The process of music creation and performance continue to blur. We wanted to take a deeper look in order to understand what factors informed or influenced the work that is produced.

This is explored with the support of Ableton, M-Audio and Akai at the Knowledge Arena – a space dedicated to music creation and collaboration at this year’s Dimensions and Outlook Festivals. The studio setups include:

Ableton Live

Live 9 (1)

Ableton Live is a powerful, flexible environment for creating, performing, and producing music. Developed in 2001 and now in its ninth integration, Live has evolved from early days as a simple loop based performance tool into a complete digital audio ecosystem that is utilized in both studio and stage performance settings.

It was the first DAW to make timestretching (adjusting the tempo of a digital recording without affecting its pitch) a natural part of the creative process, transforming the way artists, producers and DJs worked with audio.

Live uses two main views to manage the production, creation and performance. Session View offers mixer functions and a grid-based representation of all the clips (audio loops and samples) in a Live Set, while Arrange View uses a more traditional DAW horizontal timeline, allowing arrangements to be pieced together from clips.

Akai APC40 mkII


In 2009, Akai Professional teamed up with Ableton to produce the APC40 – a MIDI controller that revolutionized hardware and software integration, and proved to be an essential performance tool for Ableton Live users. Building upon this original partnership, Akai developed an all-new, reimagined Ableton Performance Controller—APC40 mkII. The mkII builds valuable user feedback into its design, with almost every aspect of the older sibling deliberated, reworked, and improved to provide extended controller functionality and a smarter workflow.

Ableton Push

PUSH (1)

Fruits of another Akai collaboration, Ableton’s signature instrument Push was designed was to liberate the musical creative process away from the computer, giving you hands-on control of melody and harmony, beats, sounds, and song structure. It features a new way to play notes and chords and you can play in every key using the same finger patterns. Move between keys at the touch of a button and step sequence and edit both notes and parameters. Push uses Ableton Live 9, which runs in the background giving you access and control of all sounds, synths and effects.

M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro


Trigger Finger Pro is a MIDI controller with a standalone step sequencer. It offers comprehensive control of virtual instruments, DAWs, effect plugins, and much more. It’s predecessor, Trigger Finger was one of the first affordable fully assignable cross platform MIDI controllers on the market. The Trigger Finger Pro draws from its predecessor’s performance pad roots but features an entirely new hardware design, user experience, and creative functionality to serve both the live performer as well as the music producer.

Trigger Finger Pro features Arsenal software and is an intelligent production hub and advanced content library. It integrates directly into popular DAWs, but can also be run in standalone mode. The latter lets you utilize VST instruments without booting up your DAW and is ideal for software- based stage performance. Finally, Arsenal’s interface lets you map the hardware controls visually, making customization and workflow relatively painless.

The Knowledge Arena is open 12-8pm daily at Dimensions Festival 28th-30th August and Outlook Festival 4th -6th September.

For updates head over to the Facebook events:
Knowledge Arena Dimensions Festival
Knowledge Arena Outlook Festival