One way to use AudioCubes with Ableton Live, is using our free MIDIBridge application. MIDIBridge can send MIDI notes as well as control changes to Live.
1) Using MIDI notes, audio clips can be started and stopped, or effects and instruments can be turned off, or buttons toggled ...
2) Using control changes, sound parameters of effects and instruments can be changed.
We will first set up and configure MIDI ports, software and AudioCubes, and then go through the basics of using AudioCubes and Ableton Live together.
MIDIBridge requires 1 or more "Internal MIDI Ports". These internal MIDI ports will enable routing MIDI from MIDIBridge to third-party applications such as Ableton Live. You can read Configuring Virtual MIDI ports to understand how to set up these virtual MIDI ports.
Before continuing, you should download AudioCubes MIDIBridge from the download section and download an Ableton Live demo from http://www.ableton.com/.
You should also download the simple demo sound pack for ableton live and audiocubes from our download section. This is a demo set of sounds for Live that has been preprogrammed to work with MIDIBridge, and can act as a starting point for your own AudioCubes / Ableton Live setup.
Please note that the software you download from our downloads section might be newer than the software discussed in this howto. This shouldn't be a problem, and the concepts discussed here are still relevant and can still be used even if the software is newer than this howto.
The AudioCubes electronics inside the cubes need special software to run, called firmware. It's possible that the MIDIBridge version you installed is newer than the software in your cubes. To make sure MIDIBridge works well, you should also update the firmware of your cubes to the latest version, if you haven't already done that. More information about this can be found in the audiocubes firmware upgrade tool manual.
When the MIDI Bridge was started, no MIDI output port is selected. If you want to send the events created by the cubes to Ableton Live, you need to use a virtual MIDI port (see above for info on how to set this up on your computer).
To the right side of the MIDIBridge window, you will find a panel to choose a MIDI output port and channel. If you are on Mac, select an IAC driver port. If you are on PC, select a LoopBe internal MIDI port.
Start Ableton Live on your computer and keep the MIDI Bridge open:
1) On Mac, go to the Live menu and select Preferences.
2) On PC, go to Options > Preferences.
A menu will appear similar to the screenshot above. Select the MIDI tab on the left hand side of the window to display the MIDI options. Next, set the Track and Remote buttons as shown for LoopBe Internal MIDI (PC) or IAC Driver Busses 1 and 2 (Mac).
Open the ableton live demo set (see above for more info about this and where to download it).
The Live set we created contains 3 audio tracks each with 4 clips in it. Each track corresponds to a different instrument (drums, foreground and background melodies). Each of the combinations of the faces of the Sender - Receiver cube pair corresponds to one of the audio clips.
Try moving the Sender cube around the Receiver cube and try various combinations of faces. You will notice how the location of the Sender cube and its orientation determine which sound is being played.
If you would like to stop the playback of the sounds, you can press the stop button at the top of the screen, in the middle. Alternatively you can press the SPACE BAR on your keyboard to start/stop the music.
If you want to start and stop different instruments (tracks), you can connect different cubes one after the other, and set each of them to sender, except the last one, which you configure as a receiver. You do all the configuring using cube 1 panel in MIDIBridge, if you have only one USB cable. The first panel in MIDIBridge corresponds to the first cube you have connected using a cable.
If you connect two cubes simultaneously, you can use 2 panels in MIDIBridge to set up 2 cubes at the same time. However, you can just use one cable to set up your four (or more) cubes, and be totally fine. There is no need to set them up simultaneously. You can just unplug and plug cubes back in as you wish without restarting MIDIBridge or Ableton Live. You can even do this during your live show without any problems.
If you go into MIDI mapping mode in Live (press CTRL+M on PC or Apple-M on Mac) you will see the MIDI mappings that have been preprogrammed into this Ableton Live demo set.
The MIDI trigger notes from MIDIBridge have been assigned to three groups of 4 clips each, and the MIDI control change sent by one of the sensors of the cubes via MIDIBridge has been assigned to the cutoff frequency of the auto filter in the effects rack at the bottom of the screen in Live.
These are just basic mappings to start off with. You can get very advanced with mapping MIDI from MIDIBridge to Ableton Live, as well as sending MIDI from Ableton Live back into MIDIBridge to control cube colors. Have fun and experiment. If you get stuck, send us an email (contact info on the home page).
Go to the MidiBridge Manual to learn more about our application.