How to use abletonLive/reacTIVision?

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  • rcutz

    Hello dear folks,
    there are someone here that has been suscessfull integrated Ableton Live + reactvision + mac intel?


    kind regards

    • dave604


      i use max/msp to calculate a send data to ableton

      what you would like to know ?

      i did rotary encoders, exponential scaling(to maintain constant dB value while mixing 2 channels in ableton) and inverting.

      for mixing i use it like i play 8 simultaneous audio tracks for one instrument, and mix them by controlling one fiducial over 3 dimensions. i feed these 8 audio signal to 8 other, from that 4 is contolled by the "x" value, and the 4 other is controlled by the "x"`s inverted etc..

    • rcutz

      Hi dave604 how are you?
      Thanks for your answer, yes I want to do basic midi control like trigering clips or control of some parameters...
      efx sends, volume faders, or plgug-ins parameters, more control than trigering.
      I have max/msp runtime all ready runnig, but I can`t programme...

      could you help me?


    • dave604

      yes of course

      btw i learned everything from the tutorial and the reference manual few weeks ago, and only for this purpose, neither i don`t knew it about before, nor i don`t have any of programming or math skills, only thing is that i`am interested in this subject :)

      so what could i help ? where you`re stucked now ?

    • rcutz

      thanks you.

      What I should do?
      1-Run reacTIVision from command line, right?
      2-May I need to run any other or app?
      What does the conversion to midi?
      3-Run Live?

      Do I need to run something in Max? If so, do you have this patch done?
      Can you publish it?
      Send me it?

      what more?

    • dave604

      first of all read everything here:

      i use the tuio simulator instead of rectivision+camera+fiducials while i`am configuring
      that can be run via the command line by typing "java -jar TuioSimulator.jar"
      you need to run reactivision from command line only if you are calibrating or need some configuration, for example to load the midi configuration file

      then i run max/msp(i used the demo one until it expired, so now i`m on xp)
      this receives the tuio osc data from the simulator or reactivision, and converts to midi data that is sent thru a virtual midi port(on os x you can switch this on in the "audio midi" / IAC driver, under xp you can use something like MIDI yoke) or use max`s built in ports. you only need max if you are not happy with the midi data sent by reactivision, but it`s ok unless you want to crossfade-mix two or more channels or need some rotary encoders.

      then hook up ableton and do midi learning.

      first of all, you must think about what you want to do inside ableton. if you want just three dimensional potmeters, controlling fx etc, then the basic midi implementation will do the job. you can get how it works here:

      if you want to manage more complex mixes, you have to scale the data from linear to an exponential curve so you can get constant dB levels while mixing. second thing is that if you mix with absolute angle values, you will jump from 0 degrees to 360 and vica versa very easily, that produces an instant jump between mixed tracks and probably you don`t want this.

      so if you need these data threatings i will post my max patch

    • dave604

      anyway, i`am using it like this way with ableton, maybe it can give you some idea:

      i play 8 tracks simultaneously of all intruments, and use 1 fiducial for each to mix them.
      i feed these 8 tracks to 8 another track, then i control the first 4 of them with the x parameter, the second 4 with the x`s inverted. after i feed the first 2 of these two 4 channel group and control them with the y parameter, and the second 2`s with the y inverted. then i have 2 channels that i mix with the angle parameter.

      this way i can mix 8 channels with only one fiducial, using them as 3 dimensional potmeters, giving the logical combination of 8 different possibilities. for this i need the scaling object with about a *1.0275 exponential curve to get constant gain levels while mixing(because if the controllers are half way, you`ll get about -15db gain reduction) . i also use rotary encoders to prevent jumping from one possibility to another.

      i imagine if i put these fiducials on a cube, i can trigger the next 8 clip with another side of the cube, with the presence of the corresponding fiducial, or i can switch on some fx on the instrument and control the fx`s parameters(i feed the two remaining instrument tracks controlled by the angle to another one, so i can process all with one fx) and possibly mute the instrument totally...etcetc...

    • dbes

      could you post your max patch
      ive been useing ableton and reactable for a wile now and cant get them to link up im at a loss
      it would be preshiated
      thanks dave604

    • dave604

    • dave604

      open with main.pat
      double click to configure for midi cc mapping
      it uses only just 4 fiducials from 0-3
      by default it uses cc 21-45
      select midi out by double-clicking midiout object

    • dave604

      i added some more fine adjustment controls till yesterday

      i appreciate any advice on what would be more useful

      i tested only with tuio simulator, and the default values are calibrated for it

    • dave604

      there was a problem when rotary encoder mode is used to send absolute values (from 0-127) rather then relative(0-63 decrements, 65-127 increments).
      more fiducials conflicted with each other, this was solved now.

