The Key Layouts on Ableton Push are great if you don't know any music theory, but want to make sure you play in key. Now if you don't have Push, but a Launchpad and Max for Live, then the Max for Live effect 'Launchpad Scales' can help.

'Launchpad Scales' can be added as a MIDI effect on any MIDI track. It then shows you the pads on your Launchpad in User Mode 2 that are in key. You can select the root key, the velocity, the scales and the colours. It requires Live 9 and Max 6.

launchscalesThe available scales are:

  • Major
  • Minor
  • Minor harmonic
  • Minor melodic Ascending
  • Minor melodic descending

It doesn't hide the keys that are out of key as Push does in its In-Key Mode, but the visual clues provided by the lit pads are still quite helpful.


Download 'Launchpad Scales'

EDIT: I completely forgot to try and record some MIDI notes while testing it. Turns out, it doesn't work. If you'd still like to use 'Launchpad Scales', do the following:

  1. Add 'Launchpad Scales' to a MIDI track, set Monitoring to In.
  2. Add a MIDI instrument to another MIDI track and make sure it's armed.
  3. In the MIDI track with 'Launchpad Scales', set MIDI To to the second MIDI track with the instrument.
  4. Now you can record clips in the MIDI track containing the instrument while getting visual clues from 'Launchpad Scales'.

This way for heaps more Max for Live devices & tips.