Using Control Structures to Embed Complex Mapping Tools into Ableton Live

This paper presents Mapper4Live, a software plugin made for the popular digital audio workstation software Ableton Live. Mapper4Live exposes Ableton’s synthesis and effect parameters on the distributed libmapper signal mapping network, providing new opportunities for interaction between software and hardware synths, audio effects, and controllers. The plugin’s uses and relevance in research, music production and musical performance settings are explored, detailing the development journey and ideas for future work on the project.

Boettcher, B., Malloch, J., Wang, J., & Wanderley, M. M. (2021). Mapper4Live: Using Control Structures to Embed Complex Mapping Tools into Ableton Live. NIME 2022.

Article Published in IEEE Multimedia

Now available online: Joseph Malloch, Stephen Sinclair, and Marcelo M. Wanderley. “Generalized Multi-Instance Control Mapping for Interactive Media Systems”. In IEEE MultiMedia, 25(1), January–March 2018. DOI: 10.1109/MMUL.2018.112140028


We articulate a need for the representation of temporal objects reflecting dynamic, short-lived mapping connections instantiated from a template, in tools for designing and using interactive media systems. A list of requirements is compiled from an examination of existing tools, practical use cases, and abstract considerations of node connectivity and information propagation within a graph of connected devices. We validate the concept through implementation in the open source software libmapper, and explore its application by integration with existing controller/synthesizer software and hardware.

DOT Mapper documentation video

Here’s a short video demonstrating some software developed in the IDMIL for mapping digital musical instruments. Mapping refers to the process of connecting gesture parameters with sound synthesis parameters, and forms a crucial part of the interaction design. In the course of the McGill Digital Orchestra project, we developed a number of tools for assisting collaborative creation of mapping layers.