Stepwise Chord Ripper

September 9, 2023

I just finished a marathon session with Max For Live and have two new devices to show for it.

Key Stepper

Download the Devices

What I wanted was a way to play a chord of MIDI notes on one track, and have the individual notes from the chord sent to different tracks, so that I could have different instruments playing the different notes from the chord.

Once the notes were at the destination track, I also wanted to be able to sequence patterns of note pitch variations and rest patterns in arbitrary length looping patterns. Rather than using a free-running step sequencer for this, I wanted the step sequencer to only advance when it received a note-on event. This would let me build in an additional layer of rhythmic variation beyond what a simple arpeggiator would allow. The notes advancing the step sequencer could have an interesting rhythm themselves.

This combination would allow me to take a 4-bar chord drone, distribute its four constituent notes across 4 tracks, then experiment with different patterns of notes on and off, and different length repeating loops (e.g. a 13 step loop played over a 16 beat section repeats in many many different ways).

The possibilities are pretty endless. :)