The Epic Online Orchestra (Web Sample Player)

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
Hi everyone,

I developed a little online sample player instrument which lets you check out different chord progressions and have them played with orchestra samples - right in your web browser :)

In the upper area you can jam with the different chords in realtime (enable "Advanced" mode to see all 12 semitones instead of diatonic). I additionally build a little sequencer where you can insert different chords and reorder them via drag'n'drop. There are some basic chord presets (maybe you recognize them ;)) and some days ago I've added a transpose function as well.

If you have found a chord progression you like you can export it as MIDI, WAV and MP3 files to use them in your DAW.

Here it is:

The Epic Online Orchestra :dancer:

epic online.png

https://epiconlineorchestra.com

A big thank you to Sonuscore who allowed me to use the samples which are included in their freebie (there's a link on the website).

And if you want, you can share your favourite chord progression here :D I'll go first:

https://epiconlineorchestra.com/C/Gb/Bbm/A/Dbm/Eb/B/E/Ab?autoplay
(Careful, this will start playing immediately - depending on your browser)

In case someone really likes to use this tool for songwriting or production and wants to support the development: I also added a "Buy me a coffee" button to the page and of course I'm thankful for every support - but I'm not pursuing any commercial purpose with this project.

Have fun! :)

Cheers, Lukas
 
Last edited:

jbuhler

Senior Member
This is very fun. Did you do any research for assigning your labels (e.g., "Wonder," "Fantastical") or did you make those assignments based on your own experience and understanding of the chord pairings? I'm just curious because there is some published research on this, and so I'm wondering if your labels are independent of that.
 
OP
Lukas

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
Thanks :)

You already have guessed it and I'm pretty sure you mean this video?


I used some of the descriptions he used to label some progressions (e.g. I IVm for "Romantic").

Feel free to post one of your favorite progressions here :)
 

Stringtree

Active Member
Was grinning from ear to ear. I think I know some of the faces of the folks playing. I have to admit, it's a lot of fun. Yay.
 

IFM

Senior Member
This is awesome! It's great for when one is stuck and you need something to shove you in another direction.
 

lp59burst

I'm just a "hobbyist"...
This is great for quick inspiration for anyone I would imagine but, it's especially handy for "hobbyists" like myself since I'm guessing most of us have little to no formal music theory education / training...
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Thanks :)

You already have guessed it and I'm pretty sure you mean this video?


I used some of the descriptions he used to label some progressions (e.g. I IVm for "Romantic").

Feel free to post one of your favorite progressions here :)
Scott Murphy, the author of that video you posted, has published quite a lot on this, including an article that goes through many of the pairwise triads. If you'd like a copy, PM me. And Frank Lehman's book, Hollywood Harmony, also has a lot on the topic. The basic Neo-Riemannian transformations—L, P, and R—are all neat, though R is a common diatonic move as well. L (Leittonwechsel = leading tone exchange)= C major to E minor (which you have as Sadness), diatonic but uncommon in standard practice tonality, or the reverse E minor to C major; P (Parallel) = C major to C minor or the reverse; R (Relative) = C major to A minor or the reverse. The importance of these transformations is that in Paleo-Riemannian theory (i.e., the well-known theories of Hugo Riemann) they all change mode but preserve function (tonic, subdominant, dominant). And one consequence of that (assuming you buy the functional identity of Riemannian theory under the signs of T, S, and D) is that the chord change expresses affect rather than functional progression. At least that's how I understand it. One of my favorite Neo-Riemannian transformations that resembles the basic transformations in changing mode is the so-called Slide (S) transformation, e.g., C minor to B major, as in your "dramatic," but I think accords more with "Awe," especially in that form of minor to major. The reverse—B major to C minor—displays a completely different affective face (and this is true of most of the elementary transformations). Another favorite is the Tarnhelm progression G# minor to E minor (transformation: LP), your "Antagonism," though I think it has a kind of supernatural menace to it (which suits its appearance in the Imperial March, G minor-Eb minor as well as Wagner's Tarnhelm).

In any case, not meaning to derail the thread here, but if you are interested Wikipedia has a basic primer for Neo-Riemannian Theory. And the chapters on Neo-Riemannian theory from Lehman's book are probably the easiest introduction to it. It's what I use to introduce the theory when I teach it.
 

youngpokie

Active Member
This is a really nice idea.

