One of the nice things about Live is powerful and simple to configure remote control. Manipulating Live’s interface using MIDI controllers or the computer keyboard is incredibly simple once you get started. However, you occasionally run into things that aren’t possible, or you want to automate a remote control action for live performance.

For example, what if you wanted to be able to press a button and have the tempo of your set slowly change tempos over 32 bars, or (as someone sent me a question about months ago) you wanted to quantize the Back to Arrangement button so it wouldn’t take effect until the beginning of a bar?

The (non-Max For Live) solution to these sorts of issues is to use a technique called MIDI loopback, which allows you to use a MIDI clip to hold remote control instructions that get executed when the clip is launched. These clips are sometimes referred to as macros or macro clips.

To get started with this technique, you’ve first gotta set up IAC (on the mac) or MIDI Yoke or LoopBe30 (for windows. there are probably other similar programs too. not my area of expertise.)

I’ll be going over the Mac version of setting this up, but it’s still useful to you windows users. If you’re new to this technique, the concept is the really important thing. You’ll be able to figure out the technology once you’re clear on what you’re trying to do.

The first step is to open Audio MIDI setup:

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In the MIDI tab, you’ll see an icon for IAC (Inter Application Communication) Driver:

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Double click on it. In the window that opens, check the box that says “Device is Online”

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Close the window, and you’re done! Good work. Go have a cocktail. Next we’ll look at the Live side of the configuration.