THIS IS HOW YOU TAME AN ORCHESTRA…
The Note Range Setters by PerforModule are a suite of midi racks within an Ableton Live Pack which filter incoming notes for an assortment of instrument & vocal ranges, plus tools for making custom note ranges. Implement a note range simply by dropping it before any instrument…
Template Note Range Setters
With these, you can quickly define and save your own custom note ranges.
Note Range Setter (Absolute) – Set minimum and maximum notes each by # value (“60” = Middle C).
Only plays notes within the set range.
Note Range Setter (Relative) – Set minimum value, then set range by distance (starting from minimum value).
Only plays notes within the set range.
Note Range Blocker (Relative) – Set minimum value, then set range distance (starting from minimum value). Only plays notes *outside* of the set range. Use instances of it if you need to create “holes” in a note range.
Note: when creating your own instrument ranges, keep in mind that Live’s midi octave value is shown at -1 compared to the standard notation value… e.g. C3 midi note in Live = physical note C4.
Specific Note Range Setters
Used to immediately set the standard, definitive note range for select instruments. Great for drafting orchestral compositions. Another idea is to use these for digital synths, to deliberatly limit their ranges and avoid overlapping frequencies between instruments. Only insturments with generally well-accepted ranges are included, otherwise there would be thousands of presets (which would be a bit overwhelming). Some instruments with identical ranges to ones already-included are also deliberately neglected to avoid redundancy. Some instruments include “amateur” ranges which estimate the capability of a non-professional player.
Keep in mind that most instruments have many different models crafted by many different manufacturers, and individual pieces are likely to vary. These given ranges are the generally accepted orchestral standards, erring on the side of usually including optional notes.
Brass Category – Euphonium, Flugelhorn, Horn (4 Types), Mellophone, Trombone (9 Types), Trumpet (13 Types), Tuba (5 Types), Wagnertuben (2 Types)
Exotic Category – Hydraulophone (2 Types)
Guitar & Plucked Category – Balalaika (7 Types), Bandura, Banjar, Banjo (4 Types), Banjorine, Bass Guitar (7 Types), Charango (4 Types), CharangÛn, Domra, Gravikord, Guitar (9 Types), Guitarra de Golpe, GuitarrÛn, Harp, Kora, Mandobass, Mandocello, Mandola, Mandolin, Mandora, Mountain Dulcimer, Ronroco, Tambur, Tar, Ukulele (7 Types), Vihuela, Walaycho
Mallets Category – Chimes, Cimbalom, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Orchestral Bells, Santur, Vibraphone, Xylophone
Percussive Category – Timpani (5 Types)
Piano & Keys Category – Celeste, Harmonium, Harpsichord (3 Types), Minipiano, Organ (Manuals & Pedals), Piano (4 Types), Spinet, Toy Piano
Strings Category – Cello (2 Types), Double Bass (4 Types), Erhu, Octobass (2 Types), Viola (4 Types), Violin (2 Types)
Voices Category – Alto (4 Types), Baritone (6 Types), Basso (4 Types), Contralto (3 Types), Countertenor (3 Types), Mezzo-Soprano (4 Types), Soprano (4 Types), Tenor (6 Types), Treble
Winds Category – Accordion (4 Types), Bansuri (2 Types), Basset Horn, Bassoon (3 Types), Clarinet (13 Types), Cor Anglais, Danso, Duduk, Fife (2 Types), Flabiol, Flageolet, Flute (13 Types), Harmonica (5 Types), Heckelphone, Lupophone, Musette, Ney, Oboe (6 Types), Piccolo (2 Types), Recorder (11 Types), Saxophone (13 Types), Sheng (2 Types), Siku, Tonette
A Few Ideas for Using Note Ranges
- Make up note ranges for all of your own physical instruments, to be able to draft midi parts for them when you don’t have them at hand.
- Make up singing ranges for your own voice, one for the absolute full range you can feasibly reach and one for your comfortable range, to be able to draft midi vocal melodies and harmonies for songs. Make up singing ranges for all your singing friends so you can draft parts for them, too.
- Make up a “virtual orchestra” of your favorite synth patches, limiting each to a different instrument range. Compose only within these ranges and help pre-avoid problems with masking due to overlapping octaves. This is also an interesting way to force yourself to be more creative with melodic composition.
- Randomly automate the “Note Range Blocker” on a long, complex midi part to randomly drop out random notes as it plays.