Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by cjonesnyc » Fri May 06, 2016 8:33 pm

+1 Maybe it'll actually make it into the next release to celebrate this 9 year old feature request.

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 11, 2016 8:26 pm

cjonesnyc wrote:+1 Maybe it'll actually make it into the next release to celebrate this 9 year old feature request.
It seems that there is some kind of explanation for this old part of the MIDI protocol not getting implemented from the start in Live, in that it has been suggested polyphonic aftertouch was out of fashion in controllers since Ensoniq stopped production of their keyboards with polyphonic aftertouch, except in some other high-end controllers, until about 2010. I wasn't aware of this.

Since then this feature is very much needed.
Make some music!

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by lnikj » Thu May 19, 2016 6:34 am

After spending hours trying to understand why poly AT pressure messages from TC-Data on my iPad are not reaching my plugins I discover this thread.

Come on Ableton, lack of support for this is antediluvian!

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by hyperscientist » Thu May 19, 2016 7:24 am

Better to give up hope and move on to other DAW. Seriously, this thread was first started in 2007 and since then Ableton said literarily NOTHING to give us any hope. If you guys would like to wait for Live to catch up before buying aftertouch enabled device (not to mention a new breed of controllers like Seaboard) then you would have waited over a decade in vain already - it's better to just move on and keep producing.

I moved on to Bitwig for playing and recording - not completely yet, because I do most of my stuff in Live still, but who knows where I'll end up. There's less and less incentives keeping me with this outdated DAW.

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by Angstrom » Thu May 19, 2016 9:18 am

That's not the way Ableton works. Telling people what they are doing ahead of time?

They never say anything, they don't give an indication of direction partly because they became transfixed by Steve Jobs
But more often because plans change, circumstances change, release dates change.

It's impossible to say with certainty what they will/ won't be doing ... but it's possible to intuit from the facts
  • Almost all their competitors support poly-aftertouch and/or MPE
  • MPE is the hot shit right now
  • Ableton have produced TWO hardware poly after-touch controllers
  • Ableton held an event which centered around topics such as Poly Aftertouch and MPE
  • At that event they launched a poly-aftertouch hardware device
  • There is another event the same as that scheduled for later this year
the issue they've had in the past with this topic is the representation of poly-aftertouch in the on-screen graphics and how the data is held and managed. If you have any background in programming you know that you can't just add ideas onto code which a million people rely on. Often the idea you want to implement requires some "re-write" of a core piece of code, such as "how are notes and modulation data internally represented". For example : in Ableton's case the Session automation used to be relative to the absolute data of arrangement.
In Live 9 Ableton managed to restructure how session handled automation ... so that now in L9 we can record automation into session clips.
Of course, that functionality took them a lot of time, but now its in place it enables them to do many things that were not previously possible.

Unfortunately Ableton are now a giant company chained to a hundred affiliates and consequently they now move at glacial speeds.
It seems likely that L10 will be released in November 2016. I bet we will see poly-aftertouch and MPE, and a hip looking dude will bang out mad beats on Push2 with it's updated firmware.
Last edited by Angstrom on Wed May 25, 2016 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by hyperscientist » Fri May 20, 2016 9:02 pm

@Angstrom: It’s just that all you do is speculate and what is more - you are stretching the facts to fit the frame of a picture you are painting.

* Almost all their competitors support (poly)aftertouch for years - it’s nothing new. It’s decades old concept btw.
* MPE is hot shit for couple years now. All devices currently on the market with the expception of RISE are couple years old now.
* Push is aftertouch capable, exactly! So now refer that to your point about data structures and UI complications. Are they in place or are they not? How will you explain this?
* “Centered” is a stretch, but I somehow agree, but what about it? They showed a new Push and called it “done”.

Also, comments about data structures are irrelevant if you put it into a frame of over a decade old feature request. This code was surely refactored few times since then.

There were bugs and features that were much bigger must haves than this one and many people bet that it will be released on “that event later this year” and yet it would not happen for years to come.

I own Live Suite license, had a Push v1, now v2, I also own a Seaboard RISE and MPD pads (which are poly aftertouch btw - piece of crap plastic pads for couple bucks support this space tech that we talk about).

People should stop hoping for features to show up in Live and just move to a software that supports their needs right at this moment. I am angry, because waiting for this feature actually caused me to hold on some hardware purchases and I won’t let that happen anymore. If I will like Bitwig enough in course of using it for playing and recording MPE MIDI then I will happily sell all Ableton products I own and never look back. Actually as of late Logic is catching up really quick - amazing instruments (way better) and now a session view! Still feels too old school to me but who knows, surely they'll release a Logix XI in November or some time soon with a modernized look and feel, right? ;-)

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by xer4111 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:58 am

And here we are - 9.7 is in beta and NO mention of much beyond additional features for PUSH, which does support Poly Pressure, but regardless, no mention of poly unless I'm missing something.

I'm really wondering what exactly is the real stop on this? This is SUCH an old thread and SO many hardware controllers now offer support for this very cool midi feature that it's really inexplicable to me why Live doesn't at least offer a pass-through to VIs for PA.

I have recently noticed that certain VIs will ramp up on CPU when channel aftertouch is running through them, and I have to load a MFL midi filter to cut out the Channel messages. Live doesn't have a native midi filter plugin (would be a good idea BTW, as well as a native CC message router so we don't have to depend on MFL for this common feature for live performance).

