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Using Ableton Live to Add Velocity to Incoming MIDI Notes from Tenori-On (or Launchpad)

"Circuit Path" - First in the "One Patch Performance" Video Series

One Patch Performance
Over the years I’ve produced some very detailed step-by-step videos with voice-over on sound design and music technology. To balance things out, I’m launching a new video series called “ONE PATCH PERFORMANCE”. 

In this new series there will be no voice over just sound and music. The videos are intended to show what's possible when you go constrain your tool set to one synth and one preset with many modulation routings mapped for performance. Ultimately I hope to inspire others to extend their craft by "going deep" and transcending technology. I’ll also start showing controller use in future videos.

“Circuit Path”
In this first video I thought I’d start of with a very brief and  simple performance utilizing the fantastic Ableton Operator. The song is called “Circuit Path”.

Programming Notes
The synthesizer used in this video is the FM/Subtractive Ableton Operator.


I create a custom preset. Along the way I set the Volume Envelope Loop Mode to Beat so while I press a note it repeats.




I loaded Operator along with FX (EQ Three, Chorus, Beat Repeat, and Filter Delay) into an Instrument Rack so I could assign Macro Control knobs making it easy to tweak parameters in real-time. For example “Plastic” increase these level of oscillator 2 which increases Frequency Modulation and changes the character of the timbre.


Plastic Gate is assigned to Osc-B Envelope Rates.


Time Travel is assigned to EQ Three GainH controlling brightness.

Performance Notes
I went into Arrangement View in Ableton Live, hit the global record button, held down a note then started performing with the Macro Control knobs. In the video you can see my knob movement in the automation lanes.

Start Tweaking
Hopefully my brief notes are enough to get your creative juices flowing. So what are you waiting for, fire up your DAW and drop in a Synth and start tweaking!


  • Modulate This post on Ableton Operator
  • Sound Design in Ableton Live: Operator by Nick’s Tutorials 
  • Operator Mini-Pack by Ultimate Ableton Tutorials
  • Official Ableton Operator page

    Mark Mosher
    Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer

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