Do you use Cubase’s Chord and Arranger track?

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
I’ve been playing around recently with Cubase’s Chord Track and also the Arranger track. I feel like I’m a little late to this party because I’ve always written music without this kind of thing but I have to say, they are so powerful!

Firstly, the Chord track. There are probably people here that would scoff the idea of using such a thing but I’m finding it very useful to try out chord sequences with things I can’t play due to my piano playing abilities being rather Dogs Brown. I’m also eager to try out the Chord track in conjunction with Spitfire’s Symphonic Motion Strings (currently downloading). I’m thinking it could lead to some interesting results.

Secondly, The arranger track. The amount of times I get creatively stuck and want to try quick arrangements but can’t because I’m not too slow or the inspiration gets lost by the time I start copying parts to places in the timeline I o build various arrangements. Quite frankly, I’m kicking myself for not using it sooner. I always related it to song writing when you have a song structure but it works for so much more. And the flatten option that turns the parts into midi data is fantastic.

Just wondering if anyone else loves these Cubase features? Probably not as I’m a musical cripple and you can likely just play what you want when you want.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I use 'em both. The arranger track is just really helpful for both organizing your parts as well as trying out stuff. The chord track is just as you said - it helps me whack out stuff on the fly even though I'm not much of a piano player. I generally end up doing my own voicings, extensions and orchestrations and other spicy stuff, but just to get from A to B idea wise and have something to play over it's great. No shame. All is fair in love, war and tax evasion.
 

JamieLang

Active Member
So, Chord Track...is new. Or newly reinstated--from before I used Cubase. I use it when I'm doing string work to HMT intonate....but, they keep changing something version to version that makes that NOT work properly (even once you turn HMT off), so...moving forward? Likely not as much until instruments start to "read" it and make interesting noise based on it. It's a feature that was put back because this is all going to become Band In a Box. Mark my words.

Arranger track, absolutely, but only for the purpose I used to use Chunks in Performer--when I have a song that I'm questioning "hey--what if we used the second verse for both the first and second, then let it go onto the third"...it allows one to audition things like that really quickly, then commit them once you know what pieces/parts you want to rearrange. Used it on the recent album when I felt like that scenario was real--that one of the verses tempo felt "not great" compared to all the others--Arranger track, marked it all off, and auditioned subbing each of the other verses until one felt nice--printed it linearly, and adjusted each track crossfade for complete transparency--because it just leaves the splices there...
 

Rich4747

Member
The "smart ones" considered the calculator a cheat back in the day. The new tools are here, time will tell what that means.
 
OP
jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
The "smart ones" considered the calculator a cheat back in the day. The new tools are here, time will tell what that means.
I’m all on board with this, man! I just wanna write music. Even having samples gives the likes of me the chance to write music I could have only dreamed of years ago. So far, I’m loving trying out chords I can’t play and progressions I would never normally think about. I’m gonna try and write my next piece using it.
 

Rich4747

Member
I’m all on board with this, man! I just wanna write music. Even having samples gives the likes of me the chance to write music I could have only dreamed of years ago. So far, I’m loving trying out chords I can’t play and progressions I would never normally think about. I’m gonna try and write my next piece using it.
I have never learned so much so quick, the tools the tutorials, gifted folks sharing. Its my musical golden age.
 

jvsax

Musician
I use the chord track to start every project, and I sync bass lines, guitars, keys, strings, etc. to it. Once all the tracks are synced to it, it’s a great way to test out different variations on chord progressions in real time. Once the chord progressions are finalized everything gets heavy editing, but it’s a super useful tool for starting new tunes.
 

Paul Christof

Film & Game Composer
The arranger track actually allows you to conform an entirely new session out of the selected order of your sections. So when you’re working on a project that a) needs variation of a piece of music (i.e. games) b) needs to be conformed to a new structure in order for the piece to fit with the new cut, c) wanting to commit to a new structure you created on the arranger, it can really speed up the process. Cubase’s terminology describes it like this, ”You can flatten arranger chains to convert them into a linear project.” For anyone interested this link describes how to use that feature:

 

Doppler

New Member
I'm a Logic User. Does Logic offer something like Cubase's Chord Track?
You can look at something like 'Scaler' from Plugin Boutique to offer similar functionality. Scaler works really well in Logic (MIDIFX) and at this point is well ahead of Cubase's chord tracks.

There are a few others iirc, like Captain Chords, Obelisk by Frozen Plain etc.
 
I’ve been playing around recently with Cubase’s Chord Track and also the Arranger track. I feel like I’m a little late to this party because I’ve always written music without this kind of thing but I have to say, they are so powerful!

