A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
moonpie
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A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 12:39 pm

So I bought an SL there a week ago. After setup, and installing automap pro I started noticing... urm there is no integration with ableton and automap. At all. When you get it working it doesnt work right. Midi assign conflicts. I had bought it based on an answerbase article and youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jjPK0orZ_s . The youtube video shows a nocturn keyboard, ableton and automap but I expected the same thing since an SL costs twice as much. Its their high end gear. I dont think this is an unreasonable expectation. I got in contact with support.

The article was recently removed (due to me pointing it out to them) on how to succesfully set up ableton with the mk2. Apparently that article was dated. Even though running with ableton 8.1.3 and the SL. I was then convinced by support that Automap isnt meant for ANY integration with ableton, you must manually assign everything. You cant even set up your own maps for it as they conflict with the program and dont work correctly. I then pointed out the video - the seemless integration with live, instrument racks automatically assign, effects, brilliant. I accused them of false advertising. As it is from "Novation TV the official home of novation."

The reply Ive gotten was very hard to believe. Apparently the novation nocturn and SL mk2 arent an entry level/prof level keyboard of the same line, (which lets face it - they probably are - running the same software, probably the same hardware), but instead are 2 entirely different keyboards. :roll: The NOCTURN has miraculous integration with live, the SL MK2 doesnt. The At €140 cheaper on thomann, the nocturn25 has more advanced features. The SL MK2 with automap can only be used with plugins. I wonder how many nocturn users are actually experiencing this miraculous integration.

Its a pretty ludicrous situation - both keyboards are sending the same midi info and using the same software and apparently one has a MAJOR feature of DAW integration while one doesnt. This cant be true - is it?

At a guess, I would say Novation somewhere along the line let the ball drop on updating their softwarea alongside ableton and now doesnt work anymore. Thats just a guess - I seriously cant reason out of this any other way.

I dont have to point out how much of a pain in the ass with ableton it is when youve to manually assign controllers and save them to template sets - this is the exact reason and weakness of ableton that I went for Novation.

Its a nice keyboard, support were fast (even though they didnt solve any of my problems). But seriously find an alternative if you want ableton to be controlled stably. I had moved away from m-audio to avoid this type of crap. SO Im pretty stuck now on what to do.

kb420
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by kb420 » Tue May 24, 2011 12:47 pm

I just read through your post, and I'm a little confused. Could you tell me exactly what you can't do with the SL MK2 that is possible with the Nocturn? I'm a SL MK1 user, and Automap works fine.
H20nly wrote:fuck Bitwig.

Bizon
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by Bizon » Tue May 24, 2011 2:28 pm

kb420 wrote:I just read through your post, and I'm a little confused. Could you tell me exactly what you can't do with the SL MK2 that is possible with the Nocturn? I'm a SL MK1 user, and Automap works fine.
SL MKII User and everything here works fine as well.

moonpie
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Well, I was having issues, and support said straight away it doesnt work at all. They didnt even attempt to fix automap issues. Basically, does yours work like in the nocturn video? Mine cant. With automap engaged and all the right midi settings (I double checked with support) it doesnt automap ableton instruments or effects.

I can load a plugin, the automap screen changes, works. I click on an ableton instrument or effect and nothing changes. I wish I could say I was doing something wrong but when support are telling me point blank it wont work its pretty much why bother trying. If you can help at all it would be amazing. What version of live/automap are you using?

Its hard to describe but even assigning things is hit and miss - sometimes live simply wont pick up the midi info. Everytime I click out of midi assign automap returns to the homepage - extremely frustrating.

Try this - create a fresh ableton set - load a looper into an audio track. Ok. Now turn on automap - and assign a button controller from the SL to the loop record function in automap. (have the quantisation and song/tempo settings all set to none.) I click looper record. It records. I stop it. Clear it. Record something else - then playback. During playback SOMEHOW at the exact same time the top of the automap screen (under the map name) changes the display to preset 1/128:MIDI program Change #000 the looper jumps back to a recording youve already cleared. Its bizzare. Yet wont happen if I simply mouse click all of those steps. Infuriating.

Theres lots of other things that really dont make sense write now and its behaving erratically - which makes me think it is automap falling behind in bug/development.

And the fact that theyre willingly deleting setup articles shows somethings going on.
Last edited by moonpie on Tue May 24, 2011 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

moonpie
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 2:32 pm

Bizon wrote:
kb420 wrote:I just read through your post, and I'm a little confused. Could you tell me exactly what you can't do with the SL MK2 that is possible with the Nocturn? I'm a SL MK1 user, and Automap works fine.
SL MKII User and everything here works fine as well.

