Chord oscillator for pad purposes

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Chopper
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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by Chopper » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:54 pm

oliq wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:58 pm
Braids with the Renaissance firmware is interesting for chords. Use the built in quantiser and you can get a sensible range of chords fitted to a scale rather than the same voicing just transposed with a root note other modules give you.
THIS.
My source for pads in every single patch I make. Plaits might have the brilliant vactrol emulation, but Braids with Renaissance firmware is still my favourite by far, due to the many chords algos and how it handles them.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by blaythe.steuer » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:13 am

mutant brain in to 4 analog oscillators 🤓

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by lisa » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:45 am

Matt_L wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:49 pm
If you need this level of control, I'd recommend just getting a keyboard synth
I do have many kayboard synths so that's covered. ;) And I think that oscillators with chord modes are useful, even though I have to sacrifice two sequencers just to get a simple progression going. My main complaint is with oscillators that do chords but in no way indicate which chord has been choosen; this means that I'll set the root with one sequencer and then I'll have to scan through and listen to each chord type until I find the right one. It is a bit tedious to achieve something rather simple (outside of the modular realm).
New track! Drum synthesis heavy, melodic piece where Instruō harmonàig is doing the chords. 🐡


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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by erde » Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:40 am

Just recently acquired the 4ms SWN and it is very nice for chords and pads. You can also use it as 6 independent voices, even with inbuilt VCA and envelopes; and much more.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by NJlo » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:12 am

neumedi wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:52 pm
NJlo wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 pm
lisa wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:14 pm
Chord oscillators are often frustrating to me. I'm a classically trained pianist so I know how to play chords but having them in some arbitrary order is annoying to me; having to scan through them for the right one. I don't know how that'd be improved without losing some control, though. To me, the Instruō harmonàig is a great compromise. The chords are clearly written out and it can choose chords on it's own if you want it to. It isn't an oscillator though. :razz:
I get what you mean. Got a degree in jazz guitar... But the sequenced nature of modular seems to draw me away from doing things with actual harmonic progressions. Might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Honestly, would love to hear more. If not harmonic progressions, what part(s) do you tend to sequence?
Well, bass lines often have some sort of harmonic progression to them, if they're not too modal/groove/loop based. Been liking Fugue Machine, sometimes in conjunction with an arpeggiator, to sequence a few melodic parts in a way that implies harmony.

To be fair, though I've been making music professionally for ages now, modular is still a relatively new step to get out of the box a bit. Both in the literal outside-the-computer as well as the new-ways-of-thinking ways ;) So when it comes to harmony I just think normal, say, 4 part string arrangements lend themselves much better to either a pen and paper score, or DAW environment.

This is, I think, a cool example of sequenced chords in a not too tonal, more eurorack-friendly way:

(And the reason I've been looking at the Shapeshifter ;) )

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by NJlo » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:14 am

Matt_L wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:49 pm
lisa wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:14 pm
Chord oscillators are often frustrating to me. I'm a classically trained pianist so I know how to play chords but having them in some arbitrary order is annoying to me; having to scan through them for the right one. I don't know how that'd be improved without losing some control, though. To me, the Instruō harmonàig is a great compromise. The chords are clearly written out and it can choose chords on it's own if you want it to. It isn't an oscillator though. :razz:
I own both the Make Noise telHarmonic and 4ms Ensemble Oscillator and while I think they are awesome and interesting, I totally get this critique. If you need this level of control, I'd recommend just getting a keyboard synth (or if you really want to go deep, the ACL Sinfonion with lots of VCOs).

There are countless of interesting things to do with the telHarmonic and Ensoc, but if you need precise control over the harmonic progression, these modules require a bit of work. The scale/interval functions are CV-controllable, though, so I've been trying to use sequencers to implement the harmonic changes.
Which of those two would you recommend most for the needs expressed in this thread?

