Cubase Chord Track Best Practices | Will Edwards | Skillshare

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (59m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Understanding Chord Tracks

    • 3. Finding Chords Easily

    • 4. Building Complex Progressions

    • 5. Chords and Instruments

    • 6. Transform Live Input

    • 7. Chord Voicing Tools

    • 8. Conforming MIDI

    • 9. Extract a Chord Track

    • 10. Tips, Tricks & Workflow

    • 11. Wrap-Up

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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to change the chords in your recording or music production, but couldn't figure out how to do it without ruining your whole project?  If you are a producer who wants maximum flexibility with this kind of advanced edit... this course will be a game changer!

I've produced and recorded, edited and mixed in Cubase for years and I've always been quick to adopt new features with every new version.  When the chord track was announced, I was excited.  But, when I learned to use it... well, it became an essential part of my workflow. In this course I'll share my insights and strategies for working more flexibly with chord progressions in your Cubase productions!

In this class, you'll learn:

  • How to find chords to create new progressions
  • How to build complex progressions
  • How to record on a keyboard (without being a piano player)
  • How to extract a chord track from a MIDI clip!
  • Tips, tricks and more...

If you're a seasoned Cubase user who isn't taking advantage of the Chord Track, this course will offer you a quick jumping off point.  If you're new to Cubase and trying to identify production best practices, then you'll certainly want the Chord Track to feature in your workflow!  Thanks for check out this course - stick around and learn from my experience!

Meet Your Teacher

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Will Edwards

Artist. Creative Problem Solver. Musician


I am a full-time professional musician who has broad teaching experience with guitar & bass students in rock, blues, jazz and many other genres. I perform live on bass, guitar and keyboards.  In addition, I perform live electronic music improvisation.  I've devoted over 26 years to my own well-rounded musical education, focusing on a mastery of all aspects of modern music - from music theory to ear training; from live performance to composition and practice routines.

