The KORG nanoSERIES has a rabid following among many Ableton Live users, and with good reason. The nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL street for about US$60, provide basic knobs + faders + transport (KONTROL) and pads and X/Y control (PAD), plus a fully-featured, cross-platform editor, but still fit in a backpack. They’re small enough to use in coach on an airplane.

Having to open Live templates, however, just to get the mappings you want is a big pain. So, instead I’ve created a basic set of MIDI Remote Scripts and Kontrol Editor templates for Mac and Windows, Live 6.x and later, and wanted to share them with you.

If you’re Windows-based and a big fan of the nano, I will say that I recommend you use something else altogether – the brilliant nativeKontrol. It’s a hell of a lot more sophisticated, gives you more control, and still requires no template:

Of course, there are some advantages to my (otherwise inferior) humble solution. It’s free, it works on Mac, it’s completely editable, and much of the idea was to provide an easy way of learning about MIDI Remote Scripting. (Check out the tutorial below.) Now, knowing CDM readers, I imagine someone out there can improve what I’ve done, so feel free to modify it and please send us a copy of what you’ve created! [Cross-platform archive; will update with a fancier release later on once I’ve gotten some feedback]

Ableton Live MIDI Remote Scripting How To: Custom Korg nanoSERIES Control

And, of course, read all the instructions…

Install instructions:

1. For full control, upload the templates to your Korg nanoSeries using the Kontrol Editor, via the Communication menu. (See your manual for more.)

2. Place the proper folder(s) in your User Remote Scripts folder, inside your user preferences folder (NOT the Live program folder). That’s something like (Windows Vista/7):

[Windows boot drive] > Users > [username[ > AppData > Roaming > Ableton > Live [version] > Preferences > User Remote Scripts

or (Mac OS)

[boot drive] > [Library folder] > Preferences > Ableton > Live [version] > User Remote Scripts

3. Start Ableton Live 6.x or later (restart if it was already running)

4. Select the device. Choose Preferences > MIDI/Sync, select Control Surface in the first column (nanoPAD or nanoKONTROL), and then its Input and Output ports. Finally, enable the Control Surface Input for Track and Remote. Note that you can have more than one control surface, so if you’ve got both nano’s plugged into a hub, set them both up!

Usage instructions

nanoKONTROL Scene 1 is for device control. The buttons act as triggers for pads in drum devices, and the faders control the eight Macro encoders in any selected Rack. You’re free to assign the scene 1 knobs to whatever you like.

Scenes 2-3 control tracks: the top button record arms tracks, leaving the button button free for whatever you like (mute, enable/disable). The faders control level on tracks 1-8, and knobs control the first send for each track.

Scene 4 is basically unassigned and ready for custom assignments.

Across all scenes, fader 9 is the master level. Transport buttons are automatically mapped and will work as expected.

Because there are so many controls free, I’ve created a sample template that pre-maps some parameters. In case you prefer to work that way, that template can get you started.

nanoPAD: The nano is much simpler, but I’ve set up the X/Y pad to dynamically trigger the first two parameters in a rack, making this much more fun to use with a Drum Rack. I like having access to all 8 Macros, so I’ve spread them across the four scenes. The pads will dynamically map to the first 16 pads, with 1-12 on scene 1 and 13-16 on the top of scene 2. There was some trickery to allow you to map these pads more or less as you see them in the software, beyond those first 16. I’ve provided alternative versions that allow easier continuous melodic control or keep CC 1 + 2 consistent across all four scenes.

(I didn’t say that very well, so if anyone’s feeling really motivated and wants to do a quick post or video of this or even modify them and make them better, feel free!)

To avoid accidentally triggering parameters with the X/Y pad, you can either turn flam/roll mode on all the time, or make sure instruments you want to play are added to racks first.

For more detailed instructions on Live setup and how MIDI Remote Scripts work, please see the separate tutorial!

Creative Commons License
Scripts for KORG nanoSERIES and Ableton Live by Create Digital Music is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Want to help motivate me to do more stuff like this? (I and others on Planet CDM really will — open to non-KORG, non-Ableton requests!)

  • You rock. I'm going home early today and the first thing I'm doing is downloading these scripts.

  • From all at Korg USA, thanks for all your hard work, Peter.

    Korg loves CDM!

  • ZK


    I think that this way of scripts inside of Ableton is very interesting, very useful, and got

    a beautiful future.

    Maybe this is not the right place to make this question, but i´ll try…

    I found in some place in web, one script of TouchOSC for Ableton Live, and the instructions to do it too.

    But i dont have success…Somebody can help me?


    And Mr. Peter, your websites rocks…

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  • Nice work Peter.

    Thanks for this, CDM never disappoints as a home page.

    But yes, I've built a custom python script for the nanoKontrol based on the hacked python scripts for the Axiom controller decompyled from live 7.

    It adds the ability to switch up to controlling channels 9-16 by changing midi channel (or changing up to scene 2 on the nanokontrol, which I had sending out on midi channel 2 instead of 1).

    It also has track on/off, solo/cue, panning, and also has the bottom row of buttons triggering clips on the relevant track, with forward and reverse skipping up and down scenes, and the loop button triggering the selected scene.