    • pepezabala


      We are using ableton live and reactivision on  macbook and on a pc-laptop. we have lots of fun with it. At the moment we are experimenting with huge symbols (60-80 cm) in a distance of 6-10 meters from a webcam. ;-)

      I want to build a human step sequencer, whith people from the audience triggering notes by showing the symbols into a camera that we have on stage ...

      watch our videos here:

      and watch out for more in the future!

    • dave604

      I`ve updated

      know it contains a readme, and an ableton live 6.07 project to work with

      enjoy :)

    • Ricki Hogaard
      Ricki Hogaard

      Ive downloaded the and followed
      the readme. But I cant see to figure out out to  make MAX/MSP communicate
      with ableton.
      Following here is what ive done to date:

      The simulator is running.
      Max (v.4.5.7) is running your patch (main.pat) The yellow dot is
      responding on my movements with the simulator. Ive chosen "Out to MIDI
      Yoke: 1" as midiout in Max. Ive
      configured the CC's to be 22 to 44 (but is it the right combination?)
      In ableton ive loaded your project, put loops in the first eight
      channels for each of the instruments (leads, bass etc.)
      Ive put the loops to trigger launch mode(is
      this correct? Or should the clips just keep looping?)
      Ive set the MIDI settings in Ableton to INPUT : MIDI Yoke: 1
      Do i need to set a midi output?
      Where excactly can I check if max is communicating with ableton?

      Ive also tried doing midi learn in ableton on your project, and then
      moving the symbols in the simulator to do midi learn but ableton does
      not respond to the simulator.

      Any help will be appreciated!
      Thanks in advance!

    • dave604

      Hello Ricki!

      Thanks for your effort on trying the max patch i`ve made :)

      First you need to turn on "remote" in the midi input section of ableton`s midi input midi yoke 1, with this ableton will accept received remote control messages from midi yoke 1. (the track button is for midi notes, and the remote button is for midi CC`s)
      You don`t need to turn on midi yoke 1 in the control surface midi input section, track and remote buttons are enough.
      You should turn off listening to the other midi yoke ports, who knows :)
      If ableton accepts a midi message, a yellow box flashes on the top-right corner of the screen.

      You can check what`s going on in the midi side if you use midiox from or a similar midi monitoring app.
      And also, if you use ASIO4ALL, you may need to turn off "microsoft gs wavetable sw synth" and/or such in max`s and ableton`s (& any  other runnig programs) midi setting page, because somehow they conflict with each other.
      If you switch to edit mode in max you can put a print object and connect it with the output of [packer] or anything else and check the "max window" to see what`s happening inside of max...

      The default configuration for the ableton project you don`t need to change the midi cc settings in the configure page of the max patch, it`s been already set up to accept cc`s from 21 to 44. 21 to 26 is for "drums", 27 to 32 is for "bass" etc...
      If you want to make some different midi learnings in ableton you need to "mute" all but one parameter from +x,-x,+y,-y,+z,-z to avoid them conflicting while learning.

      I used ableton like all the time all 8 loops are playing simultaneously a different pattern, thus you can vector-mix them in 3 dimension with one fiducial. I`ve set the triggering to the same for different rows of 8 piece of loops, to keep these groups playing all the time whatever your fiducials position is when changing from one group of clips to another. Trigger mode is ok for this purpose.

      If you plan to use this max patch with a real table, you may want to change the camera/midi range to fit to your table, and the scaling curve too, to maintain constant db levels while mixing between two channels. you can solve this by placing the same loop on the opposite channels (+x & -x ; +y & -y ; +z & -z), adjusting the scaling curve, putting a fiducial exactly between two corner and check that the clip level sum of these two channels are the same that only one channel`s clip level. note that you have to "move again" to the middle of a paramter range to see the changes when modifying the scaling curve, cause it will affect only the new movement of a fiducial.

      If you`ve configured the patch to your table, you should modify the number boxes that gets bangs from loadbang and reset, or put a preset object(rightclick/help for more info on how to use this object) to prevent re-configuring when loading the patch again, cause max doesn`t save the number boxes data and sliders position when saving a patch!