It could be also useful to add an additional sequencer section that tackles this from a different perspective: the harmonic possibilities based on functions of chords. Like a chord progression builder.

Imagine a section where you have to pick a key and the sequencer outlines an 8 bar segment based on the T-S-D plus a choice of cadence. Then, under T, S and D you have drop down menus with all the chords that fulfill that function in your chosen key.

For example, in C major, the standard Subdominant (F major) can be replaced with: f minor, a minor, d minor, Ab major, B major and many more (including diminished & aug chords, alterations of scale degrees, etc). "Late Romantic" could prioritize alteration-based replacements, for example. Then, because it's bar-based with a cadence, all you have to do is write a melody against it.

I don't know if it's programmable, but if it is then this captures the actual foundation of all music written from Bach to Rachmaninov.
 
Last edited:

Will Blackburn

Active Member
Excellent idea thank you. Would love to see an infinite set of progression slots. Also a loop function maybe. And the ability to trigger those in sequence from C0 on keyboard, then one could play a melody line, say from c5 up.

Also why do the example moods grey out ?
 
OP
Lukas

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
Wow so much input. Awesome! :)


In any case, not meaning to derail the thread here, but if you are interested Wikipedia has a basic primer for Neo-Riemannian Theory. And the chapters on Neo-Riemannian theory from Lehman's book are probably the easiest introduction to it. It's what I use to introduce the theory when I teach it.
No that's very interesting, thank you. I'll definitely check these articles outs!

Imagine a section where you have to pick a key and the sequencer outlines an 8 bar segment based on the T-S-D plus a choice of cadence. Then, under T, S and D you have drop down menus with all the chords that fulfill that function in your chosen key.
Yeah...! Great idea to make a cadence builder with the different variations for each function. I'll think about how to add this into the current GUI. But you're right, that would be a great addition.

Also why do the example moods grey out ?
jbuhler has explained it perfectly...!

Would love to see an infinite set of progression slots. Also a loop function maybe. And the ability to trigger those in sequence from C0 on keyboard, then one could play a melody line, say from c5 up.
I added these ideas to my list. For infinite sets of slots I will have to overhaul the GUI a bit to make that possible... currently it's a bit static and does not allow wrapping.

And the ability to trigger those in sequence from C0 on keyboard, then one could play a melody line, say from c5 up.
Nice - you mean the computer keyboard? I never thought about that. I only thought about adding MIDI support so you can play them with a connected MIDI keyboard (currently not supported by Safari and Firefox - unfortunately, but it would work in Chrome - also on Android, Opera, Edge).
 

tc9000

i'm a n00b
it sounds great! great source samples. im definately going to look into the free orchestra chords and sonuscore's other stuff.

if you wanted to expand upon the concept, maybe you could have a melodic legato instrument you could lay over the chords... of course then you add some dynamics, expression, vibrato and you are building a DAW in the browser 🙃
 

youngpokie

Active Member
Yeah...! Great idea to make a cadence builder with the different variations for each function. I'll think about how to add this into the current GUI. But you're right, that would be a great addition.
My first thought when I looked at your site was I would be able to pick up and drop the chords into the bar with the mouse, so that's why I thought of a basic 4x4 block.

|Bar 1|2|3|4|5 |6 |7|8
(I)
(IV)
(I 6/4) (V)
(IV)
(I 6/4) D7
(I)

This could be really useful for anyone struggling with "what do I do next" without complicated numbers and functions and just give out the actual chord options in any key, potentially even grouped by the musical style depending on the distance to the traditional functional chord. I don't know anything about programming but if I can help in anyway, I would be happy to.
 
OP
Lukas

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
if you wanted to expand upon the concept, maybe you could have a melodic legato instrument you could lay over the chords... of course then you add some dynamics, expression, vibrato and you are building a DAW in the browser
Yeah... that's what I've been thinking too. Building a simple legato instrument would be possible of course... I also had some ideas to include some drum / percussion loops. But I think for now it makes sense to keep it simple and chord based.

Another idea was to make it offline ready (PWA) so you could add the website to your smartphone home screen and use it even without internet connection. But it's a lot of work to make this work on every device so let's see when I get around to it :)
 
OP
Lukas

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
potentially even grouped by the musical style depending on the distance to the traditional functional chord. I don't know anything about programming but if I can help in anyway, I would be happy to.
Glad to hear - I'll keep that in mind. I have some ideas how to do it too. I'll let you know when I have time to make a little concept.