Firstly, the Chord track. There are probably people here that would scoff the idea of using such a thing but I’m finding it very useful to try out chord sequences with things I can’t play due to my piano playing abilities being rather Dogs Brown. I’m also eager to try out the Chord track in conjunction with Spitfire’s Symphonic Motion Strings (currently downloading). I’m thinking it could lead to some interesting results.

Secondly, The arranger track. The amount of times I get creatively stuck and want to try quick arrangements but can’t because I’m not too slow or the inspiration gets lost by the time I start copying parts to places in the timeline I o build various arrangements. Quite frankly, I’m kicking myself for not using it sooner. I always related it to song writing when you have a song structure but it works for so much more. And the flatten option that turns the parts into midi data is fantastic.

Just wondering if anyone else loves these Cubase features? Probably not as I’m a musical cripple and you can likely just play what you want when you want.
If you like the chord track, wait until you'll find out about the chord pads :elephant:
 
OP
jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
If you like the chord track, wait until you'll find out about the chord pads :elephant:
I already know about Chord Pads. I just never usually use this stuff. Might have a play with them again and see what they are like in conjunction with the chord track.
 

Hywel

Never knowingly underscored...
So, Chord Track...is new. Or newly reinstated--from before I used Cubase. I use it when I'm doing string work to HMT intonate....but, they keep changing something version to version that makes that NOT work properly (even once you turn HMT off), so...moving forward? Likely not as much until instruments start to "read" it and make interesting noise based on it. It's a feature that was put back because this is all going to become Band In a Box. Mark my words.

Arranger track, absolutely, but only for the purpose I used to use Chunks in Performer--when I have a song that I'm questioning "hey--what if we used the second verse for both the first and second, then let it go onto the third"...it allows one to audition things like that really quickly, then commit them once you know what pieces/parts you want to rearrange. Used it on the recent album when I felt like that scenario was real--that one of the verses tempo felt "not great" compared to all the others--Arranger track, marked it all off, and auditioned subbing each of the other verses until one felt nice--printed it linearly, and adjusted each track crossfade for complete transparency--because it just leaves the splices there...
HMT...?
 

Akarin

nicolas-schuele.com
I use the Chord Track all the time! I love it. I've even made a video about it with a possible workflow using it:


The arranger track, not so much but mostly because I haven't learned it enough yet. I need to look into it some more.
 

Rich4747

Member
I use the Chord Track all the time! I love it. I've even made a video about it with a possible workflow using it:


The arranger track, not so much but mostly because I haven't learned it enough yet. I need to look into it some more.
Nice channel Nicolas
 

dzilizzi

Senior Member
I use the chord track to start every project, and I sync bass lines, guitars, keys, strings, etc. to it. Once all the tracks are synced to it, it’s a great way to test out different variations on chord progressions in real time. Once the chord progressions are finalized everything gets heavy editing, but it’s a super useful tool for starting new tunes.
This is how I use it. I regularly use the Chord Track. It is why I bought Cubase to start with. The arranger track has been more difficult to use. Probably because I change chords and adjust melodies as I go. Start simple and get more complex, even though the base melody stays the same/similar.

Also, when using with VI's you have to be careful when you drag and drop the chords. There are sometimes low notes that interfere with keyswitches. I had a guitar VI that kept going silent. Had to look a few times to figure out there was this one note I missed cleaning up that was on the "silent" keyswitch. Lots of frustration until I found it.
 

Franco Bollo

New Member
I’ve been playing around recently with Cubase’s Chord Track and also the Arranger track. I feel like I’m a little late to this party because I’ve always written music without this kind of thing but I have to say, they are so powerful!

Firstly, the Chord track. There are probably people here that would scoff the idea of using such a thing but I’m finding it very useful to try out chord sequences with things I can’t play due to my piano playing abilities being rather Dogs Brown. I’m also eager to try out the Chord track in conjunction with Spitfire’s Symphonic Motion Strings (currently downloading). I’m thinking it could lead to some interesting results.

Secondly, The arranger track. The amount of times I get creatively stuck and want to try quick arrangements but can’t because I’m not too slow or the inspiration gets lost by the time I start copying parts to places in the timeline I o build various arrangements. Quite frankly, I’m kicking myself for not using it sooner. I always related it to song writing when you have a song structure but it works for so much more. And the flatten option that turns the parts into midi data is fantastic.

Just wondering if anyone else loves these Cubase features? Probably not as I’m a musical cripple and you can likely just play what you want when you want.
The arranger track really comes into its own when producing timed cut-downs of production music. I have been using it extensively for that. Sub-divide each section, then re-arrange on the fly until you're close to your target (either 15, 30, or 60 seconds), render to new project, refine the ending notes and boom, you're there.