Installing Third-Party Control Surfaces

  • Live Versions: 8.3 and above
  • Operating System: All

Live includes a number of control surfaces for natively-supported MIDI controllers.

A control surface may not always be included for certain controllers but instead may be provided directly by the manufacturer, e.g. for Native Instrument's Maschine. These third-party control surfaces need to be installed manually.

We do not provide support or technical assistance for third party control surfaces. If you run into any problems with third-party Control Surfaces please get in touch with the developer directly.

How to install a third-party Control Surface

  1. Close Live.
  2. Download the control surface from the manufacturer's website.
  3. Unzip the folder and place it in Live's Remote Script folder.
  4. This folder is located in the following location:
    Windows: \ProgramData\Ableton\Live x.x\Resources\MIDI Remote Scripts\
    This folder is hidden by default.
    Mac: The Remote Script folder is inside the Ableton Live application bundle. Locate the Live application in Finder, right click on it and select "Show Package Content". Then navigate to: /Contents/App-Resources/MIDI Remote Scripts/
  5. Launch Live.
  6. Open Live's Preferences → MIDI tab.
  7. Browse for the name of the control surface in a free Control Surface chooser dropdown.
  8. Assign the correct input and output ports.

Note: Don't copy files into an existing control surface folder. A control surface is usually a collection of files with the file extension .py or .pyc (Python or Compiled Python) inside a folder with the name of the controller.

Note: Store third-party control surfaces in folders with unique names. If modified or third-party control surfaces are installed in MIDI Remote Script folders that have the same name as our natively supported control surfaces, this may prevent even the latter from working.

Third-Party Control Surface stops working after an automatic update of Live

Due to updates of the control surfaces framework, third-party control surfaces might stop working after an automatic update of Live. If this happens, you’ll need to contact the developer to provide you with an updated version (if available).

Third-Party Control Surface stops working after a manual update of Live

Third-party control surfaces are not copied over automatically after a manual update of Live, therefore they need to be re-installed manually.

Further Reading

Article in Native Instrument's knowledge base on how to install and set up Maschine as controller for Ableton Live.