Volca CCtrl & MIDI Note Send/Receive Max for Live devices

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Recently I performed a live set at an electronic music night in Manchester called Sound Visionaries – a fantastic audiovisual event showcasing an eclectic range of experimental and popular electroacoustic/electronic music from a host of great musicians.

I decided to take a simple setup consisting only of my laptop, APC40, Midi Fighter and Volca Beats; and then thought it would be useful to make a couple of fairly basic Max for Live MIDI Devices to provide me with more creative freedom and control when using the Volca.

The first of these was designed to facilitate the transmission of single MIDI notes from one track to another in Ableton; thus allowing me to alter the pattern of the kick drum as I was performing and have an instance of Cableguys Volume Shaper 4 fulfilling a sidechain-ducking action on the sub track that would respond accurately to the changes I made in real time. Consisting of two devices (one to send the chosen MIDI notes and the other to receive them), up to 15 separate MIDI notes can be sent from one track to another; while multiple instances of both send and receive devices can coexist happily within a Live Set providing no two send devices share the same active transmission channels – unless the intention is to have multiple MIDI triggers from different sources activating the same sidechain-enabled device.

The second device allowed me to assign up to three MIDI CCs to each of eight macro controls before outputting them to the Volca; therefore enabling me to control a variety of parameters from the APC40. I’ve since added further functionality that facilitates full velocity sensitivity for the Volca FM when played from an external MIDI controller.

I’ve tidied both devices up a bit and they are now available to download for free from maxforlive.com, here:

Volca CCtrl

MIDI Note Send/Receive

Midi Fighter Multi-Sample on DJ TechTools

Midi Fighter Multi-Sample screenshot

You can now read about my Midi Fighter Multi-Sample Max for Live patch in an article I have written over on the DJ TechTools website.

The article provides easy to follow, step-by-step instructions detailing how to set up and use the patch in conjunction with the Drum Rack in Ableton Live; whilst the patch is now also available to download for free direct from the DJ TechTools site (providing you have a user account).

Alternatively, the patch is still available to download for free from maxforlive.com; with the most recent update including clearer, more straightforward setup instructions.

Midi Fighter Multi-Sample Max for Live patch

Some time ago a friend showed me this video, in which multiple samples are being assigned to a single trigger button on a Midi Fighter. I’m not exactly sure how it’s working in this context but the Note Length MIDI Effect is present in the Drum Rack and is clearly responsible. Interestingly, if you listen for the moment when the camera shot sample is triggered, the beginning of one of the other samples assigned to that trigger button can also be heard. In any case, I figured I could throw together a small Max for Live patch to perform a similar job, while at the same time remove the audible overlapping of samples as identified in relation to the camera shot.

Having finally found a bit of spare time over the summer, I designed a patch which allows for up to three separate samples to be assigned to any of the trigger buttons on the Midi Fighter by applying different output velocities to the triggered MIDI note depending on the duration for which the button on the Midi Fighter is depressed. The velocity zone editor in a Live Rack’s chain list can then be used to set different samples to respond to specific output velocities from the Midi Fighter. The three velocities are all customisable, meaning that the patch can also be used to trigger the same sample at different velocities by bypassing the user of the velocity zone editor in a chain list; as is the response speed for the triggering of each of the three samples, with available options of fast and slow.

The patch can be downloaded here.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and l hope it will come in handy for some people.

ScreenPlay Test

A recent test of ScreenPlay, the interactive computer music system I have been developing as part of my PhD research into human-computer interaction in music at the University of Salford.

The TouchOSC graphical user interfaces hosted on the four iPads communicate with Ableton Live 9 via a series of Max For Live patches and function much in the same way as does the Ableton Push MIDI controller; allowing for the button-matrix-style, grid-based playing surface to be locked in a specific key signature/scale or played chromatically, and for any standard triad within the selected key/scale to be formed using the same hand-shape in any position on the grid.

The next stage in the development of the system will be the introduction of both generative and transformative algorithmic procedures reliant upon second order Markovian processes and the alteration of rhythmic and textural/timbral characteristics, as well as the pitch-classes of the source-material respectively.