I specialize in bridging the gap between music and technology, focusing on using modern tools to demonstrate all aspects of music.  I compose and perform with Ableton and Push 2 and I have experience with Cubase, ProTools and Logic.  I'm extremely comfortable using web-based to... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Will and thanks so much for joining me in this course where we're talking about the chord track in Cubase. I've been working with Cubase for well over ten years. And I've found the chord track again and again is my go-to tool for managing harmony in my productions. Whether I'm recording another artist or I'm working on my own production. The cord tract along with the chord editor, gives me the ability to spontaneously changed my harmony, experiment with ideas, and even get ideas, get recommendations, intelligent ideas from the application on what chords might be good before, after one another. In this section, I'm going to be covering everything I've learned about the core Jack that I think you need to know in order to get started working with it and using it in your own productions. So let's get started. 2. Understanding Chord Tracks: We're going to kick off our discussion of the chord track by looking at how we can set it up and what we wanna do it just in terms of understanding its feature set. Okay, so there are basically a few reasons why you'd want to use a chord track. Mainly because you want to control multiple tracks with one sort of chord progression, right? So it's very common whether you're doing electronic music, rock, pop, blues, whatever you're doing. It's very common that a chord progression or some kind of harmonic structure under your music repeats, right? That there are sections that repeat. And that those drive everything that drive what the soloist plays, they drive the melody that singer sings. So having the underlying chords be something that you can manipulate independently of the rest of your track, can be really, really empowering, keeping your production really flexible. You can decide, for example, at the very end of your project, that you want to change that last chord from a G to a G7 or something like that. So that's one reason to use it. Another reason is to stay in key to make sure that any loops are samples that you, that you have in your project are all staying and keys you'll see over the course of these lessons how that works. And as I just mentioned, one of the main reasons you want to do this is so that you can modify the cords easily so that as you add an instruments, VST instruments or loops or anything like that, that you can modify your chord structure, a chord progression easily. 17, just set up a quick chord track. Yeah, I'm right-clicking. And I'm going to go down here and I'm going to say add chord track, right? And you can see it right here in the menu. All right, so I click Add chord track. And then that's basically it. You could go up and grab the pencil tool. I like to use the number eight key. And I'm just going to go ahead and I'm going to click in here like that, creating four basic kind of chord placeholders, if you will, right? Now, let me switch back with the one key. I'm switching back to my objects selection arrow here. So I like to switch between eight, that's my pencil and one that's my arrow. So now each of these right now is blank because obviously there's no key of x or x cord. So if you double-click on one of these chords, you start seeing the code editor and coordinate system, and those are going to be the topics of the next two lessons. So I'll see you in the next lesson, we'll start talking about the chord editor. 3. Finding Chords Easily: So let's start talking about the chord editor now if you know what chords you want, let's say you know that you want c and then u1 to G chord in u1, a minor. Let's say this is a very, very common chord progression. And then you want F, Okay? That's a very common. What's known as a 105 64 chord progression in the key of C major. So if you know your music theory and you know what you want, then you can just plug these in like that. And the court editor makes it pretty easy. You can use these little arrows up here and you can just kinda navigate between them. You can also use the right and left keys on your keyboard. And you'll see a little later in this section why and how I use that to kind of facilitate and expedite my chord selection. But there are other options in here, right? So first of course, is the tonic of the cord. Here we have selected C. Then in the next column you have the chord quality is a major minor diminished sus4 assess to augmented. And for most people in most popular music genres, major and minor chords are going to be about all you need. Maybe assess for once and awhile. If you're doing some jazz, maybe some trying to explore more interesting chord qualities, then you might get into diminished or augmented. Then after that and the third column here, you have basically some tensions, right? So you could have this be a C seven or a C major 7, which they've kinda denoted here with this little j major 7 versus dominant seven. You could have seven with a flat nine. You could have a 79, you can have a sharp nine on their view of maybe doing some jazz charts. And then real tensions, things that start getting pretty crazy. Like maybe a C7 dominant with a sharp nine and a flat five, something like that. So that's going to sound pretty tense. I will, I'll connect up a demo instrument here. So let's say that we open up our media Bay and we just start by going to, go ahead and reset my filters. And I want to look for an acoustic piano sound and see this is probably going to be fine. Javs grand piano. Let's do let's do that one. It's loading up off of my hard drive, which unfortunately sometimes takes a little bit of time because I have an enormous hard-drive. So let's just bring this in over here. And I'm going to make sure that this chord track goes to our right. So I've selected in my core drag that I want the chord track to go directly into this jazz grand piano a. Now I can switch with my right and left keys when I actually, I'm in the