Thursday 1 November 2018

An audio version of the 'Quick Transpose BW' MaxForLive device for Ableton Live...

One of the questions about QuickTranspose BW was: 'Does it transpose MIDI or Audio?'. The answer was 'MIDI', but this set me thinking, and so here's a quick test of what happens when you put the enhanced (maybe 'over the top') user interface of 'Quick Transpose BW' over an audio-domain pitch shifter.

Above is a screenshot of what the result looks like. The left-hand side is 'Quick Transpose BW' just moved into a MaxForLive Audio device instead of a MIDI device, but the right-hand side isn't just a bolted-on pitch shifter, because when I played with the draft version, I got inspired. So those two big black 'DJ' effect 'ON' buttons are intended for live performance use (or you can map an LFO (etc.) to control them (etc.), and provide mouse-gated Detune (which is a chorus effect that you can just gate in and out, or the same sort of gating, but for a transposition. The idea is that you choose a transpose value, then press the 'Set button (and the value will appear in the purple box), and then you revert back to no transposition (all zeroes across the middle), but clicking on the 'On' button gates that transpose on and off. So that's two liver performance buttons... Oh, and the 'Glide' button lets you set how long the pitch transposition takes, so you can do all sorts of sweeps and drops on whatever audio you are processing. Overall I had great fun making this cross-dimensional variant!

Here's a video (updated) showing two LFOs mapped to the Octave buttons and the 'DJ' detune trigger button... For some reason, you need to choose '480p' to get better quality video playback than the default blocky '144p'... The source material is just a synth arpeggio, and there are no effects other than 'Quick Transpose Audio BW' - which just goes to show what you can do with a pitch shifter and 2 LFOs.

Getting Quick_Transpose_Audio_0v01

You can download Quick_Transpose Audio_0v01 for free from

Here are the instructions for what to do with the .amxd file that you download from

(In Live 10, you can also just double-click on the .amxd file, but this puts the device in the same folder as all of the factory devices...)

Modular Equivalents

In terms of modular equivalents, then reproducing this functionality in my modulars required a pitch shifter, and whilst the Bose module was a part of some old classic modulars, it isn't exactly a 'basic' module in these 'interesting' times. So I'm temporarily extending my definition of 'basic' to encompass a pitch shifter, and then it requires just a couple of utility processing and button modules. Overall, the core is about 3 ME. I can't recall having ever seen a live modular performance using this kind of effect (although performers like Caterina Barbieri are imho, remarkably accomplished!), but I'm sure that the Interweb will provide lots of examples that I overlooked.

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  1. These plugins seem handy, although in the version I tried the "reset" (center between up and down) button wasn't midi assignable. Basically the way a performer playing MIDI patterns while performing would use the plugin to transpose up and up to a crescendo and then would want to quickly hit a "reset" button to drop into the next section of the song.

    Please make a version (of the simple transpose up a single semitone and down a single semitone and reset) that has midi assignable buttons on the up, down, and reset buttons.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. @JapanLoveStar I have added in the missing button so this can be clicked/assigned to zero/reset the counter in two of the QT series, nd added a third 'perf' version dedicated to liv performance applications. I first made the Quick Transpose M4L device to speed up my Rack programming, so it is interesting to see a different way of using it, and I'm happy to evolve the devices to suit an alternative way of using them. As always, you can find the devices at