Sometimes a feature is a liability.

For example, on the APC40 you might find it handy to have the Stop button located conveniently at the front of the controller, right above the crossfader. On the gig? Not so much – it’s just plain dangerous.

On the VCM-600, the scene navigation knob can be pushed down to launch the current scene. I learned this on a gig when I leaned on it by accident. Ouch.

These automatic behaviors are a feature of Live’s Control Surface support:

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That’s why, on the gig, its important to have a strategy to make sure your controller is under your control. Sometimes this is simply a matter of disabling control surface support…

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…and using the controller as a standard MIDI controller:

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Mapping all those controls may seem like a hassle, but manually mapping makes all sorts of good stuff possible. For example, If you map your volume faders manually you can make them max out at 0dB instead of +6.

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The problem with this approach is that some controllers (such as the APC40) have features that only work in control surface mode (the clip grid). We’ll get more into this issue in the next tip…