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InstaChord - Brilliant Little Piece of Software - On Sale $14.90

Isn't this a bit lazy? I'm sure that's the most obvious response to something like this, but is learning harmony and technique really that off-putting? If you're making the odd track for fun, I can see how this could be quite a nice shortcut, but surely a professional composer should be all over harmony, chord relationships and voicings as an absolute minimum...
 

Mornats

Senior Member
I'm a hobbyist and find it's a great shortcut to laying down a chord progression or a melody. Once I've got it down I'll go and learn the chords so I can try and play it without Instachord. I find it makes learning much quicker and easier for me.
 
I'm a hobbyist and find it's a great shortcut to laying down a chord progression or a melody. Once I've got it down I'll go and learn the chords so I can try and play it without Instachord. I find it makes learning much quicker and easier for me.
Great. This is the kind of thing I think it would be pretty useful for - and the fact you're then figuring out what the generated chord patterns are means you're learning from it. Maybe I don't need to be so grumpy about it :)
 

R. Soul

Senior Member
Isn't this a bit lazy? I'm sure that's the most obvious response to something like this, but is learning harmony and technique really that off-putting? If you're making the odd track for fun, I can see how this could be quite a nice shortcut, but surely a professional composer should be all over harmony, chord relationships and voicings as an absolute minimum...
I haven't tried InstraChord, but nowadays a 'composer' has to know how to write for all instruments in an orchestra, program/play drums, guitar, synthesis, know theory, mix, master and learn all sorts of production techniques, and be good at sound design.
Add to that, you have to learn a vast variety of musical genres if you want to survive in this wilderness.
Personally, I'll take any help I can get.
For me it's the destination that counts, not the journey.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
The same purists who can also play every instrument in an orchestra?

And drag their equipment to a cave to record the perfect REAL reverb?

Times are changing, and for the better :)

This is fantastic.
Most of my purchases have been midi files. I can play almost all of the orchestra instruments but there is no "remove suck" plugin yet. Plus I don't have any mics.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Isn't this a bit lazy? I'm sure that's the most obvious response to something like this, but is learning harmony and technique really that off-putting? If you're making the odd track for fun, I can see how this could be quite a nice shortcut, but surely a professional composer should be all over harmony, chord relationships and voicings as an absolute minimum...
Not really. There are ghost writers and deadlines. In today's industry music he demand is to produce music quickly. No longer do bands take 3 years to make an album unless you are one of the giants.
 

Cinebient

Active Member
I like it really too. Mainly because of the choices of strumming algorithms/orders etc.
I used to have to do this via touch screens but this tools makes it even better without i actually have to do a real (virtual) strumming.
I do wish it had some more options here but for the price tag it´s really great as is.
It´s also great that it´s a Logic midi FX and i can combine it easy with other midi tools.
 
OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
Isn't this a bit lazy? I'm sure that's the most obvious response to something like this, but is learning harmony and technique really that off-putting? If you're making the odd track for fun, I can see how this could be quite a nice shortcut, but surely a professional composer should be all over harmony, chord relationships and voicings as an absolute minimum...
I already know harmony and chord relationships and voicings, but my keyboard skills are lacking. I can play decently enough with practice, have progressed to a certain point, but the lack of skill slows me down when I'm composing and, frankly, can often stifle my creativity. This tool allows me not to get hung up on that and play chord progressions quickly and easily without needing to spend precious minutes, or even hours, practicing. It doesn't create for me, it merely helps me get the sounds inside my head onto the keyboard. Just like writing notes on a staff get the sounds inside your head down on paper.

Your comment, by the way, is exactly what I meant when I mentioned purists. Not everyone approaches composing in the same way, nor do they have to. Some of us are awash in theory, others of us rely on instinct and our ears. There's no right way to do it, and there's certainly no LAZY way to compose. Everything we use is a tool. The piano. Our DAWs. Our sample libraries. Our Vsts. Software like this. To accuse anyone who uses these things of being lazy, is a bit disingenuous.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
I already know harmony and chord relationships and voicings, but my keyboard skills are lacking. I can play decently enough with practice, have progressed to a certain point, but the lack of skill slows me down when I'm composing and, frankly, can often stifle my creativity. This tool allows me not to get hung up on that and play chord progressions quickly and easily without needing to spend precious minutes, or even hours, practicing. It doesn't create for me, it merely helps me get the sounds inside my head onto the keyboard. Just like writing notes on a staff get the sounds inside your head down on paper.

