Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

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wiffbi
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Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:17 pm

Hi all,

I finally managed to fix my biggest gripe with Ableton Live: there is no way to control the currently selected tack with global key commands (at least none that I know of). What I mean (and missed the most from Logic) is e.g. hitting CTRL-S to solo the currently selected track; or CTRL-A to arm/record-enable, etc.

I have written Image Selected Track Control to do just that. It is a little app for Mac OS X that listens to certain global key commands and translates them to MIDI messages, which are then interpreted by a custom MIDI Remote Script to control the currently selected track.

At the moment you can control the following parameters via keyboard:
  • (de)activate/mute (CTRL-D)
  • solo (CTRL-S)
  • arm/record-enable (CTRL-A)
  • Volume (CTRL-UP and CTRL-DOWN)
  • Pan (CTRL-LEFT and CTRL-RIGHT)
The project is located at http://stc.wiffbi.com/. I hope it works for you and with this I can give back something to this great community by releasing it for free – although donations are welcome (as that would fund my Live 8 upgrade :oops: ).

Dear Windows Users: I am sorry, this is Mac-only at the moment. The MIDI Remote Script isn't the problem as this being Python-scripts should work on Windows too, but the app to translate global keyboard shortcuts into MIDI messages is Mac-only and I do not know neither any Windows programming nor a tool, that does just that: translate global keyboard shortcuts into MIDI messages. If you know one, let me know!

Update June 7, 2010: It works on Live 7! And Windows-users: the MIDI Remote Script works on Windows too, so the current track can be controlled via MIDI. You need a MIDI-Controller or software like Bome’s MIDI Translator Pro for keyboard-shortcuts.
Last edited by wiffbi on Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigbadotis
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by bigbadotis » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:32 pm

Ay... where were MIDI remote scripts back when I was trying to do the same thing for Live 1 :)

Nice job!

wiffbi
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:51 am

Thanks! Glad you like it, especially since you are the creator of the cool midiStroke (I have to admit I haven't used controlAid, but I added Undo via MIDI thanks to midiStroke "back in the day")…

Yes, MIDI Remote Scripts are pretty cool once you find your way around them… The only thing I could not find out, is how to change the Monitoring Mode of a track. But I rarely use that and the most important for me were the arm-, solo- and mute-buttons…

joe.cavers
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Post by joe.cavers » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:04 am

Dude this is awesome! All we need now is a way to have a set of knobs that control devices on the selected track, and a way to change between devices on the selected track. That'd be incredible :)

JC

wiffbi
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:25 am

Yeah, that is a good idea concerning the devices control. When I have more time, I will dig deeper in there, but for now, I just thought about what the key commands might look like:

CTRL is for key-combos, that control of the mixer of the currently selected track:
The existing key commands CTRL-A, CTRL-S, etc. stay the same.

CTRL-<1-9>: select track 1 to 9, 0 selects Master
CTRL-SHIFT-<1-9>: select send 1 to 9, 0 selects Master

CTRL-SHIFT-<q-i> (the keys below 1-8): turn send 1-8 UP on current track
CTRL-SHIFT-<a-k>: turn send 1-8 DOWN on current track

Problem here though is, I cannot make it like when controlling pan and volume, that SHIFT makes increments smaller/more precise as SHIFT is already used. So instead of using SHIFT as a modifier for Sends just ALT? So CTRL-ALT-<1-9> selects Sends and CTRL-ALT-<q-i> changes send levels of the current track – and CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-<q-i> makes smaller increments. Phew, what a key-command! ;)



ALT is for device navigation and control:

ALT-LEFT: select previous device
ALT-SHIFT-LEFT: select first device
ALT-RIGHT: select next device
ALT-SHIFT-RIGHT: select last device
(I do not know how this navigation work inside of racks, e.g. if you have to jump into a rack and get a new listing of devices or if the rack is "flattened" – but we'll see how it goes; maybe we need ALT-SHIFT-UP and DOWN to jump into a rack, I don't know)

ALT-<1-9,0>: select device 1 to 10
ALT-<q-i>: CC 1-8 up (SHIFT as usual makes increments more precise)
ALT-<a-k>: CC 1-8 down (SHIFT as usual makes increments more precise)
ALT-<y/z-;>: BTN 1-8 toggle
ALT-UP: BANK UP?
ALT-DOWN: BANK DOWN?



