Code 49 vs CTRL49 using with Ableton

Hi guys.
I used for long time an Axiom AIR 61 but i want an upgrade to play live. So i need a realiable product (no latency/dropout/freeze on stage) and possibly well construction (not too "plastic" effect). Also a product already supported in terms of updates.

I always play via USB on a Win7 laptop with Ableton Live.

Like i said, i use it pretty much for live performances. I don't use any kind of vst, i use the keyboard for electro/synth sounds, but only samples.

basically i have samples in .wav format of every note that i want to play, then what i want is just to put every sample in the "right" note via MIDI mapping, then create a drum rack with many chains(group of samples), just to divide each sound, that i would change song by song.

I hope that the explanation is clear.

So, i like code49 because of price, beacuse of 61key possibility, because it's beautiful and it has lot of lights and 16 pads. plus, the suite to program keys in 4 areas etc it's really cool and would be awesome to build my presets for every different song.

Otherwise, i read a lot of problems/issues with code series, i don't know if firmware updates have solved problems, and a cheaper chassis and fader/knobs, doesn't look solid at all on many reviews.

CTRL49 is more expensive, i know that fader are not midi assignable, less pads, but an awesome display that may help me to running fast through my drum rack and chains, without put my hands every time on the computer.

so, my doubts are:

1) ctrl49 is more expensive than code (100$ basically): it's worth it? it seems well constructed, with better materials, and maybe it's more "professional" item for a musician on stage. Am i right?

2)what i want to do (no vst, just Ableton live, samples MIDI assigned in drum racks) it's possible in both keyboards?

3) ctrl49 works without VIP? if yes, can i take advantage from the color display, to change my sounds (aka select the right chain with the right sound, fast and simple?) without touching laptop? I read something about the possibility to do setlist in ctrl49. Only with VIP? maybe i can charge my own sounds on VIP libraries?

4) i see a white version of ctrl49 but i don't find any of these to buy, only black. Know you more?

thanks a lot for a reply.

Alberto
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    The CTRL49 can act as a generic MIDI and DAW controller.

    It can run without VIP, but the setlist feature is intended for VIP and the VSTs it manages.

    You could map a knobs or buttons to do scene/chain selection, but you’d need to look at your laptop to know what’s actually selected. There’s no direct integration with Ableton instruments or UI. You’d want something like Push 2 for that.

    I use mine as a DAW controller with Ableton. No issues.
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  • Ok but, according to have a display , i'm not able to change scenes and have a visual output ?


    For example: right now i create a MiDI track(that can take midi signal only from M audio), i put inside an instrument track, inside instrument track i put one drum rack for each Song, with various note of one specific sound.


    In that case i mapping speaker icon of every drum rack on midi to enable/disable that sound.


    2 issues: i must remember that one one midi pad can be selected (otherwhise for the same key i Gould launch many different sounds) and i always remember that midi button "x" is sound for Song 1 etc.


    I imagine that with a text output (maybe the same of the song) i'm able to know what i do and parking Song by Song fast and safe.


    Maybe VIP can help me ? It Accept samples from outside?


    Code49 is maybe better of i want to create a personalized setlist on Live, according to Code suite?


    Finally: maybe if i put drum rack one on every midi track and use buttons under the feders to arm the tracks?


    Thank you
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  • The CTRL49 screen is really best used for controlling the VIP software, and VIP is for browsing a VST library and mapping VST parmeters to hardware. If you're a VST junkie (like me :) ) it's fantastic.

    Yes, there are options to map hardware controls to MIDI CCs and edit the text on them, but this really wouldn't be very usable for what you're describing.

    Any non-VIP MIDI controller with enough switches/pads could likely do what you want, but you'll still need to look at the laptop to see what's going on. Same with the CTRL49 I think.

    That said, I'm sure you have a reason for doing what you're doing with Ableton, but it also sounds like you've chosen a difficult way of using Ableton? Hard to say... it's not entirely clear to me how you're using it in practice. It sounds like a sampler VST (either Ableton's Sampler instrument or Kontakt or Halion) that supports multisampled instruments would allow you to map samples to notes, and you could save those sample mappings that as a single instrument that can be called up as a single patch.

    Anyway, I hope some of this helps. It sounds like what you NEED is something that integrates deeply into Ableton, like Push. I don't think the CTRL49 is a sensible fit unless you run a number of VSTs and want to layer, control, and access them from a single tool (VIP).
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  • I try to write precisely and specific: i have an mp3 track with a synth sound. I don't want to search from GB of sound libraries a vst that fit the right sound, or similar.


    So i cut the mp3, 1 note at a time, to have samples of the right sound . Then, i sample with midi mapping in the keybed or pad with "drum rack". So i don't use scenes or clip because i don't use sequences (aka background sounds). I just use samples instead vst.


    For my ableton skills, the only way to take more than one drum rack (just to sample other kind of sounds) is put every drum rack in a instrument rack.


    Maybe that "matrioska" style of setup with ableton may be replaced by "parallel" setup (one drum rack in every midi track, armed by midi.


    But the problem for me, it's the same: the best solution would be a specific output when i change sounds (drum racks).


    I watch "code editor" video and i Think it works, because giù cold create a preset with a specific name, and mapping al the keyboard (what note every key/pad play, colors etc.)


    Otherwhise, i se e that VIP have a 3.0 version that maybe extend power of the suite to what i want to do.


    I hope that an eployee reply because i'm really confused of what to buy
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  • I try to write precisely and specific: i have an mp3 track with a synth sound. I don't want to search from GB of sound libraries a vst that fit the right sound, or similar.


    So i cut the mp3, 1 note at a time, to have samples of the right sound . Then, i sample with midi mapping in the keybed or pad with "drum rack". So i don't use scenes or clip because i don't use sequences (sia background sounds). I just use samples instead vst.


