We’ve visible pretty a few compositional aids crop up in current years, and Mixed in Key is the today’s enterprise to feature its product to the fray. Best recognized for its harmonic DJ mixing software program of the equal call, Mixed In Key’s contemporary plug-in suite offers up a manner to quickly generate chord progressions, melodies and basslines to kick begin the innovative technique. Captain Chords, Captain Melody, Captain Deep, and Captain Play virtually commenced lifestyles as features inside a musical sketchpad software known as Odesi, however, had been developed and broken all the way down to modular VSTs that can be used on MIDI tracks on your DAW of preference.
Although the plug-ins proportion comparable looking GUIs, the principle honcho here is Captain Chords, which matches as the master, feeding harmonic modifications to the Melody and Deep plug-ins. In reality, the Melody and Deep plug-ins received’t completely function until they may be linked to some other instance of Chords. To build a pattern, you can pick out a starting key, then select from a protracted listing of chord progressions, which could then be tweaked and edited as you spot in shape, with up to four styles in a single plug-in example. Alternatively, you could add chords for my part and select distinct inversions, octaves and extended harmonies, and boom or lower the general complexity by using including or removing notes. The default alternative for the inversions is ‘Minimize Leap’, that is a pleasing manner to fast get smoother sounding chord adjustments.
Elsewhere you have got an enormous list of different rhythmic patterns which can breathe lifestyles into your development, plus a listing of timings (new to version 2) that alter the position of the chord changes throughout the bars. This is a wonderful new characteristic that lets in you to create passing chords and quick transfer up the feel of your progression in an on the spot. It’s a shame you may edit the MIDI timing or observe positions immediately inside the plug-in (despite the fact that we’re confident this selection might be coming in a future replace), but for now, you can clearly drag the completed pattern in your DAW for editing.
Other new features in model 2 consist of a Strum dial to add a few movements, and miles needed Swing amount. There’s also a smart Space dial with a bunch of various settings to help refine the note period relationships. For instance, you can exchange all lengths as a percent of the authentic, or the usage of Smart Legato that can preserve long or short notes and most effective affect the others.
Once you have got a development which you’re glad about, you can use the integrated sounds, or direction the MIDI out in your tool of preference, be it a software sampler or hardware synth. If you do determine to stick with the built-in patches, there’s quick and simple sound editing with a hundred+ presets, 5 varieties of reverb, a put off with numerous timing settings, and a bipolar filter out with LP and HP. The sounds themselves gained’t set the sector alight, however, there’s a decent quantity of range, from synth pads, plucks and leads, to pianos, guitars, organs and strings, to help encourage a preliminary idea.
Into the deep
When you need to feature in a few greater layers, you can flip to Captain Deep and Captain Melody, which take their lead from Captain Chords and will transpose in case you make any master changes. They are pretty comparable, despite the fact that Deep produces less complicated and flatter patterns for use as basslines, and Melody has some more alternatives to permit you to manipulate the melodic form and chord Tension. As such, you would possibly need to consider the usage of Captain Melody in the lower octaves in case you want a pattern with a chunk greater of a playful form to it.
In the exercise, we observed Captain Chords to be a powerful device for arising with inspiring thoughts and new chord progressions, with lots of options to tweak the grooves and patterns. Captain Deep and Melody had been a bit greater hit and leave out but, and we once in a while located the opportunities from the form and rhythm settings a little restrictive, as you have to cycle through to find a sample that you like the sound of, in place of being capable of edit it.
The final seaman using the ship is Captain Play, which gives the capacity to preview and record chords and melodies in a delegated key the usage of a QWERTY or MIDI keyboard. This is an amusing and easy manner to provide you with new progressions and to experiment with melodies without worry of hitting the wrong notes. It performs tight, 3-notice chords that usually sound exact collectively, although it would additionally be excellent on the way to play large and extra complicated chords, or to perform the usage of the progressions that you’ve written using the Captain Chords plug-in. You also have a Strum dial, the capacity to set up one of a kind MIDI keyboard zones for playing extraordinary chord types, and a simple recorder that helps you to play an idea, then drag and drop straight to the timeline. There’s additionally a model of Captain Play constructed in to the Play tab on the opposite Captain plug-ins.
One factor that can be a difficulty to a few, is the fact that the software wishes to be linked to the internet to function completely, and if you’re now not on-line you may generate any new content material, although you can nevertheless use the sounds from the plug-in. For us, this isn’t sincerely an problem, as we do ninety-nine % of our writing on a pc and studio Mac which can be continually linked to the Internet, however, it is able to be a deal breaker in case your connection is patchy or if you regularly write in situations wherein there’s no wireless.
If we’re getting choosy on the suite ordinary, it might be useful to have a few pace control and humanization, as the extent of notes can make a massive difference to the texture of a chord. Also, it would be fine if the editing on Melody and Deep had been a bit extra fluid, perhaps with dials for complexity and notice spread, as opposed to simply flicking thru preset styles. These things aside although, it’s a well-thought-out gadget general, with a clear GUI that’s very clean and short to apply.