Simple Ableton Live Keyboard Splitter

This simple keyboard splitter for Ableton Live uses the Max 4 Live MIDI Sender/Receiver devices from the Max 7 Pitch and Time Machines to split your MIDI keyboard into two zones.

With it, you can record/play the split MIDI input on separate tracks, e.g. to play a lead with the right hand and a pad with a left hand.

Setup

The central part of the set is a MIDI track with an instrument rack containing two chains, one for each hand. Each chain contains a M4L MIDI Sender with a different channel (1 for the left hand, and 2 for the right hand as illustrated.)

Each chain is associated with a key region. Here I've split the keyboard in two at the middle C.

The keyboard splitter set contains two more MIDI tracks with the MIDI Receiver device set to its proper channel (1 for the left hand, 2 for the right hand).

Usage

  1. Create your two MIDI tracks (here LH Pad and RH Lead) with their respective instruments.
  2. Make sure the MIDI input are set respectively to Left Hand MIDI and Right Hand MIDI (see below)
  3. Arm the 3 tracks for recording using Ctrl/Cmd + Click:
    • LH Pad
    • RH Lead
    • Keybooard Splitter Rack (essential)
  4. Then simply start recording!

You'll record 3 MIDI tracks, one combined one in the Keyboard Splitter Rack and your left hand and right hand parts separately in the other tracks.

Notes

  • If you only arm the Keyboard Splitter Rack, you'll be able to play and record the combined MIDI but you won't get the separate tracks. If you've recorded a single MIDI clip, you can still split it afterwards by arming LH Pad and RH Lead (but not Keyboard Splitter Rack), and recording again (bonus tip: increase the tempo to 999 to record ultra fast)
  • You can add separate MIDI effects to each of your hand (in the set provided, I've added a Pitch MIDI device to change the octave at which each hand plays), but you could add, e.g. an Arpegiator to the left hand and a Scale to the right hand.
  • Extending the same principle, you can split the MIDI range into multiple parts and send them to various instruments to create interesting sound effects.

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