Setting up MidiShaper in Ableton Live

You can use MidiShaper to modulate hardware devices as well as software synthesizers and effects in Ableton Live. Modulating software synthesizers can be done via Live's MIDI mapping, or via a synthesizer's "MIDI Learn". This tutorial will cover the latter.

Modulate a software synthesizer

Modulate Ableton Live's own devices or controls

You need system-wide virtual MIDI ports to control Ableton Live's own devices or controls:

Windows: We recommend to install MIDI Yoke, LoopBe or loopMIDI if you want to add virtual MIDI ports.

OS X: You can set up virtual MIDI ports in your system preferences. To do so, open your system's "Audio-MIDI-Setup", then select "Show MIDI Window" from the "Window" menu, double-click the IAC driver and check "Device is online". You can then add and remove MIDI ports.

Please note that (virtual) MIDI ports have two flaws:

Then follow the steps in this video:

Modulating software synthesizers via their built-in "MIDI Learn"

We use the software synthesizer Cypher by FXpansion for this example, but it should basically work the same with any software synthesizer that has a built-in "MIDI Learn" function.

1. Create two MIDI tracks in Ableton Live, "MIDI 1" and "MIDI 2".

2. Place the VST version of MidiShaper on "MIDI 1", place a DCAM synth, for example Cypher, on "MIDI 2".

3. Open MidiShaper, make sure "Out to Host" is selected in the Modulations area, and choose a MIDI CC target, for example number 9 as modulation destination, and route something to it.
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4. Select "MIDI 1" and then "MidiShaper" in the "MIDI From"-menu of track "MIDI 2", and select Monitor "In". Any notes that you play need to be located on "MIDI 1".
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5. Open Cypher, and click the MIDI assignment button in the bottom left corner.
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6. Choose a control by clicking on it. As Cypher receives MIDI from MidiShaper on MIDI CC 9, this knob will instantly start moving and display "9".
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If you want to assign more parameters, use MidiShaper's "Teach"-menu. As long as a number is chosen there, only this gets sent out, so you can assign it. As soon as the control is assigned, set MidiShaper's "Teach"-menu to "Off" again.

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