Is there a way to control color seperately from the dimmer? I can’t seem to figure it out. I want to make clips controlling the intensity of the dimmer, and other clips to create different color patterns so I can mix and match them together.
I can currently work around this by just creating the different combinations manually, but it would really improve my workflow if there was a way to control colors, separately from the dimmer.
Is there a way to do this?
I think there are a couple of options, but in all of them, the MultiMap or MAP8 devices play a crucial role: Max for Live Essentials | Ableton
These devices allow you to map to a parameter in other tracks, so you could use automation from your dimmer clips to control a parameter on the track that controls color. Live also ships with other control devices like the Envelope MIDI device and with it, you could even control the parameters with MIDI notes. It’s really flexible and there are many creative opportunities.
Now, how to use those devices in combination with Beam? I can think of a few options - which one is best depends on your situation and personal preference, so I’ll just give you some ideas you can try out.
1. Control the volume fader from a separate track
In this scenario, you’d have two separate tracks: one with the Beam devices that control your lights (color track), and one controlling the dimmer (dimmer track). On the color track, you can create your clips for colors and leave the ‘dim’ parameter fully on. Then, put a device like MAP8 on the dimmer track and make it control the volume fader of the color track. You could then automate the MAP8 device and remote-control the volume fader which has the same effect as automating the ‘dim’ parameter directly.
2. Use group tracks and control the group track’s volume fader
This idea is similar to no 1, but approaches it slightly differently. Instead of controlling the volume fader of the color track directly, you could group the track and control its volume fader. The benefit of this approach is that you can still separately control/automate the color track’s volume fader - or even add multiple color tracks and control their dimmer all at once.
3. Use the Scale device
If you don’t want to use the volume fader to control the dimmer, you can also use Beam’s Scale device. You can put it on the color track (or if you’re using group track, put it on the group track) and set its modulation target to ‘dim’. When you map a device like MAP8 to the ‘Out Hi’ parameter, you also get control over the dimmer from another track. The advantage of this approach is that you could add more Scale devices on your track and have multiple dimmer tracks control them.
I hope this gives you some directions and ideas! Let me know if this works for you.
Thank you so much for the info Hidde! This worked perfectly. I am still fairly new to Ableton so I apologize if this seemed like a simple solution, but it works great. I did it opposite of what you’ve written out, mapping the color parameters (In my use-case, the ‘Hue’ of each light I want to change colors for) to a MAP8 dial and created empty clips, using the envelope to change the hue.
For anyone who is stumbling across this post, I’ve also decided to create a M4L device to turn MIDI notes into hue values (float 0.0 to 1.0), so I can control the colors by creating a MIDI clip, where each note outputs a different value so i can easily create clips of colors for my lights. It’s a work in progress, but it does work and seems to be a working solution to creating clips for your dim values and clips for your colors seperately.