Trigger Clips in Ableton Live to Switch Between Instruments in an Instrument Bank
An Instrument Bank allows you to combine up to 128 KONTAKT Instruments into one slot of your Rack. Only one of the Instruments in a Bank can be active at any time, and you can switch between them by sending MIDI program change messages. Let’s take a look at how we can Trigger Clips in Ableton Live to switch between Instruments in an Instrument Bank.
In Ableton Live, create a new MIDI Track (shift + cmd+ T).
Rename the track to Pgm Chg (cmd + R).
Insert a MIDI Clip (shift + cmd + M).
In the clip view, under Pgm Change, change the Pgm number to 1. Click on the value, type the new value and press enter. You can also scroll up/down with your mouse to change the value.
Insert another MIDI Clip and change the Pgm number to 2. Repeat for as many instruments as you need to switch between in Kontakt.
Create another MIDI track, Rename it to Kontakt and add Kontakt.
In Kontakt, to add a new, empty Instrument Bank to your current Multi, choose New Instrument Bank from the Files menu. A new Bank Header will appear in the Rack. The controls are the same as an Instrument Header, but apply to all contained Instruments. In name field the Bank Header will display the name of the currently active Instrument. In order to add Instruments to this Bank, click on the wrench icon at the left side of its header; this will open a list of 128 Instrument slots.
Dragging an Instrument (.nki) file from the Browser into a slot of the Instrument Bank will load the Instrument into this slot. The number in the slot field indicates the program change number that will switch to this Instrument. You can also drag multiple Instruments from the Browser. They will all be added to the Instrument Bank in the order that they are sorted by in the browser.
In Ableton Live, Show the In/Out section by clicking on the Show/Hide In/Out Section button.
Click on the Pgm Chg track and set the ‘MIDI To’ to Kontakt.
Now when you trigger clips, the Instrument Bank will switch to the respective Instrument whose slot number matches the clips program change number!
You can edit an Instrument inside a Bank by double-clicking on the respective slot. This will put your Rack into Instrument Edit mode. Once you’re done with your modifications, be sure to return to Multi Instrument mode by clicking the wrench icon in the upper left corner of the Rack. Clicking the “X” button in the upper right corner will remove the whole Bank from your Multi. Also, note that the modified Instrument can only be saved within the Bank file; there’s no way to save it to a separate Instrument file.
Instrument Banks and their contents will be loaded and saved along with your Multi, but you can load and save them separately as well. KONTAKT Instrument Bank files are indicated with the extension .nkb. You can load these in the same way as you load Instruments; double-click them or drag them from the Browser into an empty space of your Rack, or use the Load command in the Files menu.
Until next time…now go make some music.
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