Live looping w/ no pedal?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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ultramexican
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Live looping w/ no pedal?

Post by ultramexican » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:23 am

I play guitar and I want to do some live looping with Live.

Is it possible to use my keyboard or game pad as a foot pedal? I am flat broke, so I can't afford a MIDI foot pedal. I'm not looking to do anything super complicated.

It would only need one button, if it could do the following:

1st Press: Start recording Track 1.
2nd Press: Stop recording Track 1, loop Track 1, and arm Track 2 for recording.
3rd Press: Start recording Track 2.
4th Press: Stop recording Track 2, loop Track 2, and arm Track 3 for recording.

If there is a way to make 1 button behave like this, I could put my keyboard on the ground and use the spacebar, or put my game controller on the ground and just hit one of the buttons with my toe.

Can this be done?

pearsonart.com
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Post by pearsonart.com » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:33 pm

I think the short answer is yes.

Search the forum for other threads on looping. You may have to use a third party app for translating and combining midi messages. I can't recall the name of the program.

I've done something very similar using just live and clip automation.

Good luck and please post your results.

itook4lefts
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Post by itook4lefts » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:59 pm

have a look at midistroke on the mac or, whatsit, bomes? on pc.

also, it should be quite easy in an environment like puredata, you'd just need the spacebar (or whatever) to send a midi note with the first press, then three notes with the second etc. how many tracks would you use? what would you do when you reach that limit?

ultramexican
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Post by ultramexican » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:57 pm

Okay, after jumping through several hoops and endless searching on various forums, I got it to work.

I am using a simple 8-button gamepad that uses one of the communication ports in my computer (not USB) and it shows up in my device manager as a Genius G08 Device. It's just a gamepad that looks like a PS2 controller.

Here's what I had to do:

1. Download a program called Rejoice which can translate joystick/gamepad buttons into MIDI commands.

http://www.fireballtrailers.com/rejoice/

Help documentation/setup for Rejoice: http://www.fireballtrailers.com/rejoice/help.html

2. Download a program called Midi Yoke which emulates MIDI ports on your computer so that the data from Rejoice has somewhere to go through.

http://www.midiox.com/

- Go to midiox.com
- from the menu on the left click Midi Yoke
- click download
- select appropriate OS
- install (requires restart)

3. Download a program called Bome's MIDI Translator which receives the MIDI commands and translates them into keystrokes on your keyboard.

http://www.bome.com/midi/translator/[/b]

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Okay, once you have those programs installed, here is the setup.

1. Run Rejoice. Your joystick should use the Microsoft PC-joystick driver. If not, select appropriate driver. Now we have to chose a MIDI out, so we need to route the inputs from the gamepad into a virtual MIDI port that we created with Midi Yoke. So at the bottom of Rejoice click "Route MIDI" and select one of the Midi Yoke ports. (I chose MIDI Yoke NT: 1)

2. Run Bome's Midi Translator. In the top menu click on Midi In and select the MIDI Yoke port you chose for Rejoice's output. You don't need a MIDI out (the "out" will be virtual keystrokes).

Bome uses "translators" which are behaviors you want Bome to perform after hitting a button the gamepad. You're gonna want to map one translator per button, max. So click add translator, name it, press enter.

Double-click the new translator and set up Incoming. The incoming signal will be the button press, but thanks to Rejoice it will get to Bome's as a MIDI signal. Click Capture MIDI and hold one of the buttons down on the gamepad. A value should appear in the field. Without letting go of the button, uncheck Capture MIDI.

Now to set up the Outgoing. Click the outgoing tab and then the Key Stroke tab. In this field you can tell Bome what keyboard presses you want to happen when the appropriate gamepad button is pressed. When you're done click Apply and Close.

itook4lefts
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Post by itook4lefts » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:01 pm

cool. good you're up and running. so are you using different buttons for each step, or did you work out a way to do everything with one button?

that rejoice app looks good - shame it's windows only

ultramexican
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Post by ultramexican » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:36 pm

Well it's a gamepad that looks like a PS2 controller. But the X, O, Triangle, Square buttons are labeled 1, 2, 3, 4.

So I assigned each button to the launching of a track.

I arm all tracks for recording, then with my gamepad I can press button 1 to start recording a clip in that track and press that same button to stop recording and loop.

I need to press a different button to begin recording on a different track.

The Phat Conductor
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Post by The Phat Conductor » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:54 pm

ill gates aka the phat conductor
producer, performer + ableton/music teacher

http://www.illgates.com

ultramexican
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Post by ultramexican » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:58 pm

Thanks, conductor. I checked out the thread, but it seems that with that method one does not have control over the length of the loops. :?

In live looping, I like the idea of recording the first loop as a chord progression of say 32 measures. And then have the capability of inserting 2, 4, 8, 16 measure loops on-the-fly as inspiration hits me.

Having to conform to a pre-determind loop length forces you to think inside the box rather than out.

The Phat Conductor
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Post by The Phat Conductor » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:02 am

you can make them however long you like. the idea is to sequence them into clips so that you don't have to think about it when you're performing.

you could make one clip that takes a 32 bar loop, and then layers up a bunch of other loops of whatever length you like. it's really up to you as a programmer.
ill gates aka the phat conductor
producer, performer + ableton/music teacher

http://www.illgates.com

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