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How to control Ableton Live with your iPhone [updated]

osculator and touchosc
With a new iPhone version comes a new method of using it to control Ableton Live. This post is an update to a previous post that is now obsolete. The best new method of controlling your iPhone doesn’t even require you to jailbreak your phone.


TouchOSC is an iPhone / iPod Touch application that lets you send and receive Open Sound Control messages over a Wi-Fi network using the UDP protocol. Using this program on your phone along with Osculator for Mac, you can control Ableton Live with your phone.


  1. Wireless Router to create a wireless network for the iPhone to send OSC messages through
  2. An iPhone with 2.0 or newer software
  3. Purchase of TouchOsc and Osculator


First, launch OSCulator and Live.

We will have to configure Live so it will receive and send MIDI events with OSCulator.

In Live go in the Preferences, under the “MIDI Sync” tab and enable the Track and Remote columns for “OSCulator Out” and “OSCulator In” interfaces. This will enable us to record events and send control events to OSCulator as well.

TouchOSC configuration

Now, launch TouchOSC on your iPhone. Please make sure you have version 1.2 installed so automatic configuration will be enabled.

  • Click on the button under “Network” and choose the option corresponding to OSCulator (see picture to the right). TouchOSC will automatically fill the fields required for the network communications.
  • In the “Port (incoming)” field, enter 9000. This can be actually any port number you wish. 9000 is cool.
  • From there your settings page should look like the second image from the top (your “Host” field can be different, due to network configuration differences).
  • Select a layout, we will use “Beatmachine”.
  • Click on the “Done” button.

We will configure the yellow slider so it can control the volume of the first track in Live:

  • Touch the yellow slider to send an initial event.
  • The event “/1/fader” should appear in the main window of OSCulator.
  • In OSCulator, select “MIDI CC” as Event Type, and “cc0” as Value.

Now, let’s tell Live we want to use this MIDI control change to control the volume fader of the first track. This procedure also works for any button or control in Live.

  • Return to Live, and click on the MIDI button, located upper right. Live turns to MIDI Learn mode.
  • Click on the volume fader of the first track.
  • In TouchOSC, touch the yellow slider again. This will forward the event to Live, which will learn that we want to use the MIDI control change 0 to control the volume fader. A “1/0” label is now displayed next to the volume fader, like this:
  • Leave MIDI learn mode by click on the MIDI button upper right.
  • You’re done!

If you click the volume fader in Live, you will notice OSCulator will automatically detect a MIDI message and will convert it to an OSC message that it sends to TouchOSC running on your iPhone.

That means that TouchOSC and Live are synchronized both ways.

17 Responses to “How to control Ableton Live with your iPhone [updated]”

  1. bays says:

    yes it will work without a wireless router, by creating a computer to computer network over airport. you also need to add the ip settings in 13L for it to work.

    more detailed tutorial:

  2. Danagin says:

    Hey, is there a way to do this with a Pocket PC, running any version of windows mobile? I can’t find one, you think someone would do this?

    The only thing I can think to do is learc cylcling 74 and make an application that you can vnc remote to your computer and scroll to that part of your monitor… which probably wouldn’t work as good as it might sound.

  3. UCFJediknight says:

    Is there a source code for this program out there somewhere Id love to get my hand on it so i could mod it and possibly have it control some macro’s that I build for other projects

  4. DjTimothySott says:

    does anybody know if the creator of this app will be making it for unlocked iphone 3G?

  5. Brian says:

    Can anyone help me out with this. I followed the tutorial on youtube and it wont work. my problem is when i click on akaremote on my iphone 2.0.2, it opens to the blue water screen then exits out back to the springboard screen. Is something not set up right?

  6. Johan says:

    What happened to artificialeyes?
    Did they disappear?

    See for yourself:

    Is it possible to download the i3l midi bridge somewhere else?

  7. EMusicTips » Archive » How to control Ableton Live with your iPhone says:

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI followed the tutorial on youtube and it wont work. my problem is when i click on akaremote on my iphone 2.0.2, it opens to the blue water screen then exits out back to the springboard screen. Is something not set up right? Johan says: … […]

  8. Jesko says:

    hey does this programm work with Vista?

  9. Vinni Kiniki says:

    How can I connect TouchOSC to my PC without a WiFI router? I am running WIN XP on a laptop. My Itouch is jailbroken so i don’t mind running 3rd party Apps. I have spent days looking for an answer.

    I know “airport” is the solution for MAC users is there a PC equivalent?

    I would really appreciate a reply. I am running (currently)
    Ipod Touch + TouchOSC + Pure Data, works fine with a wifi network, but what if i’m playing at a club without one!?


  10. admin says:

    Vinni, you might want to check out how to create an ad-hoc wireless network, see this article:

  11. Wimax Aru says:

    Continue up the great work!

  12. P1 Maria says:

    Great write-up in addition to great layout, is this a regular theme?

  13. Free iPhone 4G says:

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me so thank you.

  14. Earnest Daft says:

    Awesome post as usual, thank you for writing so much informative content on a regular basis.

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