What's new

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

OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
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.
As far as I can tell, this software doesn't suggest chord progressions at all (and I may be wrong about that). You have to assign the chords to a series of slots yourself, and there don't seem to be any presets for specific chord progressions (or anything else). You have to create your own. What this software does is allow you to assign a chord to a single key. You press that key with your left hand and have the option to play the chord with your right either as single notes or as chords with two, three, four, five or six notes, including a bass note, if you so desire. If you listen to the simple sample I posted, you'll get the idea. I assigned a chord progression to four left hand keys, then used my right hand to play, all in the same spot, the notes of chord in whatever pattern I preferred. I could have played this myself, of course, but my skills aren't that great and it would have taken me quite some time to get it to the point it is in the example—which took me approximately a minute and a half to do using the software. All this software is is a shortcut for those of us who are less skilled at playing than others. It doesn't do anything else for me (as far as I can tell) other than make me sound like a better player than I actually am.

I agree that it's often great to noodle around and find something interesting, and I do that quite a bit. But there a lot of ways to skin a cat, as they say.
 

paulmatthew

Senior Member
Correct . You pick which chords you want to use from any key , and there are tons of chords to choose from , multiple inversion, set strums for guitar style chords , etc . It's a big palette to choose from and you're not limited to certain chord progressions .
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
I think there is a place for such tools. If you are not as skilled as Keith Jarret, and you rely on the keyboard to compose and get ideas to run with, your lack of skills can limit your ideas.

I heard the opinion of someone with insight on music explain why Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote such pablum.
He is a poor pianist they said. If the piano is your composing tool and you have poor piano skills it inevitably limits your ideas.

That being said I totally envy Mike Verta's ability to sit at the keys and try out a million ideas a second.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
I think there is a place for such tools. If you are not as skilled as Keith Jarret, and you rely on the keyboard to compose and get ideas to run with, your lack of skills can limit your ideas.

I heard the opinion of someone with insight on music explain why Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote such pablum.
He is a poor pianist they said. If the piano is your composing tool and you have poor piano skills it inevitably limits your ideas.

That being said I totally envy Mike Verta's ability to sit at the keys and try out a million ideas a second.
Ha! Keith Jarrett "The Melody at Night, with You' streaming as I read this !! :cool:
 
OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
He is a poor pianist they said. If the piano is your composing tool and you have poor piano skills it inevitably limits your ideas.
I think this is complete hogwash. A skillful composer could write a beautiful, complex piece without ever touching a piano. As for Webber writing pablum, I think that's a pretty subjective opinion. Clearly he's writing material that a lot of people love and I doubt they'd appreciate having their taste in music denigrated.
 

aaronventure

Senior Member
Saw this thread and went to check the plugins out and thought I'd throw this in for you guys to consider.

Scaler looks cool, but it doesn't seem to offer anything more than what Sundog offered years ago except the scale detection.

I used Sundog extensively a few years ago when I had a hyperproduction period and my keyboard skills simply weren't there. I was churning out a fully produced and mixed tune per day and I just needed to get to the progressions as soon as possible.

From what I saw, Scaler lets you build chord progressions but previewing chords is a bit painful because there's a lot of clicking to get to chord variations, base note variations and inversions. It takes away from what's important - finding chord progressions fast.

Sundog is roughly the same price, has a full set of chords within a certain scale laid out for you, divided into triads and sevenths. It has dozens of scales, all the western ones and dozens of ethnic scales etc.
upload_2018-4-23_10-4-15.png

Click the middle to play root position, left side of the block to play inversion #1, right side to play inversion #2 (both of which you can set up). There's also a "tension" display with the diagonal lines, if that's of any use to you. You can create progressions as well, just choose your chords and they appear in the bar on the top. You can automatically generate basslines and arps for your set chord progressions, and different "instruments" output to different MIDI channels (up to 16) so you can set up a "prototype" multi in Kontakt and flesh out your idea really quick. It also allows for different song parts, and each can have a different chord progression, arp, whatever. It has some nice editing features such as "Minimize finger movement in chords", as well as for the Bass and High notes. You can also put in your own chords.

It's external and outputs MIDI via a virtual MIDI port into your DAW. Very simple. It also supports the drag and drop MIDI feature. Click on Export MIDI and drag it into your DAW.

The dev is a really cool guy and keeps updating the software, he'll reply to emails very quickly whether you have a problem or need advice.

It seems to have gotten even better since I last used it ~two years ago. I'm surprised it's such a little known piece of software, it's been out for years now with a very accessible price point and a straightforward workflow for getting your tunes out really quickly.
 
