Today I’m going to write a little about Simpler, Live’s basic sample playback device. In particular, I’m going to clear up one common area of confusion: how to make sample playback velocity sensitive (so the harder you hit a drum pad or keyboard key, the louder the sample gets), and how to set this as the default behavior of Simpler.

By default, Simpler has a velocity sensitivity of zero, so every note (or drum hit, or chimpanzee scream) will play at the same volume. To change this, you have to tweak the “Velocity to Volume” amount, shown here:


70% is a good value to start with. Increasing the percentage will make the volume more sensitive and exaggerate the dynamics of your performance. Up at 100%, you’ll probably find that it gets hard to play unless you have very sensitive hardware and a very refined touch. Give it a try.

For me, I almost always want velocity sensitivity, so on my system I’ve saved 70% as the default value for Simpler. It’s easy. Set the velocity value you want to be your default value in an empty Simpler, then right-click in the title bar, and select the Save as Default Preset menu option:


This command saves the current state of every parameter in the Simpler as default for the device, so feel free to go nuts and customize it however you like. For me, though the rest of the defaults work fine as-is.