Chord Progressions - Voice Leading

I’m working on creating ambient chord progressions. My main goal is to have very smooth voice leading between chords. Is there an easy way to do this? I am not sure which chords should be inverted or which chord variations to use. Thanks for the tips.

This is where I find Scaler really useful. Once making a chord progression in the bottom chord builder I can use substitutes or chords from another Scale (a borrowed chord) or anything that sounds inspiring and then use the OCTAVE and INVERSION buttons to change the voicings so they are closer together. You could always hit edit mode to see the voicings and change them from there too, or drag and drop to your DAW and edit there on a matrix / piano roll. Starting with the INVERSION voicings in Scaler can be great for this too, also pay attention to where you have the bass note as that makes your baseline or conversely your top note as that can make the melody.


Is there an easy way to know if a certain chord should be turned into an inversion? I’m trying to make ambient music and want smooth voice leading. Thanks.


Notes across your chord progression should be as close together as possible. And using your ear is the best way to know whether something sounds too high or low. Really it’s a case of basic music theory knowledge and also understanding chord voicing and chord extension. If you’re struggling then just look at the notes on a matrix and move the ones that look too high or too low up or down an octave

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By the way, Cubase, and I guess others, have the option for the software set the voicings automatically. Scaler does not have this (yet), right?

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No Scaler doesn’t have this yet. We have discussed it a couple of times internally and it would be a nice addition.


I’m interested to know what’s behind the different voicing sets in Scaler?


I didn’t manage to find anthing regarding this.

They are voicings applied to the scale that can be used for inspiration.
It is sometimes hard to have a feel for a scale when playing simple triads or 7ths. The different styles are examples of how you can voice each chord in your scale for example by adding a bass note, using inversions, etc…

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@phil71To expand on Ed’s explanation, Voicing 1-7 are artists interpretation of the diatonic chords of each scale. For me personally these voicings are one of Scalers special treats! I can choose any Scale and have a re-interpreted voicing, inversion etc of each diatonic chord within my chosen Scale. Instant flavour and unique tune! The bottom list are more rigid triad voice extensions and no less useful!

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It would be cool if you could set a global voicing mode, a bit like with cubase’s chord pads. A setting for Jazz voicing / Open chord film scoring voicing / Pop etc

We’ve discussed this, like play a certain voicing / inversion and apply to all. In development!

1.8 features some great voice leading / grouping settings. Out now check it out:

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