Sunday 3 January 2016

Transposing Quickly In Ableton Live

Ableton Live has a 'Pitch' MIDI Effect, which provides a rotary control for semitone shifting of incoming MIDI notes. This is fine for precise mouse-users who are not in a hurry, but isn't so good at speed...

So here's 'Quick Transpose', a simple 'holiday-themed' give-away M4L plug-in that is available from

 There are two columns of buttons: Octave transpositions on the left, and Fifths on the right. The orange box shows the total transposition from the two columns, and the '!' button is a pain button in case any held notes occur (although I have tried to minimise the chances of this happening in the M4L code).

The screenshot above shows the obvious way to use Quick Transpose, and this is probably where most Live users would place it automatically - left most in a track chain.

But you can put Quick Transpose anywhere in the MIDI part of a track chain, which means that it can go in front of a synthesiser inside an Instrument Rack:

This allows you to quickly transpose one of a pair of synthesisers to parallel fifths or octaves with a quick click of the mouse, and you could always put another instance of Quick Transpose in front of the whole Instrument Rack to avoid needing to select notes and shift-octave them in the piano roll view. (Not that I'm saying that the 'Select, Shift-Arrow' octave transposing isn't a great time saver too!)

As with all of my recent M4L plug-ins, Quick Transpose is now also available in a 'dark' version as well. 

The 'orange box' has gone, and I'm still trying to decide how to tweak the UI to have the same indication without it looking like a button, so expect an update at some stage. (Although I'm sometimes rather slow with updates...)

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