editor. So you can hear how tense that C7, sharp 9, flat 5, or sharp 11 chord is versus, if I don't have that, little ME, maybe bluesy, we could make this into a G dominant seven. Now you've got this kind of bluesy gospel vibe, right? So that's what the tensions are all about. Then you can choose a base note, right? So let's say I want to have this be a C7, but I actually want it to be a second inversion chord so that G is in the bass. So if you don't really know what inversions are, if you don't know what tensions are, don't worry about it. If you don't know what diminished and sus chords and augmented chords are, don't worry about it because nine times out of 10 of you making popular music, you're trying to make electronic music, making a house track you make in jazz, a rock, pop, whatever. If it's popular music, it's sort of intended to appeal to a mass audience. Major and minor chords are really all you're going to need with maybe occasionally a dominant seven or a major seven. And you don't really have to worry about inversions. That's more of a voice leading factor that one might consider in more sort of academic compositional approaches, right? So a lot of times you'd be fine just by picking your coord, tonic, major and minor and maybe a seventh. Although in a lot of popular music, that's not even necessary. Okay? And then once you've got this court editor open, I really like to use right and left keys just so I can kind of hear how the chord sound together, right? So I'm gonna get rid of that bass note. I'm going to change that to an a minor seven. And then I'm going to change that to major seven. I could even change that to a dominant seven. All right, so there you go. That's basically the court editor. Now in the quarter system, there's a bit more going on and we're going to discuss that in the next lesson. 4. Building Complex Progressions: Now let's talk about using the cord assistant. So in the last lesson, we talked about the editor and we can see what that's all about. You've got your tonics and your quality is your tensions in your bass notes. If you wanted to do inversions. But in the court assistant, you get a little more insight into what chords may work for you, right? So let's say that we go to this chord here. And I've got my court assistant oriented here. I'm going to switch my mode to common tones. And I'm, I've got this complexity slider here. So common tones, what does that mean, common notes, rather. Common notes means that the cords that are being selected in this court assistant, they have common tones in common notes from the previous chord, right? So C major would be an option, E minor, C minor, write a flat. Now, I know is a theater as a music theory student, that a G7 chord certainly have a common tone with, with the C major seven. The thing is here that I have gap mode down here, and let me just zoom in on this here so you can see this. So this is this little button here says Gap mode. And it's trying to determine choices based on both the previous and the next chord. So it's looking for what are chords that have tones in both a minor seven and C7, right? So if I turn that off, oh, well, suddenly I have a ton more options, right? So I can go ahead and I can select this. And I can see now there's three common tones. Obviously the whole triad is in common with C, two common tones with E-Flat, right? So in the complexity filter level 1, I guess it's looking for at least two or three common tones. And these chords all fit that category. But suddenly if I go to two, now I'm looking at complexity filter 2. We're allowing now common notes where there's only one common notes course. There's, there's G right there because g, the root of g is the fifth of C7. I know that in music theory. So as you expand, use the CAPM gap mode and expand your options with this complexity filter, you'll see they're actually colored based on how sort of complex they are. Then you can start to sort of make both artistic choices about the chords that you can be playing. But you can also have this coordinate system, you know, literally assisting you, helping you choose things. So what if I want something that does have a common tone with both C7 and a minor. Then I go ahead and I switched my gap mode down here, that's this little button. I'm going to turn that on. And now my options are much more limited. So in order to get a collection of options, I actually have to expand out quite a bit. So let's see, maybe I'm working on something a little more esoteric. I'm going to go for this, a flat major seven chord, right? So. In this case, a minor has the third is c, The third of a flat major, C in the root of our first chord, C is obviously C. So we can listen to how that sounds now using my arrow keys. And I can get kind of a sense of that flavor. That's not really what I'm looking for. What about an E minor? That's a little more sort of popular music oriented that exchange. And if I'm still feeling like I, I know that I have a specific thing I want. I can always just go back to the editor and I know I want g seven, right? And maybe change this CM and take off the tension element, take the tension off, and then actually take the tension off. There is my habit. This is actually the chord progression to let it be by The Beatles. All right, pretty, pretty famous song and a very famous chord progression which you could take e1 transpose into a bunch of keys, and you'd have an awful lot of songs. So the court assessment is pretty smart there, and it's nice to know things like how many common tones, you know, you might come up with some court options that are crazy. You know, you'd never think about having an E diminished chord there. So that's alright. So that is just a different kind of cadence that you can have. So the court assistant can generate ideas and be a little bit inspirational in that way, the gap mode can of course, help you make choices about whether or not you want to just consider the previous chord or whether you want to consider both the previous and the next chord. So the gap ODE is pretty handy. Now in the cadence mode here, what you'll see actually, and I'm just going