You’re not other people. You want things your way, right away. You might not want to buy a new controller for each piece of software, or, worse, the latest controller that purports to control said software, and then live with the particular way in which the two integrate.
You want things to work the way you want things to work, darnit.
Hidden in the depths of Ableton Live, MIDI Remote Scripts have for some time allowed you to map controllers to software functions. Now, you could do fancy things with Max for Live, but that means, first, buying Max for Live, and second, learning Max for Live.
So, for some time we’ve been a fan of the powerful mapping tools from NativeKontrol. They don’t require you to run another app or buy Max for Live as an add-on and then load a patch. Instead, once loaded, your controller integrates with Live directly. MapEase takes the concept to the next level, allowing powerful custom mappings without writing a line of code. And it works with a variety of hardware controllers.
Erik Cornellier, an interested user excited by the notion, writes CDM wondering why the whole thing hasn’t gotten more press coverage. As he puts it, “it seems pretty revolutionary for Ableton users … [it] directly edits Ableton remote scripts for a slew of controllers, allowing much more flexibility in creating mappings without having to learn Python, etc.”
The creators explain why it makes sense to work with the MIDI Remote Scripts:
So what’s a MIDI Remote Script? These are scripts that run inside of Live to provide advanced control over Live. As an example, all of the functionality that the Akai APC40 provides is accomplished via a MIDI Remote Script.
Traditionally, customizing MIDI Remote Scripts and/or the functionality of a MIDI controller to suit your particular needs would require programming and lots of trial and error. With MapEase Series applications, deep levels of customization are available at the click of your mouse.
- Custom presets, with on-the-fly-switching.
- Built-in Functions for controlling various aspects of Live’s operation.
- Onscreen displays for visual feedback.
- Built-in documentation.
Supported hardware (see additional requirements for each on the site):
- Akai APC20, APC40
- Akai MPD32
- Korg nanoKONTROL, nanoKONTROL2
- Livid Instruments Code
- Livid Instruments Ohm64, OhmRGB
(I think I speak for many readers when I say, wanted: Native Instruments Maschine and Maschine MIKRO support!)
The video shows everything in action:
Each model is US$28.50. (I actually rather wish they’d just bundle them all together, given some of us own multiples! But it could certainly be well worth it – just be advised, sales are final, though we’ve heard good results with all their stuff from readers.)
Awesome as this is, I dream of the day Ableton adds this kind of custom control to their software. We’ll know, once the next release of their tool goes public. (Hint to rivals: nailing this is a great way to differentiate your tool, as we’ve seen Renoise do with its controller mappings.)