Routing MIDI tracks results in no volume controls

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Ryan Rhea
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Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:30 pm

Routing MIDI tracks results in no volume controls

Post by Ryan Rhea » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:00 pm


I am learning how to compose with orchestral VST libraries (BBC Discovery, Albion One and EastWest stuff in particular) in Live 10 Suite, 2019 Macbook Pro 13"). I'm quite new to all of this orchestral composing business, but I as a lifelong guitarist I do have experience with Live 8 from the past and a number of other DAWs and even video editors.

The biggest issue I'm experiencing is the sheer number of tracks that need to be created in a given orchestral project. I'm trying to cut down on the number of instances of a given VST instrument (say, Kontakt 6 with an Albion One patch loaded in). I want to create a "parent" MIDI track with whatever VST player and patch loaded in, then route this to another empty MIDI track for recording. The "parent" track would never have clips recorded into it. This way I can keep everything recorded in MIDI format for easy editing, plus I can potentially record a bunch of tracks from the same VST instrument without needing to run said VST in every single track created. This would obviously help with CPU load over time, as your project gets bigger and more complex.

I figured all this out with the Ableton manual, and got a whole template set up before realizing that each empty MIDI track I'm routing an instrument to for recording is devoid of any volume and panning controls. Huh? I'm fairly certain that Logic (or any other DAW) has volume control on any kind of MIDI track, so I can't make sense of it. Are MIDI tracks treated this way in Ableton in order to facilitate "DJ'ing things" that I wouldn't necessarily know about? I'm definitely no DJ, so I'm totally clueless there. :)

As you can see below, I have a track called "Long Horns" set as the parent with track with the VST plugin, then "Long Horns A" receiving external MIDI keyboard controller input and then routing directly into "Long Horns" parent. Works brilliantly, but I have no control over volume in the individual tracks I record into. You can see there are no controls in "Long Horns A".

How do I get volume controls to appear in these tracks? Thanks!!


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