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MIDI triggering in Ableton Live

In this guide, you will learn how to use MIDI notes in Ableton Live to retrigger LFOs in ShaperBox (TimeShaper, FilterShaper Core, VolumeShaper, PanShaper, WidthShaper), FilterShaper 3, MidiShaper and PanCake.

Using this technique, the LFO will play from the beginning each time a MIDI note is received. You can therefore trigger the LFO in any pattern you like – for example, sidechain your bassline to a non-4/4 kick drum pattern.

MIDI triggering is especially useful in Ableton Live because it overcomes timing problems that can arise in Live when using latency-inducing plugins.


1. Enable MIDI Trigger mode

In the Cableguys plugin, select a 'MIDI Triggered' or 'MIDI 1-Shot' triggering mode.

Note: If you are a Mac user, load the VST version of the Cableguys plugin and not the AU version, as AU plugins cannot accept MIDI input.



2. Set up a MIDI Track

Insert a MIDI Track, create a MIDI clip, and add MIDI notes in the rhythm that you want to trigger the Cableguys plugin.

Any note will work, except when ShaperBox's Wave-switching MIDI Trigger option is enabled, in which case only C notes will trigger a Wave reset.



3. Route the MIDI track

On the MIDI track, set the upper Output slot to the track containing the Cableguys plugin.

In the lower Output slot, select the Cableguys plugin.

Now the Wave envelope/LFO will play from the beginning with each MIDI note.