Tutorial: Ableton live (7) - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
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Tutorial: Ableton live (7) - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

;------------------- Preparation. -------------------;

are you also tired about the limitations of ableton live´s midi mapping?
isnt your controller doing what you want it to do out of the box?

no worries, i hear ya. this is exactly where i was a few months back, so i decided to expand my setup a bit and have my controller work for me, instead of the other way around. in this small tutorial i am going to show you how i got my [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
to work as i wanted it to. surely, getting your right setup is a hassle and a continous work in progress but this might give an idea of where to go.

the first thing you wanna do is to figure out what you think you want your controller to do for you. for me, some key points were as follows (broken down into two pieces, 1: the things i have to have no matter what, and 2: things id like to have but i can live without.

so heres my list then:

;--------------- 1. things i must have. --------;

* clip and scene navigation.
* open/close browser in order to add clips and tracks on the fly.
* add/delete stop button.
* duplicate clip.
* delete clip.
* the ability to resample any outgoing audio into a new clip in the following scene at any given time, cued either A or B.

;--------------2. things on the wishlist. ------------;

* complete browser navigation.
* show/hide devices/clip information.
* add/delete tracks.
* copy/paste clip wherever i see fit.

;--------------------------------------------------;

yeah, i have more then that, but these are the ones that i could come up with in an instant.

now, a quick look in the manuals shortcut key sections tells us a bit of what we want to know, so lets try to note down the shortcuts we want. im not going to include this really in there, since thats all to each own, so note down the shortcuts you want, and continue reading.

done?
ok, good.

we now have a small idea of what we want to do and how we would do it in our qwerty keyboard. unfortunately, midi controllers doesnt send keystrokes, but midi messages.
so what we need is a translator.

since im on windows, im going with [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
, but there are similar alternatives for osx aswell.

we would also need a virtual midi cable. in osx you have the iac driver, but for windows you need to head out on the net and download one. my cable of choice is the [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
. download, install (both your translator and your cable), reboot and read on.

now we have what we need to start making our dream setup.

edit: something out of interest, as either a replacement (ehhmm..) or a supplement to this setup: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


100+ convenient shortcuts for your keyboard. yep, the keyboard we emulate, see where im going with this? ^^

Last edited by gbsr; 06-04-2008 at 11:53 PM..

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Old 07-03-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

;----------------------- Setting it all up. ------------------;

so you have your drivers, and your translators and your keyboard list all jotted down

on a peice of paper (or notepad perhaps? heh.), and all is good.

now what?

well, let us make a few translators so navigate around in the scenes, shall we?
firstly, we need to open up our translator and select which IO configuration we want.

heres how my inputs and outputs are set in bomes:
now we have to tell live what inputs and outputs we want live to use.
heres my inputs and outputs for live:
what this does then is that my translator is capturing the midi input from my hercules

mk2, and sending out the translated messages to midi yoke 1, which then is captured by

ableton live and treated as any midi controller.

a small notes about this: firstly, if you send and recieve midi on same yoke, you wll

get midi feedback followed by a pretty definite crash. so dont do that.
secondly, if you want your midi controller to have all its buttons and whatnots woking

without any translation you have to set midi thru in the options for bomes midi

translator, otherwise it will only send out what it is capturing and translating and

nothing else. also make sure that the controller you are sending to bomes is NOT

sending beeing used in the io configuration for live (as in, not selected).

made your desicion? ok, lets go!

like i said, the first thing i really wanted was to be able to control

left/right/up/down along the scenes in the session view. so go ahead and make a new

translator by clicking the big + sign on the buttons at the top.
name it UP (or whatever you fancy really), then double click it, and you should have a

screen like this:
check the capture midi checkbox, move a controller (i choose a relative endless

encoder, sending 127 on one way and 1 on the other), and select which range you want

to map. in my case, 7F which is hexadecimal for saying 127 or full velocity.

in my case it went B0 34 7F, which translates to channel 1, controller 52 at 127

velocity. now click the outgoing tab and select "Key Stroke Emulation" in the

drop-down menu, click the text field, then the up arrow (remember? we wanted it to go

up), click apply.

you should have something like this:
now, go ahead and do the same for all arrow keys, that is, up,down,left and right, and

make sure that none of the translators are sending on the same controller, nor that

any is sending an omni value (any value that is). so if you have accidently set a

controller to send an omni value, your incoming tab will show something like this:
the reason this is wrong is because with this setting it will execute the keystroke no

matter which way or what value you send out from this controller. messy to control

things then, indeed.

so now we have a very basic arrow key simulation, go ahed, open up live and test to

see whether it works or not. if it doesnt, go through the steps again and see if you

missed something.

you should now have something like this:
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yeah. thats working nicely that. good. now lets add some other things in here, such as

a way to add a clip in your current selected track, so that its read to play upon

scene launch.

say what? yeah, ill show you why in a sec.
first off, one thing is to set up live so that whenever you launch a scene it

automaticly jumps to the next scene. its set to this by default even i believe.
if not, set it up (record, warp and launch settings).

then we need to add two more translators, which will work as an on/off button, so

make sure you have a button that sends out either off or on in your controller.

the on (127 velocity then) should go as follows: ctrl+alb+b+alt+left+left.
what this does is the following:

ctrl+alt+b = open browser.
alt+left+left = select focus one step to the left (ie: move from master track to track

selections, or move from track selections into the browser.
now the beauty with this thing that live doesnt care where you are currently located,

so if you have tracks focused already, it will still just jump to the browser and

ignore the last left arrow key.

next is to make the off button like so: ctrl+c+alt+right+ctrl+alt+b+ctrl+v

this does the following:
ctrl+c = copies the selected clip in the browser.
alt+right = move back to your previous cursor selection (track view only).
ctrl+alt+b = closes the browser again.
and finally ctrl+v = paste the copied clip in the clip slot.

below is a video of the browser + nav control in action. you can also see how the the

browser jumps back to your previous cursor selection then adding a clip. useful to say

the least.

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now, you should add an enter button for lauching scenes and you have a (very basic)

navigation + live performance situation.

edit: you could also map the master play button to your controller directly, as this way the scene highlight will always keep itself in the center of the screen (if space allows).
also for the record, theres a launch track button hidden in the map editor incase you wanna use your keyboard to launch clips no matter what scene you are in, ie scene 12, track 2, launch clip with "q", scene 58, track 2 launch clip on track 2 with "q" aswell. /edit.

in the next part of this tutorial however, we are going to take it even further,

adding A/B cue resampling abilities and some other nifty things.

in the meantime, keep thinking of what you want your controller to do for you, and

play around with the translator, and perhaps join their forums for some tips and

tricks.

Last edited by gbsr; 11-06-2008 at 04:05 PM..

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Old 07-03-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

right. the next part will be about a bit more advanced shortcuts and uses for them, but until then i figured i could give you my current list im using for my hercules.
before that, heres a little video showing you the jump to master/resample and add/delete stop button ones, which is VERY handy to say the least. perhaps an awful demonstration, but it proves the point anyways hehe.

video:
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list and the corresponding shortcuts.
(excluding racks and whatnots, obviously).
Quote:
note:for my shortcuts to work as explained it is important to set "select next scene on launch" to ON.
also set "start recording on scene launch" to OFF, this is so that our resample tracks doesnt continously record the output, but rather records when we tell them too.

both of these settings can be found under the preferences menu -> record warp launch.
they are categorized in three different categories, navigational, handy and special.
mainly because it makes it easier to read :p

the syntax is as follows.
shortcut name: keyboard shortcut macro
explanation (if needed):
example scenario (if needed):


-------------------------------------------------------------------------;
navigational shortcuts:
explanation: easy shortcut macros for navigation.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------;


up: uparrow
down: downarrow
left: left arrow
right: right<arrow
enter/launch clip/scene: enter

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
handy shorts.
explanation: these shortcuts are very very handy when jamming about/making quick arrangements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------;


duplicate clip: ctrl+d

explanation: duplicates clip. mostly for arrangement purposes, rather then live playing.


delete/delete clip: delete

explanation: deletes the currently selected clip/device/whatever. pretty selfexplanatory why its nifty to have as a shortcut.


jump back to the master track: end, end

explanation: quickly jump back to the master track to continue to launch scenes after a quick jamsession.

Quote:
note that if you are located on the send channel focus area it will first jump to the master track, then it will jump to scene 1. this is also very handy from time to time (trust me on that heh).
remove stop button: ctrl+e

explanation: removes stopbutton.