to go in and flip back to just the previous gap mode. This is actually suggesting entire chord progressions, right? So it's saying, all right, with this chord G7, you can have a chord progression like CFG c or F, C, B flat, and then f, right? And the Dow would sound kinda bluesy. So these are whole chord progressions. But I will say this about the cadence model or the mode, is that once you change this chord, like say to F, then suddenly doesn't always, oh, I switched chords and now all my options are gone. And I can't remember. It's not showing me the same chord progression more so sometimes using the cadence mode can be a little confusing. But if you see a chord progression here and you want to try it out, just jot it down or keep it in your short-term memory to make sure that, you know, because you'll lose it as soon as you switch accord. But it can be a great way to figure out chords like let's say we've got this f to c sus4 to act to C major to F. So let's try that. F. I'm going to do F to C says four to see. And then I think the last one was F, not sure, or I do not want diminished. So now I've got this chord progression. All right, So that's an interesting chord progression, but it was necessary that I kinda, I make a joke, I jotted down or make a note of it in my, in my short-term memory. So that's how the cadence mode works. And you can actually select different kinds of cadences that you might want. This might be handy if you are doing a lot of music production for your TV or movies or something, where you're, you know that expressively you're looking for an authentic cadence or a plagal cadence or a half cadence, something like that. Then you can kind of have the court assistant constrain its choices to specific cadences. However, generally speaking, the cadence option is a good idea if you're looking for totally original chord progressions and you don't really know what you want and you've got the time to practice out, see what's in different choices. Sound like, but common nodes are generally what I use and I, I, I do favorite trying out both GAP modes where you have previous and previous next. So that is basically all about the court assistant and how you can use that there there is also some options here in terms of proximity and the circle of fifths can decide. You want to be oriented around the key of D or B minor. And then you can see visually how different minor and major chords work here in the circle of fifths or in proximity, meaning sort of how musical, where they sound. So if you've got a C chord, for example here, then that's actually go to the editor. She's EPEC to see. Go here, go to the court assistant and using proximity, we can see, well, if we make that coordinate, F, a, B flat, a, D, or G, those are all going to sound pretty musical as we can here. Right? If we go to, let's say this D-flat chord. Well, it's certainly less proximate than what we had before. If we go out here to this G flat chord, that's definitely stretching things, but it's not gonna be as much of a stretch, say as B minor or D minor. Sorry, D diminished. So, you know, as, as you go out, sort of think of this almost like an orbit, or C is your son, and these are planets orbiting the sun as you go out in the solar system, musically speaking, you start to get more and more remote chord qualities. So I might just decide, no, I'm going to stick with g there. And then from there, I'm going to want say, well, what was I doing before I was doing a minor anomaly and then back to F. So that's going to be my corporation. But that is a handy aspect of the quarter system, either looking at the list with common nodes, this proximity or a circle of fifths. So all of those are great options. And in the next lesson, we're going to talk a little bit more about how you can send the chord track two different instruments. And I'm also going to give you some ideas for kinda coming up with maybe some more interesting pattern. So that's coming up next. 5. Chords and Instruments: Now in the earlier lesson here, I had connected up this jazz grand piano so that we could hear these cords actually play. So I'm gonna go ahead and use on a Mac Command Slash to enable my loop and then listen. So what's happening is, as we go through this, the C then G, a minor, and F, Each cord is being sent to the jazz grand piano. There's no Midea on jazz grand piano. But you also can say, Okay, I'm going to use monitored tracks. Now this is going to work as long as either the midi track, the instrument track, which is always, by the way, easy to see because you have this keyboard sort of piano icon means instrument track. So as long as it's either you have Monitor enabled or you have record enabled, either one of those. Then if this chord track is, has used monitor tracks checked, then it will feed that track. But let's say that that is not enabled, neither the record nor monitor at enabled. But I still want this to go there. You can either choose the choice up here, In which case, now you have it, or you can actually highlight these chords and this is pretty cool. You can actually just drag them down here. And it's actually like written out a midi part for each chord. So that's another way you can do it. So this, in this way, even if I were to get rid of the chord track or disable it or something, I still have those chords in my jazz grand piano. So let's say you wanted to try and create another chord track now over top of this, but you wanted that quadratic go to another instrument. You could preserve the original chord track by doing that drag copy kind of things. So I'm gonna go ahead and just delete those for now. And I'm going to leave this monitored so that use monitored tracks feature is working there. So let's say that I come down here and I go to my midi Inserts. And I'm going to choose an arpeggiator. And I don't know, let's say that I am working on pop track, right? So I've chosen and go pop sequence for, let's see what that sounds like. All right. Actually, that is actually the chord progression to, or the arpeggio pattern to the Hasan. I can recognize that from the 80s. So you can hear that that patterns there. I