It’s been a few months now since we released the Chord Sequencer Player. It was very well received, and in fact it’s still the most used Player outside the ones built-into Reason.
But no matter how popular a device is, there is always room for improvement!
New Chord Sets
As any Chord Sequencer user knows, the heart and soul of this Player are the Chord Sets: sets of 16 chords in different styles and genres, with hints about suitable progressions. The special thing about these chords is that they were played by actual musicians, each with their individual approach to chord voicings and harmonic flavors! Therefore it felt like a natural move to get more chords, in more styles and from more contributors.
We’ve added a couple of genres (Folk & Acoustic and Latin) and raised the number of chord sets from 59 to 105. Among the content creators are Bryn Bliska, David Bennett, Gustaf Karlöf of Niki & The Dove, J Chris Griffin, Soundcells and Sam Freeman of Thundershock. Chordal variety is greater than ever!
Rolling your own
It’s always been possible to record your own chords, but now it’s much easier to start from existing chords and reshape them into your own sets. You can copy chords from one pattern to another, combining chords from different Chord Sets into one if you like. An extended Edit mode lets you transpose the Chords and adjust the velocity of the individual notes. There are also several quality-of-life features that makes editing easier, such as a dedicated Learn mode, MIDI feedback when you add or remove notes, clearing individual chord pads and more. And when you leave Edit mode, the keyboard display has been improved to be even more helpful, reflecting your playing and all chord settings.
More musical sequences
The addition of a Velocity mode in the built-in sequencer makes a huge difference. You can now view and adjust the velocity offset of each chord, creating dynamics and variation. If you record the chord changes in real time, the velocity of your playing is also reflected here.
There is a number of new patches included, many of them making use of this velocity feature.
The back panel received a couple of changes too. The Root Note CV output now has an octave switch (convenient since many bass sounds sound way too low when played in the C1 octave). And the new Select Chord CV output can be connected to another Chord Sequencer, having them play back the chord sequences in sync. Check out the included Combinator patch “CV Connected Chords” for an example of this!
It’s great fun to be able to do an update of a device. When you release of a new product, there is always a wishlist of things in the backlog – maybe stuff that came up during the last week of testing or features that didn’t fit in the initial scope for different reasons. For us in the Reason design team it’s great to get the opportunity to revisit that list and make the device even better, especially with the help of all great musical content creators.
As before, our goal has been to make it easy and fun to experiment with chords, trying out ideas and getting results that are your own, no matter your musical background and skill level. We think Chord Sequencer 1.1.0 does this better than ever, and sincerely hope you’ll like it!
Psst…. PS. If you’re keen to see some of these new features in action, check out this video where Ryan took the new version of Chord Sequencer for a spin, building up two tracks.