Akai Professional's Advance Keyboards are like nothing else you've ever played. Along with the VIP software, the Advance series gives you unprecedented playability and unrestricted manipulation of any virtual instrument with an exclusive, interactive, full-color display, complemented by performance-friendly hardware controls. This article walks through integrating the Advance Keyboard with Ableton Live.
Mapping the Advance Keyboard's MIDI controls to Live
Ableton Live can automatically map the controls of your Advance Keyboard using what are called "remote scripts". Note: Ableton Live version 9.x or later is required to use these "remote scripts". Live 8.x or earlier are not compatible.
- If you are using Ableton 9.6 or later, the remote script is already installed. Please skip ahead to Step 3.
- If you are using Ableton 9.5 or earlier, please download the remote script from below and follow the instructions to install before proceeding with the Ableton setup:
Ableton Live Remote Scripts - ADVANCE
Follow the steps below to add this new remote script to Ableton Live:
- Extract the download above.
- Place the ADVANCE folder into the following directory:
MAC OS X: Applications > Ableton Live icon (right click and select Show Package Contents) > Contents > App Resources > MIDI Remote Scripts > (place ADVANCE folder here)
Windows: C:\ProgramData\Ableton\(your Live version)\Resources\MIDI Remote Scripts\(place ADVANCE folder here)
Note: ProgramData is a "hidden" folder. Follow the steps here to show hidden folders on Windows.
- Open Ableton Live.
- Go to Live's Preferences > MIDI Sync menu. Set it as follows:
Control Surface: ADVANCE
Input: ADVANCE 49 USB PORT 1
Output: ADVANCE 49 USB PORT 1
Input ADVANCE (ADVANCE49 USB PORT 1): Track = On (all others off)
Output ADVANCE Output (ADVANCE49 USB PORT 1): Sync = On (all others off)
Note: The Track button tells Live to listen to the MIDI data coming from the ADVANCE USB Input. The Sync button tells Live to send MIDI Clock out to the ADVANCE USB port in order to synchronize the tempo of the Advance Keyboard's Arpeggiator and NoteRepeat features.
- Close the Preferences window.
- On the Advance Keyboard, press the SHIFT+MAIN buttons to enter the DAW setup menu.
- Using the Data Dial, scroll to the Ableton Live 9 setting and push in the Data Dial button to load it.
- Press the SHIFT+BROWSER buttons to enter GLOBAL mode.
- Using the left/right directional arrows just below the Advance display, navigate to page 1.
- Change the Transport Format setting to CC.
- Using the left/right directional arrows just below the Advance display, navigate to page 3.
- Change the Clock Source setting to External.
- That's it!
The Advance Keyboard is now fully mapped and tempo synchronized will Live!
Note: If you have VIP open inside of Live, the Advance Keyboard's pads and knobs will control VIP's controls. You can quickly return back to controlling Live by pressing the SHIFT+SETUP buttons on the Advance Keyboard.
Controlling Multiple Instances of VIP
You can open as many instances of VIP within Ableton Live that your computer processor and memory can handle! The Advance Keyboard will control on VIP instance at a time, and you can then quickly change which VIP instance the Advance Keyboard is controlling using DAW Control mode as shown below.
Note: DAW Control mode will change which VIP instance the Advance keyboard is focused on for preset browsing/organization, and controlling plugin parameters via the 8 rotary knobs and buttons. However, MIDI note messages from the keyboard and pads are still routed through Ableton Live, so you'll still select which VIP instance you'd like to perform on by highlighting or arming the track in Live.
- Press the MAIN button and then press the left or right directional arrow, just below the display, once. You will see all of the VIP instances and their current presets listed, similar to the picture below:
- Use the Data Dial on the Advance Keyboard to scroll through the available VIP instances, and push in the Data Dial to select it.
- Alternatively, this can be done from the VIP software interface as well. Open the VIP instance you'd like to control and click the Highlight to Connect to Hardware icon, which is located at the top right corner of VIP as shown in the picture below:
Using Multi-Out VST Instruments with VIP and Live
Many VST Instruments can send multiple separate channels of audio to a DAW like Ableton Live. Consult your VST Instrument's user guide for more information. VIP will recognize and open these multi-out plugin versions. Here are the steps to route these separate audio tracks with Live:
- In addition to your VIP software instrument track, create an additional audio track(s) for each additional output you'd like to route.
- In the top drop-down box of the Audio From section on each audio track, select VIP.
- In the lower drop-down box of the Audio From section on each audio track, select from one of the eight outputs available from VIP.
- Once you've configured all of your audio tracks for different outputs from VIP, it will look like similar to the picture below.
- In VIP, any scanned VST Instruments that have multi-out versions will be listed separately. Load one of the multi-out versions.
- Route the audio outputs within your VST Instrument as instructed in the program's user guide. The audio tracks in Live will receive this separated audio channels. That's it!
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Akai Professional product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Akai Professional technical support team is available to help!
Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.
Several other helpful guides for the Advance keyboards and VIP software are available on the Akai Pro Knowledgebase as well.