I'm trying to set a specific pad of my Novation Launchkey to lit by sending it a Midi message in Ableton Live, like described in the Programmer's reference on page 6-7:

To light the bottom left drum-pad the following message would be sent Example LED on message:

MIDI Channel 16, C1, Colour/Velocity (1-127)

9Fh, 24h, Colour/Velocity (01h - 7Fh)

(159, 36, Colour/Velocity (1- 127))

I've never used Live to send CC messges and I have no idea, why it isn't working. So I have set up a midi track that goes out to Lauchkey and channel 16, like it is supposed to, and there I trigger a clip with the Midi data.

Here's an image of that:

enter image description here

The Midi setup of the controller is correct, i.e. I can use it with the designated Novation mapping called "inControl" as well as a basic controller without specific DAW mapping (you can switch between the modes for different controll groups).

Any ideas about what I'm doing wrong? Am I missing something?


link to reference: https://resource.novationmusic.com/sites/default/files/novation/downloads/10535/launchkey-mk2-programmers-reference-guide.pdf


Turns out my Keyboard is MK1, not MK2 (ups!), therefore i'm going to try my best editing the remote script, instead.

  • The info from the manual doesn't make any sense. It says ch16, note on C1, then two parameters. A note on event doesn't have two parameters, it has one, velocity. (well, the first parameter is the note, but they gave you that already) Can you provide the link to that reference?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 19:22
  • Is the Novation's MIDI output port set to Track On in Preferences / MIDI/Sync? There are three things to set to either On or Off for each MIDI port: Track, Sync and Remote. If you don't know what these mean, read Ableton's manual. If I understood correctly what you're trying to do, you're trying to send light on/off messages from a regular MIDI track. Normally, these CC messages would only be sent by the controller's remote script to indicate the on/off status of clips etc. and so you'd set Remote to On, but you want to use the Novation's lights for some other purposes? :) Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 19:26
  • @Tetsujin i added a link to the reference Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 19:31
  • @piiperiReinstateMonica the output port for the Launchkey is [T-on, S-off, R-on]. It doesn't change anything if I set it to [T-on, S-on, R-on], [T-on, S-on, R-off], or [T-on, S-off, R-off], instead. Track has to be on, though, or I won't be able to route the MIDI track to the controller Ch16. Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 19:36
  • 1
    My brain is mush… the manual is horribly confusing. Best guess right now is you need a note & two CCs. I'll have to come back in the morning - too late in the day to try decode just exactly what they mean with nothing to test on.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Example LED on message: MIDI Channel 16, C1, Colour/Velocity (1-127)

In Basic Mode, this simply translates to sending a MIDI track note C1 (that's a musical pitch, not a CC number) on channel 16 with a velocity that represents the colour (0-127, see the colour lookup table in the manual). You don't need to mess around with CC values or special MIDI commands unless you want to light up the round pads.

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