Playing back MIDI mapped CC messages to rack chains...

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
JeffreyCJohnson
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:04 pm
Contact:

Playing back MIDI mapped CC messages to rack chains...

Post by JeffreyCJohnson » Fri May 25, 2012 5:01 am

I've read the book, looked at the help, watched youtubers, and can't figure this out:

How can a MIDI CC change be recorded into a clip and then used to select chains in a MIDI effects rack? The manual indicates it's possible, but it doesn't seem to work. Given that a series of racks in different tracks can have their chain selectors change chains with a physical knob, this should be doable, but as soon as the physical knob is replaced with a chan 1 CC message the connection / MIDI routing is broken.

This is all in Session mode and here's what I want to do:

Tracks [1] and [2] contain identical MIDI effect racks in the track's FX chains, the chain selectors function correctly, and one physical knob in the real-world can be used to change 10 racks on 10 tracks at the same time by turning one knob. That knob's CC message can be recorded in a clip and the CC message appears to play back into any track it's routed to. The racks (which still react to the physical knob) do not react to the CC messages. Un-binding the physical mapping in the MIDI map selection interface has the same effect as unplugging the MIDI (or usb) cable connecting the knob to the computer doesn't help one way or another.

Here's an early description I wrote of the same issue. (If there's ANY documentation containing diagrams of the internal MIDI flow between the various software modules, what does and does not work, please post the information. A flow chart of how data is routed through the various rack types and internal "filters" would be a huge help. The concepts of MIDI signals flowing through filters in racks, as mentioned in the manual, have no real-world MIDI counterparts except in the wire cables and the interface chips. Software in computers on either side of the interface see data packets ranging from one to several bytes at a time.)

A MIDI CC knob is "MIDI Mapped" to the chain selectors in both racks, and the racks on different tracks.

When I turn the knob, both effect racks switch to the desired chain as per the CC knob. So far so good. When I record the knob into an empty slot on Track [3] the CC "envelope" is in the clip, and I can redirect it on playback to either [1] or [2] but not both at the same time without adding another pair of virtual midi cables in the form of 2 more tracks. Regardless, neither tracks [1] or [2] act on the message and change the respective rack chains. The CC midi event comes in the left and out the right, and the rack's chain selectors ignore it.

What am I doing wrong? How should I be doing it? A more general question is, how can a midi effect rack change chains when the track receives a CC message?

#1thelark
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:06 pm

Re: Playing back MIDI mapped CC messages to rack chains...

Post by #1thelark » Fri May 25, 2012 5:04 pm

answer to your last question: rightclick on chainselector to activate cc routing to the active chain.

About the rest of your post: I think you might wanna look into your midi-routing and midi preferences. If you already successfully recorded cc-data into your clip you need to send the mididata to the same virtual midi cable you recorded it into... also you need to set the "midi from" for the tracks that shall receive your recorded cc-clip-data.

so for example if you want to control track a's chainselector from a cc-clip on track b you have to set:
track a midi from: virtual-midi-port #1 out
track b midi to: virtual midiport #1 in

in the preferences you would have to set
virtual midi port #1 in: track 'on' - so it listens to your cc-values from track b
virtual midi port #1 out: remote 'on' - so cc-values can be used for mapping

if you want to map the chainselector to your recorded cc you need to play the cc-clip and then enter midimapmode to do the mapping

You cannot activate track+remote on both in and output of the virtual midiport because that will cause an infinite loop.

hope that helps... it's a bit confusing at first but once you got your head around it it's really logical and of course fun to use.

JeffreyCJohnson
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Playing back MIDI mapped CC messages to rack chains...

Post by JeffreyCJohnson » Mon May 28, 2012 11:01 am

#1thelark wrote:answer to your last question: rightclick on chainselector to activate cc routing to the active chain.

About the rest of your post: I think you might wanna look into your midi-routing and midi preferences. If you already successfully recorded cc-data into your clip you need to send the mididata to the same virtual midi cable you recorded it into... also you need to set the "midi from" for the tracks that shall receive your recorded cc-clip-data.

so for example if you want to control track a's chainselector from a cc-clip on track b you have to set:
track a midi from: virtual-midi-port #1 out
track b midi to: virtual midiport #1 in

in the preferences you would have to set
virtual midi port #1 in: track 'on' - so it listens to your cc-values from track b
virtual midi port #1 out: remote 'on' - so cc-values can be used for mapping

if you want to map the chainselector to your recorded cc you need to play the cc-clip and then enter midimapmode to do the mapping

You cannot activate track+remote on both in and output of the virtual midiport because that will cause an infinite loop.

hope that helps... it's a bit confusing at first but once you got your head around it it's really logical and of course fun to use.

Thanks for taking the time to think it through and reply. FYI, while your first comment is correct, it didn't answer the question, but it did lead me to an interesting resolution that will do the things I wanted, and it's very stable and fast to setup.

The more I understood what was going on the more I realized I should use the old school approach. I dusted off a MIDI Express XT and a Roland A110, plugged the XT's port one MIDI OUT into the port two MIDI IN with the A110 through box in the middle so I could watch what was happening.

In Live's preferences I turned on the "remote" switch for input on port 1, and turned on the "track" switch for the output on port 2.

With the ports set like that you can make a MIDI clip of CC data and send it out to port one, and as far as Live is concerned, there's remote CC data coming in from port two as if you were turning a knob. Very slick... any number of macros in any rack on any track (down to details in the synths) can be automated by launching one clip. You can MIDI map anything and trigger it all from a clip, including tempo changes. Doing that requires top notch midi chops, but the learning curve is more than worth the time and effort to come up to speed. ;)

I tested this out on a fairly complex Live set saturday while I was making this track: http://soundcloud.com/xtree/4x4-kit-sound-check-two

I automated several unused "sends" across the tracks and they spun flawlessly for the two hours it took to write the sequence from scratch. I also made another MIDI track and used it to monitor various tracks on the A110... it was a huge time saver/helper keeping track of editing two drummers at once. I never use channel 16 so it was safe to send any tracks' MIDI data out to port 1, and because I inserted the A110 as a MIDI through on the MIDI Express, I could see the notes and verify that I was editing the correct DrumRack's track.

That was a huge time saver because I was using the MIDI editor to edit the parts for two drum racks on separate tracks on one screen, with one racks notes 2 octaves above the other on the screen. The final playback was also coming from only one MIDI track, and the clips were cycling through the clips using the Follow property... i had a couple other midi tracks pulling the data out, splitting and transposing the parts and sending the two racks midi data to the tracks containing the racks.

It's been a lot of years since I designed the voices for the GDS/Synergy and helped lay the groundwork for what became the MIDI spec. It was the first FM synth and everything had to be discovered by trial and error, because all the mathematical theory generated crap for sound. Rocket science is child's play in contrast to the the complexity of Live's sequencer... great code and way to much fun to use. ;)

Thanks again for the reply,

Jeff

Post Reply