How can I assign tracks between two different MIDI controllers for live performances?

I have 2 MIDI controllers that I'd like to use simultaneously for live performances (one with left hand, one with right hand). I'm trying to understand Ableton Live well enough to assign up to 8 tracks/sounds to each MIDI controller (since each controller has 8 track buttons/knobs) and be able to switch to any of those sounds on either MIDI controller during a song.

So, ideally I'd have up to 16 sounds (if that's possible) I can choose from to use during a live gig.

I've been able to plug in my controllers and they both are recognized by Ableton. And when I select a track (such as "Acoustic piano"), both keyboards will play that sounds.

1) How do I go about assigning specific tracks to each MIDI controller?

2) how do I manage playing one sound (say "Acoustic piano") with one MIDI controller and another sound (say, "Bass") with the other MIDI controller simultaneously? 

I don't need to use this for any type of recording or composition. I simply want to have  up to 8 sounds to play out of each of my MIDI controllers.

I'm brand new to Ableton Live, so however much you can give your answers in step-by-step layman's terms would be much appreciated. 


My MIDI controllers are: an Axiom 49 Classic and an Axiom Pro 49. They both connect via USB

I'm using a Macbook laptop w/ OSX 10.6.8

I have Ableton Live Lite 8


2 answers

  • colonp
    48 answers
    54 votes received
    3 votes

    I would set up each instrument to listen to just one MIDI channel, then switch MIDI channel on your controllers as needed. There are 16 MIDI channels, so as long as you only need 16 instruments, this will suffice.

    So this is setup for controller 1 to start on MIDI channel 1 and for controller 2 to start on MIDI channel 9, then just increase channel by one on each controller between songs.

    As you can see on track 8, you can also have a track set up to only accept MIDI from a specific controller, so this way of doing it is easily expandable to up to 32 available sounds across your 2 controllers.

    Changing MIDI channels on controllers:

    49 Classic: - Press the Glob Chan button. The LCD will show the channel on which the keyboard is currently transmitting.
    - Enter a channel between 1-16 on the numeric keypad. The LCD will update to display the new channel selected as
    you enter the data.
    - You can also use the -/+ buttons to step through the channels.

    49 pro: - hit “Edit” then “1” (Global). Then I assume you can hit +/-1 or input a new value, the manual doesn't easily give this information :P

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • Alberto877
    5 answers
    10 votes received
    0 votes

    How can you change MIDI Channels on Ableton Push ?

    3 years ago | 3 comments

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