Introducing the Accord Melisma Chord Module!

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Introducing the Accord Melisma Chord Module!

Post by Sandrine » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:23 pm

Finally we are on-track to officially releasing the Accord Melisma, a fully modular controllable intelligent chord sequencer that will change the way we create chords in modular!

Image

The Melisma can easily sound like a concert pianist, a Jazz duet, a complex arpeggiator, or a backing orchestra, with a minimum of modular inputs or even patch planning.

What can it do?
The 8HP Melisma can generate chords from minimally a CV and Gate input, or sequence chords set by the user in a dynamic 1-deep list up to 32 steps with only a pulse input.
Chords can be articulated with proper Inversions, Expansions, Spread timing, Velocities, and even Arpeggiated immediately under logic input and clock/burst control giving generation of sequences great flexibility and variation.

If that's not already enough, the Melisma also has a bass line / melody input that readily quantizes to the chords letting melodies be created from even random signals on a separate MIDI channel if desired.

Great innovations to the design give seamless switching from Root note and Chord sequences to direct CV control without changing any settings, seamless change from chords mode to arpeggiation mode via one logic level jack (HOLD) and a dual type input for melody or bass-line (LHAND, short for left hand on a keyboard) and even instrument changes on any channel via CV if desired.

All menus are 1 level deep and easy / fast to set and change. Frequently changed parameters are displayed on the screen and can be selected by scrolling down in a similar way to a web page to have instant access.

When scrolled to the top via the encoder knob, the present Chord and root note is displayed in a large easy to read format, along with most recent knob change in proper context.
When scrolled down one, the top of the display becomes a piano roll displaying all notes being played in real time.

How does it work?

Chords and Root Notes:
The Melisma has 64 chords, from triads to 7 notes, to select from. In The "all" list they are in musically logical order starting with triads and ending with a few 7 note chords. The user lists can be set to include up to 64 chords, even re-using the same chord in several places if desired. This would be preferred in a chord sequence of course!

Depending on the chord bank selected (All, user 1-4), chord attenuator knob, and number of chords in the list, a CV input will select a chord to be played. A Gate input will play the chord with note durations controlled by the length of the gate pulse.
The chord will be played at the ROOT input's CV input with the ROOT knob's offset (+/-24 notes), and according to all other parameters i.e. Spread, Inversion, Expansion, Velocity, Chord/Arp each time a gate pulse is received.

Additionally, a Chord and/or Root sequence can be accessed by simply applying a pulse to either input instead. Pulses on either jack will trigger a chord based on the next selected step in a sequence (1 of 4 lists set up by the user) Sequences can be used together or with a CV input and don't require the Gate input to play a chord, although the last Gate length sets the length of each note played.

The Chord knob, if sequencing, has no affect but the Root knob will still offset by +/- 24 notes which allows short sequences to be instantly transposed in a timely manner.

Arp:
When the Hold input is set high, the Arpeggiator takes over where the Chords left off. Remaining notes to be played as chords will still play making the change into arpeggiation transparent. The ACLK input must be pulsed to play Arp Notes. This could be a uniform clock, or a burst of pulses that will play 1 note on each pulse giving a lot of flexibility in all sorts of compositions.
There are 8 arp styles that are easily selected with the Arp button. Up, Down, Up/Down, Up/Down+1, Inward, Outward, Staircase, Random.

LHAND:
If a CV (analog) voltage is applied, LHAND goes into melody mode. Changes in the CV will trigger notes (on the set MIDI channel) to be played. A quick set parameter can quantize the playing time to preset milliseconds, the Gate time, or the Arp Clock timing. This is useful for introducing a "run" of quantized notes affixed to the present chord playing, or complex even random melodies that sound very intentional (never sound bad!)

If a pulse or gate is applied to LHAND, independent appropriate bass notes will be played according to musical chord rules. This is great for underlaying builds or adding complexity. LHAND can be assigned to a different MIDI channel whose instrument can be selected via the CC CV jack, so can be very dynamic.

INV CV & EXPND:
Inversion and expansion of a chord really add to the sequence and vary it in amazing ways, adding sparkle and depth. The inversions shift the first note played and depend on the chord size i.e. triad has 2 inversions, 6 note chord has 5 inversions. The inversion knob is an attenuator when patched.
The Expander input on the other hand spreads the notes upward which adds real magic to the chord.

Spread CV:
This knob sets the Chord timing "Spread" from 0 to 2 seconds per note. This input switches the knob to an attenuator and makes the Melisma even more unique as every note is played depending on where the spread was at the chords gate time. So the way a chord is played can go from banging all at once to lazily trickling notes that may overlap with new faster chords. This adds a whole dimension of depth to a sequence!

