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I think the reason for this disconnect is because essentially Instachord is a crutch for sequencing and composition. Granted it is a very fine crutch that allows you to create chord progressions you otherwise wouldn't consider, or arrange them in yet undiscovered way due to your own limited understanding of certain music genres, what it does is little more than plop notes into the MIDI track which the synth then reads.

The better you are at sequencing, composing and arranging, the less this plugin can do for you.

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5 hours ago, LadyFuzztail said:

I think the reason for this disconnect is because essentially Instachord is a crutch for sequencing and composition. Granted it is a very fine crutch that allows you to create chord progressions you otherwise wouldn't consider, or arrange them in yet undiscovered way due to your own limited understanding of certain music genres, what it does is little more than plop notes into the MIDI track which the synth then reads.

The better you are at sequencing, composing and arranging, the less this plugin can do for you.

@LadyFuzztail - I agree with your last sentence,  I for one am not the most experienced in chord progressions.   Could explain what you meant by " I think the reason for this disconnect is " . . .    What disconnect - I'm just curious what the reference is?

Syphus

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Posted (edited)

I've been researching these last few days for something to help me with chord progressions.  I know when I like one, but have no idea what it is (apart from basic major scale diatonic chords, and even then).

So I looked at a few programs, including Instachord 'cause it was really cheap.  I was attracted to Harmony Navigator 2  along the way, but it costs a bit and I wasn't sure to what degree it would be helpful.  Until I watched this video this afternoon.  Forget that this video is aimed at hiphop music 'producers', it goes through in a very easy and musical way what you can do with Harmony Navigator.  I just bought it and after just a few seconds, I see that this is exactly what I was looking for.

Note that only the LE version of Harmony Navigator is necessary for exploring chord progressions.

More videos from the same author as the above (which he refers to) are a bit hard to locate, but they're here.

(I had no idea that hiphop and jazz could look so similar, albeit to someone with little experience in either)

Edited by Paul P

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11 hours ago, Syphus said:

@LadyFuzztail - I agree with your last sentence,  I for one am not the most experienced in chord progressions.   Could explain what you meant by " I think the reason for this disconnect is " . . .    What disconnect - I'm just curious what the reference is?

Syphus

The disconnect between how some Youtubers reacted like this is the best thing ever, and your feeling of being underwhelmed.

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This was making me nutz.  I attached a track template that uses True Piano and instachord. It will give you folder with the correct routing. Just replace the synth in the track if our paths are not the same.

Now.... I have Captain Chords. I like that I can just drag the midi onto a track.  Is step recording the midi the best way to transfer your chords? That's my next test to see if I can use this at all.

Nick T

InstaChord.cwx

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On 5/12/2019 at 2:29 AM, Starship Krupa said:

I got Instachord and Instascale in the 2-fer bundle deal that Pluginboutique were running a few months back and just now got around to trying out Instachord.

I've run into two main issues with it.

The first I think I've solved with the help of a YouTube video, and that was how to route it in Cakewalk. Kinda convoluted, but I have it to where I play my MIDI keyboard, the Instachord plug-in's onscreen keys light up, and sounds come out of TTS-1.

The second is trickier, and that is I can't quite figure out WTF the thing is supposed to do, apart from making a few people on YouTube super excited that they own a copy. 😤

From what I can make out based on their gesticulations, it enables you to play arpeggios with only 2 fingers while you talk about music theory.

I can't figure out how to switch it into the mode where it plays the arpeggios in the first place, and the manual is little help.

If that's all there is to this thing I'm going to be a little bummed because I didn't really need a payware arpeggiator, especially one that you need to apply music theory to set up.

Is that the one that's similar to Scaler?  If it is, it helps you make chords and chord progressions.  But I've asked the same question.  How does one use it?  I can tell you how I use (Scaler).  I use it to create the chord voicings and progressions and then I put the MIDI into EZ Keys to make articulations from unique chords and progressions using the browser in EZ Keys.  Apart from using it with EZ Keys, I really don't know how you would use it except for maybe block chords or suggestions for chords & voicings if you are a proficient pianist/keyboardist.

😉John B

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I've only messed around with InstaChord for a few minutes, but as someone that has played guitar for over 25 years and only spent hours with a Keyboard.....it seems like a good tool for individuals that lack keyboard skills and knowledge to easily play more complicated chords with a more realistic feel.  Altering the timing of when each note is hit within a chord that is played takes a bit of time on the "programming side" and quickly switching between some complicated chords (and strum/picking) style patterns takes actual dedication to learning the instrument.  

 

To me, tools like this are aimed a little more directly at the non-keyboard players that still want to get some of those parts down, or the experienced keyboard players that want to better simulate guitar parts.  I think the Youtuber's I watched fall into the latter that rave about it.  The "guitar voicings" with picking patterns certainly gives a feel that from a keyboard player perspective is more difficult to pull off.  

Those of us that have played guitar for 20+ years, sit here and think, well it doesn't sound that authentic and wouldn't that be easy to play on guitar?  That is the crux of a plugin like this, to assist in an area where one's skill might lack in a area.  

For me, I likely don't have  a lot to gain from the guitar voicing piece, but do have something to gain from the Keyboard voicing and chord + action programming.  Will see how that works out when I actually invest time with it.  

Just as I use EZ Keys on occasion to work out an idea from a different perspective.  It is easy to fall into ruts when you play an instrument (such as guitar) for a long time and nothing feels new or interesting.  

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Like an idiot I went and bought this thing, but fortunately, I only paid $9.89 (USD) for it and got three expansion packs and a free Izotope synth (Iris 2).

It would help if the user manual was more comprehensive, but that seems to be a problem with ALL user manuals nowadays.  When I bought my Sony Walkman a few years ago I almost took it back because they didn't even tell you how to adjust the volume.  I found that out accidentally.

Thanks for the tips here.  I'll have to look them over, but I'm sure the info here will be immeasurably more useful than the damned manual that came with the thing. or the YouTube vids.

😀John B

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Posted (edited)

WA Productions SUCKS big time!  And I'm putting a poor review on their Plugin Boutique page or wherever I can find.  Nobody should have to struggle this much to find out how to use a program.  I emailed their tech support but still haven't heard from them (it could take up to 2 business days).  If they only made a more comprehensive manual this wouldn't be necessary.  No plug I've ever used is more user UNfriendly than this.  The YouTube videos are equally as useless (as they are most of the time).  People who make YouTube tutorials need to learn how to TEACH somebody how to do something instead of just mumbling their way through doing what they're trying to teach and expecting somebody who's never used the thing to pick it up!  They seem to forget they're talking to somebody WHO'S NEVER OPERATED THIS PROGRAM!  There are no less than 5 vids and they are all useless.

I have mine up and running too but only the middle C key does anything.  I would appreciate any help taking this further, if possible.

😠JB

Edited by Johnbee58

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I've mostly worked out some of how it works but that doesn't change the fact it's kind of unfriendly and not always really helpful.  The presets that come with it are also kind of a big problem (and I don't have the expansions since I bought it earlier on).

If you think about your keyboard instachord splits it in half.  The lower half is for selecting a chord (and there are two halves to that, Chords A and Chords B), the upper half is for playing that chord (Picks A and Picks B). 

If you load the preset RF 01 C Major Chords you get this:

dkyMrH.jpg

 

But I'll tell you right now, this setup is kind of crappy.  Here's why.  Ignore the Chords B and Picks B section, just focus on the Chords A and Picks A.

If you press one of the keys on the Chords A section it selects a chord.  It's setup with this preset to select the chords that make up C Major (C, Dm,Em,F,G,Am,Bm5) using only the white keys.  It also selects them with basic voicing and a few are an octave down.  That's actually fine.  So if you want to play a song using only C Major chords you press any of the white keys C3-B3 and it automatically selects a chord in the C Major scale. 

The problem is the Picks section.  The way this preset is rigged, if you want to play the notes of the chord you are selected you have to hit a TON of white keys all in a row, all at once.  And yes that's not natural at all.  Or at least not at first.

The white keys starting at C5 are all set to each of the notes of the chord, so to play that C Major cord as a triad you have to hit D5 , E5 and F5.  What you say?  Why did I skip C5, that's because C5 is mapped to the bass note which isn't the first note of the triad.  In order to play the bass note and all 6 notes of the chord you actually have to hold down 7 white keys in a row to trigger all those notes.  Which seems crazy and requires more hands than I have.

So instead change the preset so that it's simpler.  Change the Action at the bottom from Bass Note to Hit 1-2-3 (to play the triad for the chord) and clear out all the Chords B section and the Picks B section).  So it looks like this

gK8UqF.jpg

Now you can select a chord using the white keys in the Chords A area (C3) and play it by hitting just one key (C5).  And the chords you'll play are all in C Major.

Playing with this you can start to realize that all the rest of Instachord involves more complex ways of selecting a chord (and it's voicing) and then playing that chord (by strumming for example)

But unlike trying to play normal piano, to use instachord you are mostly going to be using keys as triggers, so you will often press 3-5 of them all in a row at the same time.  Something you'd normally never do playing.

With the right preset though you can easily two finger and stay in scale.

Note I should point out that I've never read the manual (if there is one) and I have no idea if this is really how it's supposed to work.  This is how it seems to work for me.  I also know just enough music theory that I only know I know nothing.  I also can't play piano at all, so I may be missing large bits of that as well.  So take this with a grain of salt.

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OK Matt.  Thanks so much.  I'll have to look this over when I get time.  I really don't think there's anybody here who really enjoys this program.  I wish I would've checked this thread out before I laid down 10 USD on it, but it wasn't all for nothing.  I DID get a free synth out of the deal (Iris 2), but I'm not a big synth man and I already have tons of analogue synths in Reaktor and and AAS.  I thought this would be similar to Scaler (which I have and LOVE).  Just glad I didn't pay the regular price for it. Just shows you have to watch what you buy.  Best to try it first.

