Change Patches on Stage without Changing Midi Channels?

I perform as a keyboardist using 2 or 3 keyboard midi controllers.  I use various vst plugins, and change sounds between songs by changing the midi channel from my controllers.  This approach has worked alright for me, but it's a challenge to change midi channels on some midi controllers (several button presses in the dark).  As far as i know, Live doesn't receive program change midi information, so I can't load, say 100 sounds and switch between them with a program change number.  Do you have a suggestion on how to change sounds quickly between songs without changing the midi channel?  The approach i use presently limits the number of patches I have access to during a show to 16 per keyboard controller (16 midi channels).  I am hoping to load many more patches and quickly change between them between songs.  


Thanks in advance.  


riddimBank 3 months ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • Near Earth Object
    757 answers
    772 votes received
    2 votes

    Actually you can send program changes to vst's. You can do this by using the pgm settings in the clip functions (bottom left).
    Not all plugins work the same, so you will have to find out how they react to different bank and program numbers.
    The idea is to make different clips that send different program change info to the vst you are using. So selecting a different clip means that the vst will load a different patch. Using empty clips will give you the possibilities to just change the patch and then play it yourself.

    There are some useful tutorials online for that, depending on the vst you use.

    Hope this helps you on your way!

    3 months ago | 0 comments
  • walrusmuse
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    Near Earth's answer is great - and a way to access a not-deeply supported part of MIDI in Live (Max can of course extend this depending on if you want to utilize it). 

    Another possibility, depending on if it works for your controllers and live performance flow, is to use the chain selector and an instrument rack: you can have up to 128 "presets" to work with using a single dial (or button, etc). 

    In a blank Instrument Rack, drag and drop in all of your VST Instruments or otherwise into the chain mixer in the middle of the Rack. They automatically sum together as one sound, but if you click on the "chain" toggle button just above the chain mixer (where all of those VSTs you dropped in are) - you can then use the zones of the chain selector to map each VST to only play one at a time (or even fade from one sound to another-no preset or program change does this!).

    Drag one of the bars across to the right from the far left in the chain selector window (under "0"), all the way to the right (under "127"). Then right-click/ctrl-click and choose "distribute ranges equally" from the menu. This saves a lot of mouse movement!

    Finally, activate Macro Map mode next to the Instrument Rack name. Click on the Chain Selector bar at the top (just above the 0-127 numbers) and then map to any Macro you choose. 

    That Macro will now choose between your various sounds, easily assignable to a MIDI controller. 

    Hope this helps! 

    3 months ago | 0 comments

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