I have recently been experimenting with using a midi foot pedal to control stomp box like effects in ableton live. And thought i’d share my findings. Firstly I wanted to set up a set of momentary effects, which means that I wanted to press to activate and let go to turn off. This sort of behavior is not supported by ableton live by default so I looked into a couple of ways to do this.

1) Using http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/1634/momentary-8
This is a max for live patch that captures an incomming midi signal, and then you can map from the max patch to any controllable parameter in the same way as mapping a midi signal but, the max map is separate to and in addition to the midi and key ableton maps. Now I initially used this method but I found that any control that is mapped using the max map is disabled by all other controllers, so I could no longer manually mover for instance macro controls. This is very annoying when trying to develop effects. And also to use different timing of the same effect, required replicating the whole chain, very wasteful. So I made a new way of doing this:

2) Note off Max Patch. I made a max patch that simply sends a short midi note after a 5ms delay when it detects a midi off message. This is then routed to an internal IAC midi ‘pipe’ whose remote input setting is to on. I set up a series of midi clips with the note to send on a single midi track, and then added a midi cc envelope to change some of the parameters of an effect, for each clip, set the clips to be gate like behavior and turned of quantification. I mapped a particular cc to a particular Marco in the effect. (in this case it changes the speed of an LFO). I then mapped some different footpedals to the different clips and hey presto I have a bank of buttons which are momentary and will change the settings on a single effect.

I will post the max patch and perhaps a video some other time.