VirusHC – Configuring Ableton Live (Mac)

VirusHC – Configure Ableton Live for Mac – 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 Live menu.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 1 – Enter Live Preferences

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

After that, locate your Virus MIDI input port from the list and make sure tracking, sync and remote are set to off stage.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 2 – Click “Link / MIDI” tab and make sure Track, Sync and Remote are set to Off on the port where the Virus is connected in at

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

Ableton Live Configuration Step 3 – Make sure Inputs ports do not use the Virus 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 VirusHC plug-in to the project. This is really simple, just locate the VirusHC Editor x64 from the plug-ins -> Mystery Islands Music folder or from plug-ins folder and drag it into the project.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 4 – Drag and Drop the VirusHC Editor x64 to the Arrangement window to insert it

Make the connection, again.

Access VirusHC 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.

Before selecting MIDI input and output, lets make sure our model is selected properly and make sure the Device ID matches with the hardware setting.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 5A – Open Multi Settings page
Ableton Live Configuration Step 5B – Choose your Virus model accordingly
Ableton Live Configuration Step 5C – Match Device ID with hardware

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

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

Ableton Live Configuration Step 6 – Select MIDI Input port from MIDI IN dropdown menu
Ableton Live Configuration Step 7 – Select MIDI Output port from MIDI OUT dropdown menu

Once you select MIDI OUT Port, plug-in will start to seek for the Virus on that specific Port while listening to Hardware messages from the selected input port. Once the connection is successfully established, plug-in display will briefly display “Plug-in is ready to go!”

Ableton Live Configuration Step 8 – VirusHC synchronized with Hardware

Learn how to store your default settings without the need of selecting MIDI ports each time plug-in is inserted, check the Article “How to store Plug-in Settings as defaults

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 Virus and open the MIDI Output compensation settings.

Ableton Live Configuration Step 9 – Track, Sync and Remote settings on Virus MIDI Out port

Now that MIDI Out is being compensated to match your Audio Output buffer delay, we will add new MIDI tracks 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 10 – Add MIDI tracks and point them directly to Virus MIDI Out ports with individual channels

Automating Parameters in Live

Now that we have learned how to setup VirusHC 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 11 – Change view mode in Ableton Live
Ableton Live Configuration Step 12 – Click Arrow button to unfold device parameters
Ableton Live Configuration Step 13 – Click configure, this will open up the plug-in GUI
Ableton Live Configuration Step 14 – 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 15 – 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 Virus MIDI out or what ever you want to make sense.
  4. Make sure MIDI out is set to Virus MIDI Out port directly.
  5. Make sure each track is assigned to different channel in order to hear multiple parts at the same time.
Ableton Live Configuration Step 16 – 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 VirusHC plug-in special parameters and functions which are not available in the original hardware.

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