😀JB

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 3:58 AM, LadyFuzztail said:

I think the reason for this disconnect is because essentially Instachord is a crutch for sequencing and composition. Granted it is a very fine crutch that allows you to create chord progressions you otherwise wouldn't consider, or arrange them in yet undiscovered way due to your own limited understanding of certain music genres, what it does is little more than plop notes into the MIDI track which the synth then reads.

The better you are at sequencing, composing and arranging, the less this plugin can do for you.

  I kinda agree with this.  I still need to use that $40K plugin called a college degree.  I have a lot of these things and I rarely use them.  I think this is the new marketing gimmick in the DAW world. Few people know that FL Studio had a lot of these functions for quite some time.  

  It's even more interesting that presets are now being sold for these generator programs.

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On 8/13/2019 at 11:23 AM, Johnbee58 said:

Like an idiot I went and bought this thing, but fortunately, I only paid $9.89 (USD) for it and got three expansion packs and a free Izotope synth (Iris 2).

It would help if the user manual was more comprehensive, but that seems to be a problem with ALL user manuals nowadays.  When I bought my Sony Walkman a few years ago I almost took it back because they didn't even tell you how to adjust the volume.  I found that out accidentally.

Thanks for the tips here.  I'll have to look them over, but I'm sure the info here will be immeasurably more useful than the damned manual that came with the thing. or the YouTube vids.

😀John B

 Assume you bought Iris and got Instachord free.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, kitekrazy said:

 Assume you bought Iris and got Instachord free.

 I guess that's the best way to look at it.

🙂

Edited by Johnbee58
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57 minutes ago, kitekrazy said:

  I kinda agree with this.  I still need to use that $40K plugin called a college degree.  I have a lot of these things and I rarely use them.  I think this is the new marketing gimmick in the DAW world. Few people know that FL Studio had a lot of these functions for quite some time.  

  It's even more interesting that presets are now being sold for these generator programs.

Interesting.  Why do you buy them if you don't need them?  Or are you referring to the freebies in FL?

🙂JB

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20 minutes ago, Johnbee58 said:

Interesting.  Why do you buy them if you don't need them?  Or are you referring to the freebies in FL?

🙂JB

The same reason why people have 172 EQ and Compressors.  You should know this by looking at your previous post.

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I think I  wound up with the 2-fer bundle because it was the monthly Pluginboutique giveaway.

I'm also interested in improvisatory music and performance that allows non-musicians to contribute by using technology to restrict the notes and chords they are able to play or generate chords or patterns or the like.

So I downloaded them and tucked them away and then remembered and decided to see what was up, checked out the gee-whiz reviews.

They're better as an exercise in learning MIDI routing in Cakewalk than anything else at this point.

What I would like to have is a MIDI chord analyzer plug-in that actually works on these oddball latter day Radiohead slop chords I'm always finding and using.

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Okay, I just revisited Instachord again hoping I could help get a fellow frustrated forumite to the point where they could try this out. I got it to work with @Paul P's instructions, but there are a couple of other cautions about the process involving Instachord itself that may be leading people to think that it isn't set up properly when it actually is.

Do everything he says. The "sounding" instrument may have the checkbox for enabling MIDI output greyed out, and that's okay.

Once you get it set up like Paul says, the next hurdle is that Instachord, heaven knows why, does not launch with a preset that will result in the darn thing making a peep unless you happen to hit the C above middle (at least I think that's what key that is on my controller). So you need to go up to its preset menu and select one of the presets. Any one will do, it just needs to populate the two columns on the right with "actions."

Once you've done that, look at the Instachord UI and tap a key down in the "Chords A" area, and then play around pressing keys in the "Picks A" and "Picks B" areas, and you will experience the magic of Instachord.

The compositional value I can see in it is if, say, you decide you want to do a song in a certain key. Rather than wearing your hands out going back and forth trying different chords in that key, you can just select them with your left index finger while your right index finger plays one key that triggers a pattern of the notes in the chord. I sort of naturally fell into this while I was testing it and had an "aha" moment (no, that's not when a pencil-drawn motorcyclist comes to life from the comic you are reading).

And if you want to write a song that will sound good on guitar, you can call up a guitar sound while you're doing this. If you remember the Suzuki Omnichord, I think it's maybe a more sophisticated form of that: select a chord with one finger and "strum" with the other.

So for me, it's no biggie, I can play that anyway, but I can see where it could eliminate a certain amount of drudgery. Also, I often like to use weird chords with "slop" notes where my fingers fall off the keys or I accidentally hit the "wrong" key and it sounds cool, and I would not want to wall myself off from access to that serendipity.

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Good day all.

In addition to following @Paul P instructions witch got me up and running Instachord in Cakewalk by BandLab.  I fond this YouTube that gives a little more on InstaChord, you can over look the DAW thanks  ;)https://youtu.be/D4dvzoeg5M4

 

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