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3 MIDI tracks, 2 plugins and a lot of routings just to modulate a parameter with an LFO in Live 8?

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KTlin
KVRist
 
194 posts since 20 Jul, 2009

Postby KTlin; Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:55 am 3 MIDI tracks, 2 plugins and a lot of routings just to modulate a parameter with an LFO in Live 8?

This is unbelievable! It's a bloody nightmare. :bang:

After I wasted countless hours trying to do a very simple (in my naive mind) task, I came to the conclusion that if you want to modulate a parameter in Live's own instruments/effects using a simple LFO is like trying to do sound design in Photoshop, and if you want to record that modulation into a clip in the Session View ... well, that's like trying to do sound design in Photoshop without a screen.

It's not impossible, but it's so complicated you better forget about it.
Unfortunately for me, I didn't know that. Even worse, I thought Live is the perfect tool for things like this :roll: . All I wanted to do was to modulate some parameters of Live's own instruments and effects (like the dry/wet knob on a reverb, or the sample length knob on Simpler, or the chain selector in a chain device, etc) with an LFO that could generate random oscillation and record that modulation into clips in Session View.

So, after countless hours and a lot of help from the nice people on KVR (cheers for that :wink: ) here is the workaround I managed to come up with:
1 - because Live doesn't have a MIDI LFO device, you have to download a 3rd party one (like midiSimpleLFO from PIZ, or Nusofting's modismaster - this is an old but very interesting plugin that can generate random value CC messages);
2 - create a MIDI track and put this LFO on it. When you do this, because Live interprets this plugin as an instrument, not as its own MIDI Effects, it doesn't let you set a MIDI OUT routing from this track, so you have to
3 - create a new MIDI track and set its MIDI input to the first track and the input channel to the LFO. Also set its monitor to "IN".
4 - because Live only knows to MIDI map a parameter to a MIDI message coming from an "outside" MIDI port, you have to download a virtual MIDI cable like MIDI Yoke or LoopMIDI (on a mac there's the IAC bus)
5 - in the MIDI preferences enable Remote Control for the Input Port of that virtual cable
6 - set the MIDi output of the second track to that virtual cable
7 - create another track and insert the instrument or effect with the parameter you wanna modulate
8 - if you use midiSimpleLFO, or modismaster those can be set to oscillate regardless Live is playing something or not. You should set that.
9 - right-click the parameter you want to modulate and select Edit MIDI map. Because the LFO is sending data, the parameter will be mapped to the LFO instantly. Exit the MIDI maping mode.
10 - realize this whole process is extremely cumbersome (especially if you need to modulate a lot of parameters with a lot of LFOs) and pray that Live 9 will be better at tasks like this one.
And if you need (as I do) to record all that modulation along with the notes you played, in clips, in Session View, and have that modulation being played-back when you trigger the clips, then you'll get really really angry and frustrated, and you'll post on KVR threads that begins with "This is unbelievable! It's a bloody nightmare! :bang: "

Now, if someone has a better solution for this kind of task, I'm sure that by now you could tell how much I would appreciate to hear it.

Cheers
Last edited by KTlin on Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JoeCat
KVRian
 
778 posts since 19 May, 2011, from North Carolina

Postby JoeCat; Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:20 pm

Yup.

Happily, a lot of the clip modulation issues are going to be addressed (I believe) in Live 9.

Lots of little midi niggles there. Channel effects won't recognize MIDI outside other than channel 1, so kit like FXpansion Etch (which can route MIDI to filter freq., etc.) is hobbled. Hoping that will be fixed also.

Love Live, but sometimes it reminds me of my phone - #$(*& supercomputer but half the time it can't make a call. :roll:
ezelkow1
KVRian
 
1297 posts since 15 Jan, 2010, from Denver

Postby ezelkow1; Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:29 pm

Easiest solution is m4l, drop lfo device on track, click map button, map, done

Of course that requires m4l in live8, or live9 suite when its out, guess thats the price of easy to use lfo devices if you need em though

Without m4l what I used to do, using lfotool as an example. Put lfotool on a track, setup a routing track, group them together so its not cluttered. Set lfotool output CC value to something unused, then in the instrument/effect just do a midi-learn on what I want changing. Of course this only works with plugins and not native stuff, but thats why I would use those if I needed that functionality
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KTlin
KVRist
 
194 posts since 20 Jul, 2009

Postby KTlin; Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:48 pm

ezelkow1 wrote:Without m4l what I used to do, using lfotool as an example. Put lfotool on a track, setup a routing track, group them together so its not cluttered. Set lfotool output CC value to something unused, then in the instrument/effect just do a midi-learn on what I want changing. Of course this only works with plugins and not native stuff, but thats why I would use those if I needed that functionality

You are right, but I was talking only about native plugins. When using 3rd party VST plugins, especially those with MIDI learn function, it's a completely different story (quite paradoxically). Why Live's native plugins don't have MIDI learn, when a lot of VST plugins do, is beyond me.

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