BeatSeeker is a responsive Max for Live device that adapts Live’s tempo to stay in time with a drummer or other rhythmic audio. It lets bands maintain their natural groove when performing with Live.
Bands who use Live in their setup often use a click track to make sure they’re in time. The drummer follows the computer and their groove locks to the grid. BeatSeeker is designed to reverse these roles. Now Live doesn’t have to set the tempo; it can follow it.
Place the device on a track and send it your audio – whether it’s live drums or any other rhythmic signal. It detects the signal’s BPM and matches Live to its tempo, so you can launch Live to play in sync and adapt to the push and pull of the drummer.
Drummers can choose between the accuracy of playing to a click in Fixed Tempo Mode, or the human feel of Tempo Following Mode – where Live responds to tempo shifts and subtle fluctuations. You can switch Live between these modes using one simple control, which can MIDI-map to a footswitch or other controller for use in live performance.
BeatSeeker is designed for use with live drums, but can be used to sync Live with turntables, drum machines, or any other rhythmic or percussive signals used in performance or production.
The device has been developed by Andrew Robertson, based on research at the Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London.
BeatSeeker is available now from the Ableton website for US $29 / EUR 24.