    Unfortunately when I loaded it to live 8 many of the functions no longer seem to work, the only bit left working was the transport controls.

    I'm trying to debug and fix this now, but without access to the decompyled midi scripts in live 8 to see what they've changed it's proving quite hard for a python novice like myself.

    However, I'd be happy to upload or send this script to you for live 7 users, and hopefully a fix for 8 will be on it's way soon.

  • Awesome Peter! And just as my new NanoPad arrives today!

  • i just got a padKontrol by Korg…hoping it works well with ableton live.

  • al

    nice work peter aint got the nano controls

    but the scripting tutorial is just what ive been needing

    id made a vst plugin session 64

    for the kp3

    it triggers 64 clips from the kp3s x-y grid

    external control mode is 8×8 faders

    and 8×4 buttons for my drum racks

    aint got any videos online but ill have a demo and a video soon

    also wondering using the scripting method can

    u seperate midi cc's for each of the 8 audio tracks transpose and other controls



  • al

    heres a vid of session 64

    as usual its pretty dodgy

  • Synthmob

    I'd like whatever it takes to make my Presonus Faderport work with the Record beta…

  • This post has won the Internet (and a place in my heart).

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  • priscilla

    So does this not work for ableton live 7, I tried it yesterday and only some of the faders worked.

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  • thanks this rox my sox peter!

  • This is great!

    But the more I play with it the more I want to change the mappings…..PLEASE HELP a dumbass out.

    I want to use fader 9 and it's knob and buttons as a 9th channel rather than a master

    also I want to shut off the "automap" on scene 3 and 4 so I can permanently dedicate them to 2 softsynths with the controls of my choice.

    I have been trying to get my head around it but am failing

    Thanks for your help.


  • Unfortunately, that's the problem — Ableton only allows channels 1-8 using the MIDI Remote Scripting! The only alternative would be to map them manually. Go into the Korg editor and edit the assignments so each separate scene looks the way you want, then map at least that ninth channel with the MIDI map. NOT ideal, but unfortunately the only alternative… at least until you dive deeper into Python scripting.

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  • bigz

    Any idea how to prevent the faders/encoders from jumping when switching scenes on the nanoKontrol? I have "Pickup" mode turned on, but it only works during the first cycle through the scenes, after that it cease to work and the parameters jump!

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    very helpful!!! thanks a lot!

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  • Efea

    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One thing!?

    The pick up mode doesn´t work? Why?


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  • Hm, for some reason I had to switch the 'record enable' buttons from momentary to toggle. Aside from that, very awesome and usable presets! Thanks!

  • Autentiq

    Hey, thanks for the great read and instructions, but i came up with a problem –

    I run MAC but i cant seem to find the appropriate folder in my Library – Preferences – Ableton etc ..

    And as you said before, putting it in Live Package Content doesnt work,

    any idea why ?

  • hey, i dont get it running and i'm not sure why(else maybe i could fix it 🙂

    i'm using windows XP and there in Live the nano devices are not shown with their real names but only with the name "USB Audio Device", so i am not sure about how to name the folders and how what to write into the UserConf file. i tried almost everything.

    by the way, they appear in the control surface list when i put the into the remote script folder in the the ableton install folder and not when i put them in the Documents And Settings/Ableton/Preferences… folder.

    Does anyone know how to fix that?! It would be great to get an answer. thanks.

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  • TimB

    this is a great thing! Now….any chance of it getting updated for Live 8? I've followed all the directions, but "nanokontrol" doesn't turn up as one of the possible midi control surfaces in Live's preferences! 🙁

    So close, yet so far away. guess it's back to manual midi mapping for now!

    Thanks for your work on this!


  • Left

    viejos me interesa x ke en su ableton sale el controlador y en el mio no sale no entiendo x ke ke ondas

  • mike

    help! that file does not seem to be working anymore&nbsp ;

    can someone reupload? thanks.

  • Mescalina

    Yes, the link is broken, please could you update it?

  • lawate bwma kabane basha waz7m batawate tek chwa

  • Tim Whitlock

    When i click those download links in the article they both come up with pagenotfound404's 🙁 its 2011, was i too late to get these files that would make my week, thanks!

  • jns

    i found a site that still hosts the

  • Wow, marvelous weblog format! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The full look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

  • Thekiller_51

    link’s dead

  • Thekiller_51

    link’s dead

  • thanks for this.

    you can get the file here by the way:

  • thanks for this.

    you can get the file here by the way:

  • turboninja

    links are dead 🙁

  • turboninja

    links are dead 🙁

  • Fabe

    Hi ! Can you update the files for :
    – nanoseries2 (and so nanoPAD2)
    – Ableton Live 9 ?

    Thanks !!

  • Fabe

    Hi ! Can you update the files for :
    – nanoseries2 (and so nanoPAD2)
    – Ableton Live 9 ?

    Thanks !!

  • Juan

    Very dead link! Please update!

  • Juan

    Very dead link! Please update!

  • Charlie Cowper

    please repost!

  • Charlie Cowper

    please repost!