"Toggle" and "Momentary" MIDI functions in Live

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

MIDI control buttons are usually capable of sending either "Toggle" or "Momentary" messages.

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 its pressed a second time and a value of 0 is sent. Most footswitches usually send "Toggle" by default.

A Momentary MIDI message, sends a value of 127 when pressed, and 0 when released.

Live Parameters and their expected MIDI controller type

Looper’s Multi Purpose Transport Button 

  • Requires a Momentary MIDI message. (As this is often used with foot-switches which send Toggle by default, you'll need to change this)
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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 can't 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. Check the manufacturer's website.

In case there's no editor software available, then it is also possible to use MIDI translation software, for example:

Bomes MIDI translator (PC / Mac)

MIDI Pipe (Mac)