Send MIDI CC regardless of Note Preview, for consistent MIDI Learn

Currently there appears to be no way to send MIDI CC without having Note Preview enabled. This makes it difficult to map knobs in Play to devices in a DAW or plugin supporting MIDI learn. Ideally, Play would send CC even when preview is disabled.

What is the problem?

Play doesn’t have a way to send only the MIDI CC out from knobs. It either sends it with the note data (preview on) or doesn’t send it at all (preview off). Since the note goes out after the CC, if you try to use Play with a DAW or a plugin using MIDI Learn, chances are that you end up mapping the note instead of the CC. It also means you can’t do real time CC tweaks while the sequencer is running.

What do you want to achieve?

Use Play to sequence devices in a DAW and be able to map knobs on Play to parameters in Live using MIDI learn, without having to enable the unrelated Note Preview.

Are there any workarounds?

See Using MIDI side of Play to control and send to DAW for workarounds to bypass what looks like a bug.

Any links to related discussions?

I’m not aware of any, but I posted a comment to this effect on the 1.1 release video:

Any references to other products?

Basically any product with MIDI CC out will work with MIDI Learn by just turning knobs, without having to send any notes.


Hi there.

Did you see the discussion here: Using MIDI side of Play to control and send to DAW - #2 by Mitch

One issue I’ve seen in mapping CC to Live is that you need to stop playback first, otherwise the note messages certainly get in the way. This isn’t just a Play issue but general to all other hardware sequencers.

I’ve managed to get Play knobs to map to Ableton devices, but even with the workaround in the link above it takes a few steps, and you have to keep resetting CC knob values, which isn’t ideal.


Thanks for pointing that topic out. I missed it in my search, and was not aware that “no note” would be an effective workaround, I’ll have to give that a try. It doesn’t sound too bad. Better than the workarounds I’ve tried. (looping MIDI back to Ableton Live, sending automation from a clip envelope, then mapping the resulting looped-back MIDI)

I can’t foresee any harm in modifying the setting that disables sample preview to still send CC out when turning knobs, that doesn’t seem likely to cause any issues.

As for having to stop playback, I more or less expect that would be necessary. I suppose being able to somehow mute CC automation would be a nice plus, but that seems like a totally different FR to me.

Hi @suboscillator, welcome to Backstage!

Thank you for the pointer, Ok, then it is possible to use MIDI learn in Ableton (and any other DAW) to map to the knobs, but there is a bug that is being fixed that makes the process complex. Is this correct?

For what is worth, I have tested this on Bitwig. MIDI learn works and the only thing that is annoying / counterintuitive is the need to clear the MIDI value with that double tap every time (which Polyend seems to be addressing already).

If all this is true, then we can withdraw this wish, right?

I suppose you could, but I still think having the knobs send CC would be useful when note preview is disabled.

Unless there is some unintended consequence I am not thinking of, having the knobs send CC when preview is off would simplify the mapping process AND add the ability to use them for real time control of MIDI connected devices during playback.

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Ah, I see what you mean. Yes, it makes sense to completely detach MIDI CC from the Knob preview setting since they are unrelated from a user point of view. The references to Ableton got me confused.

I have removed the references to Ableton Live because the problem is common to any DAW or plugin with MIDI learn, and I have simplified the wording of the wish a bit.

@suboscillator Thanks for your wish. We plan to enable easier MIDI learn in a future update, but with our own design, which includes the use of Note Preview. It’s now ready for voting :slight_smile:

@suboscillator Hi! I’m glad to inform you that your wish has been granted in the Play 1.3 update!
Thanks for helping us make Play even better. :slight_smile:


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