I am going to perform a song live where I have multiple patches stored across multiple tracks in Ableton. I have been looking for a way to automate the arming and disarming of tracks at specific points in the project so the patch changes automatically. Is there a way to do this? I have been looking for one for weeks to no success. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


Nevermind guys, I figured it out.

So basically Ableton has a feature where you can map tasks like arming or disarming a track onto a MIDI event (CTRL+M). But it needs to receive that event from an external source. So I set up a dummy track containing the MIDI events that would trigger the required action at the right time.

Now all I had to do was figure out a way to make Ableton think the MIDI information on the track is coming from an external device. Fortunately, this guy called Tobias Erichsen has created a tool that facilitates exactly that. It's a MIDI feedback device that you can send MIDI information to and it simply gives it back to whomever it may concern. I configured it as a MIDI device and I sent the output of the dummy track to it. And calibrated the MIDI mapping such that the events from this device would arm or disarm whatever I want.

EDIT : Keep in mind that there is a certain amount of latency associated with this feedback method. So I would recommend sending the signal a beat or so earlier than when you need it. Then add an envelope for the "Speaker on" function to get perfect timing.

  • Please use the edit link on your question to add additional information. The Post Answer button should be used only for complete answers to the question. - From Review
    – Richard
    Mar 28, 2019 at 21:17
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    @Richard I don't understand why this should be edited into the question. Although incomplete, it is an answer. It could stand elaboration for sure. Mar 28, 2019 at 22:33
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    @Indroneil Kanungo - I'm glad you got it figured out! It's also good that you answered your own question once you found a solution. Answers on SE are meant to be useful to someone else who finds your question, so it would be good if you could edit your answer to include enough detail to guide someone else who is having the same problem. Mar 28, 2019 at 22:36
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    I have edited the answer to add more details. Thanks for your feedback. Mar 28, 2019 at 23:04
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    Nice find and good question. My answer was going to be, “you can’t do it”, so I’m very happy to be proved wrong. Mar 29, 2019 at 1:07

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