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Setting up custom midi mapping assignments can be time consuming. So the program designers at Ableton have worked with their counterparts at companies that produce midi controllers to enable instant mapping of device parameters in Live. Those controllers that are specifically designed to work with Live are designated with the term native. Now, if you have a native controller, you want to go ahead and make sure that's set up properly. And if I go up to the Live menu or the Options menu on a PC, I can access Preferences, and once there, I'll select the mini Sync tab. And this area at the top of the window is where you activate your native controllers.
Now I've just hooked up the APC40. Live Action immediately sensed it, and it looks like it's ready to go. I'm also going to drop down here into the midi ports area. And I'm just going to make sure that the Remote button is also enabled. Now I don't need to have that on for instant mapping, but I am going to need it on if I want to make any custom assignments, to use any of the knobs on the APC40. Okay, so that looks like it's ready to go, so I'm going to hit my Escape key to get out of Preferences. And now to check it to see if this is working, all I need to do is select a device. So I'll click the title bar on this analog instrument down here.
And now I'll turn one of the knobs on my instant mapping section of my controller and I can see right now, it looks like it's a sign to this oscillator balance between oscillator one and two. And let me turn number two and let's see what that does. Okay so it looks like that's assigned over here, to the cutoff frequency. I don't only have access to eight parameters on this device. Live has actually got several banks of eight setup. And how you access those banks, is different on different devices. On the one that I'm using, I just hold down the Shift key. And hit one of the numbers to choose the bank.
And now if I go back first knob and turn it, now sure enough, it's assigned to a different parameter. It looks like now it's assigned to the oscillator one level. Now, you can learn more about this in the lessons that are over in the Help view in Live. And you can scroll down at the bottom and you'll see this option for show all built in lessons. And if I scroll down a little bit further you'll see the control surface reference and now I see a list of the various controllers and I can also click this detailed list and it will show me a bank list of all of the instant mappings that are available.
So just for analog alone, it looks like there's about 8 banks that are available. Now, in addition to device parameters, I can also instantly control anything on a macro. So I'm going to go over here and choose the Drum track. And this has got a drum rack on it, and all racks come with this set of eight knobs. And if I click and select the top of that device, my first knob immediately starts controlling, the kick volume level there that's mapped to that macro. There's the snare level, and there's the one for the snap track.
So in addition to that, you may want to lock a device to your eight instant mapping controls. And you can do that again by clicking the title bar at the top of the device, and then right-clicking on it, and choosing Lock to control surface. And I'll choose that's a lock to my APC40. And now no matter where I am and what device I choose, I'm going to have the eight knobs controlling that one devices. Now, if I go back and disable that, now as I move from track to track, and device to device, my eight knobs that I have here in the device area on the APC 40 are going to instantly map to the parameters on that device. Just for example, if I scroll over here, on the same device chain. Let's go over to the compressor and I'll turn that first knob again. And notice that it is immediately controlling threshold. Now, if you need to make any custom assignments, you can do that as normal. You just click your MIDI Map button, choose the knob that you want to map, turn the knob, and now that assignment will override any instant mapping. If I want to get rid of that I can just highlight that, delete it, and exit MIDI mapping, and now I'm back to instant mapping.
So hopefully you have a device that will allow you to take advantage of Live's instant mapping feature. If not, it's something to consider when making a future purchase.
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