MIDI chord pack for creating chord tracks

Dear Users,

I was heavily missing a chord track in my main DAW.
The next best thing that came to my mind to have a collection of MIDI chords that I can quickly search and insert. This I can then fed into Scaler. So I created the following free chord pack:

This gives me following benefits:

  • Quick to find and insert chord by just typing it into the clip browser
  • Visual documentation of my chords in the DAW (for easier playing along)
  • Now I can also put Scaler on the chord track and route / record the output for other instruments.
    • Or better yet, use the same chord track as input to multiple Scaler instances and have “a single source of truth”.

If you have any better ideas or improvements in mind, please speak out :slight_smile:

Simon

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Hi Simon, it is interesting you bring this up. I too use Bitwig as my primary DAW. And I actually use Scaler for exactly the same purpose as you illustrate. I basically drag and drop chords or progressions from Scaler into my Bitwig tracks or loops. I suppose native to Bitwig your method might be easier since you don’t have to load Scaler as a plugin first. But since I like to quickly audition chords & progressions anyway, Scaler comes in handy with its built-in instruments.

Thanks for sharing!

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Yes, it really depends on your workflow. If I want to “discover” chord progressions, doing this via Scaler 2 makes most sense. If I already know the chords and just want to quickly enter them, I find having such MIDI chords more convenient. You’re also not limited to the chord
arrangement capabilities of Scaler, although they have been sufficient for me so far.

Especially when you export from Scaler 2, you loose the chord names and need to go to Scaler 2 to see where you’re at.

image

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Hi,

Thanks for sharing this, it looks useful for some purposes, as you aye to quickly enter a known chord.

But can I just clarify

I find that having iidentified a chord progression in Scaler on the MAIN page, if I am not entirely happy with it (e.g. if I want to invert a chord or extend it, or even remove it such as removing the 3rd on a 7th chord) I can do this easily on the CHORD page. So I am not sure how restricted Scaler actually is.

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I was also missing the chord track from Cubase when I jumped to Bitwig but I’ve devised a workflow that suits just as well.
In my default projects, I have a Scaler track at the top providing the chords triggered by midi clips, that can be ‘Note Received’ by any device.
I also have a second track called ‘Key’ which has current scale, ie seven notes of midi, which I alter to allow for modulation. This track can be read by the Pitch Quantizer in any instance of Note Grid, that makes sure any melody you generate will follow the modulation of the chords.

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I find that having iidentified a chord progression in Scaler on the MAIN page, if I am not entirely happy with it (e.g. if I want to invert a chord or extend it, or even remove it such as removing the 3rd on a 7th chord) I can do this easily on the CHORD page. So I am not sure how restricted Scaler actually is.

Regarding this, I have no worries. You could also always just play in the chord you want. What I was referring to are situations where you might have patterns that have dozends of chords. Some songs change their chords almost with each note. The limit of 8 chords in one pattern could hit here. Of course you can have up to 7 patterns, but then they don’t really represent your logical song structure anymore. Or have I been missing a feature here?

I also have a second track called ‘Key’ which has current scale, ie seven notes of midi, which I alter to allow for modulation. This track can be read by the Pitch Quantizer in any instance of Note Grid, that makes sure any melody you generate will follow the modulation of the chords.

@Ben : This is an interesting idea, thanks! Just tried it out and it seems to work nice. I’ll add scales to the project as well, as it’s really simple to implement.

mmm, can I have a sample of that?

BTW, the Tutorial section is for: Help, tutorials, guides on how to use Scaler in any software

Your post instead is not about Scaler + something… so it should go in General discussion

I just did a post about How to have our queries replied faster

I thought it was Bitwig specific?

I thought it was Bitwig specific?

Yes, so no Scaler involved, I suppose

frankly speaking, I am a simple user of this forum so I wouldn’t complain

but I am fed finding forumians that never read the manual & the FAQ, and insist posting what they want, everywhere they want, and claim for bugs or faults that don’t exist, at the point I thought to leave this forum, and I’m still thinking to do that

@ClaudioPorcellana : Sorry, you’re kind of right here. Actually Scaler is involved because I use the MIDI chords and the chord track to feed into Scaler and this works well together imho. It’s not really BitWig specific, Reaper also doesn’t have a chord track. I just happen to use Bitwig.
But feel free to move it elsewhere, where it fits better!

Sorry to hear that. I don’t claim any bugs and faults here, just wanted to throw how I use this approach with Scaler.

Good grief …go and make some music

Actually you are the one that is free to post in the right place

There are some old hymns, which I assume were written without having chords in mind. So when they are added in retrospect, some musicians just constantly change the chords, sometimes 4 times within a beat. Although this can be reduced by choosing chords more smartly and allowing for some more interesting harmonics. I find this really interesting, can give some old melodies and songs some interesting direction.

Example:

this sample shows that there are 3-4 chords/line, NOT one chord for each note of the singer…
and being an hymn it has likely the same composition for the whole stuff: maybe an intro, one or more identical verses and possibly an ending, so I cannot understand how Scaler is unusable to re-create the series
:thinking:

Anyway there are people able to recreate more complex things with Scaler
for example, search for @jjfagot posts

I think a classic example of fast chord changes is surely Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”, often thought of as challenging to play.

Here’s one interpretation … I think the chords used vary in different publications ?

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How this is splitted into lines actually does not matter here. Have for example a look at the word “allertreusten”. This world alone has 4 different chords which follow 4 notes of the melody. Of course its slow, but it’s still 4 chord changes in a beat.

Yes, I won’t disagree here. With the example from above, its basically:
A Section: 10 chords sequence that form a repeatable unit
B Section: 24 chords sequence that form a repeatable unit

yes, but you said that the series of chords wasn’t official…

which I assume were written without having chords in mind. So when they are added in retrospect

it may means that a music teacher can find way less chords than those suggested by your source, maybe

Ok, we’re getting quite off topic here…

If the original song does not have any official chords at all, there will only be “unofficial” ones. Honestly, I don’t understand what point you want to make. Why should it be a problem if a song (or interpretation of it) chooses to changes chords more frequently? Is there really a right or wrong way to do music? Actually, I did work out a variant with less chords for this song that is easier to play by guitar. But the piano could still play out all the chords and the combination of might sound nice together.

In general, why should the “modern” idea that chords are consistent over longer times be always followed? Some old songs don’t follow our modern expectations here. Breaking with some expectations and patterns while keeping some reference is one of the things you can do to make music more interesting, imho.

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Non sequitur in this thread?

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