How to setup a virtual MIDI network

  • Live Versions: 1 - 10
  • Operating System: All

In order to stream MIDI data such as MIDI Note, MIDI Control Change and MIDI Clock messages from a computer to another computer or device, you can set up a virtual MIDI network.

Note: If you're syncing Live (or Link-enabled apps) across multiple computers, we recommend Link instead.

Mac

Mac users can use the built-in virtual MIDI network.

1. To enable it, open Audio/MIDI Setup from Utilities and select "Show MIDI Window" from the "Window" menu.

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2. Now click twice on the "Network" object to open the MIDI Network panel.

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3. Now you can create a "Session" which will be seen by all machines/devices connected to the same network. To do this, click on the "+" sign in the "My Sessions" part of the window and edit its "Local name" and its "Bonjour name." Note that the "Bonjour name" will be the name that is visible to other computers.

4. Then check the "Enabled" field to enable this virtual MIDI Network on your network.

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5. By enabling this Session, the Network MIDI port will appear under the MIDI Ports in Live's Link/MIDI Preferences. This will let you send and receive MIDI Note, MIDI Control Change and MIDI Sync messages through the network with this computer. Refer to our guide on how to configure the MIDI ports in Live to understand how to use the MIDI Ports settings.

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6. Next, repeat this procedure on a second Mac computer. Once you have created a Session using the above procedure on this additional computer, select "Anyone" in the drop-down menu "Who may connect to me:".

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7. Now select the destination Session in "Directory" in the MIDI Network Setup of one of the two machines and click "Connect".

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8. At this point, MIDI data can be transmitted between the two computers.

Windows

Windows computers don't provide an in-built solution as standard, but there is a great freeware utility courtesy of Tobias Erichsen which allows the use of MIDI via network on Windows computers.

It's also Bonjour compatible, which lets you connect Mac's and PC's in the same network.

Using virtual MIDI buses in Live

If you want to stream MIDI data between different applications on the same computer, you can use a virtual MIDI bus instead. See our dedicated article: "Using virtual MIDI buses in Live".