Darwin: Okay this week, I'm interviewing Peter Nyboer. I've known Peter on and off for many, many years. He was very active in the Max community. When I got started, I used to run a little website called CreativeSynth, and I featured some of his work there. Let's say hi to Peter. Hi Pete. Thanks a lot for joining us this week. Rather than me telling your story, why don't we have you tell your story: what's your background and where are you coming from?
Peter Nyboer: My background: I'm in San Jose, California where it's sunny but chilly. And I have been working in computer music/computer audio for as long as I've been able to, really. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz and like 92, I guess, and went through the electronic music program there with Peter Elsia and that was just transformative, I guess is the word you can say. So I learned Max there at that time and it'd be using it ever since, and it's just taken me down a lot of different, creative roads for audio video and data control. And I've had real jobs here and there, but mostly I've been trying to figure out ways of being able to work in this technological arts space for the past careers worth of living.
Darwin: Sure. I'm not sure that people necessarily know that you're involved with Livid Instruments. What do you do with them?
Peter: My title is software director. But more or less I wear the hat of being able to make it so that our many controllers work with different software on different software packages on the computer. So that could be designing scripts. It could be writing scripts. It could be providing support for other companies that are writing scripts. And then there's just also a lot of - because we're a small company - I wear a lot of hats, do copywriting and promotion and voiceovers and all sorts of things. So...
Darwin: I hear how that goes. Let's go back to what I would consider the old days, because it was, it seems like forever ago that you came into my radar, by developing a product called I think it was, it was YOWSTAR, correct? I'll with start that.
Peter: Yes. And that was my interpretation of... that was a very nerdy genesis. It was a the excitement for everything; it was just excitement. And then the star is your Unix wild card. And the idea behind that software was you could mix audio and video in one platform on your computer and just create, I guess you could do plunderphonics, you could do video mixing and projection. It was just sort of a media media arts workspace. You could do real time video mixing and effects and stuff like that. So, it was the excitement for everything, and that was where I was coming from.
Darwin: Well, it was, I remember it was pretty impactful to me just because, prior to that, I had not really done a lot of work with video or mixing media in any way. And that allowed me to dip my toe in the mixed media concept, which was really interesting. And, certainly at the time when I was doing the CreativeSynth site, nobody else was really doing that kind of work. And so it was pretty - I thought it was pretty groundbreaking. Now you were selling that as like a commercial product, right?
Peter: I was, yes, because what happened is I had moved up to the Bay area in the mid-nineties from LA. I lived in Los Angeles for a little bit and I came up to work with an experimental studio called Sound Traffic Control at the time, and now it's referred to as Recombinant Media Labs. And that was the art space of a really intense guy called Naut Human. And he has been just this incredibly under fixture in the underground art scene, and the established art scene for years. And he had this insane 16 channel studio and they were doing sound spatialization in this incredible sound system in this terrible warehouse up in San Francisco. And, they wanted to do video along with it too.
And so I started to cut my teeth on that and just getting together stuff with the old NATO+55 objects and making it so we could do these multichannel audio, video pieces. And so that's where I really got into it. And then I sort of stopped working with them and I was living on the margins of the dotcom boom. And it was pretty fantastic because you didn't really have to work. You just have to get little jobs here and there. And so that's freed me up to work on this project and I thought, well, I'll try to make a business of it. I was inspired by that whole NATO+55 thing where it seemed like it was this one individual who was out putting all this crazy media arts works. And so I was like, "Yeah, I'm trying to do that."
Darwin: Well, one of the things I, I remember thinking was that, the YOWSTAR stuff was actually one of the first commercial products that I ran into that was written in Max. And I thought that was a pretty gutsy because at the time, it was supposed to work - but it didn't always work.
Peter: Yeah. It's still gutsy, because it's not really designed for that, but it was what I knew what I had been working in. And it was the only thing that I that had the promise of being able to integrate not only the environment at large - with sensors - but also the digital media that existed in the box and being able to integrate them in an imaginative, imaginative and flexible way. There was Flash, which could do some stuff. And then of course, you could do it on a low level, but doing all that stuff in C or C++ is just like, you wouldn't have gotten it done at that time. There wasn't all of the frameworks and bed of work that you could easily access in 1999 or year 2000.
