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I’m confused

M Audio Code 25 - what am I not getting?!

So I decided to make the move from live recording to midi and DAW production. I spent a while reading up and checking out midi keyboards and decided to get a second hand Code 25 to see how I got on.
After numerous YouTube videos regarding the keyboard and using Ableton I thought I had a handle on what I was doing - but clearly not. I feel like a total noob and haven’t a clue what I’m doing! Lol.
I’m hoping someone will be able to help...
So I’m using a MacBook with lastest software along with Ableton Lite (as the code is 2nd hand I can’t register etc).
I’ve downloaded the M Audio Preset editor, Hybrid and Loom. The later I have added to the PlugIns for Ableton.
I’ve gone into the Preset editor and set the drum pads to channel 1 and the keys to channel 10 for ease of use.
My trouble starts in Ableton. I’ve set up as per the M Audio website in terms of the preferences. I’m putting the Code in midi mode.
I don’t get why a newly created set in Ableton defaults with Audio tracks and reverb, but I delete to start with a blank canvas. I have selected a basic piano, and can play the keys of the Code and presto - sound through the MacBook. But this sound is really quiet, even with everything cranked up - this is my first problem.
Next I add drum pads, these play trough the pads (again quietly). But these also come through on the keys. So I amend the channels to correspond wth the preset editor but I only get sound through channel 1. Ableton also doesn’t register anything for channel 10?
Next I discover I can’t even get the keys to play the piano and can’t work out how to swap between the drum pads and the piano!
My hope was that I could assign different instruments to the pads and keys to easily change between the two. I assumed setting different channels in the code and corresponding to Ableton would be easy. But it seems despite all my research and hours watching videos I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing!
I’m really losing hope with this. I thought I could easily sit and create tracks using the code via Ableton but I am confused by both. Why can’t I even do the basic of swapping between chosen instruments in ableton?!
I’m hoping someone will take pity on me and give me some pointers!
Thanks in advance.
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  • FYI Ableton starts with two audio and MIDI tracks, and a reverb and delay send by default, but you can create a setup just the way your like it and save it as a default:

    https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/art...

    As for playing different tracks simultaneously..... what's the monitoring status of your drum track and piano track? See https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/rou...

    If you're not monitoring a track, either by arming it or by setting Monitor to "in", you're not going to hear anything.

    Also, in Ableton, is your drum track set to respond to channel 10 (instead of All channels) and your piano track set to respond to channel 1 (instead of All channels)?

    -John
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  • Thanks so much for the reply. Appreciate the info regarding the default Ableton setup.

    In terms of monitoring, I have read the part you sent over but I’m still not 100% sure of what this is, but from what I understand and have done the monitoring has been set to “In” for both of these. To be honest I think I’ve done this by more luck than judgement! How do you “arm” this normally or is selecting ‘in’ just the same?

    I can confirm that I have set the channels to the corresponding numbers of the drum pad and keyboard in Ableton to the code. Alas, still nothing.

    Not sure where I get help with this - I need a lesson in using the code with Ableton I feel! Lol
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  • The monitor section (off/in/auto) determines whether you hear the input — or in this case the ableton instrument — from that channel. It tends to make more sense conceptually with audio inputs (do I want to hear my voice through Ableton’s processing while singing into the mic?) than with software instruments. The manual explains that in more detail.

    But anyway, having them set to “in” is fine for your purposes.

    If the MIDI channels are set properly and the tracks are set to monitor “in” ... do they show whether they are receiving MIDI input at all?

    I’m afraid I don’t own a Code so I can’t speak to specifics of troubleshoot its MIDI configuration.
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  • Thanks again - out of curiosity when would you choose to select Auto?!

    Back to the problem at hand though, I can see that Ableton is picking up sound for channel 1 but nothing for channel 10 ( I can see the sound bar moving up and down). So when both to all channels it can actually pick up both instruments.

    Another problem I don’t understand in Ableton is how I select which instrument I want to play. Regardless of the channel issue. If I drop in a bass guitar, and a piano into separate tracks - I can only get the code to play the last instrument I dropped in. I can’t see how I can select which I want the midi keyboard to playing.

    I do apologise if this all seems like stupid questions. I really didn’t expect to be faced with such confusion, but I really do appreciate you helping.
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  • “Auto” will monitor when the track is armed for recording (circle button at bottom of track).

    By default Ableton will switch to and arm tracks you drop a new instrument into, so my guess is that your other tracks aren’t set to monitor “In”.

    Another possibility is that your tracks are disabled (the big numbers aren’t “lit”).

    Can you post a screenshot of your session window?
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  • Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I’ve had another look this morning and again I’m struggling to see where I am going wrong!

    As mentioned we yesterday I can’t even see how regardless of the channel issue I can switch between instruments in ableton (using the laptop) to play through the midi keyboard.

    Obviously the ideal thing is assigning a sound to each channel etc, so I have uploaded a photo of what my screen currently looks like - as you can see I’m only getting sound through channel 10.

    I’ve also noticed that despite Ableton having the Code in its list of midi within preferences nothing is mapped for use - record buttons, volume controls etc. I know you me ok ed you don’t own a Code but I though an advantage of using Ableton with this midi keyboard was that thins were already mapped!

    Starting to really loose hope with this now unfortunately!
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  • Hey jonj84,

    Thanks for posting!

    Happy to see that John could get you started! It looks like you're pretty well along in the setup process, there's just a few loose ends to tie up.

    First, take a look at this knowledge base article. You've already got the Code set up for MIDI note input so no further action is necessary there but this article will show you how to set up your Code to use Ableton's transport controls. Rather than selecting the Code itself, you will choose Mackie Control as a Control Surface and pick the Code's third (Mackie) port:

    M-Audio Code Series - Setup with the Included Software: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3, and Loom

    As far as recording to a specific channel, as John mentioned, pay specific attention to what tracks are armed with the button at the bottom of the track's channel strip. If you are sending MIDI data on a specific channel from the Code (which can be set either from the hardware or the software editor), select that channel in the MIDI From > Channels drop-down menu on the track. You will see the monitor in the MIDI From menu reflect the channel on which it is receiving data.

    If you are using separate MIDI channels for the keys and the drum pads and you intend on playing them simultaneously, you can arm multiple tracks at once by holding Ctrl on your computer's keyboard and clicking multiple record arm buttons at the bottoms of the tracks. If you've selected specific MIDI channels for each track in Ableton, MIDI data can be recorded to both tracks but each track will only 'listen' to data from the channel to which it was assigned.

    While you are familiarizing yourself with your Code hardware and the Ableton software, I would recommend keeping their manuals handy so you can reference them if you get stuck. You can download and view these documents from the links below:

    M-Audio - Documentation Search

    Ableton Reference Manual

    I hope that helps you!

    Thanks for helping out, John!
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