Using Sensel Morph and Free Ableton Live Pack #169: Morph Kit
It wasn't very long ago that musicians had very limited choices for MIDI control and interaction with their music software. Soon after the Launchpad and APC40 hit the market, producers began longing for more and more customized and complex control surfaces. The ultimate in customizabilty came with touch screens like the iPad. Suddenly we could have any type of controller we could dream of.
But what the touch screen revealed was the importance of haptic feedback. We need to feel like we are actually doing something with a control, not just moving fingers across a glass screen. The dilemma we are left with is a lack of customization with the satisfaction of moving physical faders and knobs, or complete customization with the need to rely on our vision to see if we are actually even moving a parameter.
Sensel Morph to the Rescue!
Sensel has attempted to give us the best of both worlds with Morph. Morph is about the size of an iPad Mini and comes with a variety of rubber overlays. It features multi-touch and pressure sensors. You can quickly swap out different pads for playing keys, drum pads, video editing, qwerty keyboard, and even a clear customizable overlay. There's an editor that allows you to specify exactly what information will be sent out of Morph based on your touch.
And good news, it works extremely well. I am very impressed with the sensitivity and speed of Morph. Overlays are instantly recognized and Morph recalls all of your customized mappings from the editor. And best of all, it actually feels like you are touching a real control because you are.
Using Morph in the Real World
I created a live video demonstration exploring Morph, its features, and some of the music production based overlays. I found it very intuitive and fun. It's super compact and takes up little room on your desk. It's thin and light enough that it will fit in any bag that you are carrying your laptop or tablet around, and you won't even notice that it's there. In the future, I plan on remapping some of the buttons on Morph to common key commands, such as Duplicate, Consolidate, and Delete Time. There's a ton of customization possibilities.
Free Ableton Live Pack #169: Morph Kit
While doing the video, I created a Drum Rack that I'd like you to have for free. You don't need Morph (or any MIDI controller at all) but the Drum Rack plays very well with it. Download the Pack below and feel free to use it in any of your productions. Ableton Live 10 Standard or above is required, but you could also just pull the samples from the Sample folder and use them with any version of Live or your DAW of choice.
Check Out the Sounds Used to Create the Morph Kit
The sounds that make up the Morph Kit Drum Rack were sampled from two of my premium Ableton Live Packs.
VHS DRUMS is a collection of drum samples and Drum Racks, which were made by recording drums to VCR tapes and resampling them back into Ableton Live.