Which version of live/automap are you using? Im on osx 10.6.7, ableton 8.2.2 and automap 3.7. Communication breakdown. Again - i dont know how much effort to put into it if support are threading this line. If youve a different experience or a setup that works for you, id love to try it out! Thanks!

kb420
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by kb420 » Tue May 24, 2011 2:50 pm

I have the original Remote SL 37.

Image

I'm using Automap Standard 3.7.

I haven't attempted to map anything manually to the Remote SL because usually, everything in Live is mapped automatically. The mixer volume, pan, and sends are always mapped to the faders on the right. The parameters of whatever instrument or effect that is highlighted in Live is mapped to the knobs on the left, and hitting the two buttons to the left of the left lcd will scroll through everything. The transport works, and the buttons on the right will arm individual tracks for recording. When I highlight Looper, every midi assignable parameter in Looper is automatically mapped to the 8 knobs on the left. I also own an APC40 and the two both have feedback. This isn't my video, but the guy in the video has the same controllers I have:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDpSQP-7JNQ
H20nly wrote:fuck Bitwig.

moonpie
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 3:12 pm

kb420 wrote:I have the original Remote SL 37.

Image

I'm using Automap Standard 3.7.

I haven't attempted to map anything manually to the Remote SL because usually, everything in Live is mapped automatically. The mixer volume, pan, and sends are always mapped to the faders on the right. The parameters of whatever instrument or effect that is highlighted in Live is mapped to the knobs on the left. The transport works, and the buttons on the right will arm individual tracks for recording. I also own an APC40 and the two both have feedback. This isn't my video, but the guy in the video has the same controllers I have:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDpSQP-7JNQ
Ok i see what your saying, but that doesnt actually use the automap interface as described in the nocturn video. Naming and renaming settings, copy and pasting controls, using both automap and user defined controls alongside each other. Thats a whole feature that isnt accessible. And the power offered by it is far more than the automap youre describing. And something I bought the sl based on. If you are using 3rd party plugins - do you have to go the route of manually assigning the macro knobs as in your video? Already thats a problem-

As I went through with support, the weakness in ableton im sure you know is the whole midi template headache, where if you want a plugin with a default set of characteristics and midi controls you must save it to your default set or do it for each set. Doing it for each set is a complete pain, so for practicalities sake you must do it for your default set. (thats my experience anyways). What then happens is as your plugin choices might change as time goes by, your live needs might change, you do end up changing controls and midi mappings all the time. So if stuck in front of one of your live sets, and you decide to change sometime in the future, youll have to go through all your live sets to make a coherent change that makes sense to you. I thought automap was the answer to this.

Again - all musicians needs differ - yours works the way you want which is great - but I wouldnt strictly call what youre describing automap I guess - not in the way it was advertised (especially with the nocturn) and had the feature set I was interested at least.

Basically - the way support are putting it - the only way to have automap function the way I want (which is quite advanced) is to buy an entry level keyboard. I cant be the only one who thinks this is nuts?

Thanks for your help kb, i really appreciate it. At least it can work in one way.
Last edited by moonpie on Tue May 24, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thatMcFlyGuy
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by thatMcFlyGuy » Tue May 24, 2011 3:21 pm

I have the mkii and the answer is no, there is no automap integration for ableton.

This is very unfortunate (as like you, it's the automap software that attracted me to the remote in the first place).

If you do a lot of work with ableton's instrument and effect racks, then you can probably get away without using automap as the 8 LED encoders map to the 8 macros (or the first 8 parameters of the highlighted instrument, you can use the page up and down buttons to scroll through the rest of the parameters).

Personally, I have an apc 20 that I use to control Live's mixer and I keep my remote in automap mode to control my instruments. But to each his own.

Basically, Novation failed. You can try a User Remote Script (there's plenty of info on the Live forums) and using automap for that. But you loose majority of the cool shit automap can do. Mostly the changing of names on the display. Perhaps someone could write a python script for automap and the remote, but as I can't write python (yet!!) it's won't be me.

fcarroll
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by fcarroll » Tue May 24, 2011 3:23 pm

I have the Novation Zero SL Mkii and I have to say that its the best hardware device I have for Ableton, works perfect! Maybe a problem because of the keyboard???? Works fine on all the automap settings for my vst's also.

