Switch though instruments with two MIDI buttons

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miyarakira
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Switch though instruments with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Sat May 19, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew if/how this is possible.

I have an instrument rack with a few synthesizers, and I would like to
use two MIDI buttons (+/-) to go through the chain selector one by one.
For example, the forward button would increment +1, the back button -1,
moving through the list of instruments.

Is there a way to achieve this?

Thank you for any advice.
Last edited by miyarakira on Tue May 22, 2012 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

#1thelark
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by #1thelark » Sat May 19, 2012 7:36 pm

sounds like a job for clyphx: http://beatwise.proboards.com/index.cgi ... thread=716

Download clyphx, read the manual, install it as shown in the manual and then create an empty clip and name it "DEV CS <" or "DEV CS >" for raising/lowering the chain selector. then you can map the desired button to the play button of that clip and you will be able to alter the chain selector by the push of a button.

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Sat May 19, 2012 10:12 pm

Thank you, #1thelark! Clyphx looks like a very handy utility for many purposes.

I installed it, turned it on as a control surface, and followed your instructions. I named a clip "[] DEV CS <" and launched it, but the chain selector on the track isn't responding. Would you have any idea why it wouldn't? I've got the chain selector mapped on a macro knob.

---

Ahah, I unmapped the macro knob from the chain selector, and now it works. Brilliant solution, thanks!
Last edited by miyarakira on Sat May 19, 2012 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

#1thelark
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by #1thelark » Sat May 19, 2012 11:09 pm

make sure you select the right track and device "[] 2/DEV1 CS >" this should aim for the 2nd track, first device..

This works for me: [] 1/DEV1 SEL; 1/DEV1 CS >

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Sat May 19, 2012 11:28 pm

I see, that's useful also, to be able to name which track receives the command.

Your solution worked perfectly, thank you. I'll be digging into Clyphx to see what else it can do.

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Sun May 20, 2012 3:13 pm

Hmm, I've encountered an issue with this approach.

I've mapped two MIDI buttons to launch clips that +1/-1 though the chain selector. However, MIDI CC & program change messages from the keyboard affect not only the selected chain but all chains.

So, now I'm trying to find a way to mute all other chains other than the selected one. I've tried searching for a solution, but to no avail...

Would anyone have an idea how to solve this issue?

#1thelark
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by #1thelark » Sun May 20, 2012 3:27 pm

I need some information:
What kind of controller/synth are you using for mapping? Do you use a mac or a pc?
Are you using IAC-driver (mac) or a virtual midi driver such as loopmidi (PC)?
What are your clyphx-commands for doing the program change?
Maybe upload screenshots of your midisettings and the concerning racks and midimapping (upload to imageshack.us or something like that and post the pictures...

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Sun May 20, 2012 4:33 pm

I appreciate the help, #1thelark. Here's how it's set up now:

-- An instrument rack with 5 chains, each an instrument
-- Two buttons that launch clyphx clips to move chain selector +1/-1
("7/dev1 cs <" and "7/dev1 cs >")

This works, and I can select next or previous instrument using two buttons.

However, I found that the chain selector only filters MIDI notes to the selected chain. MIDI CC or program change messages are passed through to all chains, not just the selected one. For example, when I change the volume, twist a knob, etc. on the keyboard, it changes parameters of instruments on all chains.

So, I need to turn off all chains other than the selected one. Haven't figured out how to do this, together with the two-button navigation.

---

I'm using a Mac, a Behringer MIDI keyboard, nanoKontrol, Native Instruments soft synths, and also MidiPipe to translate some buttons on the keyboard into program change messages.

#1thelark
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by #1thelark » Sun May 20, 2012 4:53 pm

This is the first thing I came up with... haven't tried it yet:
I'm not sure if it's possible but maybe you could put each instrument/chain into a seperate rack and map it properly and then select each chain via a ClyphX-command and then activate the blue hand somehow, so the selected chain with mapped parameters maps automatically to your knobs/faders? I guess you'd need to edit the config file to assign the controllers for the "blue hand automapping".
Maybe there's a much easier solution for this...