Darwin: Right? I had a discussion with David [Zicarelli] recently where we were talking about trying to do media - even something as simple as running two audio files in sync in any way. Back in the day, that was magical. The people that could do that were hard core because there was nothing in terms of frameworks and the operating systems were actually like averse to even trying to do it - there was just not media savvy at all.
Peter: Yeah. And then there's also a lot of times that stuff the, the solutions that you ended up using very high dollar; you end up with like, "Okay, well this is, it works, but it's not quite working." So we've got to get some sort of expensive professional device with an RS-232 interface. And it's just like, suddenly it's like, "Oh, we need a grant."
Darwin: Stream audio off of SCSI drives. I remember that junk horrifyingly. Now my assumption is that part of the YOW in the YOWSTAR was that, you were excited about working with these media, right?
Peter: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it definitely came from my desire to be able to do a lot of... this is stuff I want to be able to do. I want to make it, I'll just try and make it polished and then sell it.
Darwin: Well, what kind of work were you doing at the time, like artistically, as opposed to from a work standpoint,
Peter: Artistically? It was mostly like I would play some - there's a nice improv scene up in the East Bay, where I was living, like around Oakland - and then a lot of electronic musicians and stuff like that. So I would play with play with them and various clubs, and just small gatherings. Then there were also underground parties where people were like, "Oh, well you need projections cause it was like a psychedelic revival." But you know, but it was cool cause I could bring and there were definitely a lot of other people doing this type of stuff, but you could bring all sorts of cultural references in with sample media or just go out with a video camera and shoot stuff.
That's interesting. And then just play it back and mix it in creative ways. So I would do some things like that. Do them however I could, like sometimes there would be a projector other than... Like one time, I collected a bunch of old television, so I had like six or eight old TVs and strung them all together and created a bank of televisions and you know, just mixed, different sources on that. And that was really fun.
Darwin: Now my question is, if originally this software, the YOWSTAR thing, was developed for your work, when you actually were going to what you called, polishing it up and getting it into other people's hands. Did you find that that changed either the software itself or your relationship with the software?
Peter: Well, it changed my relationship with the art because I didn't have as much time to do art, because then you're like the creative engineer's dilemma, if such a phrase does not exist, it should because it's like, "Oh, I'm really, I'm really interested in this thing." And then you have this engineering or even product development mindframe, or even just entrepreneurial mind frame where it's like, "I want to support myself doing this" or "I want to, share it with other people." "I want it to make it available to other people" or "I want it to work." You know, I have this way of it's supposed to work this way and damn it it's going to work that way!
And that just takes a lot of time and it's not conducive to actually making music, you know? So I mean, it's cool if you can actually, I mean, now it's like you can do things, you can turn things around that sounds pretty darn good, pretty quickly, you know? And so you can actually develop the system - and spend a decent amount of time developing that system. But then once it's in place, you can actually start to generate a lot of work. Which is cool. You know, algorithmic stuff can help with that too. It's like the capitalist efficiency there.
Darwin: So now the follow on to YOWSTAR was your work in developing the software that became Livid Union, right?
Peter: Yeah. So I the genesis of Livid was definitely something that only could happen in this century thing. I met my partner, Jay, who was in a rock band and he had this controller that was like... it was called the Viditar, and it had a bunch of buttons on a neck and some sliders and a little video screen in the body. And it all output MIDI at the end and you needed video software to go with it. And he had toyed around with doing some stuff. And I think like maybe Director - which was sort of a Flash precursor for those that don't know.
Darwin: Yeah. Lord help anyone that doesn't know what it is.
