Midi mapping master keyboard from RH to LH in cubase pro 12

Hi! I am very lefthanded and hope to find help to convert my RH master keyboard (Roland A-49) into a LH master keyboard. I’ve been told I might succeed in doing so in Cubase Pro 12 by using Midi Mapping. If this is possible I will be able to play “ordinary” keyboard just like as if I were righthanded. Does anybody “out there” have any suggestions on how to go about - if it is possible at all?

Hi and welcome to the forum,

What does LH and RH mean, please? Is it Left Hand and Right Hand? How are they defined at the keyboard? Is there a split point at the keyboard? Or does it use different MIDI Channel?

Hi, Martin and thanks for your question. RH means righthanded keyborad, and LH means lefthanded keyboraad. For a righthanded keyboard the lowest note is located all the way to the left, and the highest note is all the way to the right. The keeyboard I us does not have a specific “split point”. What I think and hope I can do is to reorder the keys through midi mapping is so the lowest note is shifted to the left, and the highest note to the right. If this is possible I will be then able to play as a “lefthanded” player (just as if I am a “righthanded” keyboradplayer) . A guy at the music store I use told me he thought I can do this kind of “change” through midi mapping. In Cubase I know there is a possibility to do so, but I don’t know how. Does this answer your question, Martin?


How can you distinguish the LH and RH? My expectation is, they are using different MIDI Channels. Is this the case?

If yes, you can use 2 Input Transformers.

  • If MIDI Channel Is Equal 1 and the Type Is Equal Note > Transpose the Notes X octaves up.
  • If MIDI Channel Is Equal 2 and the Type Is Equal Note > Transpose the Notes Y octaves down.

Correction: Thanks to @Johnny_Moneto for figuring out, that the "mirror note should be D3, so for the correct Input Transformer setting, jump to this post further down in this thread.

Original Post

Or do you want the following mapping?

  • note 0 becomes note 127
  • note 1 becomes note 126
  • note 2 becomes note 125
  • note 126 becomes note 1
  • note 127 becomes note 0

If that’s the case,
with the Input Transformer one could map like this:

p.s. If you learn how to play a keyboard like this, you could never walk up to a piano and play it though :slight_smile:

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I’ve never heard of a left handed keyboard. Is it a concept you’ve come up with yourself?

Well, the keyboard is a concept that favours right handed people. The right hand usually plays the busier part, ie. the melody, while the left hand ‘only’ accompanies.
Most right-handed people have no idea what you have to deal with as a left-handed person, though things are getting better. In the 90’s/2000’s I was searching for a video camera for left-handed people. There was none, so I didn’t buy one. Now I have a smart phone, which works very well (even though the few hardware buttons are still designed for a right-handed person).
So, I totally understand the question.

You would have to make any “E” a “C”,
D remains D,
C becomes E,
B becomes F,
A becomes G,
and so on.

Does that maybe work through Expression Maps?

I think drum maps could handle that, because you can map notes arbitrarily.

… a very wide variety of hand operated tools suffers from the absence or at least a rarity of left handed equivalents - like scissors and computer mice for example.

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Thanks, Martin. I appreciate your suggestion. I’m not quite sure how to utilize the information you gave me. Is the information something that applies to use in Cubase? And if so, how do I go bout?

Thank you, Nico. I will try out your suggestion in Cubase asap and see if it will give me the opportunity to play lefthanded on my righthanded keyboard. Being 100% lefthanded in a righthanded “musical world” is actually a big challenge.
(Till now I’ve taught myself to play on a righthanded keyboard, but only simple chords - putting down chords and a following bass lines just doesn’t work…).

Hi, Johnny and many thanks for your information. Yes, being 100% LH in a RH world is tougher than most RH people realize. (…as a kid my grandmother gave me a LH pitcher - not many RH know how frustrating pouring from a RH pitcher can be for a “southpaw”…hehe…).
I will try out the “Expression Maps” suggestion in Cubase and see if I can get it to work as I hope. Fortunately the converrted layout of a LH keyboard is just a mirror of a RH keyboard, so laying down an e.g. C major chord is pretty easy (as you point out in your reply - E becomes a C, D = D etc.).
Thanks again :slight_smile:

Hi, mlindeb. No, it’s not a self thought concept - only a result of wishing that not just guitars can be made lefthanded (which I have a few of…). I would think that there is a marked for lefthanded keyboards too, knowing roughly 10% of the worlds population are born lefthanded!
Roughly 15 years ago I bought an external box which can be hooked up to the keyboards midi in/out ports, and by setting the leyboard to “local off” the keyboard became lefthanded. But, then I could not hook up my keyboard to my audio interface thrrough midi.
Maybe one day Roland, Yamaha or other keyboard manufactorer can add a button on the keyboard to easily switch from RH to LH and send midi messages through either midi or USB to the audio interface…(just a wish and a thought…)?

No, that’s more complicated. Use a Drum Map like @Nico5 suggests.

You might want to set your Preferences so it doesn’t automatically open the Drum Editor for Tracks with Maps, or disable the Map except when playing.

Thinking about this a bit more. You could include a MIDI Track in your Template dedicated to remapping your MIDI Notes - once built it wouldn’t even need to be visible. Route its MIDI output to a 3rd party Virtual Cable (I use loopMIDI) and name it LH-Keyboard and make sure its Monitor is Enabled. Now LH-Keyboard will appear as another source available to use for MIDI In. Make sure it is not included in All MIDI Inputs to avoid potential chaos caused by a MIDI data feedback loop. This method would avoid the Drum Map from causing the Drum Editor to open as the Map would be on this otherwise unused Track.

About 6 months ago I discovered that Ringo plays drums left handed - and arranges them flipped around. I thought it was kind of strange that this info took so long to hear about. Then about 4 hours later from an entirely different and unrelated source I find out again that Ringo is left handed. What are the odds that after 50+ years you’d hear it from 2 independent sources.

Here is the Cubase Drum Map. The center of the switcheroo is D3 (MIDI note 62).
Left Handed Keyboard Map.zip (2.4 KB)

The notes in the editors will look in the right handed way. It is really only the output from Cubase that gets changed.
I just tried playing for a little bit and it is amazing how fast my brain was able to perform the switch.


Would this be the same as using an Input Transformer like this?

I didn’t understand what the desired result had to be, so in my prior post I had the wrong center.

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Yes and no. The input transformer would transform the notes before they are recorded. The drum map does it when it “leaves” Cubase.
So, if you record with the input transformer and then look at the editors everything would be upside down as well.
I guess one can chose.

Isn’t it kind of the other way round?

i.e. if you want to use the recorded MIDI somewhere else (without drum maps), including creating a Score inside Cubase, wouldn’t you be better off to have the MIDI recorded with the Input transformer?

EDIT: for example

  • using the drum map, Cubase records my finger action, so if I send the resulting MIDI file to someone else who doesn’t have my drum map, it will be upside down.
  • using the input filter, the MIDI is recorded in the standard way, that anyone else would not even realize that an alternative input mapping was used.

An analogy would be using a Dvorak keyboard layout - Wikipedia - the letter you typed looks normal, although the input device was mapped very differently than a regular keyboard.