Pomodoro (m4l)


A productivity timer for Ableton Live.

The idea behind this device is straightforward — start the timer as a commitment to a short sprint. “Whatever happens, I can and will make forward progress for 25 minutes.” That’s a specific, measurable, achievable goal, whether it’s to limit the time you’ll spend seeking a preset, programming a beat, or improvising different melodies.

At the end of the work period, take a break, no matter what you’re working on or where you’re at. It’s very easy to lose yourself in a marathon session, throwing yourself at the same problem over and over again. Take that moment to step away. Go on a walk, meditate, catch up on email, read an article. A short respite can be just what’s needed to return to the problem with clarity, fresh eyes and ears and ideas.

I’ve been extremely interested in exploring simple tools with universal utility as m4l devices and what opportunities the tight integration with the music-making process might open up. This project is a good example – I have plenty of Pomodoro/productivity apps at my disposal, what justifies it as a m4l device? Personally I think there’s an inherit placebo to the sheer novelty of it, and any small nudge to make use of the system while I’m working is already a benefit. From a technical standpoint, the only Live-related feature in play here is the transport will stop when it’s time to take a break (unless you’re recording). I think there are lot more ways to take advantage of Live API access here, and would love to hear discuss some ideas in this thread.


Ableton Live
Max for Live


v1.0.0 - https://patches.zone/max-for-live/pomodoro
Mirror - https://www.dropbox.com/s/gk6i05w6a4nsvlq/Pomodoro%20-%20pATCHES.zip?dl=0


Oblique Strategies

I was going to suggest a M4L version of Oblique Strategies, but it already exists.

Perhaps a way to randomize seeing one…?

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ELPHNT also has a an OS-like device that’s worth checking out https://elphnt.io/store/inspir/, marginally more Live- and production-oriented. I’m working on something in this genre that is a big collection of ideas to “game-ify” the production process and playing music with groups of people. Very much OS inspired, but an option that’s a little less abstract and a bit more detailed. Look forward to sharing someday :slight_smile:


You’re probably familiar with John Zorn’s games for improvisation and some similar strategies whose names escape me at the moment…

This would be wonderful, please share when you are ready!

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Awesome! I’m quite fond of the timeboxing approach so this is right up my alley. Thanks again for sharing.

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I’ve not but added to my reading list, thanks for pointing it out. If the similar strategy names come to mind, do drop me a line!

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Edit: See also

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Excellent, thanks for following up :slight_smile:

Glad to have a few new inspirations to dig into for this project!

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