Peter: Yeah. Well, they were definitely employed at that time. So yeah, he had done some stuff, but it wasn't really up to par. So he had come across my work with doing live video stuff and was like, "Hey, can you make something that would work with this?" And I was "Totally!", so we designed a little patch and sent it out with them and it worked great. You know, he went on rock on tour with the band Cinch, and while touring, in one stop in Austin, that's when he met our other partner, Travis, who had a cabinet shop there, but also did like hobby-making electric guitars, like a hobby. And he had this idea of a mini guitar that the frets were all wired.
So you could use those to trigger MIDI from the strings. So he he was doing that stuff in Austin and he met Jay, and he's like, "Oh, that thing's really cool, but I could make something that looks more like a guitar." Cause what Jay had was a little bit more packed together. And so in that process, we all started to work together and that was the sort of genesis that was the genesis of Livid. Jay went on tour in the rock world. Nobody had seen anything like that. Just live visuals, digital triggering of real time video. Like that was just not on anybody's radar - in the laptop performance world that I was coming from, that was like, that was a thing.
Darwin: Right. In some cases that was the thing.
Peter: So it seemed like there was a bit more saturation in my world with that, but then in the larger world of larger rock clubs just was unheard of. And you know, so it's like, Oh, I think there's a business here. So we condensed it into a consumer product called the Tactic. And that was more like a desktop version. So, I mean, you can find images of that thing. It's pretty crazy.
Darwin: The Viditar was actually sold as a product, right?
Peter: No, no, no, it wasn't. Oh, so I, that, that had some limited run of them or something was sold.
Darwin: So what was the Tactic then?
Peter: The Tactic was, the grandfather to our Ohm RGB. So it was a button grid for triggering video clips and some sliders and knobs for changing effects. Then it had a little LCD screen in the middle. So the whole idea was like, this is a video instrument, you do your computer and you forget about your computer, the interface for Union Video software that went with it was pretty much matched, more or less, the interface with the controller. So it was like you plug it in, put in your video content and just go. So that was the idea of that and then that was definitely the thing. Like you focus on the controller and not the don't get laptop face.
Darwin: Yeah. I mean, that was a thing that people really weren't imagining as possible. And I think didn't even necessarily see as important at the time. There was a cool factor to have having laptop face, but I think that lasted about nine months.
Peter: Yeah. It quickly got it was like, I think it really challenged, I think a good thing about it is it challenged the intellectual consideration of digital music because this sort of counter-argument for the boringness of the laptop performance was that it's like, yeah, you take away the performance and you're left with just the sound and that's for a number of people they were able to rationalize it that way. And I think maybe that doesn't sound kind to say that they just rationalized it. I think it's actually an honest perspective and one that I can appreciate a lot. Then it just becomes more about the sound, which is infinite impossibility and digital sound. So, maybe performance doesn't have to be so important. I think that's the intellectual framework that you could talk about these things. And I think a lot of people still probably appreciate it today, but I think the performance aspect of it is trying to win out
Darwin: For sure. I think you're right now in talking about the software you developed, one of the things I had been following what you were doing and, after, after Union had been around for a while you came up with the Cell or Cell DNA, I don't remember which it was.
Peter: Well, there's Cell DNA, and then their Cell, which is a simpler version of it.
Darwin: Oh, I see. But, I remember feeling like where Union allowed me to do complex things. I'm working with the Cell. I used Cell DNA - working with that felt creative in a way that a lot of laptop video software didn't; it was one of those things that really seem to allow happy accidents to come to the front. And I thought it was really compelling.
Peter: Cool. Glad to hear it.
Darwin: But it also was one of those things that preface this idea not only of grids as a performing interface. And now, to what extent did that influence the design of the hardware you ended up creating? Was it vice versa?
Peter: Oh, well, I mean it's like I said, that the tactic was the grandfather sort of where we're coming from. And we had the six by six grid and it's just that's just an industrial decision you can build it, you can buy it. You know, I have this thing about computer music and how all of our control systems for it are derived from war. You know, I had a talk at Decibel recently and it's like I picture, like, I'm going to do a Google image search for the RCA synthesizer, and then do a Google image search for World War II computer. And you look at the images and it's like you can't differentiate.
