Polyphonic Imprint Setup in Ableton Live (4-string) 19 Nov 2016

by Industrial Radio


NOTE: We are now only recommending Imprint setups in Ableton Live without the use of Bidule. We will leave this article online as a reference for users have already implemented it. In future, all new setup information will be on the Articles page of the Support section of the website.

In this post we are going to go create a polyphonic Imprint setup in Ableton Live with Massive. This setup is for a 4-string bass.

In order to achieve this setup you will need a multiple input soundcard, Bidule, Reaktor 6, and the IR Imprint Multi Module 4.

Setting up the MIDI track for Bidule

The first step is to set up Bidule on its own MIDI track within Live.

In this setup all the synths (one per string) and Reaktor 6, hosting the Imprint module, reside within Bidule.

  1. Create a new Live set.
  2. Insert a new MIDI track.
  3. Rename the MIDI track. In our project we have called this MIDI channel 'SYNTHS' and set the Channel Header colour to green.
  4. Set 'MIDI from' to 'No Input'.
  5. Now load Bidule MFX onto the 'SYNTHS' track by locating it in the Plugins-browser. You will see in the picture below that Bidule has loaded a default setup with the Bidule inputs and outputs and a mixer module.

Setting up the synths, Reaktor 6 and the Imprint module in Bidule

Now we are going to focus on setting up the Bidule patch. Below is a screenshot of the final result.

  1. Remove any unnecessary modules that may have loaded by default. In this case, we will remove the mixer so that all we are left with are the Bidule inputs and outputs.
  2. Load all the plugins and modules we will need including the MIDI Splitter 4 (download), four instances of NI Massive and Reaktor 6.

    NOTE: When we loaded the Reaktor 6 plugin we selected '16 ins 2 outs'.

    REMEMBER: In the polyphonic Imprint modes, ie. Imprint 1 and Imprint 2, the bass will be sending on 4 separate MIDI channels, ie. one per string. The MIDI Splitter is designed to remap each channel to MIDI channel 1 so that all of the synths can be set to receive on MIDI channel 1, removing the need to have each synth set to receive on a different MIDI channel.

  3. Rename the four instances of Massive so that one is identifiable as the master, ie. Massive [MASTER].
  4. Link the parameters of the four instances of Massive according to the section Linking the Parameters in this post.
  5. Make all the necessary MIDI connections.
  6. Connect the stereo synth outputs to the first 8 inputs on Reaktor 6 as per the picture below.

    NOTE: Link the outputs from left to right in the order of synths so Massive [MASTER] is 1 and 2, Massive [2] is 3 and 4, Massive [3] is 5 and 6, and Massive [4] is 7 and 8.

  7. Connect the Bidule audio inputs 3-6 to the Reaktor 6 inputs 9-12. These will be the piezo signals coming from the FSI-1 piezo outputs 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  8. Connect the stereo output of Reaktor 6 to the Bidule output module as per the picture below.
  9. Open the IR Imprint Multi Module 4 in Reaktor 6.
  10. Save the Bidule patch.

Now you have the Bidule patch ready to go!

Creating the MIDI tracks in Live

Now we are going to set up the MIDI tracks.

  1. Insert 4 new MIDI tracks.
  2. Rename the tracks MIDI 1 - MIDI 4.
  3. Group the tracks. We have named our group 'MIDI' and changed the Channel Header colour to yellow.

    NOTE: By grouping the tracks in this way we can expand and collapse multiple tracks with the click of a button.

  4. Change the track settings of each of the four new MIDI channels. For MIDI 1 we have set 'MIDI From' to 'Ch. 1', 'Monitor' to 'In', 'MIDI To' to 'SYNTHS' and '1-Bidule MFX'. Change the settings for each track accordingly. The final result can be seen in the picture below.

Creating the Audio tracks for the piezo signals

Now we are going to set up audio tracks for the piezo signals from the FSI-1 piezo outputs.

NOTE: This setup assumes that the piezo signals from the FSI-1 outputs are being routed to the input on the audio interface with the same number. So, for the 4-string we use piezo outputs 1-4 with piezo output 1 (G) going to input 1 on the audio interface, piezo output 2 (D) going to input 2 on the interface, and so on.

  1. Insert 4 new audio tracks.
  2. Rename the tracks AUDIO 1 - AUDIO 4.
  3. Group the tracks. We have named our group 'AUDIO' and changed the Channel Header colour to blue.
  4. Set the 'Audio In' on each track to reflect the number in the name of the track. So, set AUDIO 1 to '1', AUDIO 2 to '2', etc.
  5. Set 'Monitor' to 'In' on each track.
  6. Set the 'Audio To' to 'SYNTHS' on each track.
  7. Set both AUDIO 1 and AUDIO 2 to '3/4-Bidule MFX' and then turn the balance knob for AUDIO 1 hard left and the balance knob for AUDIO 2 hard right.
  8. Set both AUDIO 3 and AUDIO 4 to '5/6-Bidule MFX' and then turn the balance knob for AUDIO 3 hard left and the balance knob for AUDIO 4 hard right. The final results of steps 4 to 8 can be seen in the picture below.

NOTE: In this post we don't attempt to include the bass audio from the magnetic pickups since it is not required to implement a polyphonic Imprint setup. To do this you will need to create a separate audio track and route the signal accordingly.

Bass settings

The MIDI SEND mode on the bass needs to be set to either Imprint 2 or Imprint 3 for polyphonic Imprint setups.

Massive settings

  1. Set 'Voicing' to either 'Monophon' or 'Monorotate'.
  2. Set 'Trigger' to 'Legato'.

Note about parameter linking with Massive

Unfortunately, with some synths parameter linking is not completely comprehensive. This is the case with Massive. As a general rule you will find that most parameters that are controlled by a knob or a slider will be linkable while controls that use switches, buttons or select lists are not accessible.

Changing patches with Massive

Also to change patches across multiple instances of Massive from the MASTER plugin requires loading patches into the Programs List which can be found under the Browser view.

NOTE: We will write up instructions on the specifics of this appraoch to patch changes in a separate post.