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Re: Any experienced Ableton users able to give me a hand?

At 6:14 PM +0100 6/4/09, Simeon Harris wrote:
>now that's sparked my interest....i'd like ot be able to send one pc 
>message from my footcontroller and have a midi clip send a bunch of 
>commands to the mixer to change the "send" values...and perhaps send 
>some pc messages to those plugins that can deal with them to change 
>unfortunately, i have absolutely no idea how to do it!
>just looked at the manual and figured out how to create a new midi 
>clip - looked at it's clip view and i see you can select "mixer" for 
>the destination of the midi. but what do you draw in the big panel 
>on the right?
>sorry mate, i've a livedunce!

Nope, no problem, Sim.  You just have to get a little time to work with it.

First, it sounds like you're operating on an Audio Track.  We need to 
work with a MIDI track, so go to the "Create" menu and choose "Insert 
MIDI Track".

Before going any further, go to the I/O section of the new MIDI 
Track.  There's a trick here we need to implement.  You see, Ableton 
doesn't implement internal MIDI routing, but we can get around that 
by using a Loopback.  On Mac, you'll use the internal IAC Bus.  On 
PC, it's a little harder only because you'll need to install 
something like Hubi's Loopback Device.  Since I remember your 
mentioning AU's, I'll assume that you're on a Mac, and continue 
through that.

One the I/O portion of the channel strip, click the pulldown menu for 
"MIDI To".  Switch this to "IAC Driver".  That should also activate 
the pulldown directly below it, where you can choose the MIDI channel 
on which you want to transmit.  For the sake of simplicity, let's 
select "Channel 1" for the moment.  Make sure that the "Monitor" 
button is set to "Auto" too.

Now double-click on an empty slot in order to create a new blank 
track.  It should open right up for editing immediately upon 
creation.  Down at the lower left corner, you'll see 3 tiny buttons: 
An "L", two eighth notes, and an "E".  These control the "Launch", 
"Notes", and "Envelopes" panes, respectively.

For Continuous Controller information, we should be looking at the 
"Envelopes" pane.  Click the pulldown in the upper left of this pane, 
and make sure it's set to "MIDI Ctrl".  Now click the pulldown 
directly under it.  Here, you can select a MIDI CC with which you 
want to work.  IIRC, something like Controller 15 or 16 is usually 
fairly safe, so pick one of those.

Now, go over to the data window on the right.  You should be in "Draw 
Mode", meaning that the little pencil on the transport control bar at 
the top of the page should be lit up.  If it's not, either click that 
button, or CTRL-Click (PC: Right Click) on the data pane.  If 
CTRL-Clicking, you'll see a bunch of quantize values (which are handy 
for later, after you've gotten the hang of this) and an option for 
"Draw Mode" at the bottom of the menu.

Okay, start drawing in some controller data.  We'll wait here until 
you're finished....

Got it?  Good.

You've now made your first MIDI clip.  All that remains is to connect 
the controller you selected to the parameter that you want to 
control.  Go up and click the "MIDI" button on the top bar next to 
the CPU Usage meter.  The whole screen should go kinda blue.  Now 
pick the parameter that you want to be controlled -- let's say, Send 
"A" on Track #1.  Click that knob.

Go to your MIDI controller and send a message on the same CC as the 
one you drew on your new MIDI clip.  You should automatically get an 
entry into the MIDI Bindings menu (now on the left of the screen) 
which reflects your new assignment.

Oh, but sending that message from a controller is inconvenient right 
now, you say?  No problem, do this:

First exit MIDI Bindings mode (click the "MIDI" button next to the 
CPU meter so that it's off).  Now play your new MIDI clip.  Re-enter 
MIDI Bindings mode while the clip is still playing.  Repeat the above 
procedure.  Live should hear the MIDI data coming out of the MIDI 
Clip, and you should have a new event placed on the screen, linked to 
Track #1's Send "A" knob.

When you exit this mode again, you should now see the Send "A" knob 
moving back and forth in conjunction with the data you programmed 
into the Clip.  If you want to stop the automation, just stop the 

Okay, I'll stop there for the moment, and let you try that.  Let me 
know how it goes, okay?

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