Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just bought Live 4.1 from Ableton. I love it. It's the perfect music production software for DJ types like me. You can import sounds, midi files, effects and fine tune the loops and samples. The neat thing is that you then bind loops, tracks, effects and other things to keys or midi events and jam away live to your heart's delight laying down a recording that you can then go back and edit before you render it. It's a bit hard to explain. Take a look at the demo on their site.

Here's my first track using samples from Lessig, Jimmy Wales, Kenji Eno, Howard and others. ;-) (mixup1.mp3 1.9 MB mp3). It's a bit rough, but you get the idea.


I told you Ableton Live was good in a comment at

I suppose you liked the trial version before you bought it.

By the way, there is a very slick and cool controller for music environment which supports OSC, or Open Sound Control.

The reviewer, Nao Tokui, is one of the most brilliant artists and the developer of a very unique musical environment software called SONASPHERE.

Back to the controller, JAZZMUTANT Lemur looks like a cool gadget which utilizes touch screen mechanism like a console seen in "Star Trek".

Anyway, your song is nice.
I hope you enjoy music composition with Live 4.1. :-)

wow, that sounds really good! the voices sit in the track really nicely.
i looked at ableton a couple of times over the last few years, and just recently a friend of mine gave me a pretty thorough demonstration of everything it can do.
i was mightily impressed, and nearly got it, before i decided to go with logic. all the people i know using it swear by it, and i can see (hear?) why: the great nusic they produce!

I hate to ask this, but wouldn't it be simpler just to play music? :)

btw, feel free to use anything you like from the mp3s on my web site --


Thanks Oguradio. Yes. I remember you mentioning Ableton Live. Kenji Eno made me look at the demo and then I was finally convinced. It looked too hard at the beginning. Eric, you definitely need to try it.

Wendy, I thought I WAS playing music... ;-P

I've beeen working for Native Instruments for the past 3 years, Ableton was started by people who left NI. I know a bunch of the Ableton folks, great people, in case knowing that makes the software even more enjoyable to use. ;)

While Live leaves a lot to be desired for actual performance, imo, it's a fantastic sequencing and composition tool. Somewhere between Garage Band and Logic in complexity, but almost as powerful as Logic.

Wendy, for the kind of music I make, this is the ONLY way to 'play' music. And, it really is simple to play music using it. Just try performing electronic music 5+ years ago.

Nice track Joi... ;)

very interesting; had no idea you were a dj!

I was a DJ a long time ago... But these new tools are sparking my creative interests again.

Yesterday, as luck would have it, my new friend at Wolf Camera up the street reveals to me he is a DJ/Rapper from Texas. I went in and he showed me his new Austin resonator guitar; played some 'bamboo blues' and he finally gave in to having lessons with me.

All morning been listening to Danger Mouse's "Grey Album" and I keep thinking, "Yo, yo I can do that!"

Thanks so much for posting this!! I am getting it!