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Akai MPD218 pads as a on/off switch in Ableton Live

Akai MPD218 (and pretty much any controller with pads) may be very useful tool for a live performance. It enables turn on and off effects (e.g. “delay”, “reverb”) through pads using toggle trigger mode. Of course, one can assign a pad to any mappable control in Live to archive similar effect.
Ideally the pad lights should be switched on when the device is on, and to be switched off when the device is off.
Unfortunately, Live ignores note off signal in toggle mode, so we need to map something else (e.g. velocity).
In order to archive such an effect we need Max4Live device called Expression Control, which is a part of Max For Live Essentials.

Please follow step by step instructions:

  • open MPD218 Editor and set trigger mode momentary to toggle for desired pad. Setting a pad on the MPD218 to Toggle rather than Momentary will cause the pad to send a Note On message with your first input and a Note Off message with your second input. We are not interested in Note Off midi signal, but velocity which comes with it. Note On has velocity 127, Note off has velocity 0.
  • add new midi channel and drop Expression Control Max4Live device there
  • make sure midi channel receives midi signal from MPD218 (or any other controller, you need to map)
  • switch Monitor to “In” mode
  • create new Return Track with some effect (e.g. simple delay)
  • activate Expression Control, choose “Velocity” in dropdown (first row by default) and click “Map” button in the same row.
  • active Return Track and click Device On/Off button of an effect to map velocity to it.
  • try to toggle button on MPD218 and observe that now it works like a on/off switch for an effect. Awesome!

Hopefully it was useful! Enjoy! Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch some live performances with MPD218.

Live 9.6 fix for Guille’s Nocturn script

Good news. There is a quick and simple fix for Novation Nocturn script from Guille, so it can work in Ableton Live 9.6.

On newer Live 9.6 `Nocturn` is not visible in drop-down from Preferences dialog, because author provided *.pyc files (pre-compiled) for earlier Python version.
To fix it just replace pre-compiled (.pyc) with source code (.py files) so Ableton may re-compile them for new version of Python. Explained in details in the video below: