ChordPotion is a MIDI plug-in that transforms incoming chord notes into entirely new phrases, rhythmic chords, and melodies. Build your own creations by mixing different rhythmic patterns with each other. Choose separate patterns for bass, mid, and top sections to build complex pieces easily.
You can export the generated output as standard MIDI files as well. This way you can build new songs quickly and efficiently while experimenting with new playing styles.
Depending on your DAW and your operating system you will need to copy the plug-in to a different location. The most common locations are:
Windows (32 bit DAW): Copy the file ChordPotion32.dll to the folder "c:/program files (x86)/Steinberg/VstPlugins/" (this is the default for most 32 bit DAWs).
Windows (64 bit DAW): Copy the file ChordPotion_x64.dll to the folder "c:/program files/Steinberg/VstPlugins/" (this is the default for most 64 bit DAWs).
macOS: Copy the file ChordPotion.vst to the folder "/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/". Copy the file ChordPotion.component to the folder "/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/". Please note: The AU version (ChordPotion.component) is only needed for Logic Pro X. Most other hosts (e.g. Ableton Live) will need the VST version instead.
ChordPotion acts as a VST instrument or AU MIDI effect inside your DAW. It receives notes like any other instrument and can send the newly created notes to other plug-ins. The VST version also includes a built-in piano module that can be used to work with ChordPotion without connecting it to other instruments.
Please consult the manual of your DAW to find out how you can pass the MIDI note output from one plug-in to another plug-in. Some pointers:
The top bar contains several different areas:
The bottom bar:
The main section of ChordPotion contains four different rows that can be used to transform the incoming chord notes.
Basically it works like this: Pick a "Pattern" for at least one row. You can do this for as many rows as you like. ChordPotion uses these pattern rhythms to build new output from the input notes then. The output notes of all rows will get merged together and create the final output.
It is possible to send the generated notes to different MIDI channels. Please read the separate section of this manual for more information.
The solo (S) and mute (M) buttons can be used to listen to the four rows independently.
You can change the velocity and the octave pitch for each row. The default for the "Top" row is a pitch of one octave, the default for the "Bass" row is a pitch of -1. You can change the speed of each row separately. You can also decide whether the patterns should only run once (Repeat: Off) or run forever (Repeat: On).
Each row has a special purpose:
The pattern names always contain some information about the pattern length. "16s" corresponds to a length of 16 steps, "06s" means "6 steps".
Use the "Mode" box to switch between two different run modes.
The three melodic rows (Top, Bass, Extra) can operate in different sequencer modes.
Use the "Arp" box to switch between them. This setting is especially interesting when you work with chords that span more than one octave (open chords etc).
The "Tripletize" mode can be used to convert all melodic patterns into a "triplet version". Please note that the swing settings won't get applied then, because a triplet rhythm is already a kind of "swing rhythm".
There are different FX boxes available that can be used to transform the patterns. Two of these boxes are available per row. Two additional boxes can be found below the rows. They affect all rows combined. Please note that some effect names end with an "S", "M", "L", "XL", or "XXL". These indicate the effect strength ("S" is "a little bit", "XXL" is "a lot"). You can work with the following effects:
If a pattern is not too complex ("MultiPlay", "Random [...]"), it is possible to edit the pattern. When the "Edit" button is enabled, you can click on it to display a special type of step sequencer.
As soon as the pattern is triggered, a step light moves from left to right. Each step can contain either a numerical value, a "#", or a "-".
Numerical values trigger a note ("Top", "Bottom", "Extra" row) or a chord ("Chord" row). In the first scenario, a 0 triggers the base note of the currently active chord. A value of 1 triggers the second note of the chord, and a value of 2 triggers the third note. In the second scenario, a 0 triggers all the notes of the currently active chord. A 1 triggers the first inversion, a 2 triggers the second inversion, and so on.
A "#" means that the currently played note(s) will get stopped. A blank field ("-") does nothing.
