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Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard

Live is an incredibly powerful MIDI production environment, which can be controlled by a variety of different external MIDI devices. Let's take a look at how you can map control of Live to a MIDI keyboard or MIDI control surface. So MIDI Map mode in Live allows you to assign a button or knob on a MIDI keyboard or MIDI controller to control a parameter in Live. Now first I am going to double check and make sure things are set up correctly in Preferences. So that's Command+Comma on a Mac, or Ctrl+Comma on a PC. So I see my E-MU keyboard is here, and under Tracking, it's on.

Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard

Live is an incredibly powerful MIDI production environment, which can be controlled by a variety of different external MIDI devices. Let's take a look at how you can map control of Live to a MIDI keyboard or MIDI control surface. So MIDI Map mode in Live allows you to assign a button or knob on a MIDI keyboard or MIDI controller to control a parameter in Live. Now first I am going to double check and make sure things are set up correctly in Preferences. So that's Command+Comma on a Mac, or Ctrl+Comma on a PC. So I see my E-MU keyboard is here, and under Tracking, it's on.

That's going to allow me to trigger notes from the keyboard. But to be able to trigger control changes, I need to make sure that the Remote button is also enabled. Hit Escape to get out of there, and now I can enter a MIDI Map mode by simply clicking on the MIDI button in the control bar or by using the keyboard shortcut Command+M, which would you Ctrl+M on a PC. And now all I need to do is click a parameter to select it and then turn the knob I want to assign to that on the controller or MIDI keyboard.

Now I've done that, and you'll see that it's assigned number 10 on the keyboard. And if I look up under the MIDI Mappings browser, I can also see more details. So it shows Control Change number 10-- that's the actual knob on the keyboard-- is assigned to track number 2, and the device is Pad-eMotional. You can see that down here. And the Parameter is the cutoff frequency for oscillator 2, which I see down here. And I am going to hit Escape. Now I should be able to turn that knob, and you'll see that it's now controlling that parameter on that instrument device.

Now one of the really useful things about MIDI mapping is I can assign it to multiple knobs if I want. So I am going to go back into the Mapping feature, so Command+M, Ctrl+M on a PC. And this time I'm going to in the click the resonance parameter and also assign that to the same knob. Now I am going to want these to do two different things, so I am going to be using the Minimum and Maximum values to define the range that I'll be able to move that particular knob. I've already experimented with this a little bit, so I am going to set the Minimum on the cutoff frequency to around 600 Hz.

Now just remember that as you get close you may want to move in smaller increments. And if you hold your Command key down and drag, it will allow you to do that. And I'm going to go to the maximum here, and I am going to set that around 7K. And then with the Resonance, I am going to set that about 40 to 60, so let me do that quickly. Okay now I am going to hit Escape, and as I turn this knob, we should see both of those moving.

There we go. It took just a second. And I will turn that down to kind of their lowest value, which is around 600 Hz, remember, and 40% resonance. Now if I turn it all the way the other way, so I have defined that range. Now the real power of using these Control Change knobs is to record automation. So I am going to tab over to Arrangement view. I have already got my track in Record. Let me put my cursor over here at the beginning where I want to start. The Overdub switch is enabled, which I am going to need because I want to overdub these control changes and not actually wipe out the MIDI notes that are already recorded.

I will put the system in Record by clicking on the Global Record Button, and then I'm going to actually enable a count-in for this by right-clicking on the Metronome button and making sure that I have got a one-bar count in. Now I am doing that because I need to have my hand over here on the knob previous to actually starting to record. But if you have got your hands on your computer keyboard or doing something else, it takes a second to get there. So let me put the count- in on and the metronome on. Now all I need to do is hit the Spacebar to start playback.

(Music playing.) So you can see how easy it is to record automation using a Control knob. Now if you need to delete an assignment, that's pretty easy as well. Just need to go back to the MIDI Map mode by clicking on the button, and now if I just select something here in the Mappings browser and hit my Delete key, they are gone, and I can reassign them.

So in the past, mapping MIDI controls was a painful process. As you can see, the designers at Ableton had made this easy, and being able to set ranges helps to achieve consistent and musical results.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16964 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
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  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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