MIDI Mapping in Ableton
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru Bunford's Avatar
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    Default MIDI Mapping in Ableton

    I'm basically looking for some help to map 3 controllers for use with Ableton.

    I've a Launchpad, LPD8 and a VCI-100. I'm looking to map them for DJ use in Ableton, using the VCI for deck controls, loops, EQ etc, the LPD8 as an effects controller nd the Launchpad as a clip launcher/juggler.

    I've started to map the VCI but ran into issues on the third button! The 'cue' button on the VCI was mapped to cue deck on Ableton. All audio set up and working perfectly when using mouse. However, when pressing the cue button on the VCI, Ableton was registering MIDI input but wasn't doing what it should, i.e. cue the deck.

    Any ideas? Just thought I might as well tackle this now rather than wait and maybe repeat a basic error.
    Ableton 9.7.5, Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 11, MOTU 828 Mk2, Nektar Impact LX61+, Ableton Push, Native Instruments Kore 2, and a random selection of soft synths and sample libraries.
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit with Core i7 4960X Extreme Edition 12 core CPU, 64GB RAM, SanDisk Ultra Extreme SSDs and a GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming GPU.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Umm…no clue why that didn't work. It should. what did it do instead?

    Post your .als file somewhere, and I'll look at it.

    Also…just so you know…looping in ableton is weird. It's done clip-specific, not deck-specific…and you have to be looking at the clip you want to loop. You also can't set lengths with straight midi. In/Out/Active settings are trivial, but you can't set a specific length without scripting it. That's probably going to be your biggest issue, actually.

    Actually, looking at specific clips is going to be an issue too. I don't know of a way to do it with straight midi. I use a midi remote script to do it, but I based it off of someone else's code…IHNFC how to start from scratch with a controller that doesn't already have at least it's initialization in a decompiled script somewhere.

    …and EQs are weird. If you use EQ3, 0dB is [i]not[i] straight up…so the center detents on your VCI won't match up to 0dB on the EQs. You can use EQ8 to get it that way, but then you're limited to +/-16dB or hacking something together with multiple EQ8s in an effect rack…which yields a really steep slope and isn't the simplest thing in the world to not have +/-32 or +/-64…which is stupid and dangerous.

    Just a few things you probably need to think about. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it if you want to use Ableton, but…the VCI-100 is not a very good controller for Live. It has a lot of useless features and doesn't have enough controls for stuff you're going to want. The Launchpad takes care of some of it, but…yeah. If you want to make a real shot at Ableton, the APC-40 is widely respected (though I hate it) and the VCM-600 is IMO hands-down the only readily available controller that actually does enough to make Live viable for DJing…and it still takes some scripting to get things like looping to work right…and it doesn't have any endless encoders, which–along with scripting–are kind of necessary for good looping controls.
    Last edited by mostapha; 03-15-2011 at 08:55 AM.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Bunford's Avatar
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    It did nothing. The yellow MIDI input light in the corner flickers, showing that it's registering the button press but the cue button in Ableton wasn't kicking in.

    Also, I plan to set up loops, cue points etc for clips before hand, using the VCI to halve/double the loops etc (if that's possible!?).

    However, reading your post sounds like I might be sticking to Traktor for DJing and Ableton/Reason combo for production.

    If I have a VCI-100 to control most of the Traktor screen, what extra nifty things could I control/map my LPD8 or Launchpad to do?
    Ableton 9.7.5, Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 11, MOTU 828 Mk2, Nektar Impact LX61+, Ableton Push, Native Instruments Kore 2, and a random selection of soft synths and sample libraries.
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit with Core i7 4960X Extreme Edition 12 core CPU, 64GB RAM, SanDisk Ultra Extreme SSDs and a GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming GPU.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    It is not possible to half/double loops without using something beyond simple midi unless you have separate clips for every loop.

    You can do it, but you have to learn Max/MSP or Python to be able to get it to work. Python is by far the easier way to do it, but it's not an intro-level coding project unless you just want to use someone else's script.

    Ableton DJing is a lot of fun. Once you realize what can be done and how to do it, Traktor looks like a toy in comparison. Now, most of the differences don't actually matter to 95% of the people I've seen DJing with Ableton, and Traktor is fun too. It's just not actually that powerful in comparison.

    If you post your als file, I'll happily help you out with it. But it's a lot of work to make Live as simple as Traktor. It's a lot more powerful when you do, but the reason I've mostly switched to Traktor is realizing that all that complexity was basically just giving me better effects and that doing what I wanted required more stuff that I wasn't willing to carry/buy. Plus, it had turned into a coding project…and I get enough of those.

    As far as how to use your launchpad or akai in Traktor…beat's me. I use my LPD8 as a very simple mixer because it lives with an X1 in my trunk…and I don't need anything else to control Traktor. When TP2 comes out, I'll add my other X1…and still not need anything else. Maybe you could use yours for more effects controls.

    And, well…on my LPD8, there are 6 unassigned buttons. On my X1, there are 4 buttons that I've never pressed and don't care to re-assign. So, I'm not the kind of person to ask what to do with buttons…or a Launchpad. I always run out of knobs long before I run out of buttons. Frankly, I don't understand DJTT's obsession with buttons.

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