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by NJlo » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:16 am

mrhooks wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:42 pm
If you don't mind typing out your chord progressions as a text file well ahead of time, there's always Music Thing Modular's Chord Organ. Instead of having generic chords - root position, closed voicing - to be used in any song, you can type up chord voicings to fit a progression, incorporating voice leading.
Cool tip, and it sounds pretty great on demos! Not sure if it fits my current wishes, but might be a good way to be able to play actual multiple songs in a set at some point ;)

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by versipellis » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:57 am

Also worth looking into - Xaoc Odessa + Hel for 6-voice polyphonic stacks.
NJlo wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:12 am
neumedi wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:52 pm
NJlo wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 pm
lisa wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:14 pm
Chord oscillators are often frustrating to me. I'm a classically trained pianist so I know how to play chords but having them in some arbitrary order is annoying to me; having to scan through them for the right one. I don't know how that'd be improved without losing some control, though. To me, the Instruō harmonàig is a great compromise. The chords are clearly written out and it can choose chords on it's own if you want it to. It isn't an oscillator though. :razz:
I get what you mean. Got a degree in jazz guitar... But the sequenced nature of modular seems to draw me away from doing things with actual harmonic progressions. Might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Honestly, would love to hear more. If not harmonic progressions, what part(s) do you tend to sequence?
Well, bass lines often have some sort of harmonic progression to them, if they're not too modal/groove/loop based. Been liking Fugue Machine, sometimes in conjunction with an arpeggiator, to sequence a few melodic parts in a way that implies harmony.

To be fair, though I've been making music professionally for ages now, modular is still a relatively new step to get out of the box a bit. Both in the literal outside-the-computer as well as the new-ways-of-thinking ways ;) So when it comes to harmony I just think normal, say, 4 part string arrangements lend themselves much better to either a pen and paper score, or DAW environment.

This is, I think, a cool example of sequenced chords in a not too tonal, more eurorack-friendly way:

(And the reason I've been looking at the Shapeshifter ;) )
That's an awesome video. Is that yours?
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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by Scott M2 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:17 am

Yes! That sliding bass thing is very cool.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by naturligfunktion » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:02 am

I agree that it is difficult to create chords in a eurorack setting. I tend to overdub using a synth in ableton instead.

One trick though, which maybe is not what the OP wants, is to tune your different voices in your patch to a chord. Then you can sequence the root and the fifth without them going out of tune to the track.

That gives the bare bones of a chord.

Another way is to tune one voice to the root and another voice to the fifth. Let them play in unison. That gives u a power chord (and then you can play punk!)

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by NJlo » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:50 pm

versipellis wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:57 am
Also worth looking into - Xaoc Odessa + Hel for 6-voice polyphonic stacks.
NJlo wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:12 am
neumedi wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:52 pm
NJlo wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 pm
lisa wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:14 pm
Chord oscillators are often frustrating to me. I'm a classically trained pianist so I know how to play chords but having them in some arbitrary order is annoying to me; having to scan through them for the right one. I don't know how that'd be improved without losing some control, though. To me, the Instruō harmonàig is a great compromise. The chords are clearly written out and it can choose chords on it's own if you want it to. It isn't an oscillator though. :razz:
I get what you mean. Got a degree in jazz guitar... But the sequenced nature of modular seems to draw me away from doing things with actual harmonic progressions. Might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Honestly, would love to hear more. If not harmonic progressions, what part(s) do you tend to sequence?
Well, bass lines often have some sort of harmonic progression to them, if they're not too modal/groove/loop based. Been liking Fugue Machine, sometimes in conjunction with an arpeggiator, to sequence a few melodic parts in a way that implies harmony.

To be fair, though I've been making music professionally for ages now, modular is still a relatively new step to get out of the box a bit. Both in the literal outside-the-computer as well as the new-ways-of-thinking ways ;) So when it comes to harmony I just think normal, say, 4 part string arrangements lend themselves much better to either a pen and paper score, or DAW environment.

