I'm currently testing a new version of the MIDI real-time Harmonizer. I'm really excited about this new release. Expected release date is june 8, 2010. This new version does not only allow you to program your own 4-note chords, but also allows you to harmonize these chords towards any key and/or scale in real-time. By designating a special (lower) keyboard area to be used as key switches, you can switch to have your chords harmonized towards a particular programmable key/scale.
This will make the new MIDI Harmonizer a great tool for keyboard players to enhance their solo lines, for EWI players to run it on a PC/Mac on stage and beef up their performance, and for DJs to play powerchords that will always fit to the music that they play. Click on the picture for a large view.
Here is a summary of some of the new features in version 2 of the MIDI Harmonizer:
- force programmable chords to fit a certain key/scale including tensions
- both overall bypass as well as key/scale forcing can be switched on/off on a keyboard/controller during performance
- primairy scales include major, minor and dominant
- tensions include lowered/raised 5th, major 7th, lowered/raised 9th and raised 11th
- 12 key switches with any key/scale including tensions can be programmed within each preset
- real-time switching of key/scale using key switches in lower keyboard area (below C1, C2 or C3)
- real-time switching of key/scale by using chromatic above/below or below/above approach while playing (e.g. playing f#,e,f or e,f#,f in a solo can be used to switch to key/scale programmed for F)
- ability to set MIDI output channel
- ability to save 128 presets (8 presets in 16 banks) including MIDI program change recognition
But how does it sound?
I made a short demo. In this demo I play a one note solo all the time. I use the key switches by playing keys on the keyboard below C3 to switch to the right key/scale during the solo. In this way the solo is real-time harmonized to the right key/scale. The 4-note chords that I have programmed provide some contra-motion in the harmonies as to prevent the use of static parallel harmonised lines. Further on in the demo I also demonstrate the MIDI Harmonizer as a perfect tool for (live) comping. The synth used for the solo is a Logic ES2 synth on top of a Jazz drum (Apple) loop, Trilogy bass and Ivory Grand, creamed up with some UAD EMT250 verb.