIDI data. It's not strictly a controller app, but you might have some fun tinkering with it, and the beta release is free.

Future Music

Future Music is the number one magazine for today's producers. Packed with technique and technology we'll help you make great new music. All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. Every marvellous monthly edition features reliable reviews of the latest and greatest hardware and software technology and techniques, unparalleled advice, in-depth interviews, sensational free samples and so much more to improve the experience and outcome of your music-making.