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Learning From You: Chord jumps and how to turn Liquid Notes into a chord generator

We receive a lot of valuable feedback from users of Liquid Notes. And every now and so often we're stunned by what ideas people come up with to use our software for.

From that pool of ideas, we have two useful tips for you, mostly if you are a producer of electronic dance music (EDM).


Explicit Chord Jumps for More Effect (Level of Chord Activity)

When you alter chords, Liquid Notes changes the new notes so that they travel the shortest distance to the harmonic target. That ensures a (mostly) smooth auditory transition throughout the harmonic progression of a song. And this is also what generally shows good skill in music making.
Note that the output quality you receive back greatly depends on the original material you feed into Liquid Notes. As with everything else, you are in control of your song's musical quality. So if the voice leading in the original song is poor, Liquid Notes can do only so much to improve it. Good input material will lead to great results.

For some styles, smooth voice leading may not be the preferred effect. In trance, techno, and EDM in general, we don't often hear chord inversions to smooth out large intervals between the notes of chords in succession. Actually, the emphasis lies on the bass line. And wider jumps of the notes make for a more intense musical impact. For further information on the role of the bass in EDM, you may want to read part 2 of the article The Instant Effects of Electronic Dance Music.

Regardless of the general style of wider chord jumps in EDM, you might just fancy that kind of effect for your songs.

Instruction: Go to Settings -> ReHarmonize Settings and check Bass/Root for the instruments you want to have altered. For the effect described above, that will be the relevant chord track. The notes will be transposed first and then they will take the shortest distance. That produces explicit chord jumps.


How to Turn Liquid Notes into a Chord Generator (Well, Close Enough ...)

To hear only pure chords (no inversions, all notes at the same volume) chord preview mode is the right choice. So if you lay out a chord progression in Liquid Notes, route the chord preview to a track in your sequencer and enable record on it. Clicking on the knobs will make Liquid Notes behave like a chord generator.

Instruction: You want to route the chord preview like a normal channel. In Liquid Notes, select the out port and out channel. For that, got to Settings -> Routing Settings and make your selections from the dropdown for the acoustic chord preview routing. Do the same for input port and input channel in the sequencer for the instrument you want to hear. Then enable record.

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