Ableton with VDMX playback options

Beginner using VDMX. I use it somewhat but still have a lot to learn. I am using VDMX as a playback to projector for a live music set. Different midi notes in ableton are sent to trigger each full song movie (already edited) in VDMX. Want to know if there is a way to start/stop/fastforward/rewind the playback of the movie clip so it matches with the song in ableton it is linking to. I have a midi note at the beginning of each ableton song to start the corresponding clip in VDMX. Hope that makes sense. Let me know if anyone has found a way to utilize these options (ff/rwnd) to match up. Thanks a ton!!


So you’ve got a few options depending on the specific sort of behavior that you want and how you’ve got things set up in Live… both of the tools are designed to be flexible enough to fit a bit with the workflow you prefer.

One way you can go about doing this is to have Live send a sync signal of some kind that is received by VDMX and used to drive the movie playhead (usually it is a good idea to pause the movie so its own playback doesn’t fight the sync signal).

There are a few ways you can go about doing this:

  • Along with each MIDI note that you configure to do a movie trigger you can also send an envelope ramp as a control value that runs over the length of the song. If you use the ‘Pitch Bend’ signal you’ll get 14-bit resolution on the output which will be frame accurate up to 16,384 frames.
  • If you are using the Arrange view in Live, and you want to sync up using the time there, there are a few routes you can go (sending a sync signal such as first mentioned), but I’d suggest trying this one… sending MIDI Clock from Live, receiving it in the Clock plugin in VDMX and then using a Cue List plugin (you can just the time display to work in musical time and have it generate a local sync signal to drive the movie time over the specified range)

I can make quick videos for either of those two examples if it isn’t quite clear how to set it up from the screenshots… or if those don’t fit your needs perhaps you can example a bit more how you’ve got your Live setup prepared.


the control in the red square is all you are looking for

Just to continue the general conversation on using Ableton + VDMX, this was our first guest tutorial a few years back, still a classic,

Thanks, I will sit down later this week and try a few of these options. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to respond.

One more question. Figured out I can use midi envelopes in ableton to control any effects/sliders/etc in vdmx. Opens up a ton of possibilities to sync with our songs. Is there a quicker way to choose the midi cc (cc number list) in vdmx or do I have to use a midi controller slider, then match the cc control in ableton?

Using the UI Inspector in VDMX you can manually set up receivers instead of using the detect functionality. In the “Receivers” tab you can configure any number of places that a UI element should listen to.
(behind the scenes all incoming MIDI is converted into local OSC messages within VDMX, so each MIDI note / cc essentially has its own unique address path)

Another useful trick is you can go into the VDMX preferences and set up “Dedicated MIDI Inputs” – any MIDI sources you list here will show up as standard data-sources within VDMX that you can assign like the clock, etc. Dedicated inputs are ignored by detect.