Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:21 am

I've looked into this quite a bit but haven't found a suitable solution, so as a last resort maybe someone here is able to help.

I have a softsynth (OPX PRO-II) and an old midi controller (UC-33).
I want to use the UC-33 to control the OPX.
Seems simple enough, right?

I'm aware of two scenarios: either midi map to the synth directly, or map the synth to macro controls. Both have considerable drawbacks.

Midi map directly to the synth

I can midi-map all of UC-33's knobs and buttons to the OPX, however, I cannot save this mapping in Ableton's library.
The only way that I know of being able to save that midi mapping in a re-usable fashion, is to save that particular live set as my default template.

This means that I always need to load that particular template and I can't just drag the device in from the library.
It also means that if I would choose to always work from that one template, I need to remember not to delete the synth, because if I do the mapping is gone and cannot be restored.

Use macro controls

I can only assign 8 macro controls. I know some M4L devices exist that allow for 16 buttons to be mapped, but I have not yet found a solution that allows me to reliably map all of OPX's paramters to macros, and then store that in the library as an instrument rack.

It would be great if someone who has encountered this before knows a solution.
"Paul" is fine too.

antic604
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:14 am
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by antic604 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:11 am

How are you exactly mapping your MIDI controller to the parameters of VST?

If you're doing it from this view:

Image

as described here: https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/worki ... evice-view

you should be able to save the setup and also control whatever parameters you expose, in particularly more than 8 of them.

2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:13 pm

Thanks for your reply.

My problem is not so much with the mapping. How you suggested it is the same as what I described under "Midi map directly to the synth". The problem is with re-using that mapping.

If I do as you say, I am unable to store that device including the midi mapping in Ableton's library. When I drag in that device from the library the next day in a different set, the midi mapping will not exist.
"Paul" is fine too.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:34 pm

2pauluzz2 wrote:Thanks for your reply.

My problem is not so much with the mapping. How you suggested it is the same as what I described under "Midi map directly to the synth". The problem is with re-using that mapping.

If I do as you say, I am unable to store that device including the midi mapping in Ableton's library. When I drag in that device from the library the next day in a different set, the midi mapping will not exist.
Forget about the macros for now. These seem to be a workaround on your part. Did you try Save as Default Preset? That will take care of automation and parameter order. The controller MIDI mapping is separate from this, which may be a big part of your problem.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:37 pm

Double
Last edited by Stromkraft on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:38 pm

No, I have not looked at that yet. Will read now :)
"Paul" is fine too.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:40 pm

2pauluzz2 wrote:No, I have not looked at that yet. Will read now :)
Do you have Max For Live?
Make some music!

2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:42 pm

I can't test it right now, but if I understand correctly what you're saying is I can map everything (without the need to group the synth to an instrument rack), then save the OPX as 'default preset'?

Does it work like that for third party synths as well (I'm aware of the default preset option on native devices, not on third party devices)?
Or would I have to group it as an instrument rack?

Yes, I have M4L.
"Paul" is fine too.

2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:47 pm

I just did a test (at work with a copy of Live on my laptop without the OPX synth, but it still allows me to do some testing).

This is what I did:

– Open Live.
– Load a third party plugin.
– Key-map '1', '2', '3' to different parameters.
– "Save as default configuration".
– Close live.

– Open live.
– Load that same device.

Result: key-mapping is not there.

Conclusion: I expect this logic to work similarly for midi, so "save as default configuration" is not saving key- and midi-mappings.
"Paul" is fine too.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:54 pm

2pauluzz2 wrote:I can't test it right now, but if I understand correctly what you're saying is I can map everything (without the need to group the synth to an instrument rack), then save the OPX as 'default preset'?

Does it work like that for third party synths as well (I'm aware of the default preset option on native devices, not on third party devices)?
Or would I have to group it as an instrument rack?

Yes, I have M4L.
Well, I think you can do this with some help from some MFL devices. I've done something in order to control external hardware. That was some time ago.

Basically this is what you (usually) have to handle:
  • A hardware controller, with direct support in Live's MIDI preferences, sometimes needing a specific vendor control script and most of the time need to be correctly set up in order to work properly.
  • MIDI CC being sent from said controller and being recordable in Live.
  • An external synth or plug-in synth that can listen and react to these MIDI CC messages. The latter also to automation
The constant here is MIDI CC, which is not the same as automation. To be able to solve this this is important to remember. I mean, I just forgot this at any rate.
Make some music!

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:56 pm

2pauluzz2 wrote:I just did a test (at work with a copy of Live on my laptop without the OPX synth, but it still allows me to do some testing).

This is what I did:

– Open Live.
– Load a third party plugin.
– Key-map '1', '2', '3' to different parameters.
– "Save as default configuration".
– Close live.

– Open live.
– Load that same device.

Result: key-mapping is not there.

