How to make Abl.6 incredible tool for MIDI controllers

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live

Do you also wish ableton was more friendly for external MIDI controllers?

No need to improve this
1
3%
It is missing some features
6
16%
Yeah, it needs some love and care
9
24%
This is what I am missing the most! and wishing for every day
21
57%
 
Total votes: 37

astaplatz
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How to make Abl.6 incredible tool for MIDI controllers

Post by astaplatz » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:00 pm

I've been programming a huge environment in Max/MSP to controll Ableton in live situations, however I am not able to avoid using the mouse or some hot keys to do certain things; this is a really big shame. Here is my wish list for MIDI/remote implementation:

Some of these are repeats from my other post "my wishlist for the ableton 6 tooth fairy" - sorry about that, but I repeat them here for consistency of this topic.

1. Allow track select via MIDI

2. Allow clip/track view via MIDI [the toggle view between track effects and clip settings]

3. Allow clip select of [active] track to MIDI [so that I can tweak a clips parameters]

4. Allow "show plugin window" [the wrench icon] to be MIDI assignable

5. Have a preference setting toggle for "set focus = true" to plugins. What I mean is, if I turn a plugin on/off or open its wrench, please allow me to have th screen jump to it so I can see it.

6. Allow plugins to be colapsable to be less wide, as it stands some of ther ableton plugins - like reverb, are so iincredible wide they occupy my whole screen width. I would just like to see which plugins are on/offf on my screen, and use MIDI to actually control the parameters.

7. Allow me to move MIDI/KEY mappings when in assign more with the mouse [dragable asignments, copy/cut/paste]

8. Allow me to save/export/import MIDI assignments to a text file

9. Allow me to edit or manually configure my MIDI via the screen and keyboard so I don't have to allways send it the mapping via listen. This would be handy becuase sometimes I send a sequence of MIDI via my controller in my live setups.

10. Allow clip tweaks [transpose, beat mode, loop in/out] to be track specific instead of 'which ever clip is selected' [so each track's active clip would have its own MIDI mapping]

11. Have Ableton send MIDI out remote when the assignment is changed on screen. In other words, if I have set up plugin 1 to be on/off on MIDI note 12. Then when I use the mouse to turn it off, it should send that midi note to the external controller to tell it its mode is now off [so that the external controller can turn its assosiated LED off]

12. program changes, why can't I use them??? All plugins from ableton should respond to program changes, especially things like the impulse, simpler etc. but also all effects. It's shamefull that I can't use them to change through sounds, kits in a live situation - without this feature it means I cant use the impulse effectivly live at all... I seriously don't ever want to have to use the mouse and screen to browse folders on stage, and I want to be able to automate the changes

13. Enevelope-saved-states: envelope that are set in clips can be used by other clips if you drag a clip onto the filename section, it would be fantastic if Ableton had a new folder/function called "envelope-states" where I can drag clips into. A clip dragged into this folder would not save the clip, but all the assosiated envelopes. Then via a program change [see 12.] or via mouse dragging I could then have the currently active clip [see 2. 3.] be assigned a previously stored envelope setting made before the gig. The possabilities of recalling envelopes easily is immense, don't over look it!

14. Allow an external device to map to any session x,y coordinate via an establlished refernce protocol. in other words, if I send ableton <access clip // X = 12 // Y= 4> then I should always view track 4, row 12 in the session, thus eliminating the need to map every-single session box via MIDI and also makign it possible to recortd and recall clips entirely via an external system [max/msp, reaktor, controllers etc.] ; if this is well implemented mind blowing interfaces can be developed for your applicaiton.

15. allow select clip instead of always trigger clip via MIDI, so I can select a clip via wish 14. instead of always triggering a clip, you could either just add an optional parameter to the string in wish 1.4 <xs clip / X / y / select=true> or have it be a seperate message: <selectclip / X / Y >. This is really essential to point 14.

16. allow quantitization settings to be track specific instead of clip specific and each track should have a seperate MIDI controler assignable. This would make quantitize actually useable!

Not MIDI but still essentiual improvements for live performance workflow in live situations:

1. Allow a different record mode so that when I hit stop/play on a recorded clip it doesn't start looping from the -start- of the recording to the end of it, but rather sets the loop point X number of bars back from the point I stopped the recording. Example: If I am playing keyboards for the last 4 minutes and I like the last 8 bars I just played, when I hit stop record/play with my foot, it should create a loop which goes 8 bars back from the end of the recording to the end of it. Obviously I would set the loop length via MIDI and it would be changeable in real time [so end-X bars back] - combine with MIDI wish 16. to allow me to have seperate loop lengths on seperate tracks via 1 knob per track. This feature would revolutionize how one records since it means I can effectivly ALWAYS have record on and just keep picking the "best" moments and let them loop instantly without having to stop the recording, then use the mouse and "search" for the good bits [which are nearly always at the end of the recording I just made - right folks!?]

2. Add a rapid bounce feature - so that if I have some nice effects, envelopes and tweaks on a track I can bounce it down to a permanent audio file on the SAME track. Since I understand this is hard to do for the processor I would propose that from the time you press the button, it would play the clip one entire full length of its duration/loop length and record it. Then once the realtime recording of the loop was done [behind the scenes] it would create a new clip with the recording in the next available slot in that track and the program should then turn off ALL plugins on that track for you - thus clearing up CPU power. If this feature would be implemented it would revolutionize everything since i can add effects and processes like mad [combine with envelope assignemnts request in MIDI .13 for even more possabilities] and then bounce it down to a file and free up processing power in one simple press of a button, and I'm sure it's possible. At the mooment for me to achieve this I have to create two tracks for every actual track, one for playing, one for recording, and then move the recorded files back with the mouse after they are made - this sucks up CPU and precious screen space, complicates the MIDI assignments like crazy and makes it impossible for me to just 'jam' intuitivly since I have to be very concerned about what is on what track and whether I can record what I am hearing or which track it is on... too much brain-maintenenace is being waisted...

Ok thats enough for now. I hope you will find some of these suggestions for MIDI-live control to your liking,
:wink:

Seb.

ryansupak
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Post by ryansupak » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:39 am

What I really hope to see - and I don't think it should just be Ab. who collaborates on this - is some standards that MIDI controllers and software use to talk to each other with.

It could even use the standard MIDI protocol since it is already ubiquitous (notes, CCs, program change, sysex, etc...), but somebody should start a standardization committee to get some sort of common grammar in place. Otherwise, in 5 years, we'll have each manufacturer going in its own direction and it will all be a huge pain -- you'll never be quite sure what works with what.

$0.01,
rs

peeddrroo
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Post by peeddrroo » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:47 am

your point #1 is already implemented: in session view, click on the track name and map a button to it. done.

astaplatz
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Post by astaplatz » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:17 am

indeed, sorry about that, i think i got by wish bullet mixed up in my head with #3.
=-)

let me replace #1 with what I would have liked to say:

1. [replacement] allow the show track/clip window to be MIDI assignable [and not just hotkey] [that expand/contract arrow on the bottom right of the screen]

jksuperstar
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Post by jksuperstar » Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:21 pm

ryansupak wrote:What I really hope to see - and I don't think it should just be Ab. who collaborates on this - is some standards that MIDI controllers and software use to talk to each other with.

It could even use the standard MIDI protocol since it is already ubiquitous (notes, CCs, program change, sysex, etc...), but somebody should start a standardization committee to get some sort of common grammar in place. Otherwise, in 5 years, we'll have each manufacturer going in its own direction and it will all be a huge pain -- you'll never be quite sure what works with what.

$0.01,
rs
They have, it's called Mackie Control Protocol. Although, it's just not an *open* standard, so you can't take any controller and make it compatible. I think you have to pay mackie to get access to the full spec. But browse around here, some have already poked at it and figured much of the important stuff out.

Nod
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Post by Nod » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:54 pm

Not entirely OT, as Astaplatz's cool post has raised it in his point no.8, but personally what I'd like the Abe's to implement is a recall-able VSTi CC mapping system as it would save TONS of work, creativity and smooth the workflow no end. For example: you load your VSTi, create your CC mapping, save it as a file (let's call it synth.cc for want of a better term) - now every time you load that synth Live prompts you if you want to load your default mapping. Click yes - Live loads synth.cc and your instrument controller is immediately ready to go. Think of it like Native Instruments Kore but for ANY controller if you will.

At the moment, if your me at least lol, you load your synth, spend 2 minutes rushing backwards and forwards across the studio assigning parameters to knobs, ribbons and sliders and then lay down your part. Then the inspiration hits again....that part would sound great if there were three other synths all doing random cross sweeps along with it....cue much jogging around the studio again....

Ableton Live - keeping lazy ass musicians physically fitter :lol:

forge
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Post by forge » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:20 am

havent read all that but I just cam to feature wishlists to add another bump for one of my frequent requests: midi controller templates - or a file you can save that saves all your controller assignments

ryansupak
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Post by ryansupak » Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:44 pm

I'm aware of Mackie Control, but thank you for mentioning it.

What I've not seen, though, is any document describing design standards for that protocol -- instead, mostly just reverse-engineered litanies of what CC responds to what, in a given software. (Do you know of a document describing the hardware handshake process, by any chance?)

I'm imagining a formal, documented, free, addition to the MIDI standard...OSC or HID could be a way forward but that would make just about every keyboard on the market out of date, or in need of an additional software translation layer.

rs

atom_b
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Post by atom_b » Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:22 pm

Live needs Open Sound Control. MIDI is crap. However I voted for love and care :-). So Mackie protocol would do...

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astaplatz
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Post by astaplatz » Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:52 am

Sorry to post to my own thread but I noticed a vaguerness in my first post. Number 16. refers to BEAT quantitization, not MIDI quant. In other words, the quant of when I press a button [like play clip] and not when I play a note in. The reason this is important to be track specific is because I would like to be able to jam clip performances on some tracks and in real time manipulate the beat quant grid - when I am done makign it sound awkward, id like to be able to reposition tracks back to normal grid inedpendantly of each other. Ofcourse this is not the most vital of my list., but it is a limitation.

MIDI Note playing quant is fine if its globally set - and doesn't need [in my opinion] to be track specific. Ofcourse when i use ableton I am the only musician entering notes at any given moment... but i supose it would be possible that a band could use ableton together to one computer; in that case maybe it would make sense to have track specific MIDI quant.... but thats a different, perhaps as interesting thread! [how to make ableton live the perfect jamming tool for your rock band... haha]

d-rektional
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Post by d-rektional » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:23 pm

Nod wrote:... what I'd like the Abe's to implement is a recall-able VSTi CC mapping system as it would save TONS of work, creativity and smooth the workflow no end. For example: you load your VSTi, create your CC mapping, save it as a file (let's call it synth.cc for want of a better term) - now every time you load that synth Live prompts you if you want to load your default mapping. Click yes - Live loads synth.cc and your instrument controller is immediately ready to go. ...
Me three. how good would it be to load an operator or your fav vsti patch and instantly ready to tweak.

rupps
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interesting stuff

Post by rupps » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:42 am

Very interesting stuff.. this man knows what he's talking about! Looks like Live needs some SysEx for satisfying the remote-wizards needs!

I would add another wish, not that technical or advanced, but very useful: A "MIDI DEVICES RESCAN BUTTON" ... sometime USB controllers (and its associated MIDI port) vanish for many reasons, not related to Live. But it is a real pain to have to restart Live for just detecting a MIDI port you know it's there !!!!!!!!!!!

warabunga
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Post by warabunga » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:23 pm

yes you are right... it's lacking in midi capabilities...

but then again, maybe it would be easier to implement OSC directely?
don't know much about nothing... maybe..

cheers
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quandry
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Post by quandry » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:20 pm

Nod wrote:Not entirely OT, as Astaplatz's cool post has raised it in his point no.8, but personally what I'd like the Abe's to implement is a recall-able VSTi CC mapping system as it would save TONS of work, creativity and smooth the workflow no end. For example: you load your VSTi, create your CC mapping, save it as a file (let's call it synth.cc for want of a better term) - now every time you load that synth Live prompts you if you want to load your default mapping. Click yes - Live loads synth.cc and your instrument controller is immediately ready to go. Think of it like Native Instruments Kore but for ANY controller if you will.

At the moment, if your me at least lol, you load your synth, spend 2 minutes rushing backwards and forwards across the studio assigning parameters to knobs, ribbons and sliders and then lay down your part. Then the inspiration hits again....that part would sound great if there were three other synths all doing random cross sweeps along with it....cue much jogging around the studio again....

Ableton Live - keeping lazy ass musicians physically fitter :lol:
word, I think there should be controller mapping presets on effects and devices. They should bring back the effect and instrument presets onto the devices themselves and add another dropdown arrow to select controller mapping presets...
Dell Studio XPS 8100 Windows 7 64-bit, 10 GB RAM. RME Multiface, Avalon U5 & M5, Distressor, Filter Factory, UC33e, BCR-2000, FCB1010, K-Station, Hr 824 & H120 sub, EZ Bus, V-Drums, DrumKat EZ, basses, guitars, pedals... http://www.ryan-hughes.net

hoffman2k
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Post by hoffman2k » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:03 am

Buy a remote Sl, get more MIDI features in Live :roll:

We need our own automapping protocol :wink:

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