This area displays the incoming chord from the (active) ReChord Scanner and the status of the Transposer unit. The status can be one of the following:
“On” or “Off”, depending if the button “Transposers On” is pressed or not in the ReChord Scanner. If the Transposer is “Off”, it will just play the notes incoming from its track without performing any transposition. This is useful for listening to the pattern in its original key.
“Idle”, if the Transposer receives no data from a Scanner unit. This happens either if there is no ReChord Scanner loaded in the project, or if the Scanner is bypassed by the host. When in idle status, the Transposer just plays the notes on its track without any transposition.
“Muted”, if the “Mute Transposers” button is pressed in the Scanner. This is useful for disabling all the transposers, if you have already recorded your song and do not want the pattern tracks to play any more.
“Bypassed by host”, if the Transposer plugin is disabled in the host.
This panel also displays the “processor load” percentage (“Comm.”) affected to the communication between the Scanner and the Transposer. This represents the average fraction of the time the Transposer waits to receive data from the Scanner.
In this panel you can individually adjust the octave transposition for each Transposer track. This setting affects both chord and melody notes.
In this panel you specify a crucial information, in which original key the patterns on each track are written. You can dial in the key root and may choose a major key or a minor key.
The original key is probably the most important parameter, that allows the Transposer to work properly. As an example, suppose the original key is set to F major, and suppose that the Transposer receives from the Scanner the current chord, say A minor. While this remains the current chord, each time the Transposer receives a note from its pattern track, say Bb, it will first interpret it as the fourth degree of the original key (F major), and then transpose it to the fourth degree of the A minor chord, which is a D.
Also in this panel you set the main octave. This setting takes effect if you want the Transposer to take into account the chord octave in order to transpose the patterns. Playing a chord in the main octave on the keyboard amounts to no octave transposition in your patterns, playing in higher or lower octaves produce corresponding octave transpositions. The default main octave is the octave 3 (containing the central C). This setting only affects notes in the pattern track, not the chord and melody notes coming from the Scanner. See also the section on the Main and Bass Zones.
You can modify here the global volume for all the notes of the track. Adjusting the “Random variation” knob produces more or less random variations to the velocities of each note, which creates a more “humanized” performance.
The chord input keyboard (on the left) displays the incoming chord. The output keyboard displays all the notes that the Transposer outputs, the transposed track notes and also melody and chord notes received from the Scanner, if these latter are set to be played (see the MIDI Thru/Out panel). Neither of these keyboards are clickable.
In this panel you can set which data coming from the ReChord Scanner is to be played or passed through by the Transposer.
“Play”: You can individually set the Transposer to play or not the melody notes and the chord notes coming from the Scanner.
“On Top”: If melody or chord notes are set to be played, the additional “On Top” option allows these incoming notes to have priority over the notes on the track. More precisely, suppose the “On Top” option is activated for melody notes. Then if a melody note from the Scanner is already playing and the same note also comes from the track, this latter is ignored. Conversely, if a note from the track is already playing and the same note comes from the Scanner as a melody note, the note from the track is interrupted and the melody note from the Scanner is replayed.
If the “On Top” option is unchecked, then the track notes have priority over melody or chord notes from the scanner.
The “On Top” mechanism is useful to spontaneously override the rhythmic chord patterns on the track.
“Legato”: By using the “Legato” option, the Transposer will play all the notes, regardless of their source (melody, chord or track) as smoothly as possible. If one same note comes from different sources it will not be replayed and will not be interrupted until it ends in every source.
“Channel Out”: Use this window to specify different output MIDI channels for melody, chord and track notes. Note that some DAW’s do not support routing on different channels.
“PitchBend”, “Modulation” and “Channel Pressure”: use these buttons to select if these control changes should be passed through or not by the Tranposer. Note that some DAW’s do not support routing CC messages.
“More MIDI settings”: You can set in this window how the Transposer should pass through the CC123 message (all notes off), and also the non CC MIDI messages.