Velocity CV:
The velocity can be set with one of 3 curves and has a dual state control when patched. Left of center will set the limit of velocity CV, while right of center will add to it essentially for convenience of use with certain CV sources.

MIDI CC CV:
This input can send a MIDI CC, PC, PW, or aftertouch on any channel. When patched the knob becomes an attenuator, centered if the input is set to be a bi-polar pitch bender.

Why MIDI?
Apart from obvious reasons of fitting this much functionality into an 8HP module, the primary intention of this module was to be a CV2MIDI interface with a huge twist. The Melisma can of course be used with any capable MIDI2CV module to get back into modular control but we have plans in the works to follow up with our own proprietary expansion, 2 or 4 HP, in the very near future.

There are many more descriptions on the Melisma that could be added here but the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" is kicked up to "a video is worth a million" so here's a couple of videos that will better describe the Accord Melisma!

[video][/video]

And an older "sneek peek" video just on our youtube page

[video][/video]


The Melisma will be available by fall 2019

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Post by kwaidan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:43 pm

This module looks great for Detroit techno style stabs. How much?

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Post by RecycleYourPets » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:53 pm

Wow! Great video walking through the features as well. Any estimate on price?
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Post by mnchrme » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:55 pm

I was reading through the provided list of functions and I can tell that I am very intrigued by this! How much circa? I am a big fan of modular polyphony/pseudo polyphony so this looks like a serious contender for such duties. I can imagine Quadnic and Shapeshifter + some working side by side with this module to deliver very lovely results. :deadbanana: :help:

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Post by Sandrine » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:02 pm

mnchrme wrote:I was reading through the provided list of functions and I can tell that I am very intrigued by this! How much circa? I am a big fan of modular polyphony/pseudo polyphony so this looks like a serious contender for such duties. I can imagine Quadnic and Shapeshifter + some working side by side with this module to deliver very lovely results. :deadbanana: :help:
Nice! Probably around $200 to keep it light ;)

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Post by mnchrme » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:13 pm

Sandrine wrote:
mnchrme wrote:I was reading through the provided list of functions and I can tell that I am very intrigued by this! How much circa? I am a big fan of modular polyphony/pseudo polyphony so this looks like a serious contender for such duties. I can imagine Quadnic and Shapeshifter + some working side by side with this module to deliver very lovely results. :deadbanana: :help:
Nice! Probably around $200 to keep it light ;)
I had to re-read to get sure this is real. Excited! So this simply means that fall 2019 = another item on Santas shopping list even though his turf isn’t a thing around these small corners of earth. Imagine the amount of sounds. :roll: :love:

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Post by diffrentstrolks » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:33 pm

SDS & K does it again! So looking forward to this :yay:

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Post by kwaidan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:49 pm

To my knowledge, this is the only module that can generate a chord from a sequencer gate trigger/output. The MIDI out is great because it allows you to integrate a poly synth with a modular setup sans a computer in the loop.

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Post by Sandrine » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:23 pm

kwaidan wrote:To my knowledge, this is the only module that can generate a chord from a sequencer gate trigger/output. The MIDI out is great because it allows you to integrate a poly synth with a modular setup sans a computer in the loop.
I think you are right, hence we saw the need (for us and anyone else on the same wavelength). I have a Korg (on channel 5) and chained on a Yamaha GM synth so LHAND plays the Korg while the main chords/arps are on the Yammy.

When using a consistent ACLK, a MIDI clock is also sent so the Korg's delays and own arps were all in sync.

@diffrentstrolks Thanks for the kind words!

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Post by adaris » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:44 pm

kwaidan wrote:To my knowledge, this is the only module that can generate a chord from a sequencer gate trigger/output. The MIDI out is great because it allows you to integrate a poly synth with a modular setup sans a computer in the loop.
Flame Chord Machine 2 can generate chords from a gate/trigger. No MIDI out though.

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Post by Gringo Starr » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:31 pm

At first I thought this module could take a sound you put in, harmonize it to the selected chord, and then play with all the other features. Regardless this is a cool module. I’ll be waiting for more demos that’s for sure.
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Post by sutekina bipu-on » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:46 am

Im so god damn ready for this, smashed like on the demo video as soon as it went on YT!

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Post by the bad producer » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:01 am

:yay: Anyone else imagining this between a modular and a Deckards Dream?!

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Post by seychmar » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:02 am

the bad producer wrote::yay: Anyone else imagining this between a modular and a Deckards Dream?!
Exactly the same thought occurred to me! Or playing strings on a VC340 or Streichfett. This is definitely a must buy.

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Post by gummyboy » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:18 am

Sandrine wrote: Nice! Probably around $200 to keep it light ;)
Nice!!

