Creating your own Control Surface script

  • Live Versions: Live 6 and higher
  • Operating System: All

Since not all MIDI controllers have a native Control Surface in Live, you can create your own using the UserConfiguration.txt. This allows you to configure basic functions like Device Control, Track Control and Transport Control, among others.

The UserConfiguration.txt file and directions on how to use it are found in the User Remote Scripts folder, which itself is stored in Live's Preferences folder:

  • Mac: HD:/Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/User Remote Scripts
  • Windows: C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\User Remote Scripts

Note: These folders are hidden by default. Here's how to access hidden folders.

The User Remote Scripts Folder

  1. In the User Remote Scripts folder, you will find two files, the InstantMappings-HowTo.txt file, and the UserConfiguration.txt file.
  2. The InstantMappings-HowTo.txt file describes how and where to save the file.
  3. The UserConfiguration.txt file contains instructions on how to edit the file itself so that it works with your MIDI controller.  
  4. You will need to know on what MIDI Channel your controller sends data, and you will also need to know the specific MIDI CC assignments for the various pads, encoders, and sliders your controller might have.
  5. One quick way to find this out is to make a MIDI remote control assignment in Live and note down the corresponding CC value. Alternatively, you can use Snoize MIDI Monitor for Mac, or OBDS MIDI Monitor for PC.

Note: We don't provide support for editing the UserConfiguration.txt, and we can't guarantee that it will work with every MIDI controller.

Further Reading