Better Ableton Compatibility

  • I'm sure this has been discussed here, but I didnt find anything doing a search...

    ... so what is the deal with the horrible Ableton integration? Is it on Access, Ableton, or a combination of the two just not being written in a way that supports actual integration?

    I'd really like to use Live much more than I do, but having to do all the automations on one track is beyond frustrating, not to mention the inability to make clip envelop automations on each part, without using midi CCs.

    sure there are MIDI ccs, but it such a flow breaker...

    I feel like I have 2 awesome tools at my hands, that when combined, are basically useless.

    Does anyone have any insight into where to fundamental problem lies? Just out of curiosity...

  • well, to use the virus in ableton, you have the channel strip with the VC loaded. (this channel has the main USB outputs, and functions as MIDI channel 1. if you create a clip on this track, you can access all of the automatable paramaters in the clip envelope view) any additional MIDI channels that you want to play/control on the virus, you have to make a new MIDI channel in Live that sends MIDI info to the VC track. (example: track one has Virus Control. Track 2 would be a standard MIDI track in ableton, and you would assign it's output to Track 1: VC, MIDI chan 2" this means that if you want to make, say, a clip envelop that modulates the virus filter on virus channel 2, instead of "Virus (2): Filter" being an option in the clip envelop section on track 2, you merely have a list of cc#s, that you would have to assign either in the virus mod matrix, or by referencing the MIDI chart of standard midi mappings on the virus.

    does that make sense?

  • Agree, powerful DAW and powerful synth but it's not exactly plug and play, even if you start off with the Ti Live template set. There has to be a better way of integrating them to harness the power of each, improve usability and workflow?

  • Yeah, I figured it was probably something to do with both.... how ableton handles multi instrument plugins, and thus how access approached implementing it.

    the fact that you've even responded to this, and hinted at bring it up with them makes me giddy.

    I love this company (access)!

    thank you!

  • kcinsu, it's easy. My default template is as follows...

    1. Create 16 MIDI tracks.

    2. Drop Virus Control into the blank area to create the 17th track. Rename this track Virus TI.

    3. All MIDI Tracks should route MIDI From - All channels.

    4. Your MIDI Track 1 should route MIDI To - Virus TI, but below that route to channel 1. MIDI Track 2 should route to "2" and so forth.

    5. By default Virus Control will automatically have a CC build for all channels Filter Cutoff 1, Volume, Softknob 1, Softknob 2 & Softknob 3.

    6. When you want to tweak Filter Cutoff 1 on the Virus' 4th Part or Channel, you simply go to Arrangement View, Arm the Track named Virus TI, ON THE VIRUS HARDWARE SCROLL TO PART 4, Arm the Global Record, press play and tweak to your hearts delight.

    7. Last thing to know: If you wanted to tweak lets say the Filter Cutoff 2 on part 7...YOU HAVE TO CREATE THE CC IN LIVE. To do this, in Virus Control select part 7. Click on the filter tab on the top on Virus Control. Right click on Filter Cutoff 2 and click add to Automation. Now Live will allow you to record tweaks on Filter Cutoff 2 part 7.

    kcinsu, I hope this helps you out!!!! :)

  • I guess I just have a very different approach to making music. I like to draw my automation a lot, and within the clips themselves. Having a drop down list of CC#s that I have to remember which is which, is way too cumbersome to me. I want to see in that list "filter 2 resonance" not "CC#x". It slows me down.

    Also, I'm not exactly sure why step 7 is different than step 6? Is it because filter cutoff 2 doesnt have a CC assigned to it? If so, again, that's extra busy work that takes me out of my zone. Hence my desire to have full total integration...

    Anyways, thank you for taking the time to write that out.

  • Simple answer to this one really, Use arrangement view.
    The Ableton forums have a bunch of threads about this, it is a limitation in Live.
    Recording Automation to a session view clip isn't possible, they have stated that a major rewrite is needed for that.
    It would also allow Ableton to add LFO's into Live, a long overdue upgrade so tell them you want it for version 9 on the Abe forums.

  • kcinsu, I don't think you get it buddy. In Virus Control, right click on the parameter that you want to tweak and then click on add to automation. Now the "CC" in Live is changed to "Filter Cutoff 2". It's not extra work for me, because I have created my default Live Template with ALL AUTOMATION ADDED!!! Would you like me to email you my template buddy?

    Raz is right. Live can't record automation into Sessions view, but I've got WONDERFUL NEWS. I have a contact at Ableton that told me that Max for Live will be released on Monday November 23rd, 2009. One thing Max for Live will allow is Session View Automation!!!!

    I can't wait!!!

    For the next 2 weeks, if you want to draw you automation into Session View, make sure you draw it into the "Virus Control Track", not the individual MIDI track.

  • No, I actually get it very clearly... it's just that the features I would like, aren't implemented.

    Also, I'm aware that recording to session view isn't availible, but I didn't say I wanted that. I said I draw a lot of my clip envelopes manually... while recording them would obviously be nice, I'm aware that's a Live issue, and a big one that might not be fixed.

    I really don't want to use the arrangement view... I have Logic, and I'm very fluent in it... I'm not looking for a new DAW... what grabbed me about Live, would be the ability to play the software.... live. I want to make entire sessions that are all just clips that I could trigger off in real time, so my entire workflow in Live revolves around the session view. Having all of that automation only on the VC track is useless... whenever I triggered a clip on the VC track, ALL the automations would change, for every part on the Virus. They need to be independent.

