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Sasha’s Maven Controller

Posted 29 Oct 2007 in Events,Gear,News

Sasha Maven Controller

Sasha Maven Controller

Sasha Maven Controller

Sasha Maven Controller

Here’s a quick look at something that a lot of DJs have been talking about. I was lucky enough to open the night for Sasha with my great friend and mentor Lance Cashion. I helped setup the booth that night as well and snapped a photo of Sasha’s Abelton Live controller, “The Maven”. To me, its fairly straight forward. Its arranged just like a normal DJ mixer but with each channel having some extra buttons and faders to control Abelton. Here’s a quick run down of how I believe it works.

From top to bottom.
The first button is to start a channel.

The knob is the trim for that channel just like on a normal dj mixer.

The next three knobs are the high, med and low filter controls just like on a normal mixer. I’m assuming that sasha has a eq effect on each channel in Abelton.

The two small faders are two control the wet dry signal for whatever effect he has going on that channel at the time.

Just below that are two buttons, Rec and Cue. Cue is to listen to his track in the headphones and I’m not totally sure what the Rec button would be used for on a per channel basis.

The next section is clearly marked “Channel Level and Clip controls”, so the fader controls the volume of the channel and each botton can start or stop a clip.

Below that is the assign button, I’m not totally sure what this is for. In Abelton, you can assign pretty much any value to a knob or button on your controller so it may be used to assign parameters on the fly from the controller, but I’m not sure why you would need 6 of these.

Below those is the standard Allen & Heath type crossfader setup with a master filter knob and button on either side.

To the right of the 6 channel controls, you have three buttons, which I believe read from right to left, Record, Stop, and Start. These are likely the master controls for the track and don’t get a lot of action. The record button is probably used when Sasha gets in groove with an effect and wants to record his actions.

Below that are 8 knobs and 8 buttons and are labeled Freeform Controls. These are just knobs and buttons that Sasha can assign to whatever effect or track parameter he wants.

Below that are the master controls for Tempo and Volume. I would hate to hear it if someone accidently hit the tempo slider all the way up. I’m sure Sasha has put parameter limits on these to avoid just that.

The last section is the headphones level, 4 leds to show what outputs are being used, Out1, Out2, ADAT, S/PDIF and a led to show that the USB connection is activated. Finally, there is a button to select either the Cue or the Master out for the headphones source.

Let me know if you think I’m wrong about any of this, its all just speculation based on my basic knowledge and experience with Abelton.

6 Comments

  1. [...] Brede posted an analysis of the mixer on his website in 2007, after he snapped a photo of it when he opened for Sasha at the Sky Lounge in Austin, [...]

  2. nathan swift (16 Aug 2008, 13:47)

    wow, thanks for this info. I wanted to go see sasha that day but had to work and most important broke as a joke. I believe you have it down just by looking at it. Did you ever find out about the rec button? I believe it so that he can sample in real time and over lay any bit of beats or melody’s. Let me know I am probably wronge. Again thanks on the inside info on sashas mixer. By the way if your a bald guy I believe i have sean you open for dave seamen..

  3. Greg (17 Oct 2008, 10:52)

    Rec buttons are probably for looping purpose… we tend to forget about it, but it’s pretty useful to get an element of the last track going on forever as if it belonged to both mixed songs! Check out the loopy groove of Ireland from Fergie in his 2008 Thank you mix… it goes on forever even 4-5 minutes after the actual track has been mixed! Live also quantizes loops by itself, so it’s really easy to get it tight, which is much likely to be used as oppose to the human factor that comes into play when looping CDJs or serato in a live situation… Hope this helps!
    -Greg

  4. Zimmie (29 Mar 2009, 8:25)

    The “Assign” button is doubtless to control whether the track is assigned to side A or B of the crossfader. This is more obvious in the fourth photo, which is clearly a different device. Rec is probably to grab a loop from the current audio into the track on which he hits the button.

  5. [...] not at easy access.  I guess I was hoping the APC40 would be as straightforward as Sasha’s Maven controller. I like that each channel has volume, EQ and 6 clip launching [...]

  6. computer controlled fountain (16 Nov 2011, 1:05)

    love your imagination!!!! great work!! oh yeah.. cool photography too.



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