Quote:
example scenario 1:
if you are to launch scene 5 in your current set, and you realise that the clip on track 4 would fit perfectly with scene 5,
navigate to track 4, hit delete stopbutton,hit jump back to master, move one down (to get on the right scene count) then launch scene.
neat.

example scenario 2: if you are currently playing back scene 5, and scene 6 contains
two clips only which by chance also happens to fit perfectly with scene 5, AND scene 15
(so that both scenes fits with scene 15), which btw only contains a drumloop, delete the stopbuttons on scene 15 on the tracks that contains the clips on scene 5 and 6.
even handier.


up one scene, then launch it:
uparrow, enter, uparrow

explanation: i normally use this to jump back on the sessionview "arrangement" both for clipstyle jams (especially with removed stopbuttons in the scenes), and for complete scene jams. two presses after each other and it will jump up two scenes instead. handy to say the least.

down two scenes, then launch: downarrow, downarrow, enter, uparrow

explanation: same as above but at the other way, also its very very handy to quickly come back on your current sessionview arranged set after some freestyle jamming.
again, do note that pressing the button twice performs the same macro twice, which means that you can jump 4 scenes in less then one third of a second.
how handy is that?
really?


Quote:
ofcourse you can delete the arrow after the enter in these two if you dont want to stay on the same scene it lands then launches, but for me i like it this way.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------;
special: coming later :p
explanation: special macros that performs tasks otherwise impossible and/or hard to do in a smooth way in a live performance situation, and/or macros that makes your life in general just easier.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------;

Last edited by gbsr; 06-04-2008 at 11:37 PM..

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Old 07-03-2008, 02:01 PM   #4
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

-----------------------------------------------------------;
tutorial part two:
-----------------------------------------------------------;

-----------------------------------------------------------;
the resampler.
-----------------------------------------------------------;
so. now that weve set up some pretty basic navigional macros and some
thats actually good to have in a live situation, how about we actually
harness all this power we recently just found out about?

how, you ask?

well, for example. the resample macro is great to have, so lets make two of those right now.
one for cue A and one for cue B.

with that said, make sure that you have two free audio channels at the farmost right of your
mixerstrip.

set both to audio from: resampling.
like so:

then you make the actual macro in bomes using these two macros:

Quote:
resample a: left left enter right right
resample b: left enter right
choose your two buttons and map those two translators there, and youre good to go.
so now weve got our audio resamplers, and depending on how you route them, and
what level your master/incoming audio is to you might want to spend some time
with an utility plugin to get the right audio level.

for me, my current live set sends the resamplers back into the fx channel,
so i can reglitch them even further and resample the resampled glitched output,
so i need to boost the signal a bit.

now that thats out of the way, lets take a look at resampling midi.
trust me, its mad nice to have, once you get used to it.
there are a few caveats with a resampled midi channel yoke solution, but the end-
result is way worth it. just takes some time getting used to.

here we go.

---------------------------------------------------------------------;
Remote Midi sampling.
---------------------------------------------------------------------;

its quite funny how live is limited so that you cannot record automation in session view,
when youll see just exactly how easy it is to setup if you have midi yoke installed.

its actually ridiculously simple.
first off, go into the preferences menu,
then set up your io so that midi yoke 2 is set at "remote" on the input (remember that your bomes translator is sending yoke 1 so dont use that), and "track" at the output.
like so:

thats it.

all we need now is to set up the tracks for it
you think thats the hard part? no, not really. its ridiculously simple aswell.

make a midi track, arm it (or monitor to in), set the input to where you want (since i have 3 different controllers, ill set mine on "All Inputs", feel free to choose one controller/channel if you want, its all up to you),

then select midi yoke 2 as output.
thats it.
make a bomes macro for it and you have yourself a midi cc/note sampler!
yep, it loops intime aswell

ive placed mine straight infront of the audio resamplers, theres two reasons for this:
the first reason is that its way easy to jump from the master, to the midi track, to delete/duplicate, add/remove a stopbutton while still playing live, and the second reason is that its easier to see where the midi clips are sampled, since theyre right next to the audio resamplers.
also its the easiest for shortcut macroing.

