Ableton Live and Pad Sensitivity

hey yall! Posting this as a reference.

I have been working really hard on dynamics recently but have not been hearing any difference in my sound. When I went back to view the clips I had recorded in, I could see that I was successfully playing loud-soft but that it wasn’t changing the actual sound.

Finally after some serious digging, I found the control in simpler that is causing the problem is VOL>VEL. You can/must adjust this for each individual sound and I have seen it both as a knob or a slider depending on the sound.

I have just started messing with it, default seems to be about 30%. I turned it up to 100 then used the velocity midi plugin to tame the high and low. Man what a world of difference, the pocket just got so much thicker!!

Hope that helps!!


Ableton is opaque about how the controller effects are applied to the instruments, but it appears you are correct. In Simpler, Sampler, Operator etc, 0% velocity sensitivity outputs maximum volume according to the envelope amplitude. And 100% will be max volume for max velocity. Near zero volume for softest hits. For velocity sensitivity, there are 3 different adjustments in the signal path to consider. Your controller velocity curves adjust what Midi hit velocity gets to your DAW. The Velocity plugin is useful for adjusting the curves before they go to your instrument. And then your instrument (Ableton plugins, Kontakt, etc.) typically have velocity curves for controlling final volume out of the instrument. Thanks for the post.


Hey thanks for the reply!

I have been adjusting the controller and midi effect for two weeks. The VOL>VEL actually made it change the sounds.

When I was digging, I set up a clip with four snare hits 127-1-127-1 and let it loop while changing settings on the velocity effect but no matter what I did, the sound didnt change (much).

Logically, I figured that no matter what the controller settings were, Ableton was the culprit. How you would set it is up to you but, folks like me who are drumming with the Push 2 and Ableton need to understand about that parameter in order to be dynamic.


Yes. If your instrument (Simpler) isn’t responsive to velocity, nothing you do to adjust the MIDI volumes into the instrument is going to make a difference.