Anyway, I do see that there is a potential for a LOT of midi data running through the Live system and maybe this is a concern. I would like to have a developer actually SAY what the actual issue is, so we loyal users can at least understand why this long requested feature continues to be basically ignored.

just hoping...good communication with your customer base is REALLY good for business....

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by groumpf » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:23 am


I don't think there is a performance problem to support PAT. Reaper, Logic, Cubase support it.
MIDI was created when computers used 68000 (or less) like Atari so I can't imagine our CoreI5 I7 are not enough to process MIDI streams.
I think there is a design problem in Live with MIDI which makes it difficult to implement. Maybe it's related to the fact that there can't be two identical MIDI notes at the same time in a clip (I read it somewhere). Just a thought.
Linnstrument is now advertising about Biwig compatibility. It's becoming ridiculous.

I would like too some MIDI filter plugin but this seems to be dedicated to MAX (with the Live MIDI limitations...).
A MIDI API also would be great.
-- den makes music

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by xer4111 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:08 am

9.7 is out and it seems to help make Touchable 3 more stable - it was a crashfest with 9.6.2 and became unusable - now with 9.7, it seems pretty stable again. So I can see that the developers are faithful to the goal of making the software stable and usable, which is no small task with the number of various controllers and plugins people are using.

So...without any specific feedback from the developers regarding this years old thread, it's only speculation that there must be something "complex" about implementing poly pressure pass through so that people can at least play supported VIs and have the poly aftertouch be functional.

I just cannot believe that this is so tremendously ignored. Or at least that someone who represents Ableton couldn't give some focus and answer this thread with some kind of specific technical debrief to appease all the people who have expressed interest (and also spent lots of money updating their product over a period of many years) That's just good business sense!

I do my share of programming, and I'm more than aware of the complexities and interactive issues that can occur. And the idea of having a simple pass through of midi information cannot be that complex (or if it is, this is why I'm asking for some kind of feedback).

Obviously, Ableton has become a leader in it's specific area, and can afford to ignore specific sectors of their customer base if it wants to. I guess it wants to.

However, I'm a hold out for this support of Poly Aftertouch (poly pressure) as I really like being able to use it with Arturia CS80V, Reaktor, Arturia Modular V, MiniV, SEM V, and a few others I'm forgetting to mention. The number of hardware controllers now supporting poly pressure makes this a pretty compelling argument to support it, AT LEAST as a pass-through, without needing ANY support for recording or editing the messages.

Okay, that's all for now - I hope somebody at Ableton is actually listening....

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by Tarekith » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:26 am

This thread and MPE requests have not been ignored, Ableton is aware there is high demand for this feature.
Ableton Forum Administrator - Professional Audio Mastering

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by hyperscientist » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:50 pm

Tarekith wrote:This thread and MPE requests have not been ignored, Ableton is aware there is high demand for this feature.
…or do they? ;-)

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by xer4111 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:35 am

Tarekith wrote:This thread and MPE requests have not been ignored, Ableton is aware there is high demand for this feature.
Thanks Erik,

I do appreciate your response here. I think this may be the first response I've seen that has any "official" presence about it. I can't imagine that the developers at Abeton along with senior execs aren't aware of these requests. The word "ignore" doesn't mean "not aware of", but it does mean that one is taking no active measures toward executing any action regarding something.

Again, I appreciate your response. I think perhaps what would be even better, would be a bit of a more "open" dialogue with what is to at least a large degree, a professional community that has spent alot of money on Ableton's products over many years.

Another version of "ignore" is to give no response to something in terms of basic communication. Obviously, these requests are very old and have been voiced by many people who are paying customers. I am completely aware that Ableton, or any company (Apple comes to mine) can choose to disregard anything they want to and be as aloof and secretive as they please about what they are doing with their R&D and with their relations to their user base.

It's just good business to keep a professional community of users "in the loop" about things that are really important to them. Customer loyalty wanes as soon as a viable competitor shows up.

Anyway, the point is, it would really be great if Ableton would give some kind of communication regarding why this particular area of midi implementation isn't being brought forward, given the volume of requests for it.

I love Live - it appears that the 9.7 release improved the stability of the program - bravo! Yet, every time I launch the program, I'm faced with the fact, as a live performer, that I cannot use the juicy effects I'd be able to bring off if I could switch on Poly Pressure on several of my favorite synths.

It's an old thread, but a very good one. Hopefully all this persistence will eventually result in a win for everyone!

Thanks for listening, and thanks again for your response.


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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by vincent_2 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:40 am

Just adding my voice to this feature request. Missing it so much.

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by thomashalp » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:10 pm

yesssss very much looking forward to this,
since i started using ableton almost 10 years ago i've never felt the need to use anything else....
but now i have a roli seaboard and i'm almost thinking about using a different daw...

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Re: Support for Polyphonic Aftertouch

Post by jrhythm6960 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:56 pm


Yes, I'm all for PAT in Ableton as well, as I'll be receiving a VAXMidi soon: Though (I'm assuming) I can record PAT audio tracks into Ableton, correct?

For Seaboard Rise users, have you checked out this video? I don't have one, but maybe it can help -- ... eton-live/

Wondering, given I have a copy of Equator for RISE (to be used as a VST), if I can make the Vaxmidi, Equator and Ableton all work together. I have a feeling that "no" is the answer.

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