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Block LEDs using syses/note on (Max for Live)

edited June 2013 in Hardware


I've just gotten my hands on a Block (a very cool device indeed), and I'm playing around with Max for Live trying to write a simple step sequencer. The first thing I'm stuck on is that although for the beat being played, I can get the LED to flash, as the flash has a length, I'm having trouble with regards getting them to stay on to say that they've been pressed.

Max doesn't appear to deal very well with just note on, without note off (i.e. makenote insists on having a note duration). How do I get this to work? There's a very cryptic mention of using sysex to do this in the manual, but I can't figure it out at all. Does anyone have a simple example that works?


  • Well, Live filters out sysex for reasons that remain completely mysterious to pretty much everyone, so using a sysex message to light LEDs simply won't work in Max for Live. You can use the lh_midi objects to circumvent this filter, but they are only for OS X, and are written by a 3rd party, so you never know what their lifetime may be.  So if you want to go down that path, you can. Read up on CMD 04 in the sysex documentation.

    Here's a patch (from our old LividStep* m4l devices that we did before we integrated this stuff into the Remote Scripts) that shows how to use matrixcontrol objects to light LEDs using notes OR sysex. 
    The thing about notes is that you shouldn't use makenote. That's great when you are trying to play music with MIDI, but it's not what you want when controlling LEDs, because, as you noticed, make note will always send a note off. What you want to do is send note-on messages, but don't send the note off until you need to. Just look at the subpatch "p ID2defaultnote" in the LividLights patch. 

    *Livid Step is available on our controller apps page
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