This is, I think, a cool example of sequenced chords in a not too tonal, more eurorack-friendly way:

(And the reason I've been looking at the Shapeshifter ;) )
That's an awesome video. Is that yours?
I wish! Haha. That guy is probably my favourite youtube modular musician, even if he doesn't have heaps of music online.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by Matt_L » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:45 pm

lisa wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:45 am
Matt_L wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:49 pm
If you need this level of control, I'd recommend just getting a keyboard synth
I do have many kayboard synths so that's covered. ;) And I think that oscillators with chord modes are useful, even though I have to sacrifice two sequencers just to get a simple progression going. My main complaint is with oscillators that do chords but in no way indicate which chord has been choosen; this means that I'll set the root with one sequencer and then I'll have to scan through and listen to each chord type until I find the right one. It is a bit tedious to achieve something rather simple (outside of the modular realm).
I'm doing exactly this thing you said as I'm typing this. :) I've learned the colors and the positions of the knob for the telHarmonic but I'm still figuring out the Ensemble Oscillator.
NJlo wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:14 am
Which of those two would you recommend most for the needs expressed in this thread?
I'd say what everyone always says -- I'd recommend trying them both out! They feel different. The Ensemble Oscillator is more feature packed, has more scales, has built in phase distortion effects and wave-folding, lets you create custom scales, and also has two out for stereo imaging. Relative to the telHarmonic, the big upside of the Ensemble Oscillator, in my opinion, is that it lets you "spread' out the oscillators (up to 16 of them, though once you get that many, it's hard to differentiate the 12th from the 16th) across a spectrum of notes/octaves. One potential downside of the Ensemble Oscillator is that it does not have attenuverters/attenuaters on it -- so you'll need some utility module for any modulation you want, unless you really want those dramatic modulations.

The telHarmonic (which, mind you, is like 4-5 years older) has three outputs, two of which are three-voice harmonies (H and P) and the third which is noise (N, which you can use as a separate percussive voice going through its own VCA). No stereo, just mono-out. The two main features, for me at least, are the H-lock, which lets you "lock-in" harmonies, and the "Centroid" knob, which for H, emphasizes different harmonics as you turn it. For P, it adjusts phase modulation (it sounds kind of similar to the Twist knob of the Ensemble Oscillator). You can't "spread" out the voices of the telHarmonic.

I'm not an expert at either module by any means, but my experience is that the Ensemble Oscillator really performs well as a drone -- it's easy to set it up to sound as massive and lush, or thin and wispy, as you want; and the telHarmonic really sounds cool as a percussive element, sending H and P (and N of course) through an LPG, though it works very well as a drone pad as well.

One isn't "better" than the other. The Ensemble Oscillator feels like a more "modern" module, in that it seems to have more features. But the telHarmonic was not designed to be a do-everything chord oscillator -- they had a very specific aesthetic (and, as you'll read in the manual, many historical references) in mind when they designed it. I think it sounds incredible with its own unique personality.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by adnauseam » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:13 am

Chopper wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:54 pm
oliq wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:58 pm
Braids with the Renaissance firmware is interesting for chords. Use the built in quantiser and you can get a sensible range of chords fitted to a scale rather than the same voicing just transposed with a root note other modules give you.
THIS.
My source for pads in every single patch I make. Plaits might have the brilliant vactrol emulation, but Braids with Renaissance firmware is still my favourite by far, due to the many chords algos and how it handles them.
Has anyone tried taking some of the techniques applied to Braids Rennaissance chords mode to the Plaits firmware?

On a related note: Why has nobody done a Plaits alternate firmware?

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by MikeLeeBirds » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:12 pm

If you have the space and money: Sinfonion and Chord 2.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by NJlo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:33 am

