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Roberttheprole

Midi mapping switches in Ableton

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I'm running dmxis through Ableton to control our light show and trying to midi map switches to launch clips in Ableton. The first two switches I pick map fine, cc 60, and 61 but when I go to map the other 6 I'm trying to use I get a message from abelton saying the selected controller conflicts with the previous mapping to dmxis/slot4. Do I want to replace previous mapping... If I say no it seems to pick a random channel and velocity. No clue why this is happening. Midi PC on/off doesn't change this behavior. Any help would be much appreciated!

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I've had problems before when I have several devices plugged into Ableton and trying to set up MIDI mapping from Helix.   Sometimes one of the other devices plugged into the mac unexpectedly responds to the ccs transmitted by another - and it results in a strange conflict.  Worth checking out if you have more than just Helix plugged in.  Also make sure that you have the "track" "remote" and "sync" options in the MIDI setting in Live as they ought o be for your needs and not all just set ON.

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10 minutes ago, ricksteruk said:

I've had problems before when I have several devices plugged into Ableton and trying to set up MIDI mapping from Helix.   Sometimes one of the other devices plugged into the mac unexpectedly responds to the ccs transmitted by another - and it results in a strange conflict.  Worth checking out if you have more than just Helix plugged in.  Also make sure that you have the "track" "remote" and "sync" options in the MIDI setting in Live as they ought o be for your needs and not all just set ON.

 

I do have another device plugged in, MC6.. I'll unplug that and give it a shot. I have "track" and "remote" on, and "synch" off. Hoping this is correct.

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I notice you're using CC#61. Is there a reason for that? I ask because the Helix automatically sends that every time you select a preset. There are other MIDI CC#s that are "reserved" in the MIDI Spec. Using these can cause conflicts with other MIDI stuff; Here's a summary of what that's about:

 

http://www.tweakheadz.com/midi_controllers.htm

 

 

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10 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

I notice you're using CC#61. Is there a reason for that? I ask because the Helix automatically sends that every time you select a preset. There are other MIDI CC#s that are "reserved" in the MIDI Spec. Using these can cause conflicts with other MIDI stuff; Here's a summary of what that's about:

 

http://www.tweakheadz.com/midi_controllers.htm

 

 

Abelton is picking these numbers automatically I think...

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1 minute ago, Roberttheprole said:

Abelton is picking these numbers automatically I think...

 

I'm pretty sure that Ableton doesn't pick any MIDI #s automatically for anything, unless you have some kind of Control Surface set up in Preferences?

You might want to check if DMXIS uses any of the aforementioned reserved MIDI #s by default, or if Ableton has a Control Surface that installs/configures when you install the DMXIS software.

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4 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

I'm pretty sure that Ableton doesn't pick any MIDI #s automatically for anything, unless you have some kind of Control Surface set up in Preferences?

You might want to check if DMXIS uses any of the aforementioned reserved MIDI #s by default, or if Ableton has a Control Surface that installs/configures when you install the DMXIS software.

Your right, duh not random! I already have the helix switches set up to control my MC6, I was thinking I could use the existing midi commands to control Ableton as well. Wanting to break up the lights for each song into 8 sections one fir each snapshot. Then as I go through snapshots triggering the MC6, and lights as well.

 

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I've now got all 8 switches mapped, but when I push the switches nothing happens, oh boy

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So, if I'm understanding what you're trying to do, you select a snapshot, you want it to send some kind of message (what kind) to the MC6, which then sends some kind of message to the DMXIS (what kind) and some other message to Ableton (what kind)?

 

IOW, some details as to the required message flow would be helpful....

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10 hours ago, rd2rk said:

So, if I'm understanding what you're trying to do, you select a snapshot, you want it to send some kind of message (what kind) to the MC6, which then sends some kind of message to the DMXIS (what kind) and some other message to Ableton (what kind)?

 

IOW, some details as to the required message flow would be helpful....

