What are MIDI remote scripts?

John Carney's picture by John Carney last updated Jun 20, 2018
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Most people already know about Ableton Live's built in MIDI mapping engine. You click a parameter, then press/push/turn the relevant input on your midi controller and boom! you have a midi mapping. It's a useful feature and gives you the ability to easily assign some functions to your controller. Unfortunately it's also pretty limited in how you can use it to control Ableton and has other drawbacks such as needing to re-map all of your controls each time you start a new session.

You may have noticed that a lot of MIDI controllers come with their own set of functionality built in, you don’t need to go through the mapping process as it just works out of the box.
Have you ever wondered how this works?
Believe it or not, this functionality doesn't actually come from the hardware, they use a little known Ableton Live's 'MIDI remote script' technology.
Also known as Control Surface scripts, they are files written in the Python coding language which are stored within Ableton Live can give you the ability to control Ableton Live from your MIDI controller or keyboard in much deeper ways than the built-in MIDI mapping mode.

Essentially they're the brains for your MIDI controller!

Using MIDI remote scripts gives you access to Ableton Live in a much more dynamic way. There is functionality you can utilise with them which can't with built-in mapping, such as such as being able to control the currently selected track or session box control (also known as the red box).
Plus they work immediately, every time you open a new session.

If MIDI remote scripts are so good, why isn’t everyone writing their own?


Unfortunately there's a couple of massive barriers standing in people's way when it comes to writing MIDI remote scripts. The first is that you need to be a coder, in particular you need to know how to write code in Python which is quite a time consuming subject to learn. On top of this though, you need to learn how to write the MIDI remote scripts themselves which use Ableton's own API and how to do this is largely undocumented on the web.

So, unless you’re an expert software developer, you’re probably going to have a very hard time with it. If you decided to take this on I would suggest you set aside at least a couple of months and many late nights filled with broken scripts before you even get past the basics.

Wouldn’t you rather be doing something more interesting, like making music?
That’s where our App comes in!

Remotify is an App which automatically creates MIDI remote scripts for you. There's no coding involved, all you need to is choose the functionality you want, download it and away you go. Click here to use it for free right now.

Save yourself from wasted months trying to learn how to write MIDI scripts so instead you can spend it creating music with your amazing new Controller/Ableton setup.

"If you’re new to scripting in Ableton, this tool is a must.

It will not only save you a massive headache, but also allows you to learn how it works as you go since Remotify also gives you an uncompiled “.py” version of the files so you can have a look at the code.

This app will make basic mapping tasks a breeze."

Matias,
DJ Techtools

"Controllers are great! But sometimes you wish to customize a few knobs.
Before Remotify, you had to be a programmer to create an Ableton script.
Today, us mere mortals can go online to Remotify and use their dead simple, drag and drop script creator.

It literally takes a few seconds to have custom control of Ableton!
In the time it took you to read this, you could have created your own custom Ableton Script for that controller sitting in front of you!"

Antonio Sage,
Certified Ableton Instructor & Creative Director at AudiOutlaw

"Thanks again. It is working great! I'm running 2x DS1s to extend control over 16 channels and your Remotify app has enabled me to tailor the functionality and workflow in a way that I couldn't achieve otherwise. Thank you!"

Jap_

"Thank you so much for your support! It's nice to see how active you are and willing to help out customers on an individual basis. Can't wait to see how this project will evolve with all those exciting possibilities coming up. It has already evolved a lot since a few weeks ago when I discovered Remotify."

Oneiroi

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