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Ableton Live: Single note step sequencing.

Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:35 am
by saucehp
Ableton Live: Single note step sequencing.

{last 3 images missing due to upload maximum - sorry}

For the last 2 weeks I had struggled to find an easy way to replicate the scale mode which is present in the Virtual Brain. I couldn’t find any help on the internet and found a lot of posts about other device users having the same issue.
Today I found 3 resolves.

Simple half fix: Midi effects ‘Scale + Random + Scale’

1.Grab a midi effect rack.

2.Insert Midi effect: Scale

Make all the notes the same. e.g. select all the notes horizontally ( in the case of the mandalas its just the first 6 ).

3.Insert Midi Effect: Random

Position chance at 100%. Choices (0-24) will give you the cycle range. Eg 4 note cycle or 11 note cycle. Mode need to be set to ‘ALT’ yellow. Scale set to 1. Sign will give you the behaviors of UP, Down, Back and forth.

4.Insert Midi Effect: Scale.

You can insert any 12 note scale within the limitations of the scale device.
If the random choices exceed the 12 notes it will continue up or down that scale.
If the random choice is less it will just cycle through the range given .
E.G Choices = 5 will cycle through the first 5 notes of the scale
To choose your first note Use the Base dial.
To make a scale lower or higher Use Transpose

5.Save the Midi Effect Rack.
It should look as follows.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.43.09.png
Stage 5
Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.43.09.png (32.72 KiB) Viewed 1578 times

This example shows any Hit (Note Input) from the mandala will trigger successive notes in a Ascending 15 note cycle with the first note being a low register D,.

6. Insert this in front of any midi instrument and it will play your scale, add Midi Effects: Note length and Velocity for further control.

7.To add step sequencing to each zone you can deselect all but one input note from the first Scale effect in the chain. As scale only output the highlighted (Orange) notes any other note will note register.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.45.59.png
Stage 7b
Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.45.59.png (49.49 KiB) Viewed 1578 times

Next you need create and instrument rack with 6 instances of your Midi Effect rack you just created. In turn you would modify the input note and the output scale for each zone. You then need to add the instrument to each of these chains.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.43.32.png
Stage 7a
Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.43.32.png (32.44 KiB) Viewed 1578 times

8. Play and enjoy.

Limited??? Too much work???

If you have Max4Live Installed with Ableton live then you are in luck…

Go to Maxforlive website and search for zb-pitchpattern in the midi effects.
Or click here: ... tchpattern

Slam this in front of any instrument by itself and it will out play what ever mode cycle you tell it to.
Again if you want it on multiple zones of one pad you will need to restrict it by using one instance of the Scale Midi Effect and build an instrument rack

Pitchpattern set up within a instrument rack for zone control.

Here is pitchpattern set up with random 18 note mode cycle starting at D1

Wait!!! But I cant bring up a scale preset, can I ?

Well not with this, you would need to open it up and dissect the device in max adding a coll storage function - I’m not that advanced so I can’t say.
You can always save the variations as live presets though.


You can use this instead. Scaler M8r.
Again go to maxforlive ... scaler-m8r

Set up similar to the original Scale + Random above.

The menu has a choice of 64 preset scales. However you will only be able to scale through 24 steps in a cycle.

These are just starting points to he monsters that can be created in / with instrument racks.
You can always through a drumrack in place of the instrument to create a round robin effect.



Re: Ableton Live: Single note step sequencing.

Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:37 am
by saucehp
Ooops. Images 7a and 7b around the wrong way.