Like one's trying to like blanket Germany with bombs and the other, one's trying to write a folk song. And we're still diverging, but we're still stuck with these industrial controls for a lot of reasons, you know? So yeah, it was like that it just a natural thing. It's like you reached for the parts bins and that's what's available, then the grid it was efficient and one of the reasons we moved into audio is because it's like, well, the video stuff was it was interesting, but it wasn't really capturing it. You know, it wasn't taking off for us. And we showed this to things like trade shows and people would be like, "Hey, can I use that with Ableton Live?" And we'd be like, "Well, yeah, you could, it's just MIDI." You know? So it was like the flags were there like maybe we should do audio.
Darwin: How do you think that is? Do you think it's because you can produce audio in your bedroom in a way that you can't with video, or do you think that there's something intrinsic about working with audio that is somehow more attention-capturing? What do you think is the miss, or the disconnect between personal art and video?
Peter: I think there's a few things. One is that music I think is just inherently just has a lot more mystical properties. It has a lot more embedded communication and a lot longer history of individuals working things out musically. Whereas video started in 1965, let's say like the really creative use of the video and that doesn't include film, but that's that's a very different media. And so I don't I wouldn't really equate it. And then there's also the fact that video is much higher bandwidth there's a technical reason for it, like trying to pull it off has to have a really good system. And this was actually in the day.
It's like, even if you do have a really good system, you can't just grab videos from YouTube and just start mixing them. I mean, it just never works. You have to do all sorts of re-compressing and so it's just much more technically intensive. And then, yeah, distribution, there's so many distribution pipelines and it takes like 10 minutes to upload your song whereas with the video, it's a much more trying thing to try to produce that stuff. And then I think in terms of a live context music has always been much more, it just, again, has a longer practice and grammar of performance. It also just, in terms of sensory experience, you can turn your head any way, and you're still always going to hear it. Whereas with the video monitor, you turn 180 degrees and it doesn't exist. So it's there's that aspect - live video is akin to television, which is not too far removed from a fire at the campground. You know, so I think it's just mentally, it's just like it's not as open as of a space.
Darwin: There's more mysticism in the musical world. So let's talk a little bit about the development as Livid became a hardware developer - some of the products you make, you didn't just reach in a bin and get them things like the light up rings; and the way that some of the pads feel as well as your custom end caps and woodworking and stuff. There's a lot of decisions that were made in order to make something that I would say that one of the things that Livid does is they've extended controllers beyond being a control or being more of an instrument.
Peter: Right. And that's our ammo, right.
Darwin: But that requires decision-making. And one of the problems with decision-making is [that] you can make a decision that isn't what people seem to want. What is it that you go through in deciding when you're going to make something new?
Peter: Well, yeah, I think there's like a lot of it is there's a very iterative aspect to it and being, again, we've been on this small company trend and we don't have a huge amount of money coming in and from outside sources and we're not like just burning, we don't have a burn rate that way. So a lot of this the hardware design, I'm glad it comes off as something that has a lot of intention behind it, but some of it is just like, well, that's what we can do. You know, like the word in some ways was like, well, "That's what we can do."
You know, that was that was our initial thing, that came from the Viditar, which was a guitar. I wanted to make a guitar-like instrument - let's communicate that with wood. Our wood in the Tactic was extremely ornate. And then we're like, "Okay, this is not possible." It's not economically viable, so let's try something else, you know? And, the wood it's like we had a CNC machine because Travis had his cabinet shop and there was a CNC machine. And so that's what we worked with. And then as we were like, "Okay, well, let's get some more equipment, let's get a few other things." And as we've, we've grown a lot of a lot of that growth has been expressed and building out our manufacturing capabilities and then there's also changing how we manufacture stuff.
You know, we do have to do a lot of stuff overseas with circuits and stuff like that. But it doesn't make sense for us to do the volumes we do, to try to like tool up a bunch of plastic casings or anything like that. Because that's not something and again, that's not really what has been interesting to us is let's stamp out a bunch of plastic. I mean, there's definitely an appeal to it from an economic perspective, but you know, at this point, like it's not a realistic thing and it's not all that exciting.
