MIDI real-time Harmonizer version 2 coming up

harmonizerV2I'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.

{audio}mp3files/Harmonizer V2 demo.mp3{/audio}

About me

I like music, especially making music. I listen to a lot of different stuff, but I like soul, jazz and fusion music most. I like to develop and experiment with tools to make music performance and improvisation on the spot more exciting. It is fun when unexpected musical things happen during a performance!

In recent years I developed the MIDI real-time Harmonizer, a tool for generating harmonized chords when playing a solo line. Inspired by the work of saxophonist Michael Brecker, I started to develop this tool to run on Mac and PC. Brecker played the Electronic Wind Instrument and used the Oberheim Xpander synth to generate random chords from an EWI solo line. Now you can accomplish the same thing with the MIDI real-time Harmonizer driving your own favourite (plugin) synths.

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