Not all of us can afford to have some sort of custom-made, MIDI command center alá Daft Punk or Ableton swami Robert Henke. Some of us are plebes who are trying to make these beats while squatting in a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on La Cienega. And, for us, maybe it’s a good idea to maximize the input capabilities of the most irreducible part of an Ableton setup: Ye Olde Keyboarde. By using Max for Live, we can make the keyboard do pretty much anything imaginable. And, in future installments, we’ll talk about using the trackpad (which on a Macbook, can track 10(?!) independent input points! Take that, Lemur.
In this video, we’ll cover the “key” object, which accepts keypresses from the computer keyboard (there’s actually a much more swank version of this object called “hi”, which will allow you to access the trackpad, mic and IR inputs, but be patient Daniel-san). We’ll then take that input and use it to trigger different clips, making ourselves a kind of clip matrix with the keyboard. We’ll do this by assigning keys a-f to scenes 1-4 and keys j-; to tracks 1-4. In the process, we’ll also cover how to use variables in Max for Live and introduce the “select” object, which will help us manage our keypresses. So, get ready, because this is going to be too awesome for words.