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Add instrument/device with command?

Submitted by fatherservo on Fri, 08/07/2020 - 14:07
Control Surface Studio User

Basically interested in whether it's possible to access anything to do with the browser.

I have a folder of presets, just instruments and devices I've mapped to macros so when I open them I can immediately use my macro controls.

Wondering if there's a way to map a button to open a specific device, even if there's a way to send out keystrokes? For example if I could push a button, it sends ctrl+f, types 'msatu' then hits enter to open my mapped saturator device? I know I could set this up with autohotkey, but of course that can't be triggered from a midi device that's already being used in Ableton (I'm on Windows so only Ableton can see my controller). Currently looking into if there's an M4L device that can do this or a way to make it in Max, but I have less Max experience than CSS experience, so not hopeful if I have to make it myself.

Failling this - I have it set up so I can open and close the browser, is there any way to then use an endless encoder to navigate this? This is a far less desirable option to me, as it'd be quicker just to type what I wanted.

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10 Responses


Control Surface Studio User

Starting to think this might be possible using Max Object 11strokes, unfortunately I can't make sense of its instructions in terms of how to trigger it with MIDI.

Control Surface Studio User

Ok I think I'm getting there with this - this could be huge.

Control Surface Studio User

OK! I've figured this out in a cool way.

Track 1 is a Max device where you can map it's knobs to send different CCs out. Pads on my controller are mapped to these so I push the button and it moves the knob up and then back down.

Goes into a max device i've created that checks which CC is coming in and if it matches the correct pad it triggers 11stroke which searches for and opens the device I want. Super cool.

If anyone is interested in this I'm happy to share it all, it takes a little setting up as you have to type the names of the devices 1 character at a time (command string for my saturator preset is 6 1, 52 2, 6 0, 59 2, 65 2, 47 2, 66 2, 67 2, 46 2, 1 1, 6 1, 9 1, 48 2, 6 0, 9 0 for example). But seems super powerful, can't see any limit to this really. You could basically trigger any keyboard shortcut you wanted using this!

John C
Forum Admin

Wow this sounds really good! the browser is not mappable via scripts at all, so a work around like this is an awesome solution. Thanks for sharing.

Control Surface Studio User

working this into a user friendly max plug currently

Pro User

New user here and I am really interested in "You could basically trigger any keyboard shortcut you wanted using this" that you wrote.
I am looking for a way to Save a project (ctrl+s), show plugin windows (ctrl+alt+P) ect... using midi controller.
But looks quite difficult and didn't found any good solution for now.

Control Surface Studio User

Hi fatherservo,

have you advanced on this topic and potentially a max for live plugin that you are going to share?
Finding this really interesting, as I am currently preloading plenty of instruments using multiple chains... This solution is rather bulky, as all plugins are loaded into RAM when launching the project making everything really slow!

Therefore I am looking for a solution where I can just load instruments from a predefined list just when I need them and keep the project itself small and efficient.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Control Surface Studio User

@Robstaaaaa - annoyingly I don't think I can actually 'reply' to you on here so I hope you see this.

here's the patch , let me know if it doesn't work. I'm pretty sure I've frozen it correctly so it should come bundled with the necessary external to make it run. Clicking the question mark on the interface will give you instructions, but let me know if you have any troubles.

At this point I haven't looked at it in over a year, and I got some advice from someone better at making max plugins and realised really it needs a lot of reworking to be a really great plugin, but I just tested it and it seems to still work regardless.

I was hoping to make a reddit post or something asking for a few testers, but after realising my Max 'coding' is pretty messy I figured I should tidy it up first. unfortunately my ADHD got in the way and I abandoned this entirely instead, but I'm happy to share it. If you get some use out of it and find it helpful do let me know, I should probably work on it still.


Control Surface Studio User

Hi fatherservo,

thank you for sharing! I tried it and it works!
An issue I found is that upper case letters do not work, but as searching is not case sensitive, using lower case letters fixes this

Control Surface Studio User

yeah I believe the external I used for typing has different characters for upper case, and I most likely didn't add them to the dictionary.

just a quick query - if you try a series of numbers, do they come out in order? On my old computer if I did something like 1313 it'd sometimes come out as 1133, but every other computer I've tried it on worked totally fine.

hope you're finding it helpful anyway, I learnt max to build this and it took me a good while, so I'm glad someone is getting some use out of it at least!