Korg Nanokey2 Ableton tutorial – connect, setup & midi map

Korg’s Nanokey2 is an exceptionally flexible midi keyboard and is a powerful tool when is used with Ableton Live. This midi keyboard has a plethora of features, making it perfect for Ableton Live.

In this tutorial you will learn everything you need to know about using the Korg Nanokey2 with Ableton Live. including how to connect, setup and midi map the Nanokey2.

Article Contents

  1. Does the Korg Nanokey2 work with Ableton Live?
  2. Does the Korg Nanokey2 come with ableton Live included?
  3. How to connect the Nanokey2 to ableton
  4. How to midi map the Korg Nanokey2 in Ableton Live
  5. The Limitations of midi mapping the Nanokey2
    1. Saving your Nanokey2 Midi Mappings is cumbersome
    2. Ableton MIDI mappings are one-to-one
    3. Limited Ableton parameter options to map to
    4. A great solution to these problems
  6. Why can’t I hear my Push in Ableton Live?

Does the Korg Nanokey2 work with Ableton Live?

In a nutshell, the Korg Nanokey2 is able to work fully with Ableton Live.

Despite the absence of a built-in MIDI remote script within Ableton Live, users can still use the Nanokey2 to midi map to numerous functions in the software.

All editions of Ableton Live, from Intro to Suite, can be used with any device that sends out MIDI data. This is the case for all versions of Live, 9, 10, or 11. Seeing as the Nanokey2 is a MIDI capable device, it is fully suited to function with Ableton Live.

You can create your own Ableton midi mappings with ease, giving you the power to control many of the features of Ableton Live with your Nanokey2.

Does the Korg Nanokey2 come with ableton Live included?

Ableton Live Lite isn’t included with the Nanokey2, so this must be bought separately.

There are three main versions of Ableton Live: Intro, Standard and Suite. Even though Intro and Standard are both effective, Suite offers a lot more, including 70GB of library sounds, compared to Standard’s 10GB.

If you’re looking to make sure you have the full range of Audio and MIDI effects, we suggest you go with Ableton Live Suite, as it has far more than the Standard edition.

How to connect the Nanokey2 to ableton

Linking and configuring the Korg Nanokey2 to Ableton Live is not too complicated, and once you have them paired together you can control the software’s settings from your midi keyboard.

1. Connect the Nanokey2 to your computer via USB.
First, connect the USB cable to both the Nanokey2 and your computer.
2. Launch Ableton Live and open the MIDI preferences.
Double click the Ableton Live icon to launch the software. Then, in the top menu of Ableton, go to the Preferences menu by opening the ‘Live’ menu and clicking ‘Preferences’.
3. Select the Nanokey2 from the list of available devices.
Click the the MIDI Sync tab, make sure that Input and Output for the Nanokey2 are checked.
4. Ensure that the proper ‘Track’, ‘Remote’ and ‘Sync’ boxes are checked for both input and output.

  • Track: When checked, this allows MIDI notes and CC messages to be sent/received.
  • Sync: This option enables MIDI clock syncing between Ableton live and the external device.
  • Remote: Allows external MIDI controllers to remotely control parameters within Ableton Live.

In the ‘MIDI’ section of this tab, make sure the ‘Track’ and ‘Remote’ boxes are checked for both the Input and Output of the Nanokey2 (Sync can also be optionally checked).

The Nanokey2 is all set and can now be used with Ableton Live.

How to midi map the akai mpk mini in Ableton Live

Upon making a successful connection between the Korg Nanokey2 and Ableton Live using the instructions above, you can now use MIDI mapping to allocate the physical knobs, pads, keys etc on the device to their respective functions in Ableton Live like this:

1. Select the MIDI Map Mode button in the top right corner of the Live window. The button should turn orange, indicating that the MIDI Map Mode is enabled.
2. Select the parameter you wish to control in Ableton by clicking it with the cursor, the parameter will become highlighted.
3. Move a control on the Nanokey2, such as a knob or fader.
4. The parameter you selected is now mapped to the physical control which you moved on the Nanokey2.
5. Moving the physical control on your Nanokey2 will now move the position of the corresponding parameter in Ableton.
6. Repeat steps 2 – 4 for any other parameters you wish to map.
7. When you’re finished mapping, press the MIDI Map Mode button again to disable it.

The Limitations of midi mapping the Nanokey2

Ableton’s midi mapping system provides a great way to quickly customize your Nanokey2, though it does have a few limitations to be mindful of…

Saving your Nanokey2 Midi Mappings is cumbersome

Mappings are saved along with your Ableton session. Therefore, if a new session is created, you must re-map all of your controls.

Ableton MIDI mappings are one-to-one

With a one-to-one MIDI mapping, each control on your Nanokey2 can only be assigned to a single parameter in Ableton Live.

Limited Ableton parameter options to map to

Ableton’s internal midi mapping mode is unfortunately missing many control options. Options such as selected track and selected device control aren’t possible using this method. You can see a list of all available Ableton midi mapping options here.

We have a great solution to these problems

If you’re looking to get the most out of your Nanokey2, our Ableton Midi Script Creator tool ‘Control Surface Studio‘ is exactly what you need!
With it, you’ll be able to:
– save and re-use your Nanokey2’s mappings across all of your Ableton Live sessions,
– map multiple Ableton parameters to a single control on your Nanokey2,
– access many more Ableton parameter controls for your Nanokey2, than Live’s internal midi mapping mode allows.

Learn more about Control Surface Studio and see how it can help you by clicking here!

FAQ / Troubleshooting

Why can’t I hear my Nanokey2 in Ableton Live?

There are several possible causes:
1. Make sure that the Nanokey2 is connected properly to your computer via USB and that the cable is not damaged.
2. Make sure that the Nanokey2 is selected as your audio input and output device in your audio settings.
3. Make sure that the correct driver is installed for the Nanokey2.
4. Make sure that the Nanokey2 is selected as the input device in Ableton’s MIDI Preferences.