don't know. I don't really want that exactly. All right, so now I've got a pattern there. But what it comes down to is that I can think in terms of chords, but I can actually have my grand piano playing a more interesting arpeggiated because of the arpeggiator. Another one bites the dust, I guess is what that's coming from. So connecting up chords and instruments, let's see what happens if we add yet another instrument. I'm going to go ahead hit F5 to load up my media Bay. And I just want to look at, let's say Track Presets. And I don't really want piano, but let's see, there's delta. What's this sounds are, That's piano again. This might be something sort of interesting. It might take a second to load up. I'm going to use my keyboard sometime. So let me grab this cavern drop and see what that sounds like. We're going to load that up. So because cavern drop has the record enabled, it's being fed by the track. And it's basically taking this impact sound and its matching it to the root of each of these courts. So that's one option you could take. You could even again, like add a an arpeggiator onto this. See if I were to go with text. It's fine. It's pretty aggressive. Hats, pretty aggressive. But that shows you how powerful the chord track is because you can just create a simple chord progression and then you can have it funnel into all of the midi tracks. And later on in this, in this section, we'll actually see how you can take a loop and you can actually kinda takes her, I'm taking a loop that was played in another key by a player and then conforming that players timing to this chord progression from my core Jack, which is pretty amazing. So let's move on here and we want to just talk in the next lesson briefly and understand what that's about, how you might want to use it. 6. Transform Live Input: Let's talk briefly about live transform and what that really means. So if I have, let's say an instrument track here like this jazz grand piano that I have selected right here. Then I can actually input audio, or sorry, input middy into this track with my midi controller, my keyboard, or my pads or whatever. And I can use this live transform option over here. And what that's gonna do if I choose chords, is that as I play my midi instrument, basically, no matter what I play, it's going to play something related to C major triad and, or G major triad and a minor triad and so on. So you can literally just grab two or three keys on your keyboard or 23 pads. And you can just kind of doodle rhythm, right? You can play what you feel is a good kind of rhythm or stylistic thing. Not worried at all about what notes you're playing. And live transform, if it's enabled here for chords, will then actually constrain and conform whatever midi input you are sending in with your instrument as it gets recorded on this track to match the chord progression. So that can be really fun. I don't actually have a midi controller connected here right now, so I'm not going to demonstrate it, but it's a great option. Just connect up your keyboard or some pads, something like that. And then you just basically play as if you know how to play piano, for example. And it's going to conform all of your midi input. That's what it means live transform. It's a live performance from you, but it's emitting a transformation from the notes that you are inputting to the notes that match the cord tracks. So is just an awesome feature. I can imagine a lot of situations in which that really works very well. And it can be really handy. I myself can play piano a little bit, but I actually favor recording my acoustic B&O when I want to do that. But for anyone who maybe wants to get in a keyboard part, and they, they really don't know where to begin. They don't have any way of getting access to somebody who can play a convincing piano part. Then suddenly live transform comes to the rescue and you can, you can put together apart based on your chord track very, very easily. Now in the next lesson we're gonna talk about chord voicings because that can be a pretty handy compositional tool. But also there are some aspects of the interface that you might wonder, well, why is this? They are wise that there and I want to talk about that in the next lessons. When our next lesson when we talk about chord voicings, I'll see you there. 7. Chord Voicing Tools: So when you're a piano player or a guitar player, whenever you're playing harmony or if you're composing and you're composing Harmony. One of the things you think about our voices, and the term voicing comes up sometimes when you are learning about chord track or using features that chord track, I want you to understand a little bit about what that is. So when we look at our first chord here, for example, C major, right? And let's say that we just drag that down here and take a look at it. So what we've got is, we've got C is our lowest note. We've got an E here, then we've got a G, and then we've got another C at the top. So that's a pretty standard chord voicing, meaning that in our lowest voice, we have a week. First of all, we have four voices here, and the lowest voice is the root. The second voice is the third. Then we have the fifth, and the soprano voice is our root again. But different voicings will have different fields, right? So for example, go ahead and just listen to this chord. First of all, this voicing. Okay? And then let's just duplicate this. I'm holding Option and dragging. But here I'm going to turn this into a first inversion chords. And let's listen to how that sounds. That's the original. They're both C major chords, but they are voiced differently. So let's look up here in the upper left-hand corner. I'm going to zoom in here. So we can see we have these voicing options. So piano and guitar. Piano and guitar, our voice differently because it guitarists only has one hand on the fretboard. They can only articulate for notes at a time with their fingers on the fret board. Maybe they play OpenNotes as well for a maximum of six notes. But a piano player can play with both hands, thereby playing many, many more voices. So you're going to get more complex voice potential