Click on the steps to switch between the different states. Click on a "-" step to turn it into a numerical value, click on a numerical value to turn it into a "#".
Click on the "Oct" field to pitch the note(s) by one octave. Click a second time for two octaves. A third click will reset the pitch to the default.
You can set the velocity level per step by changing the value of the velocity slider. If you edit a "Chord" row pattern, you can also change the strum direction and strum duration per step.
Use the field at the bottom right of the pattern to change the pattern length.
You can load and save own patterns. You can also reset a pattern to its default state.
The following video shows the edit mode in action:
You can use the "Channel" setting to pick a different MIDI channel for each row. Rows that share the same channel number will get merged together. When you work with different MIDI channels, it is possible to send the "Top" row notes to a different synthesizer than that of the "Bass" row. This way ChordPotion can trigger several instruments at once.
This setting also affects the MIDI drag and drop feature, because ChordPotion will create a new data section for each used channel. This way you can drag and drop the recorded notes to multiple DAW strips right away.
When you load a preset where all channels are set to "1", ChordPotion will keep the channel settings as they were before you opened the new preset. This way you can test different presets without setting up a more complex channel routing each time. If the new preset contains a more complex routing itself, the preset routing will overwrite the current routing.
Please note: The "channel" feature is pretty easy to setup inside ChordPotion. However, routing the output notes to different synthesizers might require some advanced knowledge of your DAW. Please consult the manual of your DAW to find out how you can achieve this.
FeelYourSound also maintains a page where you can find setup tips for different DAWs.
You can find it here: https://feelyoursound.com/multi-channel-daw-setup/
Click on the different page buttons to switch pages. You can also use the lowest notes of your MIDI keyboard for that: C-0 -> page 1, C#0 -> page 2, D-0 -> page 3, D#0 -> page 4, and so on.
As soon as ChordPotion receives MIDI notes, it will start to transform them. The generated output notes are automatically recorded. When you stop your DAW, you can drag and drop the generated MIDI file to your DAW.
One of the best ways to work with ChordPotion goes like this:
If you use different MIDI channels for the various rows, ChordPotion will create a multi-channel MIDI file for you.
To a certain extent it's possible to add some extra randomization to your creations:
Method 1: Some patterns start with the word "Random". Pick such a pattern (e.g. "Random arp multi up") and ChordPotion will choose a different rhythm each time you click on "Generate new variation" (in this example different arpeggios that go up).
Method 2: There are some patterns in the "Chords" section that start with the word "MultiPlay". MultiPlay patterns are a special type of pattern that work like this:
You can combine the methods 2 and 1 to create even more complex sequences.
Whenever a parameter is changed, ChordPotion generates a new "note trigger data model" from scratch. As long as you don't use randomization (e.g. by working with "FX 1" and "FX 2"), this data model will always sound the same. However, as soon as you add a randomization source, "Generate new variation" will result in new melodies.
If you don't use randomization elements on your page, the "Generate" button will be shown grayed out.
You can use the clipboard button to copy the current pattern to the system clipboard. You can paste this text anywhere you like, for example in a forum or in an e-mail.
Anybody who copies this pattern data then, can import it into ChordPotion again. Simply click on the clipboard button and choose "Paste from clipboard".
When the clipboard contains more than one pattern string, ChordPotion will ask you whether it should save the data to separate files on your hard drive.
It is possible to create own packages and to share them with other users. These packages end on ".fys". They are plain text files that contain data which was previously copied to the clipboard with the "Copy to clipboard" feature.
To create an own package, follow these steps:
This is an example file:
This example file contains two presets called "Arp up 1.pge" and "Arp down 1.pge". They are stored inside a folder called "Simple arpeggios". Simply save this text section to a file called "arpeggios.fys" and you can import it into ChordPotion (click on the "Load" button next to the preset list, then choose "arpeggios.fys").
You can also copy this text section to the clipboard and then import it into ChordPotion via "Clipboard button -> Paste from clipboard".