How To Control Lights In Ableton Live

In this Dubspot tutorial video, I explain how I setup my own lighting rig for a live show, and how to control this from a single laptop all within Ableton Live.


Including a live stage lighting rig along with my live music has always been a dream of mine.

When I think of a professional scale live music event, epic lighting is always a key factor to blow minds and bring a new sense of action to the live performance.

After seeing Richie Hawtin perform as Plastikman, with his Version 1.5 live show, I was completely inspired to create a live lighting rig for my own solo electronic performances. During this time, I was not familiar with lighting and the thought of getting this started up seemed very intimidating, as I didn’t have the equipment, the money, the team, and let alone the knowledge of how to get this started up.

I soon found out this is very simple and possible to do.

I learned that lighting can be controlled by DMX, and DMX can be triggered by MIDI. I also knew Ableton Live sent out MIDI. From here, I did some research and found out some great methods to not simply control lighting, but both my music and my visual lighting from the same source, along with the same buttons, knobs, and triggers.


Here’s a little chart to help you get started, no matter what level you’re at.


For more ideas on how to apply these ideas into your own music, or any scenario, I discuss this in my new hour long video course “Live DJ Tech: Controlling Lighting and Visual Effects with MIDI”

Josh Bess