Quote:
and heres the macro for it: left left left enter end end
heres a very basic video of the sampler in action:

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---------------------------------------/////--------;
!!IMPORTANT!!
things you must know about the midi sampler:
-------------------------------------------/////----;


Quote:
1. if you do not arm (or set monitor to IN) your midi track, you will not sample anything, nor will you SEND ANYTHING to live.
remember that its going through to yoke 2, and if yoke 2 doesnt send any output
(that is, if the track isnt armed) nothing happens.
Quote:
2. if you have a set saved with all midi maps and whatnots, you need to remap them all, since now
your midi isnt coming from your controller any more, nor yoke 1, but from yoke 2.
Quote:
3. if you want to instant map something while looping a midi clip you have to stop the playback first,
otherwise it will send the midi that your clip is sending.
Quote:
4. there is no (easy anyways) way to reset any macros and whatnots when they are beeing fed midi and you stop your resample clip, so you have to do it manually. doesnt matter in a live situation, but it can annoy you at first in producing mode, since your devices will stay on the cc they are when the midi track stops playback.
im pretty sure theres a few annoyances and whatnots more using a midi resampler thing, but in a live situation its well worth it, imo.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------;
some thoughts:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------;


ok, so now you have two resamplers with two different channel cues, you have a midi sampler incase
you want to sample that filter sweep youre doing and reuse it at a later time, and you have a sweet
navigation controller.

what else can we do?

well, we can finetune our browser controls a bit.
if you add an enter keystroke at the last part it will launch the mapped clip automaticly,
and ofcourse intime with your global quantisation.
neat.
but why is this a good thing?
well..

because we can use midi clips aswell as audio clips. which then gives us the oppurtunity to use
both resampled midi and dummy clips at once, on the same track.
awesome.

some other things i have mapped is the pitch control on the clip, this one here:

why do i have that mapped?
well, because its universal, meaning that no matter what clip (audio) you have
selected, you can control its pitch.

see where im going with that?

another neat thing to do is to use dummy clips as a router, as seen here:
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combine this, with the midi recorder and your mouse/keyboard free navigation and youll soon
understand just how powerful your setup is so far.

ofcourse you could take all these tips, and modify them, add complex routings instead of resamplers
for a loop device for example, multiple midi recorders, multiple routing clips (one tip is to have a huge library of dummy clips in your browser that you can reach fast and easily, for intime onthefly routing into different fx channels etc..)

ofcourse, if you set up some racks with some chains you can also switch effect presets, its only limited by your imagination.

read the manual, study the shortcuts (also experiment in live with different shortcuts, theres a bunch of unofficial ones in there aswell), and if youre feeling adventureous, go study the scripting examples
at the official bomes forum.

Quote:
for the record: if you press alt, then the first key of whatever thing you want in the menu, it will jump
there immediatly,


for example: alt+i+s will result in opening the inserty file dialog,
selecting and executing slice to new midi track.

now, if you have a supported control surface (or a custom script), you can slice audio to midi,
in realtime and look your controller to this newly created midi track and start playing it and tweaking
it, and everything will still be in time.

yep, even when slicing to midi you can still continue to tweak the effect devices on the audio track.
how neat is THAT?
go on, start working on some presets and whatnots, and dont forget to share with us.

i will update the shortcut list and propably this part aswell eventually, im a bit busy learning glovepie at the moment
oh, and making dummy clips hehe.

Last edited by gbsr; 07-04-2008 at 09:50 PM..

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Old 07-03-2008, 02:18 PM   #5
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

cheers!
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:16 PM   #6
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

ill have the next part up by tomorrow. need a break right now. besides, its friday. so that means beer, nor writing tutorials

the next part is however where things get fun

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Old 20-03-2008, 01:56 AM   #7
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

Wow this looks like just the ticket for me. I've been hunting around for a way to do this. Will try over the easter break and see how i go.

Cheers for taking the time to write this.
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Old 20-03-2008, 08:54 AM   #8
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

whoa. this is excellent. thank you much. i have been reading on several forums about what people are doing with Bomes midi translator, but other than installing it and going "um, too much for me at the moment" and uninstalling i havent done a thing.

ideally i would like to create a rack that has several effects in it (bitcrusher, livecut, bufferoverride, etc....) and control it via my TriggerFinger. I would like to have the effect's individual on off switches controlled like this: press a pad, effect on, release a pad, effect off. the default for the TF is press pad and release, effect on, press pad and release again, effect off. or (the useless...) double tap pad, effect on, double tap again effect off.

the peeps @ the abletonlivedj.com forum have suggested Bomes to cure this midi problem, but i've not been able to get it to work.