    Now, certainly I can just assign MIDI ccs, and that will achieve what I'm trying to do... but workflow-wise, it's a total buzz kill. Like I said, I don't want to reference CC assignments every time I want to add/change a parameters automation. I just want to go to the drop down menu in a clip envelop, and see all the names for all the parameters, select it, draw it, and be done. New clip, new material/automations.

    But, it just isn't so, so I'll have to alter my approach. Unfortunate, but there are much greater tragedies in the world...

    Also, I'm skeptical about the Max For Live add on, adding session view automation. It's been such an in demand feature, that ableton would have been advertising that by now... I'm sure people would upgrade to M4L for that alone.

    Now if you mean the flexibility of Max may allow for some other approach to recording automation... that may be... but again, I doubt it is Session View Automation, in the most straightforward sense/implementation.

    I'd love to be wrong on that though....

  • I use Ableton with lots of automation - I don't really find it a problem at all? You can add as many automation lanes as you want so you can edit it all at once...that's really the easiest way to do it - I just have a master MIDI channel with the VC on it and all automation (no clips etc) and then have as many other seperate MIDI channels as I need sending to that master track.

    Just always try to remember what it was like before VC - you can now just add parameters to be automated and draw them in, no MIDI CC's, nothing. It's amazing.. ;)

    EDIT: Ah, I missed page 2 of this post before I posted - I understand what you mean now...for your workflow it's not perfect I suppose. It's definitely an issue with Ableton though, not Access!

  • kcinsu - completely agree with your aims 100%. Ive feature requested this kind of thing in Live lots of times - I guess most people just dont understand/see the benefit ?(

    The argument that you can use CCs is fine *if* what you want to control is available as a CC. :rolleyes: As for drawing all you automations in a single lane - sorrry - its useless for session view where you want often independent clips for controlling indepent parts.

    So what I have resorted to is using the mod matrix (spare slots allowing) to map some CCs to groups of parameters within the TI. I keep the CC #s I use consistent, so there is basically only a small number of Cs I have to remember, so selecting them in the drop down list is easy. Sadly it means Im forever running out of matrix slots - so I feature requested more matrix slots or a seprate simpler midi control matrix with Access - I dont they were impressed/could see the point and/or Im not depeche mode etc. :)

    I guess the real answer given that DAW manufacturers are all increasingly softwrae only focussed is for Access to ditch the single plugin instance architecture and develop a new multi-plugin architecture - upto 16 plugins for the full TIs and upto 4 for the Snow's - this might finally solve the TI keyboard/polar/desktop vs Snow plugin compatibility problem which TBH has been a nightmare for us after being told they wold be compatible by a store as well as solving the shared automation track headaches (which have basical made use of automation completely non-viable for me - may as well be an entirelyy separate hardware synth if it wasnt for virus control as an editor.)

    I think Im started to drift very much into the "want an entirely software TI plugin camp - integration as is just inst working" - ie forget the hardware - intergration just isnt good enough (USB and other headaches) and the single instance plugin architecture is just a pain. if access made a dedicated controller of appropriate build quality and created a software plugin, ditched the audio part of the TI concept - then perhaps I might at least find the workflow I wanted in the first place. Ive had a TI since the first first TIs shipped - and thinking back over those years - it hasnt exactly been the pleasent ride it should have been. These days I tend to use other synth plugins - *just because it less hassle*, though the TI is allways my goto digital synth to actually play independent of a computer - its just a shame that the integration have never been close enough to being my idea of what integration should have been.

    Lets hope someone sees sense and rethinks it one day - it isnt that hard to make work - Ive done multi plugin instance to single hardware interface instance plugins for other purposes, so Im sure Access could manage it - given a will to do so - it might given them alot more design flexibility in the future too for future products :)

  • Right click "Add to midi" no cc mapping needed and you can draw in automations and right click copy and paste back and forth between views. Its not Access its Ableton. Dont get me wrong Ableton is great but I find their audio summing isnt the greatest. If you dont believe me try playing the virus in cubase or logic and then play the same patches in Live. The others have more width depth and clarity were as Live sounds compressed in comparison. Ive tried every setting possible. Even still it is my main daw. I dont have Logic because I dont have a Mac unfortunantly.

  • I'm glad someone sees my point of view clearly! I was starting to think I was being too demanding... as everyone else seems rather indifferent about it.

    The multiple plugin idea is great... I wonder how hard that would truly be? The tricky question though, would be how to handle the USB audio, since it is limited to 3 stereo outs. I guess there could be the Virus Main plugin, and then the Virus Part plugins?

    But yeah... I suppose this is mostly on Ableton. I made a post on their forums as well, but no one responded, and it was quickly buried among other posts.

    My entire reason for investing in hardware, is to be able to perform with it in real time. As you said... there are certainly many instances of me wanting to use a plugin, just because it's easier... but then I am limiting myself in the long term by not being able to build my tracks upon an interactive performance setup.

    I do feel a bit like the names "Live" and "Total Integration" are deceiving. I can't record clip automation on the fly in Live, and the TI is obviously not TOTALLY integrated.

    But, I don't want to come off as just complaining... I do love this synth, and I am enjoying Ableton... but I'm just frustrated by what seems to be major limitations.

  • I just want to state again for the ones who missed it.
    This problem is with Ableton Live not Access, Ableton know about it, please ask them fo fix Abe Lives session and clip automation for version 9.
    The benefits go way beyond automation of a Virus TI, it will enable Live to have internal audio rate LFOs and all sorts of goodness.
    If you expect Access to fit around eccentric software design you've got it the wrong way round imo.