Seasoned electronic producer and Border Community head James Holden has taken it upon himself to give Ableton users a new way to infuse their tracks with the subtleties of human timing, offering his Group Humanizer plug-in as a free download. The Max for Live patch is said to be based on research from Harvard scientists (specifically that of Harvard scientist Holger Hennig), which helps the Group Humanizer "automatically shapes the timing of your audio and MIDI channels, injecting the organic push-pull feel you can only get from human performance."
In a post on Ableton's website, Holden explains further: "The Harvard scientists focussed on one aspect of musical performance—the fine (millisecond level) details of timing when two people play together. What they found was that the timing of each individual note is dependent on every single note that both players had already played—a minor timing hiccup near the start of a piece will continue to affect every single note after it, up to the last notes. And when you play a duet every note your partner plays affects your playing, and every note you play affects your partner: a two directional information transfer is happening."
And so, Holden has developed a Max for Live patch to allow elements in one's production to emulate the kind of minute inconsistencies unique to human timing. Best yet, the UK producer has offered his creation for free, making the Group Humanizer plug-in available to download here. Furthermore, those interested in learning more about Holden's approach to developing the patch and how he has incorporated it into his live performances, can read his full post for Ableton's site here.