You also can set here the maximal fraction of time during which the Transposer waits for the Scanner to send data. The default of 30% is largely sufficient in general, you should only modify this if you experience brief glitches in the Transposer (the status flashing briefly to from “On” to “Idle”). A higher percentage might improve the performance on slow machines or when using a lot of resources on your machine, as the Transposer awaits longer for data from the Scanner. A too high value however may produce some latency.
In this panel you may set up how the Transposer should respond to chord inversions. You can choose seven possible modes, grouped into two categories:
Fixed Inversion: Within this category, the Transposer always plays a fixed inversion for all the chords, regardless of the inversion in which the chord was played on the keyboard. This is the regular operating mode for hardware arrangers.
You can choose here no inversion, first inversion, second inversion or third inversion. The first and second inversion can be set to be played below the root (default) or above the root (oct +1).
Also, in this category you can set the octave break point. When playing chords in the same inversion, higher rooted chords usually sound significantly higher than lower rooted chords. To prevent this from being too disturbing, you may choose to play higher rooted chords an octave lower than the others. The octave break point is the point in the octave above which chords are played one octave below. The default octave break is F#, meaning that the chords with roots G, G#, A, A# and B are played one octave lower than the chords rooted from C to F#. You can set the octave break point in a manner that suits best your song when played in a specific key.
Dynamic inversion: The inversion modes in this category allows you to take full advantage of the inversion response mechanism that ReChord provides. There are three available modes here:
“Standard”: In this mode, the Transposer revoices the chords in your patterns according to the inversions you play on the keyboard. When playing different inversion for the same chord, some of the notes are played in a different octave, while others remain the same.
“Random”: In contrast to the standard mode, the Transposer occasionally replaces the inversion you play by one inversion up or one inversion down. This “spices up” your performance if you are used to play chords in only one inversion.
“Modal”: This is possibly the most interesting mode to use in many cases. In this mode the Transposer does not only revoice your chords when you play inversions, but also rewrites melodic phrases in a natural manner. In more technical terms, in this setting, the different chord inversions are associated to different diatonic modes, depending on the degree of the first note in the inversion. For instance, in a major key, a chord without any inversion is associated to the Dorian mode, the first inversion with the Phrygian mode and the second inversion with the Mixolydian mode. Then each note in the pattern, besides being transposed to the key of the current chord, is also diatonically translated to the corresponding mode in that key. This produces a very natural variation which may transform a basic melodic phrase into a complex melody just by varying the inversions of its chords.
You can specify here a range to which the output notes should be restricted. This is useful for instance if you want to respect the note range of certain (real) instruments. You may also choose if the notes outside the range should be dumped or repitched to the closest octave in the specified range.
If a chord change occurs while some notes from the pattern track are playing, the Transposer ends the notes transposed to the old chord, retransposes them and and plays them again in the new transposition. However, depending on the chord change, some of these notes might not change at all. You can specify here if such notes that do not change should be stopped and played again (“Retrigger”) or to be played continuously (“Legato”).
ReChord Transposer allows you to split the note range on each pattern track in two zones, the Main Zone and the Bass Zone. In a piano accompaniment score for instance, you most often have a bass line in the lower octaves and a chord/melodic part in the higher octaves. You may set up the split point between the two zones, and it will operate on the untransposed notes, as they are written on the pattern track.
In each zone you may set the Transposer to respond differently to various aspects, such as chord inversions, chord octaves and, most importantly, tensions in more complex chords.
For the notes in each zone you may set up individually:
Which tension management mechanism should be used in the zone, Tension Adding or Tension Substitution (see the Tension management section).
If the Transpose should take into account the octaves in which chords are played.
If the Transposer should use the Chord Inversion Mode settings or not.
If the Transposer should apply the inversion alteration produced by the Inversion Slider in the Scanner.
You also set here, for each zone, the reference octave, which is a parameter used in the Tension Substitution mechanism (see the Tension Management section).
ReChord Transposer provides a very flexible mechanism for properly handling chord tensions in your patterns. For this you can use two modes, called Tension Adding and Tension substitution, and choose the mode that suits better the musical contents of each pattern. As an example, here are two different situations when you would use one mode or another:
You write a rhythmic pattern with basically just chords triads, so the notes inside are essentially root, third and fifth mostly played together. To transpose this pattern to, say, a dominant seventh chord, you would most likely want to add the minor seventh to each triad. For this type of situation, you would choose the Tension Adding mode, which automatically adds the tension(s) when one of the triad notes are played.
