Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Hint
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Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by Hint » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:26 pm

Is there any reason why Live's MIDI mapping is so severely limited? Are there any plans to develop the MIDI mapping so that it's useable for people who own modern controllers?

I bought a controller and a copy of Live recently, and suddenly it's revealed to me that I need to learn Python in order to do any kind of half decent mapping. I take my hat off to the people who understand the code and provide templates for others, but why is there such a high barrier to entry when it comes to setting up controller maps?

Compare Live to Traktor, which has a mapping window with loads of available commands, which can be mapped to any incoming MIDI note. And it can also send MIDI messages back out in order to change button colours when pressed etc. Sure, that interface was designed by a sadist, but it's still useable for people like me with no coding knowledge.

savyurrecords
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by savyurrecords » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:34 pm

Uh I have no problem mapping a controller to a control in Live.

I use and Maudio controller and a FCB1010 floor controller. Are you sure you have read what the manual tells you to do here?

Are you trying to do something complex maybe? Or are you just trying to assign a fader, knob, or button to a control in Live?

I do lots of mapping and never had to code any Python stuff. FWIW

JuanSOLO
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by JuanSOLO » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:40 pm

I agree, but considering Traktor's mapping tools were revised to such high standards way after the release of Live 8, I can let it slide for now. BUT, I would love to know that Ableton were taking notes on some of the great ideas people have accomplished. Having some kind of extensive midi mapping editor, that could even go above and beyond Traktor's seems possible for Live 9. I'm not gonna say it's absolutely necessary for Live 9, but Ableton would REALLY knock it out of the park if they implemented such an idea.

If they were going to stick with python as the only solution to customize complex midi mappings, at least build in a freakin python window for editing.


I have not been much on the "OH NO, where's Live 9" bandwagon, BUT from this point forward Live 8 continues to function as a very dated program. I dont mind waiting quite awhile for the next version of Live, as long as it really brings a STRONG set of updated features. Seems to me Live is on the cusp of blowing everyone away with a new version, IT could, but will it? GEEZ I hope so.

JuanSOLO
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by JuanSOLO » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:46 pm

The OP is not talking about simply mapping a fader. He's talking about making a complex midi map with properly customized LED feedback and multiple modes and modifier capabilities for something like an APC40.

Traktors mapping is FAR SUPERIOR to any other program right now, because of the whole controllerist movement. Granted the GUI for it is kinda wacky (needs to be scalable) but nevertheless it's amazing.

Hint
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by Hint » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:48 pm

savyurrecords wrote:Are you trying to do something complex maybe? Or are you just trying to assign a fader, knob, or button to a control in Live?
Depends what you consider "complex".

An example: I have zero coding experience, but within about 10-15 minutes in Traktor I had a button of my choice:

- Start a deck playing when pressed, turning green
- Stop the deck when pressed again, and turn red

In order to do something similar in Ableton Live, you need to have some serious coding chops.

Hint
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by Hint » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:10 pm

JuanSOLO wrote:I agree, but considering Traktor's mapping tools were revised to such high standards way after the release of Live 8, I can let it slide for now. BUT, I would love to know that Ableton were taking notes on some of the great ideas people have accomplished. Having some kind of extensive midi mapping editor, that could even go above and beyond Traktor's seems possible for Live 9.
I'm just really surprised. Live has such a reputation as the live performance controller-operated software. Coming to it as someone who has never used the app before, I was shocked when I purchased Live, sat down with my shiny new controller and opened up the MIDI map window.

And then it was only after some extra digging that it becomes apparent just how difficult it is to set something up yourself.

Khazul
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by Khazul » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:19 pm

FFS winger! - when I were a lad we had to had to program our controllers by hand entering machine code by flipping banks of 8 switches and pressing a button - took fookin ages and one mistake you had to start over 8O


Actually traktor midi mapping is pretty good - just wish there was a way to get the song browser fully remote (i.e. titles too) rather than just the navigation.
Nothing to see here - move along!

gusc
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by gusc » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:24 pm

I wouldn't mind coding some stuff in Python, although I'm not very familiar with this language, but there is one more problem - the API is closed, there are things that some guys came up with Ableton 7, and then there is LiveOSC, but that's it.

I would beg for official API release and all the controller sources to be opened, so I could modify my Launchpad and SL MkII control surface scripts.

Also I would beg for some simple things like Hint asked for. For example I don't understand WHY you can not map more controls to the same knob in Live, you can do it the other way around - might be an internal engineering problem, but still. I just want to take 2 buttons on my SL MkII and make one turn the knob to minimum value and the other one to the maximum. If I need to map something like that I end up editing my MIDI controller not Live mappings, which then goes and screws up everything else. Plus the problem with LED feedback, yes, Launchpad is kinda useless without LED feedback.

PS. If we're on the subject, what's new in Python API? :)
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JuanSOLO
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by JuanSOLO » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:43 pm

Hint wrote: I'm just really surprised. Live has such a reputation as the live performance controller-operated software.
That reputation was built on previous versions, when programs Like Traktor and Serato were infants in midi abilities. Live was once a leader, and I hope by next release they will be out in front again. There's a lot of competition nowdays.

djadonis206
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by djadonis206 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:59 pm

What's so difficult about pressing configure, using the key strokes control + M, jiggle the thing you want to control, and then assign it to a button, knob, or fader.

I'm really confused right now
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Hint
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by Hint » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:06 pm

djadonis206 wrote:What's so difficult about pressing configure, using the key strokes control + M, jiggle the thing you want to control, and then assign it to a button, knob, or fader.

I'm really confused right now
OK... try and map a button on a controller to "Undo" and get back to me. :idea:

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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by djadonis206 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:17 pm

I see. I've never been in that position before. Control Z has always worked for me. I can see how it doesn't work for everyone.

Good luck
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willdahbe
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by willdahbe » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:40 pm

+1 I'm with the OP.
Live does have quite limited mapping abilities out of the box. You should be able to choose from such things as toggle, gate, different midi cc's, and commands to update the color status of grid/button controllers.

Other cool features would be set min to max values with pre-defined time/measures(kinda like an auto fade or morph function). Also fx setting recall without the use of third party software/hardware are just a few things.

Oh yeah, In before "Dummy Clips"...

Mage2k
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by Mage2k » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:52 pm

Check out Bomes Midi Translator.

JuanSOLO
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Re: Why is mapping a controller in Live so convoluted?

Post by JuanSOLO » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:03 pm

Of course there's Bomes, there's M4L, there's python scripting your own remote scripts, all thats great BUT, the point is, these things should give Ableton a direction to update midi mapping features, instead of having to purchase 3rd party assistants.

In Live everything should:
be mappable and min/max adjustable
optional toggle, momentary, direct, pgm change etc
contain outgoing midi and LED messaging
let you map multiple controls to one parameter
allow you to translate midi messages from one thing to another based on variables OR modifiers

AND all this could be done in an effective GUI that allowed for exporting templates etc.

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