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Setting up MIDI preferences

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Setting up MIDI preferences

If you've chosen to use Ableton Live as your computer music production software, it's likely that you want to create music with Live using a MIDI keyboard or MIDI controller. In this video we'll take a look at how to set up your MIDI devices to work with Live. First, connect your MIDI device to your computer before starting Live. In most cases you'll be using USB cables to connect directly to your computer. Other devices still connect via MIDI cables, and you'll need to connect them to a MIDI interface before the computer or in some cases your audio interface will have a built-in MIDI interface.

Setting up MIDI preferences

If you've chosen to use Ableton Live as your computer music production software, it's likely that you want to create music with Live using a MIDI keyboard or MIDI controller. In this video we'll take a look at how to set up your MIDI devices to work with Live. First, connect your MIDI device to your computer before starting Live. In most cases you'll be using USB cables to connect directly to your computer. Other devices still connect via MIDI cables, and you'll need to connect them to a MIDI interface before the computer or in some cases your audio interface will have a built-in MIDI interface.

So once you've connected your devices and you are in Live, we'll want to go to Live's Preferences, which are under the Live menu--that would be in Options menu on a PC. I'll click that, and I'll go to the MIDI Sync tab. On this tab we see the devices that are hooked up to Live. If your device works natively with Live, you'll see this listed in this dropdown menu under the Control Surface column. In this case my APC40 is one of those devices. In other cases you'll also see your device, but you may only see it listed under the Input and Output columns.

Now I've got an E-MU keyboard hooked up here, so I see this as an available input device to Live. When I click on that I can see the E-MU, and I don't see any additional channels, and that's because this particular device only has one MIDI channel that it sends on. I'd choose that, and it's the same with the APC40. Now, if I have these devices hooked up correctly and chosen, when I play a key on one of those devices, I should see the light over here on the far right-hand corner light up as I press the key, and that's the MIDI In indicator.

The Output column choosers here, you'll use those when you actually want to send MIDI out of Live to an external device, and that could be a MIDI synthesizer or drum machine. That's actually an external device, and will bring the audio back into Live separately from there. The Dump button is used for those devices that have presets that control how the knobs and sliders work with Live. Now, in this case, you'll see these are grayed out. But if you have one of those devices you'd simply click the Dump button and navigate to your computer where that preset is located, and you probably want to look that up in your device reference manual.

In the bottom half of the window we see the MIDI ports, and all ports available to Live are listed here. In order for the ports to be active, the switches to the right of the port must be enabled. And we see that I've got this for both input and output for the currently available devices. So I've got that set to on for the E-MU, and that's why we saw the MIDI in indicator lighting up when I played the key. So when that's enabled, under here in the Track column, that enables Live's tracks to be assigned to send and receive on the selected port and related MIDI Channels.

The middle column for Sync is used when you want Live to send MIDI clock messages to an external MIDI device that has a built-in sequencer, like a keyboard workstation or drum machine. Set the external device to receive MIDI sync and enable the switch in the sync column for that desired device. In the Remote column we use this switch to activate the related port if you're using a MIDI Controller to send MIDI messages, like control, change, messages or fader values to Live. And we'll discuss this topic in more detail in the video on Controllers later, but for the APC40 we're definitely going to want to enable that switch, so that we can receive messages and send messages to the APC40.

So your external MIDI devices should now be ready and configured to work with Live, and you should be ready to start creating music.

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This video is part of

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

69 video lessons · 17048 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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