Build better Midi Remote Scripts for your controllers

by John Carney last updated Apr 04, 2017

Today I would like to do something slightly different, I want to show you a quick and simple method to create better scripts for your midi controllers.

I know that you’re probably super eager to get into all of the great types of functionality inside Ableton that Remotify gives you access to, but I want you to put this on pause momentarily as I’d like to get back to basics with a pencil and piece of paper.

I want you to really think about how your controller should actually control Ableton.

It’s a very simple concept but in my opinion super important to really understand what it is that you’re trying to achieve with your setup.

The key to being able to put on an amazing live show that has your crowd begging for more or to increase your productivity in the studio and ultimately allow you to create more exciting and professional tracks is a workflow which works for your own unique situation.

What I want you to do is draw a diagram of how you want each input on your controller to control inside Ableton.

The reason for doing this is that if you plan out exactly what you want before you even fire up Remotify and start building, it will give you a much clearer overview of what you want to achieve as well as the functionality you need.

Plus it will get you thinking about your controller as a complete instrument.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

first, draw a sketch of your controller, keep it simple, you can just draw a rectangle or square for the case.

the basic shape of your midi controller

For the physical inputs you can use circles for knobs, squares for buttons etc. and make sure to leave a good amount of space around the edge for your comments.

adding controls to our drawing
all controls added to controller

Now for each input, draw a line to it from the outside and give it a name of what you want it to do. For example I want this slider to control the volume on track 1 so I’ll draw a line to it and write track 1 volume. Simple.

schematic

When you’ve finished adding notes to every input you’ll have a complete design (or schematic if you want to talk technical) of all of your required functionality.

Did you make any changes along the way or have a sudden realisation that something better could be done? I bet you did.

If you’re a pro user, I’d recommend creating separate versions of the drawing and labelling them (mode 1, mode 2, mode 3 etc) remember to choose which buttons will switch between the active mode.

mode 1

Now that you have your completed design, take a look at the app's 'midi type' page and compare it to your designs.

mapping type page

Do you know how you’ll created each piece of functionality? if not, there are ways to achieve certain pieces of functionality that might not be obvious.

If you’re stuck, hop over to the forum, you can ask about it there and even upload a photo of your design so that we can give you suggestions and help you out along the way.

Else, if everything you require is available to you, its time for you to start building your perfect Script!

So what are you waiting for? Jump into the app and get building!

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