Must say that the Zero sl Mkii and the launchpad work great together!
iMac, MacBook Pro, Ableton Live 8 Suite,Ableton PUSH Komplete 8, Logic Studio,Launchpad x 2, iPad (Lemur), M-Audio Keystudio, Akai MPD18, ...

moonpie
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 3:31 pm

fcarroll wrote:I have the Novation Zero SL Mkii and I have to say that its the best hardware device I have for Ableton, works perfect! Maybe a problem because of the keyboard???? Works fine on all the automap settings for my vst's also.

Must say that the Zero sl Mkii and the launchpad work great together!
Would you be able to have a quick look at the youtube vid I posted about the nocturn and whether it works exactly that way with the automap screen open - Im trying to build a consensus on what automap (or the limited version) is working for which controllers. Thanks.

moonpie
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 3:37 pm

thatMcFlyGuy wrote:I have the mkii and the answer is no, there is no automap integration for ableton.

This is very unfortunate (as like you, it's the automap software that attracted me to the remote in the first place).

If you do a lot of work with ableton's instrument and effect racks, then you can probably get away without using automap as the 8 LED encoders map to the 8 macros (or the first 8 parameters of the highlighted instrument, you can use the page up and down buttons to scroll through the rest of the parameters).

Personally, I have an apc 20 that I use to control Live's mixer and I keep my remote in automap mode to control my instruments. But to each his own.

Basically, Novation failed. You can try a User Remote Script (there's plenty of info on the Live forums) and using automap for that. But you loose majority of the cool shit automap can do. Mostly the changing of names on the display. Perhaps someone could write a python script for automap and the remote, but as I can't write python (yet!!) it's won't be me.
Ill have a look at the user remote script alright. Still its all workarounds - Id like novation to at least admit that its a problem if theyre claiming it works perfectly with a nocturn - otherwise it really is false advertising. Does anybody have a nocturn its working with?

The reason I bought it was I wanted a default automap for live and then quickly and intuitive use plugin automaps. To have a plug and play device and adapt my set easily as time goes on. Adjust, refine, change plugins, add new plugins etc. Which is pretty kaput now.

spektralisk
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by spektralisk » Tue May 24, 2011 3:37 pm

Automap never worked with ableton intruments. I mean you don't have instant control (blue hand) when you select some instrument via automap. The same is about controlling other things like mixer afaik. I read about this multiple times on this forum and on novation website before buying sl mk2.

Instead automap they prepared a special template and you need version 8.1.3 afaik to run everything ok. So you have to run sl mk2 in standard mode (turn automap off). Then the top 8 faders controls racks/intruments, buttons on the left for paging switch between each 8 values of different instrument settings, faders control mixer. It's all described in documentation.

IMO Don't bother with automap. It's mess anyway. Even if you map it to control complex plugins you have to switch between pages of controls and remeber that this control on that page controls this parameter on particular plugin and that param on the other and so on... headache ;]. Racks are trully a great idea. Just assign 8 parameters that you would use for particular instrument/preset and you have instant control over them without any mapping.

kb420
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by kb420 » Tue May 24, 2011 3:41 pm

I still don't see what the problem is.

Exactly what are you trying to do that you can't? :?
H20nly wrote:fuck Bitwig.

thatMcFlyGuy
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by thatMcFlyGuy » Tue May 24, 2011 3:43 pm

The remote sl mk2 is a much more complicated controller than the nocturn. You can get that EXACT SAME FUNCTIONALITY with the slmk2 in automap mode as shown in your video. The Nocturn is using a user remote script which is very very limiting. There's no panning, only 2 sends, no track activation, blah blah blah..

Like I posted before, you can do this, but you won't get the display to change the names of the parameters. BUT, it is easier to switch between different automap modes then it is to switch between automap and advanced modes.

I love my remote slmk2, it just took me a while to figure it all out and be happy with it.

moonpie
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Re: A little warning - Dont buy Novation SL Mk2 for ableton...

Post by moonpie » Tue May 24, 2011 3:56 pm

kb420 wrote:I still don't see what the problem is.

Exactly what are you trying to do that you can't? :?

Okay - well just use the full functionality of the software. Using the onscreen hui. In your setup, i dont think you use it at all. From an organisational standpoint its massively more beneficial to me to use my plugins and ableton with the hui.

If i have a automaped 3rd party plugin everything works correctly - but to change then between say full control of plugin (and more than the macros) and full control of beat repeat - thats not possible. I would run in to this sound designing. To do it, you must turn automap advanced mode on and off - As FlyGuy was saying it is much easier to switch between automap modes than automap and advanced modes. Its pretty impractical to do it live.

I really needed a workaround to abletons midi template drawback - time and again I was running into the same issues.

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