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MFC with no Axe-Fx as a controller for Ableton

D.B. Walker

Inspired
So ... I have the FC for my AxeIII, now I want to repurpose my MFC t work with Ableton Live.

I'm not sure how to do it. I set it up with all IA switches, and could just send controller on off messages, however, I only get one set of switches that way.

I can't seem to figure out how to get it to just send midi patch change messages, on ch 16, for each switch, so I can bank up and down to get up to 128 patches ... and use that to map in Ableton ... any ideas?
 

D.B. Walker

Inspired
When I use preset changes, it sends a large chunk of data out ... I cannot figure out a way to use preset switches because of this. Ableton maps the control to the last midi info received, which is patch 127, channel 1 ... for all buttons. And I have the AXE channel set to 16.

So unless there is a way to tell the MFC to simmer down and just send patch changes on one channel ... IA will be the only way ... that kinda is a drag.

Here is a partial dump of what midi is sent when you press one preset button.

Screen Shot 2020-01-13 at 6.38.04 AM.png
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Ah... I forgot it sends preset changes on ALL midi channels.

What you're seeing is Bank and PC for all 16 channels.

Not sure this can be disabled.

No way to make Ableton listen on only a specific channel?
 

solo-act

Fractal Fanatic
I use a Gordius Little Giant for controlling Ableton. You can do a lot with just CC and Note On commands, and the LG is more flexible and programmable than other midi foot switches. Buying a used LG and learning it might be easier than trying to get the MFC to do something it's not designed for.
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
Not sure this can be disabled.
It can, but it takes a while on the MFC. There might be a faster method using MFC-Edit.

A faster approach than disabling 15 PCs on every preset is to adjust one preset, then use bank/preset copy functions to fill all the banks required. After that you'd need to adjust PC# of the channel you want to use on every preset, since they would all match whatever you initially copied.
 

D.B. Walker

Inspired
Got this: https://www.bome.com/products/miditranslator

Bome MIDI Translator Pro

Its a very deep ... complex ... insane utility for working with midid data ... if anyone has figured it how to use it to filter all but 1 channel form the mess of data coming off the MFC, Let me know .. When I figure it out I'll post the result here.

I'm sure there are others thinking about how to do this.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
I already mentioned what it was sending.

Just filter out all midi channels except the one you want to use. The other data is expected.
 

D.B. Walker

Inspired
Well I did it.

Using Bome MIDI Translator Pro I was able to strip out all the data I didn't want. Along the way poked around enough to figure out that it cannot be done using the MFC firmware ( only send a patch change ).

Bome is a bit ... odd ... but for future adventurers this is how I got it to work. The key idea here is that your project does not have an output, so the data all goes out a non existent port, unless it hits your filter and you redirect it. I couldn't get Bome to output a clean patch change message, I don't know why. So what this patch is doing is translating the patch number to a control number. And it works! I can now bank up and down and have pages and pages of buttons for Ableton to use.
  1. Plug the Midi out of the MFC Into a port , lets call this Port A
  2. Create a project in Bome
  3. Select port A as your input
  4. Leave output blank (no output port)
  5. Set the incoming message to Program Change, on the channel you want where, oo = the channel, and pp = the program change (See screen shot)
  6. Add the below rule:
    if oo==14 then exit rules, execute Outgoing Action
    if oo!=14 then exit rules, skip Outgoing Action
  7. Add an outgoing action where you are outputting on channel oo and you are using control change pp. Use the Bome virtual port as the output.
  8. You will have toilet Live know you are using that port as a remote in the Live Prefs.
I hope this helps someone in the future... and to future me ... yeah ... the Bome videos are a thing ... aint they....

Link to my Bome Project file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z7mogvsm9gpyouy/Filter all.bmtp?dl=0
Some screen shots:
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 7.19.53 AM.pngScreen Shot 2020-01-20 at 7.20.40 AM.pngScreen Shot 2020-01-20 at 7.32.58 AM.png
 
Last edited:

Bakerman

Axe-Master
I'm pretty sure the MFC can be made to send only the commands needed. You'd have to disable the other channels' PCs as mentioned above, plus ensure no IAs or internal CCs are configured to be sent on preset changes.
 

hubula

New Member
Just read the manual, it's all there. MFC is a very capable controller and there is no reason to use MIDI filtering software let alone buying some other controller :)
 

simeon

Axe-Master
can't you just set up a midi channel in ableton, with the mfc as it's source. set the midi channel of the incoming midi on the channel in ableton to 16 and have that as the source for any other channel in ableton that you want to receive data?

i've called it "axe in" here as i don't have an mfc...

screenshot.jpg
 

D.B. Walker

Inspired
If you look at the data that comes off the MFC when you press a button, there is a lot, controllers, patch changes on every channel some system exclusive data as well. When mapping midi remote commands to items in the UI of Ableton you press the button, and the last command received is mapped.

I could not figure out how to limit all the data coming off the MFC to just a single patch change on a single channel. If there is a way, I'm all ears.
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
MFC manual sections 12.1.2 & 12.4.8 cover preset PC & IA editing. Set channels' PCs and IA CCs to "none" to send no data. You'd probably want to remove CC assignments for unused external switch/pedal ports also (12.4.14-16).

Did you set Axe-FX mode to "none"? Not doing that would explain SysEx commands being sent. I'm not sure what else would cause those, unless you set up custom SysEx preset/IA messages.

Can things be mapped manually in Ableton? That might be easier than removing extra commands.
 

D.B. Walker

Inspired
Yeah ... I set it to none, then looked at the mountain of data ... and tried to see if there was a .... easy button ... to turn it all off... turned off a bunch ... then realized I'd have to do that 128 times ...

Bome Midi Translator is working fine ... ;)

"Can things be mapped manually in Ableton?"
- Not that I can tell, its really geared towards a physical control, touch the control and it maps automatically.
 

D.B. Walker

Inspired
Yeah, I did 'the pipe ... then I tried Midi Pipe, and couldn't get it working with Live. Bome costs some dough ...but I remember using the free version many many years ago ... about time I ponied up.
 
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