Ableton Live + Nintendo Power Glove

This video, via DubSpot, features Los Angeles-based producer and controllerist Yeuda Ben-Atar (aka Side Brain) demonstrating how he uses a 1980s Nintendo Power Glove controller with Ableton Live.

Along the way, he talks about his influences and inspirations, controller designs and interface devices, the similarities between video games and digital audio workstations (DAWs), mapping the Power Glove to control Ableton Live, Max for Live, using the computer as a musical instrument, and developing a unique style in the world of modern electronic music.

13 thoughts on “Ableton Live + Nintendo Power Glove

  1. That is neat. No wait, that is fu*king AWESOME.

    What’s next, is someone going to do a whole DJ set only using the controller from Steel Batallion?!

    1. I don’t remember who it was, but I remember seeing someone using a power glove in the early-mid 90s for audio control, and someone seems to pop up every 7 years or so and do it again. I always give props to people for the technical chops it takes to put this kind of thing together, but it never adds any new control capabilities. And it’s no more exciting to watch a guy hunch over a glove than it is to watch a guy hunch over a laptop. I expect the end result of these experiments will be some form of impressive performance art that appears to be controlling the audio, but is in fact synchronized with machine playback.

  2. The technology is fascinating but the music made with it is stunningly not fascinating. I’ve heard a good deal of controllerists’ music and I have yet to hear a complete piece, start to finish. It’s mostly disjointed four-bar sonic experiments that don’t invite the listener to feel where the track is going. To make growling additive synth patches, over-saturated glassy pads and crunchy lifeless drum sounds come alive in a dynamic and organic arrangement requires extraordinary skill from a musician, and it takes time and attention. When I see a musician fucking around with electronic gloves, or dual wielding QuNeos while tapping out beats with his dick on an APC-40, well, that’s when I turn to my Oblique card deck. That’s when I limit my options and wrench out the best I can with as little as possible.

  3. Denkitribe has put this together in 2009 already. His system is based on Arduino, as far as I know, so it should work with any DAW (although he was using Ableton with it too)

    You can check out the whole deal at

    His results seem a tad more convincing to me but since it’s MIDI, it all comes down to how you program it and what you want to use it for. But with the iPad, Leap Motion and Numark Orbit around, this is more like a “retro-fit experiment” than something new and unique. Nevertheless, it looks cool and fits well with 8-bit music, so Side Brain got that right for his style.

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