Matt_L wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:45 pm
lisa wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:45 am
Matt_L wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:49 pm
If you need this level of control, I'd recommend just getting a keyboard synth
I do have many kayboard synths so that's covered. ;) And I think that oscillators with chord modes are useful, even though I have to sacrifice two sequencers just to get a simple progression going. My main complaint is with oscillators that do chords but in no way indicate which chord has been choosen; this means that I'll set the root with one sequencer and then I'll have to scan through and listen to each chord type until I find the right one. It is a bit tedious to achieve something rather simple (outside of the modular realm).
I'm doing exactly this thing you said as I'm typing this. :) I've learned the colors and the positions of the knob for the telHarmonic but I'm still figuring out the Ensemble Oscillator.
NJlo wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:14 am
Which of those two would you recommend most for the needs expressed in this thread?
I'd say what everyone always says -- I'd recommend trying them both out! They feel different. The Ensemble Oscillator is more feature packed, has more scales, has built in phase distortion effects and wave-folding, lets you create custom scales, and also has two out for stereo imaging. Relative to the telHarmonic, the big upside of the Ensemble Oscillator, in my opinion, is that it lets you "spread' out the oscillators (up to 16 of them, though once you get that many, it's hard to differentiate the 12th from the 16th) across a spectrum of notes/octaves. One potential downside of the Ensemble Oscillator is that it does not have attenuverters/attenuaters on it -- so you'll need some utility module for any modulation you want, unless you really want those dramatic modulations.

The telHarmonic (which, mind you, is like 4-5 years older) has three outputs, two of which are three-voice harmonies (H and P) and the third which is noise (N, which you can use as a separate percussive voice going through its own VCA). No stereo, just mono-out. The two main features, for me at least, are the H-lock, which lets you "lock-in" harmonies, and the "Centroid" knob, which for H, emphasizes different harmonics as you turn it. For P, it adjusts phase modulation (it sounds kind of similar to the Twist knob of the Ensemble Oscillator). You can't "spread" out the voices of the telHarmonic.

I'm not an expert at either module by any means, but my experience is that the Ensemble Oscillator really performs well as a drone -- it's easy to set it up to sound as massive and lush, or thin and wispy, as you want; and the telHarmonic really sounds cool as a percussive element, sending H and P (and N of course) through an LPG, though it works very well as a drone pad as well.

One isn't "better" than the other. The Ensemble Oscillator feels like a more "modern" module, in that it seems to have more features. But the telHarmonic was not designed to be a do-everything chord oscillator -- they had a very specific aesthetic (and, as you'll read in the manual, many historical references) in mind when they designed it. I think it sounds incredible with its own unique personality.
Thanks man! That's a very thorough and interesting view. Trying both seems the best route indeed, even if my current preference – based on your post – is still the Ensemble Osc.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by 1960strat » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:33 am

I have a chord organ coming inbound. Has anyone used one of those for this purpose?

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by adnauseam » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:24 pm

1960strat wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:33 am
I have a chord organ coming inbound. Has anyone used one of those for this purpose?
Sure. It's awesome. You can program the chord order in the text file. It's only got 4 basic waveforms but with some clever filtering it can sound beautiful.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by jorg » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:18 pm

NJlo wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 pm
... But the sequenced nature of modular seems to draw me away from doing things with actual harmonic progressions. Might not necessarily be a bad thing.
This has been a frustration to me for a long time. We need a simple, menu-less way to make generative sequences (including chord sequences) that are driven by chord progressions. It should be possible.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by pines » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:34 pm

Like others here, I am usually disappointed with chord modules. I want to have control over the inversions, otherwise it isn’t worth it. That’s why I have 12 dedicated oscillators in the rack plus multiple sequencers. The repeating transposed same inversion chord stabs in a lot of music make me crazy.

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by mrhooks » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:27 pm

1960strat wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:33 am
I have a chord organ coming inbound. Has anyone used one of those for this purpose?
I don't own one yet*, but from my understanding, the great thing about it is you don't have to include the module's Root note as part of a chord. So a standard I-IV-I-V7-I progression with proper voice-leading could be:

12,16,19 (root position I)
12,17,21 (2nd inversion IV)
12,16,19
11,17,19 (1st inversion V7, no 5th)
12,16,19

The numbers represent the notes as a number of half-steps away from the module's Root. (I don't remember if negative numbers are allowed, so I transposed everything up one octave.) All you would have to do is sequence the Chord input to switch between chords; you can leave Root tuned to the song's key (which means it's super-easy to do key changes as well).

