how to reverse keyboard layout?

seanstephensen

New member
looking to flip the orientation of my AKAI MPK49 midi keyboard so that the left hand plays high notes and the right hand plays low notes. not worried about how the accidentals do or do not line up with the black keys or anything like that. just want to straight reverse the orientation. Any suggestions?
 

Mmmmqac

New member
Use a negative value for keyboard tracking on your synths oscillators and filters.
Or, if you have a Note Toucher BTH1, I can email you a hack that will convert it into a MIDI translator that reverses the keys.
 

seanstephensen

New member
Use a negative value for keyboard tracking on your synths oscillators and filters.
Or, if you have a Note Toucher BTH1, I can email you a hack that will convert it into a MIDI translator that reverses the keys.


Can you elaborate a bit more on that first idea? or point me to some video/reading? Not quite sure what you mean by it. Unfortuantely I don't have a BTH1
 

Mmmmqac

New member
Virtually all subtractive synths and samplers have a parameter called keyboard tracking on their filter that is usually used to raise the cut-off frequency when you play higher notes so that they do not sound dull. If you set this parameter to a negative value, then the filter does the opposite, making the filter open up more for low notes.

Absolutely every synth and sampler has keyboard tracking on its oscillator frequency so that the pitch gets higher if you play a high note, but not every manufacturer gives you access to the parameter to modify it; some just hardwire it to the oscillator and fix its "adjustment" to one-octave-per-octave. Luckily, a fair few synths do let you adjust it. If you set it to zero, then every key you press will produce the same pitch. (Your filter would still track though, so if it has resonance it could mimic a Mongolian throat-singer.) If you set the oscillator keyboard tracking to negative-one-octave-per-octave, you would achieve the reversal you are hoping for. You will have to also do it to the filter, otherwise the timbre will change radically along the keyboard.

On a side note, I often set mine to 19 notes per octave to record micro-tonal music.
 

SeaGtGruff

Member
That's very interesting! :) The only problem is that the Akai MPK49 is a controller, not a synth, so it doesn't generate any sounds itself. :(

seanstephensen, what are you using the MPK49 with-- which DAW, what soft synths (if any), what other virtual instruments, etc.? It seems like the easiest solution would be some sort of script that alters the MIDI note numbers being received, something along the line of the following:

New_Note = 124 - Old_Note
If New_Note < 0 Then New_Note = New_Note + 12
[or: If New_Note < 0 Then New_Note = 0] *

The above isn't an actual script, just simple pseudocode. It assumes that you'd want to flip the keyboard such that Middle C would become note 64, as follows:

MIDI Keyboard Flipped.png

(Edit: I mean that the Middle C key on the keyboard would play note 64, or the E above Middle C.)

( * Edit #2: On some keyboards if you shift the octave up or down beyond the valid MIDI note range, 0 - 127, the keys that fall outside the valid range are bumped back an octave to put them back within the valid range.)

I've never tried to do any scripting in a DAW, so I don't know what's possible, but it would at least help to have some idea what you've got to work with.
 

seanstephensen

New member
akai mpk49 into logic pro running east west platinum pianos. I've achieved my result now, though my method was a bit tedious. I couldn't figure out any way to manipulate the MIDI note values, so I just turned to sampling. To make the most of the wonderfully recorded EastWest samples, I bounced each note in my keyboard range (Bb0-Bb4) (I'll be playing with a clarinet so I chose to tune to Bb rather than C) at 6 different velocity levels (1, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125). Then imported all those into logic's esx24 sampler and had to manually go and assign keys to each sample and then adjust the velocity ranges for the corresponding sample groups. the whole process took about 2 hours total, but a couple good symphonies got me through it. The time payed off (though there may have been a faster way via MIDI manipulation) as it sounds great - better than if I had just done one bounce per pitch or something.
 

Mmmmqac

New member
Wow!
I am very impressed by your dedication to pull off this stunt mandraulically. I wish all the people I have ever tried to collaborate with had that kind of dedication.
I wish you every success in your project.
Darren Mac
 
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