Last edited:
OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
I take it back about there not being any presets with chord progressions provided. I discovered that to get those on a Mac, you have to install an additional set of files. So there ARE presets.

Also, when using it today, I've noticed that when recording midi on the track it records what you play and not the actual chord changes. Yesterday it recorded the changes and I could drag and drop the file onto my piano track. Can't do that today. So either I'm stone cold crazy, or I've done something different today. Unfortunately, I didn't save yesterday's file... No idea what's going on.

And one last problem, the AUi version isn't showing up in either Reaper or Studio One. Don't know what that's all about.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
+1 for scaler. While a little more expensive, it's easy to use and plenty of options.

Cheers!
My need to learn justifies cost of ALL of these …. given benefits posted above. Already got InstaChord and Obelisk was next.

I'm a bit concerned if Sundog ( per @ aaronventure ) is much easier to learn /use than Scaler.
From seeing his post, can you add any comment in terms of ease-of-use ?
 
OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
Also, when using it today, I've noticed that when recording midi on the track it records what you play and not the actual chord changes.
Found what I was doing wrong. In Reaper you have to make sure that Record Output is set to Output (MIDI)... Problem solved.
And the developer says that AU won't work in Reaper, so used the VSTi.
 

TigerTheFrog

Amateur
Cubase users, what do these utilities offer that the Chord Track doesn't? It can put the chords of your choosing into your track, and suggest progressions.

It has some pretty sophisticated features, like a chord suggester, circle of 5ths chord chooser, and the ability to add 3 part harmonies to audio tracks. It has numerous voicings like pop, jazz, etc.

The only thing I can see is that, while it has a guitar voicing, it doesn't have strumming.


.
 

tav.one

Brown Composer
I checked in my cart and I was getting a further discount because of my previous purchases. I didn't wanna regret not buying this at this ultra-low price, so bought InstaChords.
Also grabbed Beatskillz's Slam Dawg, it was just $1 :emoji_kissing:
 

Mornats

Senior Member
Found what I was doing wrong. In Reaper you have to make sure that Record Output is set to Output (MIDI)... Problem solved.
And the developer says that AU won't work in Reaper, so used the VSTi.
Hmm, I tried doing that in Reaper but it wouldn't record anything at all.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
Hmm, I tried doing that in Reaper but it wouldn't record anything at all.
Running Win10 Pro / Reaper v 5.79 and doesn't make any difference here, where InstaChord Output is set.
Input is 'All MIDI' and Send is to Omnisphere (which is obviously my sound source). Omnisphere2 Track Input is MIDI and Record Output is Stereo. Records and Playback is normal.
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
Earlier, sostenuto mentioned using InstaChord with Orange Tree guitars. For those who use multiple VI's with a variety of strumming engines and similar tools, InstaChord has an advantage that hasn't been mentioned yet. Once you set it up to your liking, you can play all of your (for example) guitar libraries the same way and pretty much ignore the differences among the built-in engines.
 

Mornats

Senior Member
Running Win10 Pro / Reaper v 5.79 and doesn't make any difference here, where InstaChord Output is set.
Input is 'All MIDI' and Send is to Omnisphere (which is obviously my sound source). Omnisphere2 Track Input is MIDI and Record Output is Stereo. Records and Playback is normal.
Ah, thanks I think that just answered why it's not working for me. I've got them both on the same track :)
 
OP
robgb

robgb

I was young once
Running Win10 Pro / Reaper v 5.79 and doesn't make any difference here, where InstaChord Output is set.
Input is 'All MIDI' and Send is to Omnisphere (which is obviously my sound source). Omnisphere2 Track Input is MIDI and Record Output is Stereo. Records and Playback is normal.
Hmm, I tried doing that in Reaper but it wouldn't record anything at all.
This is really the only way I know to set it up in Reaper so that it records the ouput keys (top keyboard) rather than the input keys (bottom keyboard). If anyone knows of another way, please let me know. Oh, and pardon the slow playing, my screen capture audio was lagging badly and I didn't bother to adjust it.

 

Sopranos

Senior Member
This is really the only way I know to set it up in Reaper so that it records the ouput keys (top keyboard) rather than the input keys (bottom keyboard). If anyone knows of another way, please let me know. Oh, and pardon the slow playing, my screen capture audio was lagging badly and I didn't bother to adjust it.

Nice! So what part does InstaChord play in that? Hard to tell what the program did as it looks like you just played all the notes? I don't know the program so I'm not sure what I just watched ;)
 
Top Bottom