from piano. But that's why there's a choice between piano and guitar. And what you're doing here basically is deciding what kind of voicings you're going to hear, whether or not there's going to be duplicated, route, that sort of thing. So let's say that we go with rock, easy jazz. And actually before we do that, I just want to get a good, a sample of the original C coordinate. Okay, so I'm going to just drag that down here. Now, if I let me go ahead and mute that. Okay, so I'm going up here to my mute tool, which is also number 7, is gonna mute that so that I didn't hear it. But now if I go up here to my voicing options. And I choose rock, easy jazz lets us know that it's the same chord progression or same chord voicing, pop one. That's a different chord voicing, isn't it? So let's go ahead and drag that down and then take a look at it. So in the configuration for pop one, we're playing triads with a major 9 four note chords and we're adding the root node. So let's see how that's actually played out in our midi. So the original one, just straight up a root, the third, the fifth, and another route. But in this one here, we've got root. We've got a third. And then we've got is an a, right? So we're getting a totally different voicing in our chord just by having chosen that pop one option. And these are the different variabilities that you can introduce. So with a different voicings chosen and configured for both piano and guitar, you can decide that over here. I want my chord player to be based on piano player and, or guitar player so that I am using the voicings that I chose for that kinda, that particular aspect. Now another option, of course, is that you can do what I did here, which is dragged these chords down. And then you can go in here and you can add or remove voices around on your own. Let's say I wanted to do this. Maybe something actually a little bit more like that. Now I've got an even more different sound from the voicings. So using the voicings is something that you can explore. It's mainly a creative thing. You're still going to be playing a, C, G, a minor, and F chord progression. The voicings just give you another layer of control. And if you're using the cord pads, which we're not really discussing here. But down at the bottom you can switch to coord pads. I could say assign pads from chord track. And then it actually assigns these. There's, there's even more voicing control here, which you can actually see these little white lines that are the bottom of the chord pads are representing a voicing. So there's a lot you can do with the voicings if you really want to get into it, but it's all about voice leading may be much more useful to people are doing more academic style composition. So in the next lesson, I want to talk about setting up middy to follow a chord track, which is pretty awesome. So there we're going to bring in some external Midea and we're going to conform it to our chord track, even though the original mini was not recorded based on that chord progression. 8. Conforming MIDI: Now I have a video file here, Amazing Grace that I have from a friend of mine who had recorded this some time ago. And let's just this is actually a workflow tip that I want to point out because I've been running into quite a bit. If you are using hotkeys like I do, I'm using G and H. I want to zoom in and out and you get this message that says the on-screen keyboard filtered. This key command. What you wanna do is you want to realize somewhere Cubase thinks that the on-screen keyboard is available, but you want to turn that off. So on a Mac, I'm using option K, but you can also do Alt K on a PC. So I hit Alt K. You see the on-screen keyboard pop-up right here, right now, I haven't seen it before. I don't know why Cubase thought it was there, but if I hit Option K again, goes away and now my hotkeys work. So that's just something I've been having problems with lately. But let's focus here. So, all right, I brought in this piano track and I'm going to, I'm going to bring this up here. I wanna make sure that record is disabled because I don't want it being driven right now. The chord track, Let's just give it a listen and see what it sounds like. So this is a friend of mine playing Amazing Grace. Right? Now, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to chop up just a little chunk here so that we've got something simpler to work with. All right, There we go. So I'm going to use the three key to get my slice tool. One key to select and delete. I think my chord progression over here was eight measures long, so I'm going to go out here and just get eight measures, this as well. So that's 45678, like that. And I'm going to go hit the three key. Go ahead and delete that. So now I have an eight bar loop. I'm going to drag that over here. Okay, hit my L key. I love that. That goes to the beginning, goes to the left edge of any event that you have selected. This really nice way to just focus your cursor. So I've got an eight bar loop here, right? I've got my four chord chord progression. Nothing is being fed right now by my chord track. So if I go back and I play this, just going all the way back to the beginning. I'm not hearing my chord track at all. But if I were to enable or monitor this other piano course, it sounds terrible. Go ahead and disable my opinion. But there's no a minor. Here's how it sounds. Terrible. Right? Sounds terrible. So let's go ahead and we will just option. I'm holding down the option key and then dragging. I'm going to mute the original piano. And now I'm going to actually kind of conform this Amazing Grace, eight bars snippet to these chord progressions. Okay, and that's actually surprisingly easy. So what you're gonna do is you are going to come over here to your inspector, to the chords. And if you don't see it for some reason, you might need to go to set up your Inspector, make sure that chords here is highlighted right? So you've got that to set up your chords aspect to the inspector. And up here I'm going to say, I want to follow the chord track. And it's gonna say follow core, drag, follow directly are synchronized track data with chord track