PulseX – Configure Ableton Live (PC)

PulseX – Configure Ableton Live for PC – Complete Tutorial.

Entering Preferences

To avoid time-out and data-loop situations, we have to make few minor changes in Live Preferences window.

First, open the preferences by clicking Preferences… from Options menu.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 1 – Open Preferences from Options menu

Now that Preferences are open, we need to open Link / MIDI tab from tab selector.

After that, locate your Pulse / Pulse+ MIDI input port from the list and make sure tracking, sync and remote are set to off stage. I’m using Ethernet MIDI by nerds.de because I’m running my PC on Parallels Desktop. Ethernet MIDI is routed in my MAC to real hardware device. So be sure to apply these settings to your MIDI Device where the Pulse / Pulse+ is connected at.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 2 – Make sure Pulse / Pulse+ MIDI Input settings are toggled OFF
Ableton Live Configuration Step 3 – Make sure Pulse / Pulse+ MIDI Output settings are toggled OFF

Now, as we learned from our MIDI routing User Guide, we have actually activated MIDI Clock and tracking of our Virtual Pulse Port – This well be referred further below.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 4 – Tracking and Sync for Virtual Pulse Port is toggled on

Before we close the window, lets make sure that the Pulse MIDI input port is not assigned to any of the control ports.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 5 – Make sure Inputs ports do not use the Pulse / Pulse+ ports for remote control

Now we can close the preferences and focus on setting up the plug-in.


Insert the plug-in

At long last, we can finally add our PulseX plug-in to the project. This is really simple, just locate the PulseX Editor x64 from the plug-ins -> Mystery Islands Music folder and drag it into the project.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 6 – Drag and drop PulseX Editor x64 to a track
Ableton Live Configuration Step 7 – Waldorf PulseX GUI

Make the connection, again.

Waldorf PulseX is now inserted and we are ready to take next measures for successful connection.

You can also see that plug-in says it is registered (follow steps here) as I’ve inserted my license.key properly.

Next we can choose MIDI IN port, which is where our Pulse/Pulse+ is connected in at and also MIDI Out port which sends data to Pulse/Pulse+.

NOTE: Disable track ARM switch before selecting MIDI input and output ports!

Ableton Live Configuration Step 8 – Select MIDI Input port from MIDI IN dropdown menu

Ableton Live Configuration Step 9 – Select MIDI Output port from MIDI OUT dropdown menu

Once you select MIDI OUT Port, plug-in will start to seek for the Pulse/Pulse+ on that specific Port while listening to Hardware messages from the selected input port. Once the connection is successfully established, plug-in display will say “Plug-in is ready to go!” as we can see below.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 10 – PulseX synchronized with Hardware

Synchronizing Notes to DAW Delay Compensation

Our best experience to synchronize notes with your DAW is to use the DAW built-in compensation features. In Ableton Live this means that you have to enter Preferences -> Link / MIDI tab and locate the MIDI out port assigned for Pulse / Pulse+ and open the MIDI Output compensation settings.

NOTE that we are using Virtual MIDI port from our MIDI routing User Guide, to point the MIDI data out from Live to hardware without conflicting with original Port.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 11 – Track, Sync and Remote settings on Pulse / Pulse+ VIRTUAL MIDI Out port

Now that MIDI Out is being compensated to match your Audio Output buffer delay, we will add new MIDI track in arrangement window.

Why separate MIDI track? Our plug-in can not get delay compensation data from the DAW, because we do not process audio with it. Therefore MIDI goes out from our plug-in immediately, without any respect to DAW delay values.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 12 – Add MIDI track and point it to Pulse / Pulse+ VIRTUAL MIDI Out port

Automating Parameters in Live

Now that we have learned how to setup PulseX plug-in and MIDI track in arrange window, we can take a look how to manage automation. Automation is pretty simple now that we have our MIDI blocks on their own track (dragging and dropping objects does not trigger annoying popups).

First, we will tell Live which parameters we want to automate and then do the automation drawing in the arrange window. See images below.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 13 – Change view mode in Ableton Live
Ableton Live Configuration Step 14 – Click Arrow button to unfold device parameters
Ableton Live Configuration Step 15 – Click configure, this will open up the plug-in GUI
Ableton Live Configuration Step 16 – Choose parameter to add into the automation list. We chose Cutoff

Lets close the plug-in GUI again to focus on DAW settings. First we want to toggle on Automation from arrange window (see upper arrow in image below). Next you should be able to see the parameter we moved in the plug-in previously (see lower arrow in the image below).

Ableton Live Configuration Step 17 – Toggle Automation on and you can see the parameter just moved in the GUI

Final step to take, draw automation, insert MIDI block and make sure your connections are correct!

  1. Automation lane for Filter Cutoff.
  2. Insert MIDI blocks on separate MIDI channel we created.
  3. Rename MIDI track to Pulse MIDI out or what ever you want to make sense.
  4. Make sure MIDI out is set to Pulse MIDI Out port directly.
Ableton Live Configuration Step 18 – Final checks and we are ready to compose!

Thats it for our Ableton Live guide. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding to this guide, leave a comment below!


In our next chapter, we are going to take a look at PulseX plug-in special parameters and functions which are not available in the original hardware.


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