In September of 2012 Dubspot visited Seattle’s famous Decibel Festival, where we caught up with electronic music pioneer Robert Henke (better known as Monolake, co-developer of Ableton Live) to discuss the past, present and future of Ableton, sound synthesis, music composition, and more.
In our interview the co-creator of Live gave a brief overview of how the program was conceived and discussed the importance of the more recent development of Max For Live, which allows users to program in Cycling 74’s Max directly inside Ableton.
We also visited his Decibel Festival workshop, Sound Spaces and Machines, where he compared music synthesis and physical modeling, and talked about why physical modeling is important in the creation of expressive music. He also emphasized the importance of simplicity and minimalism in the production process, while delivering a sobering message about the overuse of compression in electronic music which he calls “evil”.
Robert Henke/Monolake - www.monolake.de
Decibel Festival - www.dbfestival.com
Ableton - www.ableton.com
Henke’s interest in the combination of art and technology is further evident in his contributions to the development of the music software ‘Ableton Live’. For more than a decade since Ableton’s founding in 1999, he has been central to the development of Live, which became the standard tool for electronic music production and completely redefined the performance practice of electronic music.
He writes and lectures about sound and the creative use of computers, and holds a professorship in sound design at the Berlin University of Arts.