I have actually no idea whether these conflict with some Ableton internal key-commands, but it's a starting point. Whether that is actually possible to implement, is also another question… But dreaming is allowed. :)

Let me know, what you think.

robopants
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by robopants » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:00 pm

Tried it with OSX 10.5.8 and Ableton Live 7 but i didnt got it to work. The midi-indicator flashes when i press ctrl-a, ctrl-s and ctrl-d but nothing hapens. I checked with midimonitor that the virtual port outputs mididata and it seems to work so the trouble must be with the script in Live. Anybody else got it working on Live 7?

wiffbi
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:53 am

Hm, I am sorry, that does not sound good. I hoped, the MIDI Remote Scripts did not differ that much in Live from version 7 to 8. The thing is, I have no access to Live 7 (not even an old demo) so I cannot test it. :(

delicioso
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by delicioso » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:46 pm

Thanks. This looks very useful. I know the same thing can also be done without using any MIDI remote script by just emulating Tranzport control surface with any midi controller:
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?t=74364

But the Tranzport emulation requires you to use MIDI channel 1. So I guess this script has the advantage of being able to use any MIDI channel. Any other advantages?

wiffbi
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:03 am

delicioso wrote:Thanks. This looks very useful. I know the same thing can also be done without using any MIDI remote script by just emulating Tranzport control surface with any midi controller:
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?t=74364

But the Tranzport emulation requires you to use MIDI channel 1. So I guess this script has the advantage of being able to use any MIDI channel. Any other advantages?
Thanks for the link. I have looked into existing implementations and thought of the Mackie one but it was a bit to complicated for my needs (the App, that translates the keystrokes would have to keep state of a lot of things, that now are simply handled by Live itself).

To your question concerning advantages, I guess in the current status: no. I have a version locally going that allows momentary control, so pressing a key a little longer switches it into momentary mode, so when releasing the key, it toggles back to the original state. But that would be also possible with the Tranzport Control MIDI implementation.

But there is also a pan/volume/send1-4 control via keyboard, that allows holding down a key to increase/decrease the corresponding value. I am not sure if that would be possible with the Tranzport's Data-Wheel – or by faking it via keycommands. Another thing is in the local build as well that the Tranzport does not allow: scene navigation with global key commands (so session view does have to be in focus for your cursor keys to work) and also some limited device control – although the latter is very limited as of Ableton's documentation or the lack thereof (they told me to wait for Max4Live). Anyway I felt controlling devices through global key commands isn't that usable.

So when I have the time, I might release an update, that adds a few useful features…

lll
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by lll » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:24 pm

Works with 10.6.2, Live 8.1 (except shift + ctrl + d not working)

Thank you so much !!!!!!

garyboozy
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by garyboozy » Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:03 pm

thanks for this, works great.

wiffbi
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:43 pm

Thanks guys! This reminds me to polish my latest version, which among other improvements offers momentary toggles. Hopefully I will find the time during the holidays…

pcaudio
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by pcaudio » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:36 pm

Hi:
Te Bome's midi translator (http://www.bome.com/products/miditranslator) is an windows/Mac application that translate keyboard to a midi control. I hope the you can share midi messages for Selected track control.
Thanks for your excelent contribution.

wiffbi
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:53 pm

Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by wiffbi » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:53 am

Hi there, sorry, it took me some time to get back to you.
So concerning the MIDI-messages used by Selected Track Control, there are only a few.

arm/record enable: Note On, Ch1, 0 127 (that is C-2)
solo: Note On, Ch1, 1 127 (that is C#-2)
mute: Note On, Ch1, 2 127 (that is D-2)

All of the above work with multiple tracks by sending a Note Off-event with the data-byte having 0 instead of 127 (which is velocity being 0 so "Note Off"). So e.g. to arm multiple tracks you send:
Note Off, Ch1, 0 0

volume up: CC, Ch1, 7 5 (MIDI CC-7 is really volume and usually absolute, but I send relative CCs. For finer control send 1 instead of 5 as increment value).
volume down: CC, Ch1, 7 127 (as written above, I abuse standard volume CC as a relative CC)

Panning works exactly like volume, but uses MIDI CC-10 (default for Pan).
pan right: CC, Ch1, 10 5 (for finer increments use 1)
pan left: CC, Ch1, 10 123 (for finer increments use 127)


That’s about it. I hope it helps and let me know, whether you got it working with Bome’s midi translator – and/or if you have any improvements! :)

srcodling
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Re: Control selected track \w keyboard shortcuts

Post by srcodling » Sat May 08, 2010 7:44 pm

Hi,

This sounds like exactly what I want to do, but I'm on Windows and want to try it with Bome's... How can I access the Midi Remote Script, though? I've tried downloading and converting the dmg file from your website, but I can't seem to get at the files in that image...

Any help would definitely be appreciated.

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