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Chords & Scales Max For Live Devices Helps You Learn Music Theory in Ableton Live (FREE)
Joshua Casper on Thu, June 16th 9 comments
Download these 2 free Max for Live devices designed to help you quickly find the right chords and scales inside Ableton Live while you're composing and producing. And they're FREE!

These Max for Live devices are aimed at helping users quickly find chords and scales right inside Live without having to leave the program. There are two separate devices. One is for chords and the other is for scales. 

This is a major update to my first “Learn Scales” device I released last year, done in cooperation with Max top-notch developer J74 (Fabrizio Poce). 

The objectives of the original device have been continued here: trying to help people learn scales and chords. We do this by essentially making the devices cheat sheets, but not automating any theory. The user still needs to play the correct notes or write in the MIDI correctly. There is no automating mistakes or progressions. Hopefully the repetition of a particular chord or scale will become engrained in the user after a short time. If not, at least the user will have a plethora of chord and scale formations right in the program.

On top of helping with the Scales update and the new Chords device, J74 has also integrated the back-end of them to sync with Fabrizio’s set of J74 tools (such as HarmoTools, Progressive and BassLine), which are actually more of the automating music theory nature.

DOWNLOAD Chord & Scales FREE Max For Live Devices


Download AskAudio Chords & Scales Max For Live Devices here.

Visit Joshua Casper's website here. 

Visit Fabrizio's website here. 

Learn Ableton Live & Max for Live here.

Learn Chords Max for Live device
Learn Scales Max for Live device 

Overview: Learn Scales

The Learn Scales device has an incredible list of 47 scales from around the world. When a particular root note and scale is selected it is displayed on the keyboard in dark orange beginning from the selected root note. The root note of the scale also has a light grey line under it (or on top of it, in the case of the black keys). The lighter orange keys are the scale extended over the 3 visible octaves.

Learn Scales cheat sheet.

Learn Scales cheat sheet.

Learn Scales available formations.

Learn Scales available formations.

Overview: Learn Chords

The Lean Chords device is jam-packed with 62 chord variations. And, if that wasn’t enough, you can easily have the device show the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd inversions of each! Other important features are the possibility for quick chord audio preview (if you click on the chord keyboard area, you’ll hear the chord in output as audio) and the visualization in relation to a scale, showing which notes are in key and which not (synchronizing the information with the Learn Scales device).

Learn Chords cheat sheet.

Learn Chords cheat sheet.

Learn Chords available formations.

Learn Chords available formations.

Universal Features

There is a Float Window button, that when clicked will bring the device into its own floating window which will stay visible while you are working with the device. There is also a “top” button which will make the device remain on the top and in view no matter what the user is doing inside Live. That way you can always see the scale or chord even if you are working inside a VSTi on a different channel.

The devices are Max for Live audio effects, but they do not alter the audio on the channel in any way. They are meant to be audio transparent. This way you can have them on an active or isolated channel without any problems. 

When Used Together

If you are using the Learn Scales & Learn Chords devices at the same time there is a “Check” feature on the Learn Chords device. If you click that button the Learn Chords will display any notes in the chord that do not fit with the select scale in the Learn Scales device in the color red. 

Learn Scales / Chords Check function.

Learn Scales / Chords Check function.

Update Notes:


  • Updated Learn Scales device:
    • The root of the scale is shown with little marks below/above the keyboard
    • The scale is shown on all the keyboard range, but in color sections
    • Scale synchronizes to settings of all J74 tools (the free HarmoTools but also the premium Progressive and BassLine device sets), but do not require any of them to run.
  • New Learn Chords device:
    • Menu for selecting the Chord Type (62 chord types)
    • Menu for the Chord Root (possible on every note/semitone). It will transpose the chord to the new root.
    • Menu for the Inversion Type (root shape and 1st, 2nd and 3rd inversion).
    • Can be synchronized with the Learn Scales device by showing which notes in the selected chord fit the (in red if notes are out of the scale). To enable this, activate the Check [Off|Scale] switch control.
    • Quick audio preview by clicking on the keyboard area (also MIDI mappable)
Learn Chords & Learn Scales.

Learn Chords & Learn Scales.

