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Midi foot controller with Ableton Live?

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  • Midi foot controller with Ableton Live?

    I have an old Art X11 midi foot controller. Am I correct that it could be used to remotely control Ableton Live for performance situations?

    If I am correct, a midi controller only sends out program information, would that be an issue?

    I'd like to be able to program the pedal to start/stop loops, signal transitions and even tap tempos.

  • #2
    Hey Greg!

    I use Ableton quite frequently, and it's been a staple of the latest JesusCulture live stuff, and my own personal live setup.

    You can assign any any any Midi message to anything in live! It's pretty simple... you go to the Preferences and select Remote on the Midi input you're using (for me it's usually my Mbox2)... and then you click the MidiMap button (it's the box that says MIDI in the upper left hand corner of the main Live screen. then click the thing you want to control: ie tap tempo... then hit the pedal you want to use to control it. Viola! In a more general sense, you can assign any amount of midi data to any amount of options in Live. If the MIDI signal is getting to Live, you can use it to tweak to your hearts desire...

    Some more interesting uses for MIDI control in Live include: controlling reverb wet/dry, controlling filter freq for manual sweeps, controlling sends, and any combination of that (I have one knob on my Akai MPD24 that turns up the gain on the saturation plug in, while lowering the master output, and turning up the reverb, all on a single channel - makes most sounds... interesting haha)

    Live is a great program. And anything Midi plays VERY well with Live.

    Hope this helps!

    Jesus Culture Keys / Ian McIntosh Music


    • #3
      I finally tried my Art X-11 foot controller and it doesn't seem to be working. I tried assigning program change 1 on the controller to the play button but Live interprets this as a pitch bend. I wouldn't care about the misinterpretation if I could only then press the same pedal again (NOT in midi mode) to get Ableton to start playing but that's not happening.

      Are you SURE Live will accept midi control changes? I believe there are different types of midi commands....


      • #4
        Hi Greg

        Ths might not help but have a look at this guy's explantion on how to set up a Behringer MIDI foot controller.

        How to program a Behringer MIDI Foot Controller FCB1010 for Ableton Live the jeremy osborn

        I don't have one of these but it helped me understand how it all sticks together and I was able to get my Boss GT-10 to talk to Ableton - even to the point where I can change the tempo in real time with the expression pedal (not that it is a very practical thing to do). Granted my needs are very limited so I can get away with the MIDI functionality of a guitar effects pedal but this guy's blog helped.

        Also for me it seemed critical to set the "Control Change" or CC# on my GT-10 for it to work.

        Not sure if this helps at all but give it a bash. It might just help make something click.

        Also - this is for the Behringer contoller and not Abelton but maybe some of the principals are applicable


        Best regards



        • #5
          I have just started using Live and implementing it into Prayer sets. I am looking to eventually get a foot controller as I am a guitar/bass player so its really hard to fire off clips with my hands and stay in time.


          • #6
            Ableton Live/Program Changes

            Sorry for taking so long to reply to this. Unfortunately out of the box (as of Live 8.2.1) Live doesn't accept Program Changes. Here's an article that explains MIDI commands a little further. Here's a few solutions though:

            1) Re-program your MIDI controller to send Note on/off or control changes. This will have to be done internally on your controller. This is similar to the process described in the article Jeremy mentioned with the Behringer FB1010. This process is controller-specific.

            2) Use a MIDI translator utility to re-translate MIDI commands from your controller to Live.

            Even though I'm a certified Live trainer, teach live for a living, and have used Live for 7 years, I steer far far away from MIDI translator apps. I've found the most successful setups I've had are the simplest...and most straight to the point.

            That being said, If you aren't able to successfully re-program your controller I'd look at picking another one up. I've got a FB1010 that works well. I'll be getting a Softstep soon, which is a multi-touch foot controller that works really well with Live. Two other controllers that are popular as well are the Ability, and the Pok.

            Hope this makes sense. Live is an incredible software and adding a MIDI controller lets you do tons. Let me know if you have any other questions, I'd love to help!

            Take Care,

            Will Doggett
            Certified Ableton Live Trainer and Ableton Live Dealer