AutoSlide Concepts

While all controls in AutoSlide include detailed annotations for the “Info View” in Ableton for reference, some concepts benefit from a little extra explanation!

Info View

To show Info view, you can:

  • Select Live’s Menus > View > Info
  • Keyboard shortcut: ?  (⇧ / on English-layout keyboards)

If no text shows up in the box while hovering over a control, try clicking the device header so it is highlighted and then hovering again (Ableton’s bug). 

Annotation for ‘Merge’ selector

If plenty of text shows up in Info View but it isn’t helpful, I’m sorry. Please let me know!

Control Type

Each instance of AutoSlide only ever creates or modifies a single type of control data.  All other data is passed through.  For instance, you are playing a Clip which has “Pitch Bend” Note Expression envelopes.  If AutoSlide Control Type is set to “Slide”, the “Pitch Bend” envelopes are passed through untouched.

Voices (Vcs)

It is recommended you set the Vcs value to the number of voices of polyphony configured in your synthesizer.  For instance, if using Wavetable with Poly set to 8, use 8 voices in AutoSlide.


Merge allows combining an MPE stream entering the device with the ramp generated by AutoSlide.  That input stream can come directly from MPE capable hardware, from a Clip which has Note Expression envelopes, or from an instance of AutoSlide that is to the left (“upstream”) in the Devices chain.

Merge logic only applies for the currently selected Control Type, such as “Pressure”, “CC 20”, or “Pitch”.

An important consideration is whether AutoSlide actually triggers a ramp for a given note!  If Chance is 50%, only half the notes will generate ramps.  In the table below these different possibilities are in the “Yes Ramp” and “No Ramp” columns.

The results are as follows:

Merge SettingYes RampNo Ramp
OffThe input stream is not merged.  It is replaced entirely by AutoSlide‘s ramp.The input stream is passed through unchanged.  If there is no input stream, nothing is passed out.
ZeroThe input stream is not merged.  It is replaced entirely by AutoSlide‘s ramp.0 is sent out, always.
AddAutoSlide‘s ramp is added to the input stream.The input stream is passed through unchanged.  If there is no input stream, nothing is passed out.
SubAutoSlide‘s ramp is subtracted from the input stream.1The input stream is passed through unchanged.  If there is no input stream, nothing is passed out.

1 Note that “Add” and “Sub” modes assume an input stream with value 0 to start with.  This means that if you use “Sub” mode and there is no input stream, the output value will always be 0 unless Control Type is “Pitch”.  This is because Pressure/MIDI CC messages are limited to range 0-127, and 0 minus any positive value generated by the AutoSlide ramp would be less than 0.  Pitch Bend can be positive or negative, so a positive ramp in “Sub” mode will produce negative output values when there is no input stream.


“Zero” mode exists so that Multi-Channel style synthesizers don’t hold on to altered CC values between notes.  For example: in “Off” mode if a Multi-Channel synth gets a note on Channel 4 and at the end of that note the value for CC 50 is 127, then the next time a note arrives on Channel 4 it would sound with CC 50 at value 127.  You may not want this.  So “Zero” mode can force that value back to 0.

If using more than one AutoSlide for the same CC and you want to reset the value for each note, set “Zero” mode in the first AutoSlide only.  If you set “Zero” mode in a downstream AutoSlide, it will completely block that CC from the first AutoSlide.

Pitch Bend Range

While most MIDI Controls have a range of 0-127, Pitch Bend allows for both positive and negative values at higher resolution.  The ultimate meaning of those values is determined only by the synth which interprets them.

For example, in Live clips, Note Expression -> Pitch Bend is displayed in the range -48 to 48 semitones, for a total range of 96 semitones.  But if the target synth has Pitch Bend range of -12 to 12, then what looks like 2 octaves up (+24 semitones) in the clip editor will only sound at +6 semitones during playback because the visual range is 4x larger than the configured Pitch Bend range.

To be equally compatible with any Pitch Bend range you may want for your synth, AutoSlide shows Pitch Bend as values from -1.00 to 1.00.  The trade-off is that this leaves some math to be done if you’re trying to set very particular slide ranges.  If you are trying to be very precise, such as by sliding up or down an octave, you may want to type the desired value into the number box rather than using the slider.

It will help you to learn how/where to quickly adjust Pitch Bend range in any synthesizers you are using!  Many patches will load by default with “classic” Pitch Bend ranges of ±2 semites or ±12 semitones, but most synths support ±48 semitones now.

