PC (Ableton) to iPad (photon) workflow

I was watching @CaliCreed video on his setup using Qbase 3 to create midi track on ipad running both Multitracker and Photon from the same iPad. I am setting up Multitracker for live gigs, I have Photon on the same. I however use Ableton to build my audio tracks, including midi tracks for keyboard changes and lighting. Unfortunately, Ableton only runs on PC/Mac.

My question is; what is, or is there a workflow from PC to iPad? So I can play a keyboard into Ableton, which will create the midi notes needed to run Photon - And, as I play I want to see the lights activated through the laptop. I would like to avoid adding Qbase 3 to my build process if at all possible, there’s a bit of a learning curve that I’m still fighting.


Hi Phil,

There is a way to accomplish what you are doing, but it will involve more expenditure than getting the Cubasis app. Also, there is another App for iPad that is like Cubasis but is cheaper.

First, the link with Ableton would require a WidiBud Pro from CME which is $60 if you are using a PC. The WidiBud Pro would transmit low latency information to the iPad with Photon on it, which will trigger the lights.

Alternatively, there is another alternative to Cubasis called Audio Evolution which would allow you to connect to the iPad and record midi lights.

I also polish my backing tracks in Ableton, but for one export I mix all of my backing tracks to one track for one instance so that I can just load the mixed backing tracks (the mixed track will never be used live but facilitates creating the light show on the iPad in an iPad DAW). I think Audio Evolution is $11. Cubasis is $50, but goes to $30 occasionally.

For PC it would be Ableton MIDI Track>WidiBud Pro>iPad (via BLE which stands for “Bluetooth Low Entergy”)>Photon>WIFi>DMX Node>Lights


Ableton>Mixdown all tracks to single track>import Mixed Down Track to Cubasis/Audio Evolution>MIDI track>Photon>WiFi>DMX Node>Lights


Mac with Ableton MIDI track>BLE to iPad>Photon>WiFi>DMX Node>Lights

I hope this helps.

John O’Brien

John (calicreed) is the guy that really showed me how to use tracks with his excellent YouTube videos though I came up with a slightly different solution to your question (as I understand it). I create all stems and midi files in Apple Logic on my MacBook. I then export them to Multitracker on my iPad and use that app for the final, live mix. One quirk of MT is that all midi tracks need to be imported as one midi file. Then, MT allows you to deal with them separately. I have never had a problem live and use MT to run tracks, lights (through photon 2), and send changes to my Kemper and my bandmates Helix.


I watched your video uploaded a year ago how you used Qbasis, in fact I’ve watched many of your video’s, which brought me to software (Photon) vs hardware controller – Excellent! Thank you for sacrificing the time - I did comment on one of them the other day and asked if you made the video to build the template for Qbasis; however, the more I think about having to learn another software on top of learning Photon it scares me. The band has 25 songs now, and no light show. I’ve wasted months on midi, Roland, Ableton, and Multitracker to find out things really don’t work the way you expect them to; well maybe not wasted, but it took up a lot of time. To @NashvilleSteve point type 0 and type 1 midi – painful!

Thank you for responding with the detailed options. I certainly appreciate it. Where do I send my first-born child?

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LOL!! Philjack. You are funny. Yes, I know it is a lot to do for a show. @NashvilleSteve, I just got done talking to another performer who is touring just like you. He is using MT as well. It is working well for him, but he had to retire the AirTurn for launching tracks because it stopped his tracks while performing. This happened to me, as well. I launch all tracks directly from the iPad. Photon is doing well for our band. MT requires some knowledge about DAWs, audio/midi workflow, DMX and some technology. In 2018 it was a lot of work for us. It has yielded $140,000 for our band so far. So, the time spent has been worth it!

Sebastian stated to me last October that he is working on a MT upgrade with some great features, but he wouldn’t commit to a release date. ST3 is geared more for Solo/Duo artists, but not full bands and certainly not for light shows.

Keep using Tracks and blowing away the other bands!


Good day John,

After ruminating on your response; the word BLE kept coming to mind - I have a Widithru6BT! Oye! It works… I’m going to comment on another one of your post geared towards setup video content for future readers.


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