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Solved: Odd “Back to Arrangement” problem in Ableton Live

2009 July 8
by Tedb0t

During my last show at Solas, I recorded the entire set in Live, including all the MIDI automation I was getting from my EggBeaters.  To get the MIDI into Live, which was being generated in PureData, I used OS X’s built-in IAC virtual MIDI driver (an incredibly handy and thoughtful feature for an operating system to include).

Later, when I wanted to review the recording and export it, I discovered a very odd and frustrating problem: the “Back to Arrangement” button kept lighting up and wouldn’t stay off.  Normally, this button (between the Overwrite button and global quantize drop-down menu) lights up when an automated control is changed to indicate that that automation is being ignored, and when you click the lit-up Back to Arrangement button, it restores the normal automation.

In my case, the Back to Arrangement button was lit, but when I clicked it, it turned off only briefly before immediately coming back on, and many of my recorded automations were not playing back correctly.  It was very frustrating, because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was going on, and I wasn’t able to use the recording for anything.  After some Googling in vain I emailed Live support, and to my delight, they emailed me back the next day!

It turns out that having the IAC channels turned on in Live was the problem.  Somehow this was causing a MIDI feedback loop (not exactly sure how), but turning them off made everything go back to normal.  Thanks so so much to Jörg Klußmann at Ableton for pointing this out to me!

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10 Responses
  1. Aymaha permalink
    October 7, 2009

    Hi Tedbot,

    I am having the same issue and for the life of me I don’t know why. This has been driving me insane.

    Its great news that you have this issue sorted. Can you tell me what do you mean by IAC channels and also how do you turned them off?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Aymaha

    • October 7, 2009

      The IAC Driver is OS X’s built-in internal midi cable, for sending midi signals between software. If you don’t know what it is, I’d be surprised if you had it turned on. Go into MIDI settings and see if it’s listed under your midi devices.

  2. Peznakov permalink
    May 27, 2010

    Saved my life! I’ve been working at trying to save my file all day and this was the ONLY post in the tubes that gave me the right answer…

  3. Prod. by permalink
    August 16, 2010

    WHen i export audio that light “back to arrangement” turns on and i cannot stop it while the soft. is exporting audio(and the midi automation suck),how can i permanently turn it off ,that is stupid thing.

    • August 16, 2010

      The indicator comes on when the current live settings are different from the arrangement settings. I don’t know of any way to stop it, but you shouldn’t have to “turn it off.”

  4. Ada Lovelace permalink
    January 1, 2011

    hey! i am having the exact same problem! i don’t see anything in the “MIDI sync” tab related to IAC… probably because i’m not even using a mac. i am using a PC with a UC33 midi controller… although come to think of it, i think i used to have the same problem even before i enabled the midi controller. ANY information regarding this strange issue would be amazing!!!

    the only fix i have at the moment is i go to the arrangement view and delete everything that was previously recorded… that way i don’t run the risk of it being randomly activated. annoying!

    THANKS!
    <3 ada

  5. November 13, 2011

    Thanks! I’ve been pulling my hair out over this problem all morning. I’m using a new MBP, and I had set up the IAC driver in Live.

  6. Matt permalink
    November 17, 2012

    Tedbot, you are a lifesaver. I just spent over 2 hours banging my head against this until I found this post. Thank you for this!

  7. Miguel Mendes permalink
    November 19, 2012

    How turn off the IAC channels !??

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