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I want to use Ableton Live 9 Suite to play some background tracks while performing live.
One track is configured to send midi notes to an external drum machine. This drum machine have a built in bass line that plays through a bass amp. I'm just interested in the bass line, which is triggered on channel 8 of Ableton (and other sequencers).

The midi port (midi to USB device) is visible and set up as output on the track that I want to play through the bass. Everything seems set up correctly.
I can see the lights in Ableton when notes are playing, but the drum machine is not receiving this notes.

If I close Ableton, open Cubase SX (a 2004 version) and perform the same task everything works fine.
Then I close Cubase and restart Ableton and the problem is solved, Ableton is capable of triggering notes in the drum machine.

What's going on?

I know this is quite a basic task. I did it for years with Cubase without any problems.


pcrecord Sat, 02/06/2016 - 05:34

Hi Detlef,
It's very hard to figure out why it would work only after you used the midi port with another DAW.
At first glance, two things pops in mind.

  1. The drivers arent fully compatible with the OS or Ableton
  2. Cubase may be sending a midi reset via exclusive sys when it fires up and Ableton may not.
    What's the interface/midi device ?

detlef Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:03

The drum machine is from the 90s and it hasn't much midi parameters to set.
Note that I don't need to play the patterns through midi clock, I just want to trigger it's internal bass sounds with
a midi track inside Ableton or Cubase.
The bass sounds are triggered when the midi track is set to play on channel 8 (each other channel trigger different sounds).

The track in ableton displays midi activity but no midi command actually get out ( I drove the midi into another synth and it does not play either)
Everything seems to works only when I open Cubase, set up a midi track, close Cubase.
Only then when I reopen Ableton everything works fine.

It seems that Cubase somewhat activate the midi port, when Ableton can not.

DonnyThompson Mon, 02/15/2016 - 02:25

detlef, post: 436216, member: 30007 wrote: It is a Zoom rhythmtrak 234

At the bottom of the troubleshooting column:

"Use the [FUNCTION] key and pad 13

(MIDI) to change the setting from "Int"

(MIDI receive disabled) to "Midi" (MIDI
receive enabled "

Is your Midi set for "On" and is it set for "INT" or "Midi" ?

detlef Mon, 02/15/2016 - 13:03

Thanks Danny for your answer, I know this function and it tells the drum machine if it must receive midi clock or not.
I don't need to play songs/pattern in synch in the traditional way.

I did this in the past, and then realized that
1. patterns/song programming is very time consuming
2. patterns runs out soon

What I'm doing is programming a midi track in Ableton (or Cubase) that is set to send midi notes to the bass line of the
drum machine (no patterns/songs hassels like the old days!).

My guess is that Ableton can't activate the midi port properly, when Cubase can.
I tried to send the midi notes to a synth (instead of the drum machine) and problem persist.

DonnyThompson Wed, 02/17/2016 - 23:05

detlef, post: 436445, member: 30007 wrote: No old midi interfaces, computer is 5 months old.
This Icon port is supposed to be plug and play. At the Icon site I can't see any software for the Midi port 1 and 2.

Man, I don't know Detlef... It may be time to talk to someone at Ableton support and see if this is maybe a tic in their software?
I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you. I hate it when I can't help a colleague. I just don't know what else it could be... I'm sorry :(

detlef Thu, 02/18/2016 - 10:53

On the troubleshooting section at the Icon website they says that the Midi port can act weirdly if plugged on different ports, they suggest to reinstall the interface.
I think it has something to do with the fact that I plug and and unplug often. On the weekend I'll go to the studio and try to reinstall.

Sean G Thu, 02/18/2016 - 18:06

Are you running a Mac?

- Macs' tend to do this when you unplug and plug something back into them.

I bet you are running a Mac....if you are I'd put my money on that being it. (where you state "the fact that I plug and and unplug often...")

I found out that when I was running a mini-mac, I'd unplug the USB and when I plugged it back in it would never detect the audio device that only moments before was working fine. I found when I rebooted the system it would detect it, sometimes it would take many reboots for the mini-mac to detect the audio device again.

DonnyThompson Sat, 02/20/2016 - 00:05

detlef, post: 436542, member: 30007 wrote: USB is made to move stuff easily, if this is a problem I will never buy another USB to midi interface

Can I ask... why do you feel the need to unplug or move USB devices around in the first place? I guess I don't understand - if you've got things working properly, then why are you disconnecting them or moving them to another port?
If it's a question of the number of USB ports you have being limited - multi-port USB extender cards are dirt cheap these days - I've seen 4 port extender cards going for as little as $6 - brand new.

Computer refurbishing /parts stores are damn near giving away external 4 port USB extenders ( the ribbon cable type) ...


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