Ableton Wavetable synth

Some quirks to be aware of when configuring Pitch Bend in VSTs:

  • Some synthesizers display ±48 as a range of 96.  They mean the same thing, since -48 and +48 is a total range of 96 steps.
  • Some synthesizers allow different settings for positive and negative pitch bend ranges. 
u-he Hive Pitch Bend
Serum MPE config

Mod Matrix

The Mod Matrix has 3 rows of Sources and 4 columns of Targets.  For every note received (which triggers a slide), each Source generates a value that is used by all the Targets in that row.

The Mod Matrix targets.

The ranges of the grid squares represent -100% to 100%.  For Time, A and B, 100% is equivalent to the entire range of the Target.

For instance, if the Time knob is turned to its middle value (~5.5 seconds) and the mod amount is -25, then when the modulation source is at its maximum, the output ramp duration will be as if the Time knob were set to about one-quarter dial turn, or ~1 second.

Also, if Time Mode is a beats-relative base then any modulation time is quantized to the same beat division.  So if the Time Mode is 1/16, the post-modulation duration could end up as 4/16 or 5/16, but not 9/32 (halfway in between).

For Curve:

  • If the basic shape is linear (0), negative and positive modulation will bend the curve in opposite directions.
  • When the basic shape has curve to it, negative modulation bends the curve in the direction of being a straight line.  At a modulation effect of -50%, it will be a straight line and at -100% it will be oppositely bent.  Positive modulation makes the curve more extreme.

All modulation is unipolar.  If you wish to achieve bipolar modulation of a target you can approximate this by using two different modulation sources, one positive and one negative.

Mod Matrix Sources

The Note and Velocity sources allow you to achieve predictable differentiation between notes based on the input.1

Random makes a random value.  Each row with Random uses a different random value on every note. 

Chance Gate makes a “boolean” value, either On or Off.  The dial position sets the likelihood of modulation being On for any particular note.  You can automate or modulate (for instance with an LFO) the dial to change the likelihood over time.

Using Chance Gate to “flip” the ramp about half the time.

Dial modulator follows the dial position.  You can automate or modulate (for instance with an LFO) this dial to achieve varying modulation intensities over time.

With the same Mod Matrix settings, changing the Dial amount can lead to very different output.

The via modulators multiply one source by another.  Their full name is shown when the source menu is opened, but an abbreviated name, shown here in parentheses, is displayed.

  • With Note via Velocity (Nt × V) combines pitch and velocity to determine strength.  Low pitches OR low velocity notes will have little modulation.1
  • With Note via Random (Nt × R) higher pitches will have more randomization than lower pitches.
  • With Note via Dial (Nt × D) you can vary the influence of pitch over time by automating the Dial.
  • With Note via Chance Gate (Nt × Ch) only some notes will have modulation based on their pitch.
  • With Velocity via Random (Vel × R) higher velocity notes will have more randomization.
  • With Velocity via Dial (Vel × D) you can vary the influence of velocity over time by automating the Dial.
  • With Velocity via Chance Gate (Vel × Ch) only some notes will have modulation based on their velocity.
  • With Random via Dial (Rnd × D) you can vary the strength of randomization over time by automating the Dial.
  • With Random via Chance Gate (Rnd × Ch) only some notes in will have randomization applied.
  • Global Random via Dial (Gl. R × D) shares its random value with other modulator rows using Global Random via Dial.  This is potentially useful if you want varied randomizations over time, but want to make sure that they combine/stack in a predictable way.
  • Off disables this modulation row.
Global Random via Dial can be used to vary randomization behavior over time with more predictable outcomes. The different dial values in the left 3 instances determine whether the slides go upward or downward. Compare that with the independent Random values on the right, which results in some lines going up and some going down. (Note that the 3 left instances here are just to give a simultaneous representation of their output.)

1 In order to “flip” the way modulation from Note or Velocity are applied you can change the targeted parameters base value, and then invert the value for that target in the Mod Matrix.

To flip the modulation effect from Note or Velocity you can invert the relationship of the targets initial value and the modulation amount applied. This demonstration input is 5 low notes, 2 middle-ish notes, and one very high note.

MPE Control.amxd

Live 11 ships with a device called MPE Control.amxd.  You can use this device to scale and morph/bend the ranges of Pitch Bend, Pressure, and Slide (CC 74) data downstream of AutoSlide.  It can also be useful as a monitor for MPE data coming from Clip envelopes upstream of AutoSlide.  

Its controls seem somewhat more tailored to smoothing/scaling MPE data coming from hardware devices, and it cannot monitor/modify arbitrary CCs, only the three basic MPE parameters.