M-Audio CTRL49 image

The CTRL49 is a full-featured USB/MIDI keyboard, complete with VIP integration and Mackie/HUI support for instant integration with most DAWs. This guide will provide a complete walkthrough from downloading the included software and drivers, to the setup process for Ableton Live Lite.

Video ContentsGuide Contents
  1. Creating an Account
  2. Registering the CTRL49
  3. Download and Install the CTRL49 Driver
  4. Download, Install and Activate VIP
  5. Preparing CTRL49 for Ableton
  6. Scanning VIP and the AIR Plugins Into Ableton
  7. Assigning a Soundcard
  8. Assigning the CTRL49 Ports



Downloading, Installing, and Authorizing VIP
CTRL49 Setup in Ableton Live Lite


Getting Started

Before continuing with the guide, please make sure that you have downloaded and installed the: 

  • CTRL49 Drivers
  • VIP Software and plugins
  • Ableton Live Lite

To access and download the software, please log-in or create an account at M-Audio.com and register your CTRL49. For more info, on this refer to the videos above.

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Setting up the CTRL49 as a Mackie Device

The M-Audio CTRL49 comes complete with Mackie/HUI functionality for quick and seamless integration with virtually every popular DAW, including Ableton Live Lite. This makes setting up the CTRL49 transport and fader section incredibly simple. Follow the steps below for a quick walk through:

Please note: The following instructions will also be compatible with the full version of Ableton Live. 

1. Connect the CTRL49 to a free USB port on your computer and power it on.

2. On the CTRL49, select the Ableton Live 9 preset (this may be selected automatically on startup)

3. Press the Global button to enter the Global menu.

4. Use the cursor buttons and data dial to change the Transport Format to DAW Fader.

5. Press the Page Right button twice and use the cursor buttons and data dial to change the Clock Source to External.

6. Open Ableton Live Lite

7. Go to Live's Preferences > MIDI Sync menu. Assign the Control Surface options as follows:

Control Surface: Mackie Control

Input: CTRL49 Mackie/HUI

Output: CTRL49 Mackie/HUI

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8. Turn on the following MIDI ports:

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  • Track and Remote for the CTRL49 USB input port - This enables MIDI note and control data from the CTRL49.
  • Track for the CTRL49Mackie/HUI input port - This enables MIDI data via the Mackie port to communicate with the Mackie Control Surface.*
  • Sync for the CTRL49 USB output port? - This enables Ableton to send MIDI sync to the CTRL49 to sync the arpeggiator and roll. Activate Sync for the CTRL49 MIDI port to send sync out the 5-pin MIDI port.

    * Please Note: If the wrong port is selected as the input/output port for the Mackie Control Surface, or the control surface is not in use at all, you may experience unresponsive keys, keys opening and closing windows, and/or faders affecting the pitch of your virtual instrument. Simply double-check and re-assign the Mackie Control Surface ports to CTRL49 Mackie/HUI, or turn off Track for the CTRL49 Mackie/HUI input port when not using the Mackie Control Surface.

Close the Preferences and you will now have transport and mixer control with the CTRL49.


Controlling Multiple Instances of VIP

You can open as many instances of VIP within Ableton Live that your computer processor can handle. The CTRL49 will control one VIP instance at a time, and you can then quickly change which VIP instance the CTRL49 is controlling using the DAW Control mode.

Please note: DAW Control mode will change which VIP instance the CTRL49 is focused on for preset browsing/organization, and controlling plugin parameters via the 8 rotary knobs and buttons. However, MIDI note messages from the keyboard and pads are still routed by Ableton Live, so you'll still need to select which VIP instance you'd like to perform on by highlightor arming the track in Live. See the Controller Assignments section for how to easily use the Mackie/HUI switches to select your tracks from the CTRL49.

1. Press the Main button and then press the Page Right button below the display (this will light up if you have more than one instance open). You will see all of the VIP instances and their current presets listed, similar to the picture below:

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2. Use the Data Dial on the CTRL49 to scroll through the available VIP Instances, and push in the Data Dial to select it.

3. Alternatively, this cam be done from the VIP software interface as well. Open the VIP instance you'd like to control and click on the Highlight to Connect to Hardware icon, which is located at the top right corner in VIP as shown in the picture below:

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This icon will flash to indicate the currently selected instance of VIP.


Using Multi-Out VST Instruments with VIP and Live

Many VST Instruments can send multiple separate channels of audio to a DAW like Ableton Live. Consult your VST Instrument's user guide for more information. VIP will recognize and open these multi-out plugin versions. Here are the steps to route these separate audio tracks with Live:

  1. In addition to your VIP software instrument track, create an additional audio track(s) for each additional output you'd like to route.

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  2. In the top dropdown box of the Audio From section on each audio track, select VIP.

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  3. In the lower dropdown box of the Audio From section on each audio track, select from one of the eight outputs available from VIP.

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  4. Once you've configured all of your audio tracks for different outputs from VIP, it will look like similar to the picture below.

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  5. In VIP, any scanned VST Instruments that have multi-out versions will be listed separately. Load one of the multi-out versions.

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  6. Route the audio outputs within your VST Instrument as instructed in the program's user guide. The audio tracks in Live will receive this separated audio channels. That's it!


Controller Assignments

Here's a quick overview of the CTRL49 parameters while mapped in Ableton:

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Mackie Control Section
Master FaderMaster Volume
Faders F1 - F8Track Volume
Bank Left/RightShifts control bank left/right
Buttons (Red)Track Record Enable
Buttons (Yellow)Track Solo
Buttons (Blue)Track On/Off
Buttons (White)Track Select


Transport Control Section
StopStop (press twice to return to start)
ForwardMove playhead position forward
RewindMove playhead position backwards


VIP/MIDI Control Section

  • This section will automatically sync with VIP when VIP is opened. The encoders, switches and pads will automatically map to the assignable encoders, switches and pads in the control panel view in VIP. Their assignments will depend on the currently chosen plugin inside of VIP. Their assignments can be changed from the VIP interface or from the CTRL49 by pressing the CONTROL button to access the control view.
  • If you'd like to map the knobs, switches and pads to functions in Ableton, simply press the MIDI button at the top of the CTRL49. The section will disconnect from VIP and switch over to MIDI control mode where the parameters will take on assignable CC and MIDI note functions that can be mapped manually inside of Ableton or any other DAW software.


VIP Navigation Section

  • This section is used strictly for navigating inside of VIP and the CTRL49 display. This section cannot be mapped to any outside parameters.
  • When in MIDI Control mode, press any button in this section to return to VIP control mode.