Your comment, by the way, is exactly what I meant when I mentioned purists. Not everyone approaches composing in the same way, nor do they have to. Some of us are awash in theory, others of us rely on instinct and our ears. There's no right way to do it, and there's certainly no LAZY way to compose. Everything we use is a tool. The piano. Our DAWs. Our sample libraries. Our Vsts. Software like this. To accuse anyone who uses these things of being lazy, is a bit disingenuous.
TOTALLY !!! I am waaay toward other end of spectrum …. lifetime pianist, getting great joy from involvement with VI Libraries of all types.
ex … have almost all of OTS guitar libs, but terrible at strumming, playing. Looking forward to using InstaChord with OTS to see what can be accomplished. I assume there are massive possibilities.
Maybe not the best approach for young artists who need basics, but great for olderheimers who enjoy 'easier paths' …. :whistling:
 
Your comment, by the way, is exactly what I meant when I mentioned purists
If expecting a composer to have at least a rudimentary ability/knowledge when it comes to playing and voicing chords, and be at least semi-proficient on an instrument is being a 'purist', I'm not sure I can ever win this debate!
It's an interesting point though - I do get your argument of 'I'm not a fluent keyboardist, so this acts as a shortcut a place I'd get to anyway after a bit of time'. That's understandable. And it's sort of analogous to VIs - you're playing cello parts without learning the cello, but the musical intent is the same.

I just get a bit annoyed at any 'innovation' which removes the ability to understand music from the composing process. Like that thing on the new kontakt keyboards where you can quantise to a scale or mode. Again, I think that's probably a good shortcut for someone to create something that 'fits together' in a sense, but it makes me wonder why someone wouldn't just learn how to play in the first place.
 
OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
If expecting a composer to have at least a rudimentary ability/knowledge when it comes to playing and voicing chords, and be at least semi-proficient on an instrument is being a 'purist', I'm not sure I can ever win this debate!
I don't think it's being a purist for a composer to be expected to know about voicing chords, but to expect every composer to know how to play a keyboard skillfully is, I think, unreasonable and wrongheaded. If you use a guitar vst in your composition, I'm surely not going to criticize you for failing to learn how to put your fingers on a fretboard and play it yourself. And while I'm pretty damn good with a guitar, I don't think it's necessary for me to only compose on the instrument I'm good at. We do what we have to do to get the sounds in our heads into our DAWs. It isn't only skilled keyboard players who understand the intricacies of harmony, et. al, and it's silly to expect every composer to conform to some standard of proficiency with an instrument. All that matters in composing is the final result. How we get there, how we acquired and internalized the knowledge to get there is absolutely unimportant, if the final result is good, competent work.

By the way, I know of one Broadway composer who doesn't play any instruments, can't read music, and simply creates his tunes by singing into a tape recorder. There are many ways to do the deed.
 

R. Soul

Senior Member
I had a look at the introduction video.
It appears to me that you can't lock chords to a scale. Is that correct?

I have the same problem as RobGb - I just can't play all those maj9th chords fast enough so a plugin that would help me play those by using a single key would be great. Ideally something where I get two octaves of chords in my chosen scale would be great.
I'm aware of Cthulhu, but that lacks that feature as well.
 

Mornats

Senior Member
I just get a bit annoyed at any 'innovation' which removes the ability to understand music from the composing process. Like that thing on the new kontakt keyboards where you can quantise to a scale or mode. Again, I think that's probably a good shortcut for someone to create something that 'fits together' in a sense, but it makes me wonder why someone wouldn't just learn how to play in the first place.
I also use that mode on my Komplete Kontrol keyboard to learn a scale. I'll noodle around with the mode on and as I noodle I'll be memorising the scale and developing the muscle memory for it. As it won't let you change the scale easily on the fly I have to learn a few scales in order to play through chord progressions and this is a shortcut to learning. I used to Google the scale to do this beforehand and this keeps my attention on the keys and not the screen :)
 

paulmatthew

Senior Member
I had a look at the introduction video.
It appears to me that you can't lock chords to a scale. Is that correct?

I have the same problem as RobGb - I just can't play all those maj9th chords fast enough so a plugin that would help me play those by using a single key would be great. Ideally something where I get two octaves of chords in my chosen scale would be great.
I'm aware of Cthulhu, but that lacks that feature as well.
no you can't sadly . I was informed that they are working on a new plugin that will let you select to work in a scale .
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
If people feel that plugins like this add something to their music then all power to their elbow.

But I have often stumbled across the most interesting modulations and harmonisations by larking around on the keyboard. I suspect there may be a danger in writing to the suggested chord progressions rather than writing your ‘own’ music, but that’s just a matter of self discipline, and making the software do what you want rather than letting it run amok.

I prefer to hear the harmony in my head and then transcribe it. Not always quicker, but, I think, better. (Mind you, the voices in my head do tell me to do all sorts of things.........)

As long as it’s between consenting adults and doesn’t scare the horses, then why not ?
 
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