*I had hoped that Rings and/or Plaits would be "good enough," so I wouldn't have to buy this, plus a filter and maybe an EG to go with it. So someone correct me if what I wrote above is incorrect, because I wouldn't buy it if it is.
adnauseam wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:24 pm
It's only got 4 basic waveforms but with some clever filtering it can sound beautiful.
I believe it has 12 waveforms now. If you are running old firmware, you'll want to update. Several other changes were made, including 1V/Oct tracking and the ability to store/select multiple chord banks on the SD card.
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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by Dave77 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:16 am

IMHO the best thing I have used so far is ACL Sinfonion,
but a this patch i Used For Stab Plaits.. for Pads Shapeshifter..are two great modules for Chords


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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by LDT » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:56 am

My system is totally chord based, but I rely on a Keystep Pro for recording the notes. (I am a pianist originally, so that is litterally a no-brainer. )
The four-note chords from KSP feeds my FH-2. FH-2 then produces four pitch cvs, as well as extracting cv for my bass and various arpeggios.
The four main cvs are sent to Chord2 and to SWN.
Everything is always in tune, and I am very happy.🙌🏻😃

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by SOPiiAC » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:23 am

I just want to put a shout out for Accord Melisma controlling a polysynth via midi. CV control over root note, chord progression, inversion, spread, velocity and a controller message. It can also do an arpeggio and provides a way to play a bassline to accompany your chords. All in 8hp for $200. It's my Kijimi's best friend :)

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by ndkent » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:45 am

Foghorn wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:32 pm
EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:10 pm
There is a rare erthenvar patchord for sale. 4ms released the harmonic oscillator. 2020 good for chords.
Say what?
.
rare patchcord? :hmm:
rare=discontinued

It's like a digital module conceptionally along the lines of the EML Polybox or RSF Blackbox from the 1970s. It tracks the existing osc going in prior to any VCA/filter/shaping, so it doesn't do a bad job if that is clean and not too chaotic, then it synthesizes 25 new pitches based on the input going out on jacks by semitones or harmonics. It's only using the pitch not the initial waveshape, the new pitches are internally synthesized not pitch shifted or shaped somehow. Pulplogic Chords was suggested as a companion, if not you need some sort of method to select which of the outs to use

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Re: Chord oscillator for pad purposes

Post by windchill » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:48 am

NJlo wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:06 pm

...but I'm mainly looking for something simple for a layer of ambient goodness :)
I've tried a number of ways to generate simpler layers of polyphonic ambient goodness.

Making chords with modules like Plaits and Telharmonic doesn't work for me. Apart from not really giving sufficient control of the chords the sound isn't really there. It lacks richness when used in this context. Your mileage may vary; I have very specific goals and preferences regarding timbre (rich, unpredictable, fizzy, analogue... Serge, Verbos, etc).

I used to run multiple quantised sequences (or a single sequence through a shift register) out to multiple VCOs. This works really well and you can take as much or as little control over the resulting chords as you like. An Instruo Harmonaig would be great for this approach. The problem is that it takes a huge amount of resources to get this done: sequencers, quantisers, VCAs, VCOs, etc. I've had great results doing this (the Doepfer A-143-4 sounds great in this context) but often ended up with very little of the modular left to do anything else. Fine if you want to multitrack but not good for live work, improvising, or one-take recording of complete pieces.

My current solution is idiosyncratic, unpredictable, and loads of fun. I now use my modular for what it's good at and have stopped using it to make chords and (to en extent) drones. For that I use a Soma Lyra-8. It often sounds better than anything I did with the modular. It can't be sequenced (well not tonally) but you can play chord progressions by hand. Certainly not for everybody, but I'm getting fantastic results and having a blast.

Obviously this is not a suitable option if you need some house chords or really tight stabs in sync with a 140bpm track :hihi:

I have a Five12 Vector Sequencer, which has a decent chord mode, but I've not used it much yet.

(I'm sure there's an OB-6 somewhere in my future.)

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