    For my ableton skills, the only way to take more than one drum rack (just to sample other kind of sounds) is put every drum rack in a instrument rack.


    Maybe that "matrioska" style of setup with ableton may be replaced by "parallel" setup (one drum rack in every midi track, armed by midi.


    But the problem for me, it's the same: the best solution would be a specific output when i change sounds (drum racks).


    I watch "code editor" video and i Think it works, because you could create a preset with a specific name, and mapping al the keyboard (what note every key/pad play, colors etc.)


    Otherwhise, i se e that VIP have a 3.0 version that maybe extend power of the suite to what i want to do.


    I hope that an eployee reply because i'm really confused of what to buy
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  • Hey yyyyyyyyy5600,

    Thanks for posting!

    I'm happy to see that jchop could offer some advice already - I would largely agree with what you've already discussed with him. That said, I'd be happy to address your points and help you make a decision.

    In terms of compatibility, you're in the clear. The Code 61 is class compliant so you will not need to install a driver. Class compliant devices use drivers that are already contained in your operating system. The CTRL49 does require a driver and there is one available for Windows 7.

    As an owner of both a Code 61 and CTRL49, I've spent plenty of time with these boards. Both have great build quality and can be used for live performance. In terms of form factor, the Code 61 will be longer as it has more keys but in my opinion, feels a bit more compact than the CTRL49. The faders, knobs, buttons, and pads on both controllers are solidly constructed and responsive.

    As these boards are MIDI controllers and not audio interfaces, they will not introduce any latency into your workflow. MIDI data is transmitted to your computer via USB pretty much instantly - any latency you experience is derived from your computer's ability to process and reproduce audio from that MIDI data.

    Both of these controllers come with the VIP software and can be used very effectively to control VST plugins. As mentioned, the CTRL49 has more robust integration with VIP as its display will show parameters in VIP including parameters that are in the VSTs you're working with. In terms of working less with the laptop, the CTRL49 wins in that regard but you can still assign the Code's knobs, faders, and buttons to parameters in a VST hosted in VIP. That said, I want it to be clear that you will not see parameters in Ableton like drum rack or scenes on the CTRL49's display. The CTRL49 will only show parameters from VSTs that are hosted in VIP.

    To that point, assigning samples to notes is dependent on the software you are using whether you are working in VIP or another software like Ableton. You do not assign samples directly to the MIDI controller. It is the MIDI controller's function to trigger the notes in the software to which you've assigned samples. The software must be configured to properly match the notes that the controller will send or the pads must be configured to send notes that the software is configured to receive. The pads on each controller can be assigned to specific notes so you can reassign them to fit your needs if necessary.

    One final note, you mentioned a white CTRL49 - this model was never produced. What you are looking at was likely a demonstration unit from a trade show that was shown before the CTRL was actually manufactured and sent to retailers.

    All this being said, you will have the best idea in terms of what your workflow is going to be and what needs must be met. Both of these controllers functions are very similar so I think either one would be a good choice. If you plan on using VSTs extensively, the CTRL49 might be the better option so you can take advantage of its display. The choice is ultimately up to you but I would recommend trying to find these controllers on display at a retailer that carries M-Audio hardware and get your hands on them in person.

    I hope that's helped a bit!

    Thanks for helping out, John!
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  • Nick with the thoughtful reply, as usual! \m/

    Thinking about your use case again, with drum racks inside of an instrument rack, you could do the following:

    - Have each drum rack in the instrument rack chain assigned to a certain MIDI Value as part of the chain selector. It will sound only when its chain selector value is set.

    - to activate a particular drum rack, Create clips with no notes, just MIDI automation to set the chain selector to the desire drum rack.

    - arrange your clips in order (same track, different scenes)

    - map the next/previous scene controls in ableton to momentary switches on your hardware.

    This guy explains it pretty well:

    https://youtu.be/YQKSaUs6FFA

    He’s using scenes to switch up VST instruments in a chain, but drum racks will work the same as those instruments.

    The Code or CTRL can both be mapped to do this. But again, the CTRL isn’t going to give you “extra” visual feeedback here. You’ll need to keep an eye on your laptop screen.
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  • thank you guys for the fast reply.

    according to Nik's tips, i probably find a way to set the DAW (Ableton in my case) in a way that would be playable live.

    i create a macro for chain selector (for example, i have 10 drum rack for 10 sounds, and i set every sound with a chain number, from 0 to 9) i set the top/bottom value of the chain selector from 0 to 9 (instead of 0/127), than i map via MIDI one of my knobs in a chain selector(physically).

    in that case, when i change value (and i can see the value of the knob on the display, right?) i change my sounds instantly, without whatching laptop.

    i have to remember (or write) that chain 1 is sound for song 1 in my setlist,etc.

    But i have an interesting idea, if my choice will be code 49.

    code 49 have code editor, when i can create my "preset", that have a specific name .

    if i'm able to create a link or a new macro, when i change preset on the keyboard, also change chain.

    for example, i create preset called "song title x" with pad and keys that play the same note and same sounds, and also with only 8 pad "on", coloured in green.

    when i select this preset, automatically the chain selector goes to "1" value.

    then, i create preset "song title y" with synth keys from the pads, and distorted bass on the keybed, linked on che chain value "2" etc.

    my only doubt is that chain selector is mapped on Live, and presets of the keyboard are from the internal memory of the code 49 (right?) and mapped with the editor, so i don't really know if it's possible to comunicate.

    maybe a solution would be that knob "1" manage chain selector via midi, than another knob manage presets of the keyboard? or there's a way more automated, like i explain above?

    if i can link 2 knobs in one, and i have an output with a title, and not only with a number, would be awesome!!!!

    thanks if you wanna continue to help me :)
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