Click the button below to download these awesome devices, exclusively from AskAudio:

Full Scale List

  1. Major
  2. Minor
  3. Harmonic_Minor
  4. Melodic_Minor
  5. Zirafkend
  6. Algerian
  7. Iwato
  8. Whole-half
  9. Spanish
  10. Major_Pentatonic
  11. Minor_Pentatonic
  12. Pentatonic_Blues
  13. Pneutral
  14. Dorian
  15. Mixolydian
  16. Phrygian
  17. Lydian
  18. Locrian
  19. Diminished
  20. Whole-tone
  21. Augmented
  22. Minor_Jipsy
  23. Minor_Blues
  24. Hungarian_Minor
  25. Bhairav
  26. Enigmatic
  27. Lead-Whole-Tone
  28. LydianAug
  29. NeopMaj
  30. NeopMin
  31. Pelog
  32. Prometheus
  33. PromNeop
  34. SixToneSym
  35. Super_Locrian
  36. LydianMin
  37. LydianDim
  38. NineTone
  39. Aux-Diminished
  40. RelHarmonic
  41. Hirojoshi
  42. Major-Locrian
  43. Overtone
  44. Kumoi
  45. In-Sen
  46. Dominanth7th

Full Chord List 

  1. Major
  2. Minor 
  3. 5
  4. Dominant_7th
  5. Major_7th
  6. Minor_7th
  7. Minor_Major_7th
  8. Sus_4
  9. Sus_2
  10. 6
  11. Minor_6
  12. 9
  13. Minor_9
  14. Major_9
  15. Minor_Major_9
  16. 11
  17. Minor_11
  18. Major_11
  19. Minor_Major_11
  20. 13
  21. Minor_13
  22. Major_13
  23. Minor_Major_13
  24. add_9
  25. Minor_add_9
  26. 6_add_9
  27. Minor_6_add_9
  28. Dominant_7th_add_11
  29. Major_7th_add_11
  30. Minor_7th_add_11
  31. Minor_Major_7th_add_11
  32. Dominant_7th_add_13
  33. Major_7th_add_13
  34. Minor_7th_add_13
  35. Minor_Major_7th_add_13
  36. 7b5
  37. 7#5
  38. 7b9
  39. 7#9
  40. 7#5b9
  41. m7b5
  42. m7#5
  43. m7b9
  44. 9#11
  45. 9b13
  46. 6sus4
  47. 7sus4
  48. Major_7th_Sus4
  49. 9sus4
  50. Major_9_Sus4
  51. maj7b5
  52. 7#9#11
  53. 7#9 w5
  54. 7#11
  55. 7b9b13
  56. 7b9/13
  57. 7/sus2
  58. 7/sus4
  59. dim
  60. dim7
  61. aug
  62. flat5

Learn Ableton Live here


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Comments (9)

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  • Ole
    Hi, Great devices, but I get stuck chordtones in the LearnChords devices when going back from a complex chord to a simpler chord. Is this just a bug on my system? (OSX 10.7 and Max4Live) Thanks
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Ole
  • Vizypao
    What version of Max are you running. Make sure it is the most current version.
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Vizypao
  • Ole
    Hi, I upgraded from Max 7 to Max 7.2.3. I am using Ableton Live 9.6.1. It still has the stuck chordtones when going from a complex to a simpler chord. It is a great device, so i wish you could fix this..
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Ole
  • Eli
    Hi, downloaded the devices but the display is grey and blank. I can roll over presets and they display with mouse cursor but selections on the interface are blank.
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Eli
  • Eli
    Hi, the display on both devices are blank (grey) despite selection. The selections are visible with mouse cursor selection but display remains blank.
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Eli
  • Vizypao
    Make sure you are running the latest versions of Max for Live and Ableton Live
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Vizypao
  • Ole
    Any updates on the bugs that we have found??
    • 3 years ago
    • By: Ole
  • dj nipun
    how to install that plugin
    • 2 years ago
    • By: dj nipun
  • Vizypao
    Hi, there. Put them in your Max for Live Audio Effects folder in your Ableton Live User Library.
    • 2 years ago
    • By: Vizypao
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