Map One Button to Play and Stop in Ableton Live

User wrote me today:

i’ve another question
is it possible create a button that pressed once (turned to red) press “play” in Ableton Live, unpressed, press “stop”?

Sure! I never thought of that, but MIDI Designer allows for a lot of things I hadn’t thought of.

First, make three buttons and one knob like this:

Then use the button group feature to make the knob step through the two buttons at the top. Do this by making the knob a supercontrol, and then giving it two subcontrols: stop and play (in that order, though you can reorder.

Now when the play button comes on, it turns the little play button on. Otherwise it turns the little stop button on.

Then make the big play button a supercontrol of the knob. That play button will just toggle the knob to its max (on) and min (off), which happens to be the little play button (on) and the little stop button (off).

Then I finished this post and I realized that I hadn’t actually tried this out myself with Ableton Live. So when I finally did, it was impossible to map, because I’m always sending out two commands at once (stop-play or play-stop). So I temporarily shut off the knob’s “supercontrol” button, mapped up in Ableton, and put it all back together:

This works! Now you can move the “guts” of the thing behind the big button:

Now when the big button is red, Ableton is playing, and when it’s dimmed, Ableton is stopped.

Perfect! Grazie della domanda, Italia!

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