Darwin: It's not all that desirable either.
Peter: Right, right, right. It's like we're creating a lot of desire with the way we put things out. So we, we want to keep going with that cause that's that's very positive.
Darwin: So one of the things that I'm curious about is how is: what are the challenges you find with the current state of the software art? I mean, there's a lot of different software packages. Your interfaces tend to tend to look like they would integrate into an Ableton environment or potentially like an FL Studio type environment, but...
Peter: The hardware interface or the hardware. Yeah.
Darwin: But I'm sure first of all, getting a really smooth integration with our stuff, can't be particularly easy. And then secondly, there's a lot of other arbitrary software that has fanatical fans and I'm sure you want to support them. How hard is it to do that?
Peter: Yeah. I think it's we do have this blank slate controllers cause there's no button that says play, you know? And so that's great because I think it opens up our control to people's imagination, as far as like how they want to work. That premise, though, I think it's not the premise that moves a lot of units in Guitar Center. So we have to be a little bit stubborn about it and make sure that what we design is worthwhile for a variety of contexts. Like I think, for example, the Alias 8 - that's a really basic controller, and that was just like, "Well, this doesn't exist. Like there's no eight channel mixer."
You know what I mean? It's super simple, you know? So that was an easy decision, you know? But at the same time, it's like as you work with it, you discover, Oh, this can actually do a lot of things I didn't realize I could do with it before. I just did an integration with it for Reason. And I did the integration for Reason with the Base and I did integration with the Reason for the Alias. And they're both extremely different, like the approaches for how I had to attach things to different knobs. And then also the possibilities, like with the Alias 8, it turns out you can actually do all sorts of cool step sequencing and stuff. Whereas with the Base, you really couldn't do that. But the Base, you could play any instrument in any way you wanted to. Right. But you can't do that with Alias.
Darwin: It seemed like if, what you wanted to do fit the way that that surface appeared, it was really clear what was going to do what, and you could work eyes off the controller in like 10 seconds.
Peter: Yeah. Whereas something like the Control R, it's a little bit more challenging because there's a lot going on there. A lot of controls. You know, and sometimes it's like, I want to integrate this with something. And it's just like, I just want to do a step sequencer. I was like, well, there's a lot of other controls, what am I going to do with it? But then sometimes depending on the context of how you use it, you can also run out of controls. Like I need more knobs, you know?
Darwin: Yeah. Well, I have to admit just for myself when I make, when I make software that uses a controller, if I run out of knobs, I feel bad. I feel a little gyped. I wish that I would have had more knobs, but I at least feel like I did it. If I make an interface that doesn't use everything on the surface, I'm like, "Oh man, I got to find another feature." It's a little tough.
Peter: That is so true. That is so true. Yeah, the Control R is, is funny like that and it's also, that's probably our weirdest one. But we did we did a lot of really cool integration with Max for Live and Live with that. And that's the environment which is niche in a way, but you can actually do a lot of cool stuff. You can swap around two different tracks and run step sequencers and all these different tracks and, and you know, really get a lot of cool stuff going, but if you want to do something like normal with it, you're going to end up not using some stuff.
Darwin: Right. Which is just hard to take some time. I just have trouble with that. Now I suspect that, with different interviews and different reach outs, you're getting a lot of activity with the Base and because of the people involved with the Control R, you are getting a lot of people talking about that. But I would like to talk about a different one of your niche products, which is kind of the DIY systems that you've been developing and most particularly the lowest-level ones, which is the Brain series and this cool little device called the Brain Jr., which has been popping up a lot in my radar. I'm seeing it come up and I'm getting getting pinged on it. And I had a phone call this morning about it. But it's really, it's really an interesting device, for those people who don't know what it is, why don't you explain it?
Peter: The Brain Jr. Is a sensor interface for USB. So you can plug in buttons and analog sensors such as a slider or an FSR or an accelerometer or gyroscope, or temperature sensor, and take those readings and turn them into metadata. And it's just as a USB port. So it plugs in right into your computer. I think it's actually smaller than the Arduino, but I might just be bragging. And then there's also a little pin header for LEDs, so you can do, so you can light things up for [an] interface. So it's really designed for simple DIY music projects, or lighting or video, really anything that you want to control with MIDI. Probably wouldn't want to do sous vide cooking with this.
Darwin: Right, right. But so do you have to do program - like with the Arduino, you have to program on the device itself. Do you have to program this one?
Peter: No, you can, you can spend all your time just plugging in, and wiring it up. And then it's wired, you're going to get meta-data - it may not be the data you want and you'll have to check your wires, but it won't just be MIDI data. And then you can take that and use it in, in any program that accepts that, which is most of them. So it's just a little interface.
Darwin: What kind of uses have you seen people put this through?
Peter: The brain Jr.? I am not as tied into the Brain Junior uses. Mostly as far as I know, it's small controllers. We sell a nice little board that goes with it, called the Omni Board. And this is just a generic PCB that can be populated with any arrangement of knobs and sliders and buttons. So you can have six knobs and two sliders and eight buttons or whatever. There's, it's like a little four by four board. And that's a really nice companion for the Junior. And so I think that's what people are doing with it, mostly.
Darwin: It's really one-off stuff where I can imagine. I can imagine that. I mean, since everything, not only Max but Processing and everybody has little libraries for MIDI I/O. If what you really want to do is just pull sensor information into your main program, or conversely, like push out some led lights. It's probably a convenient way to do it.
Peter: Yeah. And it all ends up just looking like a keyboard - it's not like an Arduino. You don't have to program it. We do have an interface so that you can change the video assignments and change what notes things send out. But no, in a lot of cases, people don't really need to, don't even need to touch that. The LEDs are interesting because they are output. So the really clever engineer can use those for other things. So that's a funny thing, but for the most part, those are just the only output - LEDs.
Darwin: Sure. Although, yeah, I can see where if you flashed it properly, you could probably even drive a servo motor, although that would take a very large brain.
Peter: You know, like we've actually thought about that. There are original - if you use the Brain, which is the larger cousin of this, that does a lot more and it's just bigger, right. That if you use the original version of that, it had this sort of what was called direct connect to LEDs. So the led posts, where they led pins, weren't pulsing, you can actually very easily drive relays with those. And that was something that we did. Our main point of contact for all things DIY is Mark Dumais at our shop in Austin. And he and Travis, I think Rachel help with that too, was they did a fire Oregon using the original Brain. So, they drove relays to release gas, flammable gas to fire it. So Rachel played this Star Spangled Banner. And then from Ableton, we could control jets of flame from the Brain. Yeah. It was pretty specific. Like, I think originally the thought was like, "Oh, well, we'll just like filter the pulsing." So you can get low, you just filter out the high frequency, the pulses, and you could get switches and use that. But, then there was the realization it's like, "Oh, we can just use the brain V.1 and use the direct direct connect."
Darwin: It's always good to have like a test fixture that shoots - if it shoots huge bursts of flames, all the better.
Peter: I think that's our view, too.
Darwin: I'll bet it is. Well, we've been talking a lot about your work, your work life, but you've got a personal life too. I suspect. And an artistic life. What stuff are you doing in that neck of the woods?
Peter: Well, then neck of the woods, it's, it's very, it tends to be a little bit more infrequent these days. I got a one-year-old at home and even then it's like, I have this other baby called Livid Instruments. So there's always a lot of demands from that, but I do get out and perform maybe once or twice a year. I've had, I fallen into some opportunities and then furiously do a lot of Max patching usually because I get some idea about what I want to do. And then, perform with that. I last performed in July in Los Angeles as part of the Controller Con, which was really fun and had a, I was driving with one of our DIY, well, not really DIY setups, I guess it's DIY - it's our Elements set up. And that was really fun. I was mixing up analog modular stuff and that really great plugin called Aalto from your friend and mine, Randy Jones, and then some other simple VST's and just creating a miasma of sound. And I was like, "Ah, yeah, this is where it's at." It was just great. And it was very uncomplicated in a lot of ways, you know, it was just like hands on knobs and buttons and some simple step sequencers and then just driving these great sounds.
