Archive for the ‘chord’ Category

The isomorphic note layout

In ableton, chord, harmony, music theory, push on March 15, 2014 at 18:48

At the latest since Ableton Push came out its key layout became popular. This key layout is called isomorphic note layout. But this idea is not new; accordions using various isomorphic keyboards have been built since the 19th century.

In contrast to Push’s in key mode all notes are part of the layout, so you can play notes, which are not in scale. From my point of view this allows musicians more creativity. Use Push’s chromatic mode, if you like go this way.

Ableton Push in chromatic mode

Ableton Push in chromatic mode. As you can see, the not in scale notes are greyed out.

If you don’t own a Push, you can try one of the iPad apps like Musix.

Musix shows the C major scale.

Musix shows the C major scale.

The main advantage of this layout is the transpositional invariance. That means chords have the same shape when transposed to another key. So, you can transpose the following shapes by moving them horizontal or vertical.

Robbie James from Lostbeat made wide-ranging tables of shapes for chromatic and
in key mode. Have fun with it! alexander

Chords in isomorphic note layout

The first app I really need

In chord, iPad, scale on July 13, 2012 at 23:54

Yes, I have an iPad, too. But I’m not so happy with the most music apps. I have no use for virtual instruments on the iPad, because my mobile device is a Macbook Pro. Some weeks ago I tried the Pro Chords app, in order to find inspiring chord progression. But this app not really works for me. Maybe because of the user interface.

Today I tried again an app for iPad or iPhone. Its name is Octavian made by Bitnotic. It is musical reference tool for any musician of any style. Octavian provides access to over 500 scales and 100 chords, with any root note and in any mode or inversion. Of course the app plays notes and chords with an acceptable piano sound. It is cheap and available at the app store.

You have different views. The scale view offers access to many scales. The interface is intuitive and useful.

I especially like the progression view. It’s very useful and the option to store your favorite chords and play them automatically after each other is great.

The drop down on the left botton takes you for example to the chord dictionary. Where you can explore a vast amount of chords.

There is a settings dialog, where you can adjust the software – in a particular context – to your personal needs.

And there are a lot more impressing and inspiring features. Go to the dictionary page and just enter some notes. The app will guess the fitting scale or chord. Great!

That’s all for today.


Chord progressions in your hand

In chord, harmony, iPad, music theory on March 15, 2012 at 01:37

Corresponding to the new (third) iPad generation, I would like to write something perhaps useful about a music app. Since a few days, I’m using the ProChords app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. To be honest, I have only a modest knowledge about harmony and all of these things, so this tool could help me finding new chord progressions.

ProChords add, edit and copy chords.

Yes, there is a wide range of chords fitting to the scale you are currently working on, but that’s not all. The app suggests chords for the last one of your progression or especially fitting between two of your chords. According to the company, is there a kind of database in the background of the app with ..

.. more than 9000 different progression patterns extracted from the latest 50 years of rhythmic music.

Impressive! Of course, you can rearrange, add or delete chords, every time. I think, the addition note for the bass is a great idea. The current chord (and bass note with different color) is as usual displayed on a piano roll. A acceptable piano sound plays each single chord and the whole progression.

Insert a chord between two chords of your progression.

Maybe you like for a clearer impression to watch the ProChords Video.

After storing a progression you would like to transfer it into your DAW. But there is a weakness – a time-consuming procedure. The app sends the progression via email to you. The app told me, that I could wait for the mail up to 15 minutes. I hope, that should be an absolute exception. I case you get the mail, you have to click a link to the prochords.dk site, where you have to download the MIDI file. That’s takes to much time. There is an improvement definitely necessary. I would prefer a complete workflow integration into my DAW.

Anyway, ProChords is a nice app to find, edit and store chord progressions.

Best regards! Your alexander