first. So let's see what those two options do. First, we'll choose follow directly and you're going to actually see the midi in this event change. Okay, and let's listen to what that sounds like now. So what it's done is it's taken each of these parts. And it has basically taken every midi note and it is constrained it to its rewritten the Midea, but it's kept the timing and the note lengths and all that stuff exactly the same. So that's really a nice thing to be able to do. If I've got something where I've got a nice loop, something that's played really well. And I like the vibe of it, like the rhythm, I like the stylistic aspects, but I need it to be playing in this key. So let's go see what the other option is, right? So now I could go back to this track, go back to chords and say, Follow cord Jack, I'm going to go with chords. I guess I'll turn that off first and then go back to chords. And I think actually I need to undo that. So I've got my original. All right, so we're back to our original. Now I'm gonna go here and I'm going to choose the other options, synchronized track data with chord track first, analyze chords, apply a known cord. Your choices here basically come down to, is there a harmonic structure, a chord progression, or just a single chord? So if it's a single chord, then applying a known cord would be great. That's going to basically conform everything. Right? But if we were to go back to our original image, I'm going to switch this off and then go back to follow chord track. Analyze chords. In this situation, basically, you want to do this if what's in your midi clip here, what's in this case is in the Amazing Grace clip, really doesn't bear any resemblance at all to the court events in the chord track, right? So this is going to actually kind of migrate the two into each other, right? So now you have something like this. So you might want to just try out different options and see what you like. But I generally find that when I want to make a piano clip like this, follow the chords. I'll just switched chords. And I'll just say follow directly, or I'll say Synchronize and apply a known cord. But if it's a whole chord progression, I generally choose follow directly. I think that's why it's the default option. This way you get all the rhythmic elements, all the stylistic elements, but you are adhering to your chord track. So that is it for making Midea and external midi file follow a chord track. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about extracting chords from Mideast. Her making a chord track from some existing midi that is coming up in just a minute. 9. Extract a Chord Track: Now let's look at extracting chords for Midea. So we've looked at how can I take this Amazing Grace Midea, and how can I make it so that it follows the chord track. That's one way you can go. But what if I wanted to take this Midea and actually construct a chord track from it, right? So I don't, I don't really want to go through and figure out exactly what notes and chords are being played. I just want to have a chord check that follows it. So I can go that reverse direction. I'm going to hold down option, just copy this over here. I'm going to move my loop over here. So here we have an empty chord track, right? But I want to go ahead and extract it. Now, I am going to make sure that this Midea is selected. Go to my project menu, go down a chord track and create Chord Symbols. Now I generally leave everything unchecked here. For a short sample like this, I'm going to enable detect arpeggios. And that's going to basically facilitate coming up with a chord progression and hit Okay? And you're going to see actually that up here in the chord track, it populates it with courts. So what is that telling me now? It's telling me that it's seeing all of these chords present at different times. And what I generally like to do is go through and find what's happening on strong beats, right? So beats 1, 2, 3, 4. So I might get rid of the F sharp diminished their F-sharp minor. G7. Fine. Could quantize these, right? I'm going to go ahead and do that and get rid of these because they're not really on the strong beats. Right? Let's come over here, Right? Okay, that looks good. So what I have now is basically a chord progression that's based on the original Midea. And I'm just gonna go changes to beat so I can kind of quantized some of these here that are not right on the bead. The playing, I guess, you know, was just a little sloppy on the rhythm. And you get rid of that. I didn't need that there. Alright, so let's see. Now, if we were to mute this mini German do with the seven key. Now, of course there's nothing going there. If I monitor this track. I'm just getting the courts. Of course, this is going to work really well if I have both of them playing the same time. So that is how you can actually extract chords from a mini part, turn it into your chord track. Now in the next lesson, we want to look at how you can move these chords around. You may have a experienced similar to what I had when I first started working with these, which is, you can't move your chords to do a bar, meaning it only seems to let you set a chord at the top of the bar. I want to talk about that. But I'm also going to talk about a little bit of what I've learned as far as improving my workflow with these courts. Okay, so that's coming up in the next lesson. 