I'll post back with some results.

cheers!

-cDSTRoi
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Old 20-03-2008, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

wah. way to ressurect this thread
i didnt think there were any interest in this so i skipped the second part of the tutorial, but if wanted i can continue.

but yeah, bomes can do that. using timers and whatnots i guess, havent gondé that far into programming with bomes right now since i dont really need it. check out their forum, i bet theres a post about it.

if your controller is sending velocity on its pads (if not, i feel sorry for you heh) you could make a rule that tells you that if velocity is 0, do this, otherwise do nothing. then make another rule that says if velocity is NOT 0 do this and that.

that way you should have two translators that send:
on when the velocity is anything other then 0, or send off is the velocity reaches 0 (ie, you stop touching the pad).

theres a few tutorials on rules etc on the official bomes site, but i think it requires the pro version, not 100% sure though. nonetheless, i bet it can be done otherwise with preset changing and whatnots, if you have the patience for that heh.

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Old 21-03-2008, 12:36 AM   #10
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

Pretty sick... I'm REALLY kind of surprised LIVE doesn't come bundled with this sort of feature, a MIDI/Keystroke translator or some kind...

As crappily made as they are, the Behringer BCR actually has an assload of parameters to choose from, so generally I don't have to do too much of this sort of thing...

Either way, sick tutorial!
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Old 21-03-2008, 04:03 PM   #11
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

Post the second part; I am interested
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Old 22-03-2008, 02:23 AM   #12
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

Here's one i've obviously missed somewhere along the line. How do i get into the browser to select the next file i know Ctrl + Alt + B opens it but how do i then scroll to select without having to click on it every time. The arrow keys don't let you jump between the file menu and clips...
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Old 22-03-2008, 02:31 AM   #13
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

don't worry got it!
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Old 22-03-2008, 12:22 PM   #14
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

very interesting.

next installment please!
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Old 23-03-2008, 06:28 AM   #15
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

Ok got the first part down.

Anyone know how to invert a fader so i can then control the tempo in the same way as a turntable or CDJ? I've been through a guide for it and have been unsuccessful many times today.

ideas?
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Old 23-03-2008, 01:21 PM   #16
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

when you midimap something and you have the browser open youll get a midimapper..umm.. map. at the left, select the range you want there. rightclick the map, and select inverse value and you should have a map that goes from 127 to 0.

ill get working on the second part in a few days, just got back from my girlfriends parents house and i need to clean my apartment a bit because it looks like shit right now.

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Old 23-03-2008, 09:29 PM   #17
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

yea been through that seams that the inverse option is disabled on the tempo in this instance. I'll keep searching tho there is always hope.
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Old 24-03-2008, 10:55 AM   #18
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohann View Post
yea been through that seams that the inverse option is disabled on the tempo in this instance. I'll keep searching tho there is always hope.
Note for new players just stay away from the fine pitch and you'll be able to do this.
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Old 25-03-2008, 01:28 PM   #19
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

hm.. are we talking master tempo here? if so, it hsould work. does on my machine anyways heh.

as for ontopic, im still working on it; i have to replace my PSU first, so i should be up and running again properly by tonight. lucky my girlfriend has one just laying around heh. stupid to spend money on that when i can spend them on other things such as beer, cigarettes and a new nocturn?

edit: i know. still working on it. its not like im great at holding my own personal deadlines :p

edit even more: so ive finally fixed my computer, complete with a new psu and everything, so i figured id spend some time with the next part tomorrow.

edit even more more: yep. the second part is kinda done, just gonna write it down properly and whatnots, check the second post while you wait , and read the shortcut section of the manual. theres PLENTY to choose from there.

Last edited by gbsr; 06-04-2008 at 11:52 PM..

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Old 07-04-2008, 09:52 PM   #20
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Re: Tutorial: Ableton live - no mouse/keyboard navigation + performance.

just thought id drop by to say that the second part is up and also that im replying here so that people get their stupid email notification.

yeop ive got more, ill get to that eventually.
perhaps :p

sooo, what can you do with some scripting and whatnots then?

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