You write a bass line with, say, an up and down arpeggio over an octave. To transpose this to a dominant chord, you would definitely NOT add the seventh to any of the existing notes, as you would in the first case, because you want your bass to play just one note at a time. Instead, you would rather substitute the high root note in the arpeggio with the minor seventh. In this case, you would prefer the Tension Substitution mode, which provides two natural substitution patterns.
You can choose one mode or another independently for the Main Zone and for the Bass Zone. As a general rule, it is probably better to use Tension Adding mode if you want your chords to sound full and you do not have much melodic contents, and Tension Substitution for melodic phrases, chords that you want to sound lighter, or for passages that have to be played one note at a time (such as for bases, wind instruments etc.)
Tension Adding mode:
In Tension Adding mode, the tensions in a chord are added to either the root, the third or the fifth degree note in the (1 3 5) triad of the original key of the pattern. You may choose which of the triad notes, 1, 3 or 5, triggers the tensions and which tensions should be added. You may also set one triad note to trigger other triad notes, so for instance you may set the root to trigger the whole chord. There are also several triggering presets. The default setting is for the fifth degree of the original key to trigger all the tensions. Note that only the checked degrees will be played, so for instance if you set the fifth to trigger 6-7 and 9-13, but not the 5 itself, the fifth will not be played. The duration and the velocity of a triggered tension are the same as for the note that triggered that tension.
As an example, suppose the original key is A major, and the Tension Adding mode is set as “3 TO 3, 6-7”, meaning that the third in the A major scale, i.e. C#, triggers the third, the sixth and seventh. Suppose also that the current chord sent by the Scanner is C 7 9, which has two tensions, the seventh and the nineth. While this remains the current chord, each time the Transposer receives from its track a C# note, i.e. the (major) third of the A major key, it will transpose it to an E (the third in C7) and also add a Bb (the minor seventh in C7), but it will not add the nineth. Therefore it will play an E and a Bb. If the Tension Adding setting were just “3 TO 6-7”, then it would play only the Bb, not the E. If the setting were “3 TO 3, 6-7, 9-13” it would also add the ninth of C 7 9 and play E, Bb and D.
You may also set how more complex chords are voiced. For the tensions/alterations in the second octave (9 11 13 and their alterations) you may set them to be played in the second octave or in the root octave (i.e. play a 9 as a 2, an 11 as a 4 or an 13 as a 6).
Tension Substitution mode:
In Tension Substitution mode, rather than adding notes that were not originally in the pattern, the Transposer will replace some of the (1 3 5) triad notes by tensions.
To do this, you specify a reference octave, which is the octave starting from which substitutions will be operated. There are two substitution patterns you can choose, “Raise” and “Lower”.
The “Raise” mode operates as follows:
In octaves below the reference octave no substitution is operated.
In the reference octave, the 5th is replaced by the 6th or the 7th.
In the octaves above the reference octave, the root is replaced by the 9th, the 3rd by the 11th and the 5th by the 13th.
The “Lower” mode makes the following substitutions:
In octaves below the reference octave no substitution is made.
In the reference octave, the 5th is replaced by the 13th.
In the octaves above the reference octave, the root is replaced by the 6th or the 7th in the octave below, the 3rd is replaced by the 9th and the 5th is replaced by the 11th.
The default mode is “Lower”.
As an example, suppose you write a classical boogie bassline in C major, in the octave 1, going:
C1, E1, G1, A1, C2, A1, G1, E1.
Choose then the octave 1 as the reference octave and choose the “Lower” substitution pattern. On a C major chord, the transposer will play exactly the same sequence. On a C7 chord it will play:
C1, E1, G1, A1, Bb1, A1, G1, E1,
on a CM7 chord it will play:
C1, E1, G1, A1, B1, A1, G1, E1.
and on a C6 chord it will play:
C1, E1, G1, A1, A1, A1, G1, E1.