 

I'm using cc commands to control the MC6, and actually I was hopping the same message that goes to the MC6 could also provide commands to Ableton through USB to the computer. If this isn't the case I could also control Ableton through the MC6 though, it definitely has free command slots. It's just that way I'll be plugging two things into the computer during setup, and just trying to keep it simple as possible. Thing is im not sure how to set in Ableton a certain command for a macro. The method of midi mapping I know is to hit the midi button at the top right. Then click on the parameter you want to control, then push the button on your midi controller and it automatically connects that switch to the selected parameter.

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I'm happy to help, but I'm not into pulling teeth. Without specifics, I can only give a crash course on how the Helix snapshots behave.

 

Attached are two demo presets: DMXIS2 and DMXIS3.

 

DMXIS2 uses Stomp Buttons and Toggling CCs. That means that after the preset or a snapshot loads, you can use a Stomp button to change values for a specific CC.

When it loads it will load Snapshot 1 (because that's the one that was active when the preset was saved) sending CC#s 1-5 with Values of 0.

When you press Snapshot 2 it will send the same CC#s with Values of 127. TOGGLED.

When you press Snapshot 1 again, it will resend CC#s 1-5 with Values of 0. TOGGLED.

Helix Snapshots ONLY send CHANGED values. If, in either Snapshot, you manually change the Value of a CC with a Stomp button, that CC will no longer send ANYTHING on those changed CCs on Snapshot change, UNTIL you go back and manually change the value in the Snapshot that you changed.

If you manually change those same CCs in the OTHER Snapshot, all 5 CCs will send, but with different values.

 

Example:

Snapshot 1 on Preset load sends CC#s 1-5 with values of 0. Snapshot 2 will send the TOGGLED values (127).

Change CC#s 3 and 5 using Stomp buttons. Snapshot 1 will ONLY send CC#s 1,2 and 4 with values of 0. Snapshot 2 will ONLY send CC#s 1,2 and 4 with TOGGLED values (127). Manually change CC#s 3 and 5 BACK and the original values will be restored (CC#s 1-5 TOGGLING per Snapshot).

BUT....if you were instead to change the values of CC#s 3 and 5 in Snapshot 1, the the following would happen:

 

Snapshot 1:

CC#s 1,2 and 4 = 0

CC#s 3 and 5 = 127

 

Snapshot 2:

CC#s 1,2 and 4 = 127

CC#s 3 and 5 = 0

 

Reloading the preset restores all of the SAVED parameters.

 

NOTE: There are a number of "GOTCHAS" (bugs really) in the process of setting up Snapshots using Toggling CCs. VERY ANNOYING. IF you NEED to use this method, I can go into more detail. It's MADDENINGLY STUPID!

 

 

DMXIS3 uses Instant Commands and NON-TOGGLING CCs.

When the preset loads, Snapshot 1 sends CC#s 1-5 with values of 10,20,30,40,50.

Snapshot 2 sends CC#1 with a value of 15, CC#3 with value 35 and CC#5 value 55. It sends NOTHING on CC#s 2 and 4 because those values are the same in both Snapshots.

Helix Snapshots ONLY send CHANGED values.

When you go back to Snapshot 1 it will send CC#s 1,3 and 5 with their ORIGINAL (Snapshot 1) values, but it will send NOTHING on CC#s 2 and 4 because those values have NOT CHANGED!

 

SUMMARY: L6 touts the Helix as a perfect MIDI command center for your studio. It is anything but. A perfect MIDI controller does what YOU tell it to do, it does NOT have poorly documented, poorly thought out and inflexible pre-programmed behaviors. I could probably do ANYTHING you need to do with my FCB1010/UNO pedalboard, because it has very few programmed behaviors and they are WELL DOCUMENTED. Helix is only going to work for you IF you can work with the pre-programmed behaviors in your application.

 

Don't get me wrong. I love my Helix, as a modeler and effects unit. As a MIDI controller it leaves MUCH to be desired.

