How to Show Flats on a Piano Roll

Discussion of anything not related to audio or music production
Post Reply
ChiefNugget
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:55 am
Location: Chicago, IL

How to Show Flats on a Piano Roll

Post by ChiefNugget » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:37 pm

It's been a real annoyance that Live's piano roll only shows accidentals as sharps, but I finally put my mind to figuring out a way to change that today. It's unfortunately still a bit of a hack or workaround, but it's much better than nothing if you're writing in Ab, Bb, Db, or Eb and the piano roll is driving you mad.

I set up a drum rack and named every pad with the flat enharmonic equivalent of the sharps. Actually, I set up 3 drum racks. One has all the black keys renamed as flats, the other shows F# instead of Gb, and the third says Gb/F#. They are available here for download...

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AoXAwq5x1TIjh8RZejm ... Q?e=8zbLqc

If you find these racks really useful, please consider throwing some spare change my way...
https://paypal.me/chiefnugget

HOW TO USE THE RACKS:
1) Place the "Piano Roll Flats" drum rack on a MIDI track. This track will only hold the MIDI notes and clips, no VST or Live Instruments. Set it's input up to receive MIDI from the controller of your choice.

2) Place the target VST or Live instrument on a second MIDI track and set its input to receive MIDI from the track with the Piano Roll Flats drum rack (Post-FX, see below for some creative ideas).

3) Set the instrument track to monitor Input.

4) Play, record, and edit MIDI in the track with the Piano Roll Flats drum rack. When editing on the piano roll, the note names will all use flats for the black keys instead of sharps.

CREATIVE IDEAS TO EXTEND THESE RACKS:
Using a drum rack to track the MIDI allows for some creative manipulation. You can add a different MIDI effect to every note. So, you might want to set up a few keys to trigger a chord using the chord effect, or maybe set up an arpeggiator on just a few notes.

You set up multiple instrument tracks to receive MIDI from the single track with the Piano Roll Flats rack and use the key range on the instrument device for each of them to set up ranges from your keyboard/controller.

I hope this helps you fellow Live users! Enjoy.
I need a baby sit my boys and work the day job plug-in.

The Rabbits
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: How to Show Flats on a Piano Roll

Post by The Rabbits » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:02 pm

Thanks for that, could be useful. Though it's a bit ironic. After not finding a way to search for samples with sharp symbols "#" in the file name, I diligently renamed them using "b" for flats so I could search reliably.

Now, of course, the sample/filenames all use flats and ableton shows only sharps!

Brilliant!!

The Rabbits
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: How to Show Flats on a Piano Roll

Post by The Rabbits » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:30 pm

Thanks for that, could be useful. Though it's a bit ironic. After not finding a way to search for samples with sharp symbols "#" in the file name, I diligently renamed them using "b" for flats so I could search reliably.

Now, of course, the sample/filenames all use flats and ableton shows only sharps!

Brilliant!!

Post Reply