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Unify and Ableton Live

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User @stillsoul contributed this detailed description of a Live+Unify setup (original post) which I've copied here to carry forward a dedicated discussion.

Attached is a diagram of my live set up. It currently works "as is", so Unify is already doing me a huge blessing! Thank you for that! 

I can MIDI enable and control the mix level of up to 7 embedded Unify layers (plus an AUX track, used for AudioDamage's Enso looper) with Macro control mappings using a Novation Launch Control XL for MIDI channel 1-4, which correspond to the Keystep Pro's 4 tracks. 

When performing live, I can record loops into Enso per track and then jam over top of them, mix track levels, play with FX, etc, all in real-time. 

I'm on Mac. I switched from Logic to Ableton, as Ableton seems to handle multitrack record enable much more gracefully than Logic for live performance. 

The two minor issues I'm encountering are: 

1. Each layer of these 8-track Unify "master" templates is constantly using some CPU activity even while nothing is playing, which adds up. I note that this does not happen in Unify standalone, so this may be a DAW thing. I recognize that you might not be able to do anything about this. 

2. The empty "placeholder" Unify embeds are necessary to pre-map the Macro Controls for mix level and midi enable on the Launch Control's rows of 8 knobs. I can double-click into those Unify embeds to load a new patch if/when needed, but I can't Shift-Load a Unify patch to replace an embedded Unify layer without remapping the mix level and midi enable parameters for that layer.

In a perfect world, I'd love to be able to set a Macro parameter to, say, Layer 8, and have that locked to Layer 8, whether there's an 8th layer or not. Right now, if/when the 8th layer is deleted, the mapped Macro parameter changes to Layer 7, etc. This would allow me to Shift-click to swap patches in and out from the Unify library on the fly during a performance. I can currently do this by clicking into the embedded Unify layers, and enabling 1 or more tracks there, or swapping in a new patch. 

One workaround is to set up a Unify patch per "song", but among the many wonders of Unify for me is being able to save a single Unify patch with several favourite presets from a single instrument to pick and choose at will during a performance. 

And yes, I know I'm pushing it by loading so many tracks and trying to do it all on the fly... hence wanting to optimize CPU by disabling everything that's not currently actively playing something whenever possible. 

Hope you find this helpful!