 

FINALLY - A quick look at the MC6 product page indicates that the MIDI DIN OUT port, while not labelled as THRU, performs that function. Whether or not the the USB port does the same is not clear from a quick look at the manual. Try it and see (see below).

 

Again, a quick look at the manual leads me to believe that the MC6 is flexible enough to do all of what you need. You should use the Helix to send PC (program change) messages (using Stomp buttons) to the MC6 and let the MC6 do the heavy lifting (MIDI THRU not required). Just configure it so that Ableton Commands are sent on a different MIDI Channel than the DMXIS  Commands.

 

 

DMXIS2.hlx

DMXIS3.hlx

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I had some time to have a more in-depth look at the MC6 manual. So many people have been raving about this little controller that I wanted to find out more about it.

In the context of what you seem to be trying to do, and the comments I made above, one big problem you might encounter is that the MC6 is not capable of assigning different messages within a preset to different MIDI channels. In fact, the device is only able to use ONE Global MIDI Channel! The problem will be the inability to separate DMXIS commands from Ableton commands. Now, since I don't know what types of commands/command streams you require for each device, it might not be a problem. For instance, most Ableton functions can be controlled with NOTE messages. If the DMXIS uses CCs, it might be OK to use the same channel for both.

 

IOW - the devil, as usual, is in the details.

 

Keep in touch as to the SPECIFICS of what you actually need to do for each application, this is an interesting challenge!

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Oh, I forgot to mention - the MC6 WILL pass messages from the Helix thru USB (MIDI THRU) if necessary. Only one USB/Computer connection required.

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On 5/12/2019 at 3:52 PM, ricksteruk said:

I've had problems before when I have several devices plugged into Ableton and trying to set up MIDI mapping from Helix.   Sometimes one of the other devices plugged into the mac unexpectedly responds to the ccs transmitted by another - and it results in a strange conflict.  Worth checking out if you have more than just Helix plugged in.  Also make sure that you have the "track" "remote" and "sync" options in the MIDI setting in Live as they ought o be for your needs and not all just set ON.

 

20 hours ago, rd2rk said:

So, if I'm understanding what you're trying to do, you select a snapshot, you want it to send some kind of message (what kind) to the MC6, which then sends some kind of message to the DMXIS (what kind) and some other message to Ableton (what kind)?

 

IOW, some details as to the required message flow would be helpful

2 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

 

 

2 hours ago, rd2rk said:

Oh, I forgot to mention - the MC6 WILL pass messages from the Helix thru USB (MIDI THRU) if necessary. Only one USB/Computer connection required.

4 hours ago, rd2rk said:

I had some time to have a more in-depth look at the MC6 manual. So many people have been raving about this little controller that I wanted to find out more about it.

In the context of what you seem to be trying to do, and the comments I made above, one big problem you might encounter is that the MC6 is not capable of assigning different messages within a preset to different MIDI channels. In fact, the device is only able to use ONE Global MIDI Channel! The problem will be the inability to separate DMXIS commands from Ableton commands. Now, since I don't know what types of commands/command streams you require for each device, it might not be a problem. For instance, most Ableton functions can be controlled with NOTE messages. If the DMXIS uses CCs, it might be OK to use the same channel for both.

 

IOW - the devil, as usual, is in the details.

 

Keep in touch as to the SPECIFICS of what you actually need to do for each application, this is an interesting challenge!

Cheers!!! 

So detailed of a reply, I truly appreciate your interest, and help!!!

I'll check out this presents!

I think something that should be simple is getting way complicated though.

No helix is not as good as it should he in the command center area, it's a great concept that I think has yet to see full fruition. I have gone round and round with it for yrs now, crazy to think! This is why I got the MC6, there were just so many things I've been trying to do that helix just doesn't pull off. Yes programming midi commands for snapshots is mind bending to say the least. This is a game for truly patient people...

