Is the Hapax worth it just for mostly controlling Ableton and a couple hardware synths?

I’m in the box mostly and don’t plan on using Hapax with any of my out of the box gear (Octatrack, Maschine+, Analog RYTM) as they have their own sequencers. I’m mostly working on those devices to create samples or loops and then uploading stems to finish and build out whole tracks in Ableton.

I struggle with creative block and I’ve been making songs with the Torso T-1’s generative capabilities and really enjoying it - it’s helped me come up with some great ideas. I’m hoping to take that to the next level with a good sequencer, but I already have Push 2 and am wondering if the Hapax is overkill for how expensive it is or if anyone else is using it in this way. Cheers!

In my opinion it is much more suited for an out of the box producer. I’ve seen quite a few ITB producers struggle to integrate hapax into their workflow.

I personally do 90-95% of my production out of the box with a network of midi and cv/gate controlled devices, sometimes incorporating daw hosted vsts, with hapax at the center sequencing everything.

You can do most of the things hapax will do with ableton and the push controller, it will just be different.

With that being said it is an amazing sequencer that will expand your creativity no matter how you use it! I would hardly discourage you from buying it if it’s in your budget!

I’ve straddled ableton and a bunch of HW with it and enjoyed that. In ableton I prefer it to the push 2 for most things. It’s better for poking around finding chords and inversions I like and if I’m programming drums I’d rather use the Hapax’s tricks than anything I have in Ableton, or really anything except maybe the op-z. The op-z though, is a nightmare to integrate while the Hapax is a charm.
Most of the time I make a part, dub the midi into ableton then mute and move on. I rarely coordinate anything from the Hapax for ITB. I love it with external drum machines, and with a DT and the rk-002 cable for chords.
Is it overkill? I mean, yeah, probably? It’s not close to cheap. It’s head and shoulders above any sequencer I know. I looooove step sequencers and being able to set param changes with whatever method makes sense is a dream - you can step edit CCs, assign to encoders and record tweaks, feed them from algorithms or midi fx. The chord engine is also really fun to play and finds cool inversions frequently. So as a palate for making parts it’s cool. It looks and feels cool. It laces stuff together well.
I’m fascinated by the T-1. I wonder how much overlap there could be between them. The Hapax has a bunch of generative possibilities and fx chains with generative options, I’m usually aware that I’m on the top layers of what it can do.

I would buy the Hapax again to run ableton and MPC, without question. Meanwhile, the mc-101 is vastly nicer to work with, too.

As an aside, Scaler 2 is really amazing now and might be worth checking out. They have a pretty deep phrasing system built into it, and the track instances sync and can gen melody or baselines. It’s maybe not as jam oriented, but it always makes cool sounding things that are more interesting than I would come up with myself.

To answer your title question directly, I would say no, it’s not worth it for mostly controlling an Ableton setup.
Hapax is great, but it’s great with external gear, modular and stuff, being used instead of a DAW I think. Not to say it’s not good for driving software instruments, it really is, but if you’re sat there with Ableton open, it’s a big expense and added complexity when you’re not really utilising the benefits and specialities of the Hapax.
If you want some more creative sequencing in Ableton, maybe look at some max devices like this one which makes Tintinnabuli creation easy.

Or my recommendation would probably be to give Bitwig a go, where there are loads of tools and devices for doing cool stuff with sequencing and modulation :slight_smile:

What is the fastest way to link hapax with the automation parameters of a VST?

My Ableton chops are sub-par but here’s my quick set. Assume I’m not trying to map out any midi CCs. The high-level flow is point the Hapax and some CCs to Ableton, then make sure Ableton is showing the VST params, then use the MIDI button in Live to enable mapping.

on Hapax:
ASSIGN CCs - 2nd+fill (assign menu) >
2nd + encoder to edit assigned CC, I chose a random one that has no label on the Hapax so it won’t collide with a standard CC (eg I set encoder 1 = CC14, 2 = CC15 etc). > repeat for as many params/encoders as you want to map.
ASSIGN MIDI OUT - long press Track # to set output to USB device (assuming midi via usb), chose a track #

CONFIG HAPAX CCs IN - Live preferences > Midi > Hapax needs Remote to be enabled to pass in CCs
PREP VST - load the VST of effect you want to control. A VST device title bar has the yellow power circle, the expand arrow and the tool icon. Use the expand to see the VST params that Live knows about. To add more, click [configure] in the device title bar, then when the VST pops up, clicking any control will add it to the device’s panel. Close the VST and/or unhighlight configure to end.
MAP HAPAX ENCODERS TO LIVE DEVICE - upper right in Ableton is hit MIDI to open the mapping mode. click the control to map to highlight it, then turn the Hapax knob. Ableton with now show the CC mapped to the control.

AUDIO EFFECTS - You can map to an Ableton audio effect without needing the track its on to listen to the Hapax’s midi. eg I have an audio track with Ableton beat repeat, the track has no midi routing. I can still use the MIDI button and map encoders to control the params of the audio effect.

MACROS AND CHAINS - In Ableton, Ctrl+G to group pretty much anything will immediately create 8 macro knobs and maps them to the thing you grouped. You can use those to map to the Hapax encoders, and on the live side it lets you build chains or just pop controls in front of you whenever. in 11 they actually make 16 but only show 8 by default.

Hey @che great “how to”
I came to the same conclusion by myself.

A bit tedious but probably the best way!
Future readers will benefit a lot from your description!