Conceived and developed by Los Angeles musician, artist and programmer Dillon Bastan, Iota is a Max For Live device that enables regions within a sample to be looped, layered, filtered and processed by drawing boxes in a spectrogram using a set of familiar graphical editing tools. Use it to deconstruct any sound as you like, rebuilding it as a composite of glitchy micro-loops, an ever-shifting soundscape or anything else you can dream up.
Three playback modes let you lock Iota to Live’s transport for synced playback, unlock it to play back autonomously and endlessly – ideal for unattended sound installations – or control individual loops via Push or a MIDI keyboard. Parameter changes and loopbox movements can be recorded and played back within Iota itself, too, making it easy to apply evolving timbral changes to each individual loop over time.
Beyond the natural intuitiveness of the ‘loop boxing’ paradigm, Iota’s synthesis controls are designed to be flexible and fast to work with, and the limitless spectral possibilities will doubtless be popular with sound designers. Ableton claim that the synth can create sounds ranging from evocative ambiences and sinuous textures to finely-sculpted FX and polyrhythmic soundbeds. It clearly realises a unique and powerful new approach to granular synthesis and sound design that any Live user can easily get to grips with.
Hear it in action here: