Monday, August 29, 2016

Dynamic MIDI Bussing in Ableton Live

Sometimes, I need to send MIDI data from one place within Live to another. There are a few ways to do this.

Often, I simply use Live's input / output selection menu for a MIDI track. This could be useful for example, when I need to record the data output from a MIDI effects rack onto a new MIDI track. The choice in this situation is simply "PreFX" or "PostFX".

Other times, I need to be able to have more control over where the signal is coming from, or going to. For example, I've got a device called Chordinator, which takes velocity events from one track and pitch values from another. combining the two to make chord structures that are rhythmically independent.

To send data from one track to another in this case, my PathMIDI device is used. This simply allows MIDI data to travel from anywhere on one MIDI track, to anywhere on another. The starting point could be in between two MIDI effects, or within an instrument chain.

My 'normal' PathMIDI and PathMIDI.receive devices allow for up to eight busses to be sent and received, and for many applications this is just fine.

However, every now and then I run into a situation where I need to send a larger number of MIDI busses between places. For instance, polyphonic, high-res pitchbending - where each note requires its own MIDI path. It's very easy to run out of busses in this sort of scenario!

To overcome this problem, I've made a send and receive setup that features 'dynamic' bussing, in the sense that the user can determine the bus number, and the bus number is stored along with the device in a set.

Download the PathMIDI.dyn device here:

Download the PathMIDI.dyn.receive device here:

Download an example session here: