Quick Tip: Shape your MIDI Performance with Live’s Velocity device

So you’ve got your brand new MIDI keyboard and you’re ready to record the most shredding synth performance ever. Only, after you’ve recorded your MIDI performance, you notice that the recorded MIDI velocities aren’t quite what you heard in your head when you were rocking out. Let’s face it, unless you shelled out some big bucks for a fully weighted MIDI controller, then you’ve most likely noticed that these aren’t the most sensitive and dynamic performance devices.

Luckily, instead of having to edit every individual MIDI note by hand, Live offers a great device to speed up the process. The Velocity device allows you to shape the velocity portion of your MIDI performance. Today’s Quick Tip shows a quick and easy way to help set your Out Low and Out Hi values.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Oh silly AbletonOp, I know how to set the Hi and Low output values”, and you’re probably right. But this method will help you streamline the process.

Take this scenario for instance: You have a 32 bar synth solo on loop and you’re trying to set the Hi and Low output values. The Velocity device works by scaling the velocities of the recorded performance to the settings of the Hi and Low output values, and unless you’ve gone through and singled out the quietest and loudest MIDI notes in the solo, then listening to the loop and sweeping the knobs is not going to be the quickest or most accurate way.

Allow me to direct your attention to an often overlooked parameter of this device, the Fixed mode.

In Fixed mode, only the Max Output parameter is engaged, setting all outgoing MIDI notes to a discrete value. I like to use this mode to speed up the process of finding my Hi and Low values.

So begin playback of the epic synth solo, set the Velocity device in Fixed mode, and use the Output Hi knob to pick out the upper limit. (This may be less than 127). Then repeat the process for the Output Low value. Once you have picked those two values, go back into Clip mode and assign the Out Hi and Out Low accordingly.

Using this method will take less time and be more accurate than the previous method described above.

That’s your Quick Tip for today, taking the stress out of MIDI. Check back at the end of the week for Free Sound Friday.

Cheers,

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