Re: "Macro instrument" v...
In a way, they are the same thing, since loading any kind of rack (instrument, drum, or effect) automatically includes macros. You threw me for a loop for a moment because you mentioned a "macro instrument." I'm not sure where you saw that term, but I loaded Live immediately to see if there was such a thing. There isn't.
I have found that whenever you open any kind of instrument or audio file, it is always a good idea to get into the habit of opening the appropriate rack first, and then insert your material. This enables you to assign macros right away, instead of working with a sound or audio clip for a while and then deciding you want macros after an hour's work! This is especially true if you have the APC40 or a compatible controller that can have the macros mapped to physical knobs or sliders.
If you forget to load a rack first, you can always save your work as a preset or sample clip, and then load it onto another track with a rack ready to go. It's just that having macros on every single track in your arrangement is really, in my mind, one of the greatest strengths in using live as a performance tool. I think I might have mentioned in another post that macros and follow actions are your best friends. They really are! And setting the parameters of each macro in the browser window is so insanely easy, my father could do it, and he hasn't a musical bone in his body! Hah!
Anyway, one macro knob can handle as many different control parameters as you wish. I find that simply amazing. I'm going to try something for a second. I'll post my results in a few...