If you’re a Drum Rack junkie, as I am, one of the greatest single workflow enhancements you can make is simply to enable “Map to All Siblings” with options.txt. If you don’t already know about that, you’re missing out on something big - get yourself over to Sonic Bloom’s treatise on the subject to get it (and a few other features) set up.
Using “Map to All Siblings” to map lots of parameters across many devices certainly speeds up the process of setting up useful macros, but it can come with its own set of frustrations as well. In this article, we’ll look at some ways to efficiently manage and edit those macros after they’ve been stuffed full of mappings.
One of the many advantages of rack macros is the ability to narrow the range of values the dial can set. It’s often hard to predict the values that will be most useful until you’ve fiddled around with them, so usually the “useful” range is determined after the parameter is already mapped. If “Map to All Siblings” has already populated the macro with an entire Drum Rack’s worth of parameters, resetting each range can be an arduous task.
Fortunately, this process can be greatly simplified. “Map to All Siblings” not only maps all the same parameters in each device of the rack, it also copies the range of the dial or number box you click on. This means that if you set the parameter's range before mapping to all siblings, that range will copy out to all of the sibling parameters. This works even if you've already mapped them to the macro - simply set the range of one parameter, then “remap" to all of the siblings (i.e. just click "Map to All Siblings" again). This way, you’ll instantly update each and every range.
Another common need is to unmap parameters from macros. This is no problem at all with one or two parameters - you can just remove them from the context menu. With mappings in the double digits, however, it becomes a real pain to do it this way.
Maybe it’s a completely obvious thing to most Live users, but there’s a much easier way to “mass remove” those mappings. Click Map to bring up the Mapping Browser. Then click one of the parameters, hold shift, and click another to select all the mappings between the two you clicked. Then just press the delete key to remove them from the macro.
If the parameters you want to unmap aren't shown consecutively in the mapping list you can change the sorting by clicking the column titles in the top row. And if this doesn't work, you can always hold command while clicking to select individual items in the list for deletion.
In the end, these tricks may only save you a small amount of time, but they will save you from the kind of studio monotony that puts creativity on the backburner. The less tedium in your workflow, the more energy you'll expend making music and the less frustration you’ll feel while you do.