'Momentary' and 'Toggle' MIDI functions

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

MIDI messages come with certain behaviors, depending on the intended function in Live. 

For example, when a midi controller's button or foot pedal is pressed, often, the MIDI message that is sent to Live is a 'Toggle' message which sometimes results in unwanted behaviour on certain parameters in Live; as is the case with Looper's Multi-Purpose Transport Button.

A 'Toggle' MIDI message means the pedal or button sends out a value of 127 when pressed once. This does not constitute a 'complete' message for certain parameters until it is pressed a second time and a value of 0 is sent.  

Instead, a different message, a 'Momentary' MIDI message, is expected by Looper's Multi Purpose Button, which sends a value of 127 when pressed, and 0 when released.

Please see below for further information on changing this behaviour on your Foot Pedal or MIDI device.

Below, you will find some useful parameters and their expected MIDI message.

Looper’s Multi Purpose Transport Button → Requires a Momentary MIDI message.mpfb.PNG
Track Arm (record enable) → Requires a Momentary MIDI message.
Track Activator / Mute → Requires a Toggle MIDI message.

Solo Button → Requires a Momentary MIDI message.

Device / Effect  On/Off → Requires a Toggle MIDI message.

Note: if using a MIDI controller with visual feedback (eg: the pads on the Akai LPD light up when pressed), changing the the behaviour of the MIDI sent may result in the visual feedback not matching the action. This is coded into the hardware and is unfortunately not able to be altered.

How can I change this behavior?

Quite often MIDI controllers, keyboards and foot pedals come with controller editing software. This software allows users to customize the behaviour of the components (such as encoders, faders, pedals and buttons) on their device.

Controller editing software is usually available on the support page for your particular device. 

If it is the case that no software exists for your device, then it is also possible to use MIDI translation software, for example:

Bomes MIDI translator (PC / Mac)

MIDI Pipe (Mac)