An Introduction to the MIDI Matrix Max for Live device

MIDI Matrix is an innovative arpeggiator/sequencer device that can be used to make all sorts of cool sounds!

An Introduction to the MIDI Matrix Max for Live device

What is MIDI Matrix?

The MIDI Matrix Device

MIDI Matrix is a creative arpeggiator/sequencer device that can be used to make all sorts of cool sounds!

How is it different from a regular arpeggiator/sequencer?

MDI Matrix has multiple arpeggiator "voices" (hence matrix). In a standard arpeggiator, all incoming notes are treated as a single input and a pattern is generated using their combination. In contrast, MIDI Matrix treats each incoming note separately and generates a separate rhythmic sequence for each of them.

What does it sound like?

Don't think of an arpeggiator or sequencer. It's more like a melodic and rhythmic pattern generator. Pressing a few notes on the keyboard will result in a fairly complex and musical pattern. The patterns are all programmable and you can adjust the number of voices (up to 6). So to be fair, it can sound however you want it to sound. Here are some examples!

With Pianos - Listen for the bleep bloop pianos throughout this first piece. It uses the two stereo-panned MIDI Matrix instances.

Sathira Tennakoon - Home

With Synths - All the "melodies" have been generated feeding the MIDI output of the MIDI Matrix to a monophonic lead! It is also used throughout the song with different synths and pianos in the background.

Sathira Tennakoon - Running

What does each of the controls do?

Part 1
  • Time Step - This is the time step of the sequencer. You can choose between straight and triplet grids.
  • x2 (half tempo) - Halves the tempo of the sequencer.
  • Voices (1 to 6) - Number of arpeggiator voices. Determines how many of the 6 arpeggiator voices are activated.
  • Phase (toggle) - Inverts the order of the triggered patterns. Can be used to add variation when using multiple instances of the device.
  • Panic - Stop everything and resets the device.
  • Pattern Edit Buttons (1 to 6) - Each of these buttons will show the current pattern on each circuit. You can then edit it with the pattern editor. Just remember to press "Write Pattern" after you have finished editing.
  • Solo - Solos out the selected pattern for editing.
  • Pattern Edit Area - Click to draw in velocities for each step. Set the velocity to zero to deactivate a note.
Part 2
  • Write pattern (button) - Writes the edited pattern to the device.
  • Note Length - Length of the generated notes in milliseconds.
  • Input Sensitivity - This scales the note velocities (specified in the pattern editor) by the input velocity. At zero setting, the velocity of input notes will not affect the output velocities. When increasing this setting, the input velocity will be more and more prominent.
  • Add Lo Notes - Randomly adds notes an octave below.
  • Add Hi Notes - Randomly adds notes an octave above.
  • Velocity Curve - Select the velocity curve from softer to harder. This comes in handy when you want the output notes to respond correctly to the Instrument/VST you are using.
  • Range (two number boxes | 0 to 127) - Sets the low and high ranges of the output velocity.
  • Randomize - Adds some random variation to the output velocity.
You can always find this information in the live info section (at the bottom left corner of Ableton Live).

Are Ghost Pianos and Synth Matrix the same as MIDI Matrix?

Synth Matrix is the 1.0 version of the MIDI Matrix. MIDI Matrix was made considering your feedback and it contains all the functionality of Synth Matrix and more!

Ghost Pianos was the initial version of MIDI Matrix/Synth Matrix, made without Max for Live. (Instead, stock M4L devices were used to create MIDI fx chains). Ghost Pianos' sound can be easily achieved with this device. The MIDI Matrix-based version of Ghost Pianos is included in the demo project.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the device!

Feel free to reach out to for any questions or concerns. Also, we would love to listen to your creations with Synth Matrix! Send your tracks our way to be featured in the device demos.