EDIT: Another approach: you could trigger clyphx-clips with other clyphx-clips. So you could have a set of clips that selects a chain and mutes every other chain (maybe try soloing a chain). Those clips could be triggered sequencially (SEQ command in the manual) with clyphx-clips that are mapped to your buttons. So that way you would have muted all other chains and could use the program change as desired.

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Sun May 20, 2012 5:08 pm

Just found out, turning off the chains will not stop them from receiving CC/program change messages.

Hmm, it seems I need a different approach than chains... I'll read more to see how other people switch multiple instruments.

#1thelark
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by #1thelark » Sun May 20, 2012 5:17 pm

I guess you could also use seperate miditracks for each instrument instead of a rack with chains and maybe use clyphx to select a track and alter the "midi-from" so only the active miditrack receives midi.

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Tue May 22, 2012 8:13 am

I see, yes, I was thinking of using separate tracks for each instrument but was stuck on how to turn off all others off except for the active instrument. Your idea on changing the "midi-from" is a good idea. I will try it and post back.

I'm surprised a simple solution doesn't seem to exist. I've been searching but could find only one other person trying to do the same, using two MIDI buttons to switch through instruments, with program change for choosing sounds within the active instrument.

----

Ah, I didn't see the additional possibility you mentioned, about having a sequence of clyphx clips to turn on the active chain and turn off all others. Actually I'll try that first. Thanks again, #1thelark, for helping solve this.

miyarakira
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Re: Moving through chain selector with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Tue May 22, 2012 9:18 am

Ahhh, finally solved. Thanks a lot! Here's how I set it up.

I have a group of MIDI tracks, each loaded with different instruments.
Next, I have two tracks for clyphx clips. For example, the tracks look like this:

1 - Group
2 - Massive
3 - Reaktor
4 - Sylenth

5 - Clyphx
6 - Clyphx 2

In the first Clyphx track, I have two clips for "forward" and "back", mapped to two MIDI buttons. The clips are "[] 6/play <" and "[] 6/play >".

In the second Clyphx track, I have three clips, one for each instrument. Each of these clips select the active instrument's MIDI-in sub-channel, then change the channels on the other instruments to "mute" them. A quick copy & paste:

[] 2/insub ch. 1 ; 3/insub ch. 2 ; 4/insub ch. 2
[] 2/insub ch. 2 ; 3/insub ch. 1 ; 4/insub ch. 2
[] 2/insub ch. 2 ; 3/insub ch. 2 ; 4/insub ch. 1

My keyboard is sending MIDI only on channel 1, so the inactive instruments set on channel 2 don't receive notes, CC, or program changes. Also, I turned off quantizing on the clyphx clips so the instrument switch is instant.

I had to resort to this setup because muting the tracks only stops incoming MIDI notes, but lets through CC and program change messages. Anyway, now that it's set up, I can load whatever instruments and navigate through them easily and intuitively.

All thanks goes to #1thelark! And the power of clyphx!

miyarakira
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Re: Switch though instruments with two MIDI buttons

Post by miyarakira » Wed May 23, 2012 9:59 am

An easier solution:

I just learned that by right-clicking on the chain selector, there is an option to "filter MIDI Ctrl". That eliminates the need for my rather cumbersome work-around.

So, to summarize, the easiest way I found to switch through instruments with two MIDI buttons is:

-- Install Clyphx. Useful tool for flexible control within Ableton.
-- On one track, an instrument rack with several chains, each with an instrument. Set up the zones so the chain selector activates each instrument consecutively.
-- On another track, two clyphx clips to move the chain selector back/forward, "[] 7/dev1 cs <" and "[] 7/dev1 cs >", where "7" is the number of the track with the chains. Turn quantize off for these two clips, for instant switching. Assign the two MIDI buttons to these clips.
-- On the track with the chains, right-click on chain selector to filter MIDI Ctrl. This way, any MIDI CC or program change will be sent to the active chain only.

rvkleinberg
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Re: Switch though instruments with two MIDI buttons

Post by rvkleinberg » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:50 am

so this thread is probably dead, but worth a shot anyways.

this technique for patch changing is AWESOME by the way.

but when i assign it to any key or midi cc or note, it requires a double tap.

how do i get it to single tap??

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