So the target demographic for this post is the intersection of three sets:
- Ableton Live Users
- Reaktor Users
- People wonky enough to try and automate VST plugins with envelopes.
Still with me? OK.
I was contacted by an Internet acquaintance because he wanted to use the Reaktor Effect that emulates the Roland RE201 Space Echo, and he wanted to automate it with envelopes. There are two places you can do this — In the ‘Session View’ on a per-clip basis, and in the ‘Arrangement View’ on a per-track basis.
The way you do this, in both cases is by selecting the plugin instance from a pull down menu of Automatable Things, and then select the parameter to automate from a separate pull down menu just below the first. In the case of the ‘Session View’ there’s a first step — select a clip, then on the far left hand side of its properties, click on the little ‘E’ in the bottom row.
In this case, all the parameters of the RE201 were just invisible. I asked about it on the NI Reaktor Forum, and got this answer.
So I wrote back to my friend with this advice, which may stand you in good stead should you ever get into this sticky situation:
Live before rev 8 only recognizes the first 128 automation parameters. The parameters (i.e. changeable knobs and controls) each has an ID that’s unique per instrument. These IDs get assigned as an ensemble is created, and if you delete a control, the ID isn’t re-used.
When it comes to Automation, the parameters are exposed by the standard VST mechanism, with each Reaktor parameter being the Base ID for the instrument, plus the ID of the control.
In the case of RE201, the base parameter was 500-something, so all controls were invisible to Ableton Live.
If you look in the Reaktor Instrument Properties, click on the control routing tab. (the two little boxes with an arrow between them).
At the bottom, there’s an ‘Automation’ section. Do two things:
Pull down the ‘IDS’ menu, and select ‘Instrument Up’ until the base ID is zero. Then pull down the ‘IDS’ menu again and select ‘Sort and Compress IDs’
This will make all of the controls in the RE201 visible in Live. Honest to God.