      Hope it helps, any idea on modification would be great !

      best wishes,


    • Ricki Hogaard
      Ricki Hogaard

      Thanks David, for writing me so soon!
      It really helps having a dude to tell me what I do wrong and right...
      Just a quick question.
      Martin Kaltenbrunner states in a thread called "Sound on the simulator
      (Windows)"½ at the forum that the simulator does not send out midi.
      Does this affect my setup?
      And when im going to use the reactivision instead of the simulator, do
      I need to run it as "-midi m" or does MAX do all the work with sending midi?

      PS. Im getting my new Philips SPC9000 today, which im very excited about!
      Which cam do you use?
      And where are you in your progress with the table? Switched to TUIO?
      Still using Ableton? Got any visuals for the table? Maybe Niklas
      Perssons PD patch?

      Thanks in advance!

    • dave604

      no, it does not affect max i think, and you don`t need to send midi messages also, because max generates midi messages from tuio messages.

      i don`t use a cam (except the iSight intergrated on top of my macbook, wich i used for testing, but didn`t wanted to integrate to my table:)) cause i don`t have the money for ya atm :(

      so my table is pending at this max patch...didn`t touched for a long time...
      i tried Niklas` visual patch, but i`m stucked with gem...
      i`ve tried to make visual in arkaos vj, but it was a slow horror, so i forgot it.

      i want to make my own visual patch for the 3d mixing, and also improve it, with more fiducials etc.., but i have a lot of other things to do, dunno, time will tell ;)

      winter is a better time to spend in front of a monitor :P

      keep trying, post if you got something interesting !

      all the best,


    • djshine

      hey david.. i have been puttering around with the reactivision software and until last night i had been frusterated with the lack of sucess.  Im a try try try try try..  wait wait think think try try get it ...   kind of guy and  i finally got things running on my macbook with the first max patch i got off of this link a little while back.   Im extreemly profecient in ableton and can concieve the theory of the various programs routing info paths..  but im still a little misty about the way max is able to identify the fiducial objects..  is there a way to clone an object definer?  i see that theres a little max box with object 1,2,..4 and that is threaded to the various x,y pos..  i have been able to experiment with programming the cc data and eventually was able to get the note on events to occur..

      with generating the note on events is there a way to set a gate to avoid multiple triggering of the same event?  would that be something we could edit to the event stream in max?

      i had the scene trigger and change buttons mapped to two different fiducials but i had to be quick when showing the image to the cam or i would end up half way down my set in ableton.

      still though..   im having a ball and am truly gratefull for the dialog here on the forums.

      i just wish i could accelerate my own learning of max


      • eatmoreart

        Hi djshine,

        Max doesn't do any identification of the fiducials - that is handled by the Reactivision software. All Max is doing is receiving TUIO messages and unpacking the data that is contained within.

        Regarding gating the data, try the "change" object, which filters out repetitions and only outputs a message when it changes. Good luck!


    • eatmoreart

      p.s. I know Max can be very confusing at first. I just learned it a month or two ago, and I can say that it *really* helps to watch somebody who knows what they're doing. So if you know anybody else who uses Max - give them a call! I also taught myself a lot - try reading the help files for objects by alt-clicking them when the patch is unlocked. Also, the Max tutorials and manuals have a wealth of information regarding the software, and Cycling '74 (the makers of Max) have a forum and searchable archives here:

    • dave604

      I`ve updated my patch with some enhancement:
      now with 16 fiducial recognition, presets, addObject and removeObject generates note on and note off messages, plus a buggy cursor-piano
      jason: there is a very simple(not like mine) and effective way how to duplicate fiducial identification in niklas person`s visual puredata patch

    • loren

      hi all!

      kind of a side topic, but i'm trying to run both processing AND max using the osc from reactivision. problem is, max takes all the osc! i know that it's something easy in the code to re-rout a copy of the osc after processing has used it, but i cant figure any of it out! (plussssss, i dont own max and my demo's out.) does anyone have a processing patch that will create midi from osc? (i've posted a few other posts bout this a bit ago..)

      so, i'm %99.999999999 of the way there, i just need this last little issue fixed... ug. i hate when this happens.


      - loren

      good luck with your systems!

    • Sinan CECELİ
      Sinan CECELİ

      Hi Dave...
      We couldnt send midi signals to ableton live from max/msp
      can you please upload your last vers. of 3dmix patch again?
      The following link is down

    • dave604

      Hi Sinan!

      you can find my latest version on my personal website:

      let me know how far you`ve got with that



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