This article explains how to route MIDI from KOMPLETE KONTROL to a separate MIDI Track in Ableton Live. This is useful if you want to use the KOMPLETE KONTROL Smart Play functions (Scale and Arp) to control third-party plug-ins loaded in Ableton Live or external hardware devices. We will present both of these use cases in detail in the next sections.
Routing MIDI from KOMPLETE KONTROL to another MIDI Track
- Loading KOMPLETE KONTROl on a MIDI track:
Ableton Live 10 users: Drag the KOMPLETE KONTROL VST-plug-in from Live's Plug-ins browser to an empty MIDI track:
Ableton Live 9 users: Load the VST version of the KOMPLETE KONTROL Instrument Rack from the Ableton Instruments browser by dragging the "Komplete Kontrol VST.adg" file to an empty MIDI track. It is important to load the VST version of KOMPLETE KONTROL since the AU plug-in format does not support MIDI output.
Note: If you cannot find KOMPLETE KONTROL in the Instrument > Instrument Rack section of the browser, read this article to learn how to set up Ableton Live for KOMPLETE KONTROL.
- Create a new MIDI track by choosing Insert MIDI Track from the menu bar or by pressing Shift + Cmd + T on your keyboard. This track will receive the MIDI notes sent by KOMPLETE KONTROL.
- Make sure the the Input / Output section of the mixer is visible. You can show or hide the Input / Output section by choosing View > In/Out from the menu bar. The In / Out section of the MIDI track has two fields under MIDI from: Input Type and Input Channel. By default, these are set to All Ins and All Channels respectively.
- Select 1-Komplete Kontrol VST from the Input Type drop-down menu.
Note: The number 1 here stands for the track number where KOMPLETE KONTROL is loaded in Ableton Live.
- Select Komplete Kontrol VST | Komplete Kontrol | Komplete Kontrol from the Input Channel drop-down menu.
- Set Monitor to In in the In / Out section of the MIDI track that receives MIDI from KOMPLETE KONTROL. This way the MIDI track will respond to the MIDI data sent from KOMPLETE KONTROL at all times. When Monitor is set to Auto, the MIDI track will only respond to the incoming MIDI if it is record-enabled (i.e. when the Arm Session Recording switch is active).
The MIDI Track is now configured to respond to MIDI from KOMPLETE KONTROL.
Recording KOMPLETE KONTROL's MIDI Output On a Separate MIDI Track
We assume that you have set up the MIDI track as explained above. There are two possible scenarios for recording MIDI events to the MIDI track:
- Playing back a MIDI clip and recording KOMPLETE KONTROL's MIDI output on a separate MIDI track.
- Playing live on the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboard and recording the MIDI output on a separate MIDI track.
Playing Back a MIDI Clip and Recording KOMPLETE KONTROL's MIDI Output
This setup is useful if you intend to precisely design the MIDI events generated by MIDI coming out of KOMPLETE KONTROL.
- Prepare a MIDI clip by playing your keyboard and recording the events, or by directly drawing the events into a MIDI clip or by loading an already existing MIDI clip. This can be a chord progression you want to run through the Arp or single notes you want to turn into a chord progression.
- Set the Monitor of the track where KOMPLETE KONTROL is loaded to Off. In this manner, KOMPLETE KONTROL will only play back the MIDI clip playing in its track and not react to MIDI coming in from other sources.
- Load the clip you have previously prepared in an empty slot of KOMPLETE KONTROL's track and press play.
- Set up and tweak the Smart Play functions you want to use (Arp or Scale), either on the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series hardware or in the KOMPLETE KONTROL plug-in, until you are satisfied with the result you hear.
- Set the MIDI track's Monitor to Auto and arm the Track.
- Start the playback in Ableton Live, and press record on an empty clip slot of the MIDI track to record the MIDI output of KOMPLETE KONTROL.
Playing Live on the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series Keyboard and Recording the MIDI Output
This setup is useful if you want to record a live jam and edit the result in a MIDI clip. This can be useful for finding new musical ideas.
- Set up the Smartplay features you want to use (Arp or Scale), either on the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series hardware or in the KOMPLETE KONTROL plug-in.
- Set the Monitor of the track where KOMPLETE KONTROL is loaded to In. In this manner, KOMPLETE KONTROL will always react to what you play on the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboard.
- Set the MIDI track's Monitor to Auto and arm the track.
- Launch the recording on an empty slot on the MIDI track you want to record your events to.
- Play the keys on your KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series Keyboard. The notes generated through the Smartplay functions (Arp/Chord/Scale) will be recorded in the MIDI clip on the MIDI track next to KOMPLETE KONTROL.
Sending MIDI to a Third-Party Plug-in
If you want to control a third-party plug-in with MIDI sent from KOMPLETE KONTROL, simply load the plug-in to the previously created MIDI track by dragging it from the plug-in browser. In this case, you will notice the Output Type field will display Audio To instead of MIDI To. By default, the audio output is sent to Ableton Live's Master output.
Sending MIDI to an External MIDI Device
In case you wish to control an external MIDI device, you have to define the appropriate MIDI port and channel. In the following example, we want to send MIDI through the MIDI port of our KOMPLETE KONTROL S49 keyboard.
- Choose KOMPLETE KONTROL S49 (Port2) from the Output Type drop-down menu.
Note: The Output Type field only displays the ports which are activated as outputs in the Ableton Preferences > MIDI Sync menu. If you do not see the KOMPLETE KONTROL S49 (Port2) entry, you must first activate it in the preferences.
- The final step of the setup is to define which MIDI channel you wish to use. In our example we choose MIDI Ch. 4 because our external device is set to receive MIDI through Channel 4.