Darwin: So I'm curious about Controller Con. I remember seeing it come up and I didn't have an opportunity to go because I have a family that holds me back by the suspenders.
That was, I mean, that was a collection of people that use controllers like aggressively and people that make controllers and people that were just interested in controllers. But I'm curious, like when you get a whole bunch of people who make controllers all in the same room, do they like punch each other out or like you're all fast friends.
Peter: Yeah. It's more of an all fast friends thing. I mean, most of these gatherings like that are, it was a Con after all. It's a very non-competitive realm. It's mostly people just trying to see what's under the hood when it comes down to it and see how people approach these different ideas, you know? So it's everything from the DIY to the more polished like a very finished product that starts with P and ends with H - you know? Or something like that,
Anyway, so yeah, that was the last time we performed. And then one of the nice little side effects of having to wear many hats is that I do a lot of our tutorial promotional videos. So in order to do those, I have to come up with sets in Reason and in Max and whatever else I happen to be trying to educate people on, or just demonstrate and document. So that is always a nice opportunity to come up with some beats and come up with some weird sounds and explore these synthesizers and get creative. So actually that's really fun, but it's like I start working on some of this stuff and it's just like a couple of hours passed by. It's like, "Okay, this is good." And like, "Aw, man, I need to adjust this." And it's like, "Oh, I gotta, I gotta film this." "I gotta stop."
Darwin: Right. Right. Once you get pulled back in, it's hard to, hard to jump out.
Peter: Yeah. And it's funny. Because sometimes we get YouTube comments like, "Man, you guys need to get better demos." You know, I was just like... you know what, man?
Darwin: Well, I'm kind of from your position where you can actually help make some of these decisions. What do you see as the future for controllers? I mean, do you think it's more DIY or stuff, do you think it's more ergonomic design - or do you think it's just something out of left field?
Peter: I think, I don't think left field is going to be, I don't know. I guess it depends on which way you're facing, but I don't think there's going to be anything... it's a conservative industry in a lot of ways, you know? I mean, there's definitely stuff that's really wild that's out there, but as far as something that takes hold of people's imagination and a large scale acceptance, and the button grid.
Darwin: Right? Like in a creative, helping to find creative roles.
Peter: Yeah. Yeah. There's that, the reason that became appealing is like I said, part of it is just manufacturing and efficiency. But it also is because while software has developed in that way too sort of label to mine, I've had that Grid and something needed to push it. And that's why people asking about our VJ controller and seeing that Grid and I want that work with Live? I guess I don't know much about it. And yeah, so I mean, I personally think that the next movement and controllers is going to be sort of a granulation like we have our control services that do all this stuff right.
And [they] provide a workflow, and have like a lot of backstory to them. But I think people are going to start granulating their setups and start wanting smaller things that do less. And hopefully we can meet that, you know? And I think there's still going to be a lot of demand for the the workstation where you can just sit in front of mics all night, you know, cause that that's just very appealing, but I think people are gonna want to be able to collaborate and people are going to want to be able to just do a few things. You know, maybe the singer is just going to want to be able to press a few buttons and that's really all it needs to do. So I think and being able to have like a guitar pedal-ization of controllers so you can have a tabletop full of these a bunch of little wacky things. I think that's probably going to have some appeal over the next few years.
Darwin: Sure. That, that sounds like, like likely turn well, Peter, thank you so much for your time. It's been great catching up with you really looking forward to everything that, everything that you come up with coming out of Livid. That's, always something to look forward to, as well as the software work that you're doing with them. Any last parting words for the folks?
Peter: Partying words. No, but just follow our story at lividinstruments.com.
Darwin: It's the pitch, man.
Peter: It's the pitch. It's the pitch, man. I gotta hustle, dude. There you go. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Darwin: I appreciate it. And talk to you. Bye.
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