Conclusion: I expect this logic to work similarly for midi, so "save as default configuration" is not saving key- and midi-mappings.
Here's a main question: Why do you need to map MIDI to anything here? Doesn't the synth respond to MIDI CC? Isn't the messages the controller send absolute in each new session?
Make some music!

2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:00 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
2pauluzz2 wrote:I can't test it right now, but if I understand correctly what you're saying is I can map everything (without the need to group the synth to an instrument rack), then save the OPX as 'default preset'?

Does it work like that for third party synths as well (I'm aware of the default preset option on native devices, not on third party devices)?
Or would I have to group it as an instrument rack?

Yes, I have M4L.
Well, I think you can do this with some help from some MFL devices. I've done something in order to control external hardware. That was some time ago.

Basically this is what you (usually) have to handle:
  • A hardware controller, with direct support in Live's MIDI preferences, sometimes needing a specific vendor control script and most of the time need to be correctly set up in order to work properly.
  • MIDI CC being sent from said controller and being recordable in Live.
  • An external synth or plug-in synth that can listen and react to these MIDI CC messages. The latter also to automation
The constant here is MIDI CC, which is not the same as automation. To be able to solve this this is important to remember. I mean, I just forgot this at any rate.
It seems this is a much requested feature and it is simply not possible: https://www.ableton.com/answers/save-mi ... -in-preset

Your suggestion, although well intended, is generic and does not address the lacking feature in Live of being able to save the midi mapping.

I think the only options is for Ableton to implement one of the following:

– Ability to save midi mappings in plugin preset.
– Ability to map to many more macro control knobs.
"Paul" is fine too.

2pauluzz2
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by 2pauluzz2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:02 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
2pauluzz2 wrote:I just did a test (at work with a copy of Live on my laptop without the OPX synth, but it still allows me to do some testing).

This is what I did:

– Open Live.
– Load a third party plugin.
– Key-map '1', '2', '3' to different parameters.
– "Save as default configuration".
– Close live.

– Open live.
– Load that same device.

Result: key-mapping is not there.

Conclusion: I expect this logic to work similarly for midi, so "save as default configuration" is not saving key- and midi-mappings.
Here's a main question: Why do you need to map MIDI to anything here? Doesn't the synth respond to MIDI CC? Isn't the messages the controller send absolute in each new session?
I want to be able to open Live and always have my midi controller ready to go, mapped to most of the many parameters of the softsynth.
I do not want to have to map 128 parameters to my midi controller every time I start working on a new project.
"Paul" is fine too.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:09 pm

2pauluzz2 wrote:
I want to be able to open Live and always have my midi controller ready to go, mapped to most of the many parameters of the softsynth.
I do not want to have to map 128 parameters to my midi controller every time I start working on a new project.
I understand as much. But how you achieve this control shouldn't be important. The MFL devices I think of translates specific MIDI CC to specific automation parameters. If your controller send MIDI CC 71 from one knob and your synth respond to MIDI CC 71, then there is nothing to map, except internally. Many softsynths have internal MIDI preferences, also for CC. If it doesn't this MFL device allows for direct control from the controller when this is saved in an Instrument Rack with the plug-in in question. Use this rack preset as the INIT patch.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

antic604
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:14 am
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Mapping more than 8 macro's OR save midi mapping in library

Post by antic604 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:37 pm

MIDI mappings are saved with the project, not with device's "Save as Default Preset" options.

There are basically two ways to map MIDI controller in Live, both with differing behaviours:

- manual mapping (https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/midi- ... face-setup) - you can map whatever knobs/sliders/buttons to whatever parameters in Live - this is great if you have a controller with many knobs/sliders/buttons, because you can simultaneously control several instruments, effects and tracks (including several instances of the same device) no matter where you are in your project,

- instant mapping (https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/midi- ... t-mappings) - you always control the device currently in focus, so e.g. knob #1 will control cut-off in one device, Decay in other, Grain Size in yet another that's in focus, etc., but it's consistent and you don't have to save it; the picture I linked earlier shows the 'hand' icon there, so I'd imagine the script for your controller should automatically map your knobs/faders/buttons to that device, when it's in focus. The problem is have to learn which knob/fader/button controls which parameter for which device, because there's no visual indication...

So I think in the end it comes down to a choice, whether you want to always control your devices in the same way, but only one at the time; or you want to control multiple devices however you want, but you need to set those mappings anew for every project. IMO it depends on type of music you're doing (does it involve a lot of modulation in many tracks?) and your habits, e.g. if you were using physical synths it could be weird to e.g. have the keys on your controller play the lead synth, but knobs controlling cut-off of the bass-line and delay on drums, which you can achieve with manual mappings.

With so many control options that you have on UC33 you can probably take advantage of both worlds, i.e. set it up for instant mappings (check how each knob/fader/button is automatically assigned to different devices) and you'll probably be left with few 'unused' knobs/faders/buttons, for which you can override the instant mapping by mapping them manually. This way you'll have consistent control of the device in focus and (project-specific) mappings for some global parameters.

Post Reply