I think the MC6 is a freaking miracle actually. I'm not following on the whole issue you described. It's capable of 16 commands with the hit of one switch, 16 different channels if you want. I really wish the helix had that kinda ability!

Anyway. I thought I'd try to elaborate a bit. 

As I go through my set I use all 8 snapshots in each preset, one preset per song. As I scroll through presets instant commands change the MC6 preset, timeline, whammy, etc... A typical snapshot change includes some on/off or parameter changes to various helix blocks, and a cc message to the MC6 in the form of a footswitch set to a toggle cc command triggering one of the MC6's switches. In turn the MC6 goes to work making all kinda stuff happen, sometimes I'm even talking back to the helix.

Now I'm wanting to add controlling Ableton which is set up to run the DMXIS. I have the light show for all the songs programmed and broken up into 8 clips corresponding with 8 snapshots of each song. So what I'm wanting to do is set things up to we're each clip will be triggered by a specific snapshot change in a specific preset. I could just set it up to start at the beginning of each song and hope we keep with it, but I thought breaking it up into the 8 sections would really help ensure the lights are in sync with us. My fist assumption is that helix would be able to use the same midi command it sends to the MC6 to talk to Ableton, but perhaps this is not the best way to go about it.

 I figure between the helix and MC6 there's no way I can't find a way to make this work though. Practice tonight so will have to wait till tomorrow to dig back into it, gives me a little more time to contemplate though...

 

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10 minutes ago, Roberttheprole said:

16 different channels if you want.

 

You're right, I missed that. The MIDI Channel you set in the Global area is equivalent to the Base Channel on Helix. Like Helix, each button/message can be on a different Channel, set in the Switches area.

 

16 minutes ago, Roberttheprole said:

No helix is not as good as it should he in the command center area, it's a great concept that I think has yet to see full fruition.

 

Hoping for improvements in 2.8. There's a number of problems that I know they're aware of (I made sure of it), but MIDI might not be a focus area for this update.

 

54 minutes ago, Roberttheprole said:

My fist assumption is that helix would be able to use the same midi command it sends to the MC6 to talk to Ableton, but perhaps this is not the best way to go about it.

 

I'm thinking from what you said that you want to manually start/stop clips, vs just starting a scene and hoping everything goes according to plan.....

 

Triggering clips in Ableton is not  difficult, but figuring out the logistics of doing it with the resources you have available (controller buttons) is the difficult part.

 

2 hours ago, Roberttheprole said:

Practice tonight so will have to wait till tomorrow to dig back into it, gives me a little more time to contemplate though...

 

If contemplation doesn't get it, attach a sample preset and a text file explaining what's going on, and I'll contemplate it too!

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:42 PM, rd2rk said:

 

You're right, I missed that. The MIDI Channel you set in the Global area is equivalent to the Base Channel on Helix. Like Helix, each button/message can be on a different Channel, set in the Switches area.

 

 

Hoping for improvements in 2.8. There's a number of problems that I know they're aware of (I made sure of it), but MIDI might not be a focus area for this update.

 

 

I'm thinking from what you said that you want to manually start/stop clips, vs just starting a scene and hoping everything goes according to plan.....

 

Triggering clips in Ableton is not  difficult, but figuring out the logistics of doing it with the resources you have available (controller buttons) is the difficult part.

 

 

If contemplation doesn't get it, attach a sample preset and a text file explaining what's going on, and I'll contemplate it too!

 

Ok!!! Everyfing's bleedin comin tageva!

I already had such complex presets on the MC6 that MIDI mapping in Ableton would have been a real pain. So I created a helix preset with the exact cc commands I wanted to use to start the clips in Abelton, then map those switches easy peasy. Next go to the MC6 and programmed in those same commands in the desired presets, and I'm solid gold! Hit the snapshot button and the MC6 among numerous other things tells Ableton which clip to start playing!!! YaY! It's a friggin miracle! Love Love Love the MC6!!! Thanks again for your help and encouragement! Your man!!!

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