Meet the guru

digitalDrummer continues to showcase the work of the geeks around the world who slave to improve e-drum performance. This month’s e-drum superhero is Tobi Hunke from Göttingen in Germany.

What solutions do you offer?

I specialise in everything to do with Ableton Live and live performance, Ableton Live and drumming and controlling hardware and software (like e-drums, lights, video synths, etc.). I help people to set up their live performances with Ableton Live and develop (custom) solutions, short cuts and (more accessible) approaches to use Ableton Live. I also develop plugins (Max for Live devices) to make functions available which are not natively supported by Ableton Live.

Why did you develop these solutions?

It makes me happy to solve problems – that is my intrinsic motivation. I enjoy being able to support musicians, producers and artists to make their vision come to life. Obviously, as a musician and composer myself, I am constantly trying to push the boundaries and developing tools for my own music performances.

What were you trying to achieve?

Several things. On one hand, I wanted to make things easier to control – eg. being able to control certain functions in Ableton Live via my Roland SPD-SX more dynamically. Or some more experimental things like playing a full concert by triggering every melody and chords via my acoustic drum kit.

What existing solutions did you try before inventing” your own?

Well, there were none available so I had to go down the rabbit hole to learn to develop those myself. I started a Facebook group (Ableton Drummer) to connect with more drummers and people who might have similar questions and problems to solve.

How did you develop your solution?

I mostly use a programming software called Max for Live which is integrated in the Ableton Live Suite version. This is a good tool for adding functions not available in Ableton Live.

As Max for Live is integrated in this version of Ableton Live, customers don’t need to install any third-party software. That is pretty handy.

Some other solutions are just based to programming the right file/track/clip/set in Ableton Live. Others involve using third-party software and hardware. Usually, MIDI programming and routing is involved.

Whats your target market/audience?

My customers range from Top 10 chart artists to bedroom producers. I would say my main audience is people who are using Ableton Live in a live performance/live music context. So, this involves running (backing) tracks, controlling (drum) hardware and software, custom controls and functions.

How do you offer your solutions?

I offer paid one-on-one video call sessions plus I have some online courses available.

People can get in touch for programming and custom solutions as well as to get a quote.

I have released about 100 plugins/Max for Live devices, some of those are going for free or “pay-what-you-like”; some are offered for a fiver and some more complex ones are a bit more expensive.

I do a blog on my homepage as well, which has become a good knowledge base for everything regarding Ableton Live and drums.

The Facebook Ableton Drummer Group is a good place to ask and find out more things.

Whats your promise” to customers?

Everything is possible – let’s say 99%. Usually, I can offer multiple solutions and my customers can pick the right solution which suits them best.

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