10. Tips, Tricks & Workflow: All right, So if you have ever experienced this, you're going to appreciate the upcoming tips. Weight you want to write in coords to, to a bar. In other words, you don't want to just have C on the downbeat of bar one and g on the downbeat there, right? You actually want to have a different chord right here. So I maybe want to drag my g to beat three of bar three. So how do I do that? Well, the reason you can't do that is up here because you have your grid snap enabled. Or your grid type is set to bar instead of, let's say beat. So if I change that to beat, and I go ahead and enable this switch to the eight. Now I can set chords on the bars like that. Okay, so let's zoom out. I'm going to switch back to my arrow selector. And I'm going to change this chord, let's say to a D7. And I'm going to change this chord to an a minor seven. Now that's going to kind of make it a bit more interesting. I need to mute that and enable like that. Okay? So if you are having problems with trying to input your chords on beats other than the downbeat, make sure that your quantisation and your Snap to Grid options are set appropriately. Now a couple of other tips that I have, kind of I would, I would offer up because these are techniques that I've started to use a lot. One is to use the CTE track in conjunction with arpeggiator is which you've already seen me do. So if I've got here, they've got this cavern drop. We have an arpeggiator setup there. So instead of just having these impacts, right, you actually have an arpeggiated sound. Now, the Apache Sx tends to be good for starting complicated sequences. But sometimes they're a little heavy handed. I might want to change that, say sixteenths down to aids and see how that sounds. And there's a lot of effects going on there. If we were to open up this, this happens to be a sampler control, which you are sorry, a sampler track which you can see based on this little icon here in the corner of your track, that means is a sampler track. It's using this sample. Basically whatever note gets paid played. And so the a minor chord D7 quarter coming into the sampler track, being arpeggiated by our patchy Sx into notes, every eighth note. And it's reef firing. If we change the quantized two quarters, then it's going to fire every quarter note. Right? So that is just a great way to give a little bit of flavor and texture and interest to your track by using an arpeggiator quickly. Now, another tip that I have is actually to create multiple chord progressions. For example, if I were to go ahead and drag these chords down here, right? So I've got these chords all set up. So right now what I'm seeing is my, my jazz grand piano is playing C, a minor and D7. But, but since I've dragged them down here, they're kinda static, right? So what I can do now is I can actually change the chord progression. So I'm going to change this, let's say to an E minor chord. Change that to E minor. I'm going to change this a minor chord to C major chord. And I'm going to turn a minor into, oh, actually, I guess maybe I'll leave that as a C major chord as well. And then here for the f, I'm going to change a minor. So what's going to happen now is that we're going to have the original chord progression being played here by these midi events. But at the same time, since this has monitored and this is set up as use monitored tracks. This new chord progression is going to be layered over it. I'm going to be creating something called upper structures, where you actually have two triads being played at the same time. So let's see how that sounds. Now if we listened to that again, but without this monitor you'll hear that's the original. If it's monitored. It's a slightly different texture. So what's happening here is that I have cords from one progression in addition to chords from another progression happening at the same time. So in that way, you can actually create layered chord progressions if you know your theory and you know how triads can be stacked to create extended voicings. All right, so that's it for the chord track. Of course there is maybe more we can learn about it. But for the purposes of getting started making good music with the gourd jag, facilitating your workflow and optimizing your use of Cubase. You now know everything that you really need to know. In the next lesson, I'm going to wrap it up and I want to talk about what would make a good project. 11. Wrap-Up: At this point, you are familiar with all of the essential features of the CTE track. So you've learned how to actually set up the chord track, how to apply courts for different sections. How to use the CTE editor in the different modes and the gap modes to start assembling a good chord progression. Sometimes maybe getting suggestions, intelligence suggestions from Cubase. Other times, knowing exactly what you want to input and getting those chords laid out on your chord track. But in this final lesson, I want to suggest, in addition to just running through the lessons and making sure that you've followed through the demos. Try to actually set up your own chord track with some different sections in mind. So think about a minor chord progression of a major chord progression. If you don't know enough theory to put together different chord progressions and apply them to submit any loops. If you're not comfortable enough with music theory to start coming up with your own chord progressions. Look at the cadence mode inside the court editor, jot down some of the core progressions and then write them out using the regular court editor so that you can start hearing them. Make sure it's linked up with an instrument like a piano sound, just so that you can demo the cords coming out of your court jack, and make sure that you know how to configure everything correctly. And that the core progression that you're using is actually playing properly. When that's done, some bonus features that you want to look into is the live transform, for example, which we covered in this section. Try applying that using it with your own keyboard. Remember that you need to engage it on the track, and it doesn't matter whether or not you're playing the keyboard, for example, correctly, it's going to match the notes that you play to the chord track and alive, transform your input, your midi input, into something that matches the core jackets. Very exciting, very powerful feature. I suggest you explore, as well as conforming existing midi tracks to your core and tracked so that you are making sure that the chords in your parts are perfect match. Now if you have any questions, of course, please reach out to me. I'm more than happy to have a discussion about anything related to this course. You can also message me directly if you have a specific question that you don't want to share with the larger community. I appreciate you joining me in this course and I wish you the best of luck.