How to Swap Sounds for MIDI Controller Live Performance?

I'm pretty new to Ableton and I'm looking to use it for live performance with my m-audio keystation 88 (A simple midi controller). At the moment I'm not trying to record anything or play any loops or pre-recorded clips, just play the keyboard live through ableton instruments and vst plugins.

I've got this up and running with different instruments/vst plugins on different midi tracks (and even instrument groups with multiple plugins on some tracks for more complex sounds). But my main question is this: What's the best/smoothest way to switch between sounds for live performance?

I've sort-of accomplished this, but in a clunky way, and there must be something better. I don't have that many extra buttons on my controller, so I resorted to just mapping the directional arrow buttons on my controller (the mackie transport control buttons) to the "monitor" setting for individual tracks on ableton. So I can toggle specific individual track "monitor" settings to "in" or "off" with specific arrow buttons on my controller. As I said, this is working, but I only have controls for up to 4 tracks/sounds (5 if is use the middle "select" button as well) and then I don't have access to the directional arrow controls (though I haven't found anything useful for live performance that I can do with them yet). And I'm not sure if switching the monitor setting is the best way to swap sounds for live performance as I have to not only turn one channel on, but I have to turn another channel off as well.

Can anyone explain, or point me to some documentation on how to do this in a better way? I can use my mackiecontrol buttons on my midi controller to move left and right to highlight different tracks, and i can move up and down between clips on the track, but I'm not using this for any music composing or recording, so I have no clips and moving up and down (or the middle select button) doesn't do anything. Is there a way to map the middle select button on my midi controller to do an action relative to the track I currently have selected? I know i can map it, for example, to the "monitor" toggle of a specific track, but I'd like to have it toggle the "monitor" setting of whichever track I have selected via the directional transport keys.

Or is there just some other feature I'm not aware of that does this more easily?

Alternately, my midi controller has only a few additional buttons outside of the standard piano keys, but it DOES have an "Advanced" mode. When this mode is activated, the piano keys are mapped to various functional controls, for example: octave transpose, semitone transpose, switch between Mackie and HUI mode, select "channel" number, Select "program", select "bank", etc. I think somewhere in the "channel", "program", or "bank" selection is supposed to be a control to switch between voices, but I can't figure out how to use it. Is there a way to map these various selectors to select different tracks or voices in ableton? Or generally to do anything even? I don't even see a response at all in ableton when using these selection keys, and it does not show any input when I'm in the key mapping mode in ableton and press those advanced functions on my controller. I don't know if this issue is unique to my specific midi controller or if this functionality is something more general that I just don't know how to use in ableton.

I'd really appreciate any info anyone can give me on any of this. Thanks so much!

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danjump 3 years ago | 0 comments

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