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Post by Sandrine » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:49 am

Gringo Starr wrote:At first I thought this module could take a sound you put in, harmonize it to the selected chord, and then play with all the other features. Regardless this is a cool module. I’ll be waiting for more demos that’s for sure.
That is a really brilliant idea for an expansion module though! A live audio capture and/or SD card sample selection...to play with polyphony (8 min).... super interesting thought, thanks!

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Post by desolationjones » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:18 am

Sandrine, you should demo the Accord Melisma with the Supercritical Demon Core 16-voice module! It accepts MIDI TRS for its 16-voice polyphony.

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Post by diffrentstrolks » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:44 am

Hey Sandy,

Apologies is this is mentioned elsewhere, or in the video; any possibility for the Accord Melisma to "drive" the Select Bus as Master, or simply accept save/recall message from it as Slave device?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YhP ... 5ejul6x231

viewtopic.php?t=192344&highlight=

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Post by Sandrine » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:07 am

desolationjones wrote:Sandrine, you should demo the Accord Melisma with the Supercritical Demon Core 16-voice module! It accepts MIDI TRS for its 16-voice polyphony.
What a beauty! That would be epic! This is the advantage of MIDI, nice to have seen that module
diffrentstrolks wrote:Hey Sandy,

Apologies is this is mentioned elsewhere, or in the video; any possibility for the Accord Melisma to "drive" the Select Bus as Master, or simply accept save/recall message from it as Slave device?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YhP ... 5ejul6x231

viewtopic.php?t=192344&highlight=
Ha ha, on the select bus again. I will have a look at it/ The Melisma would more likely be a slave right? What parameters did you have in mind?
The first that comes to my mind is Arpeggiation and/or Arp select, then ProgChange selection...

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Post by diffrentstrolks » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:27 am

Re: select bus-- it's the future I tells you! Albeit, maybe an alternate future, but the word future is in there nonetheless.

I was mostly interested in the Melisma being able to save/recall via the select bus-- preset management across multiple modules via the bus.

So, if I have a patch rolling with a few Disting MK4s, a Melisma, and Omnimod, etc... and I like where all my menus are for each respective module; I can just ask the select bus master to "save all," and any module listing (slave) will save those menu settings for future recall and use.

Basically, a system-wide save bank vs. an individual module save. There's probably more to the protocol than I understand, but that was my initial thinking (and maybe the thinking of other developers who've tried to feature the bus?)

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Post by Sandrine » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:37 pm

@diffrentstrolks PM'ed you

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Post by Sandrine » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:47 am

adaris wrote:
kwaidan wrote:To my knowledge, this is the only module that can generate a chord from a sequencer gate trigger/output. The MIDI out is great because it allows you to integrate a poly synth with a modular setup sans a computer in the loop.
Flame Chord Machine 2 can generate chords from a gate/trigger. No MIDI out though.
Cheers!

Yes, basically this module can generate (4 note+arp) chords and was one of the modules we looked at to decide what else would be needed for true chord generation & musically proper control.

Available modules for the MIDI2CV include the Doepfer A-190-5, which would work very well with the Melisma as there are additional CV outs one of which can be Velocity (each note sends velocity even after a slow "strum"). There's also a MIDI thru there so Melisma's LHAND channel can be carried through to yet another module or synth for Arp's, bassline, or melody.
One other important factor in using a MIDI2CV module is number of notes. About 1/3 of Melisma's chords has more than 4 notes but the A-190-5 has rotational priority.
The Melisma's chord notes order is always from lowest to highest (so any MIDI2CV module will play the notes as they are received AFAIK) but if there is an issue, simply adding some spread will ensure the first X notes are played ;)

The Poly Polyend module is a great match for the Melisma and can output all 7 notes in the largest chords + 1 note (if LHAND is set to the same channel results would be interesting as it scoots around inside spreads!)

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Post by kwaidan » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:34 am

adaris wrote:Flame Chord Machine 2 can generate chords from a gate/trigger. No MIDI out though.
Yeah, I’d forgotten about it. However, the Chord Machine is limited to four voices, and it doesn’t have MIDI out.

For a long time, I have wanted to use a sequencer like the Metron to rhythmically play changing chordal patterns on a synth like the OB-6 without using a computer as a go between, so the MIDI out makes all the difference in the world.

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Post by Funky40 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:55 pm

200$ Sounds very reasonable !
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Post by Sandrine » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:39 am

Funky40 wrote:200$ Sounds very reasonable !
Yep, $25 per HP ;)

Updates-
Parts are ordered to make sure they're here by September but production PCB's not finalized yet.

I'm thinking on expanding the chord & root progression lists and chord CV lists to 8 (is 4 now) as the new processor has more room

Demo vds are in the works!

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