Chords

Chords play an important role not just in music in general, but particularly in the way your Woovebox generates notes and plays back your patterns. So much so that your Woovebox has a dedicated chord ('Cd') track.

A chord is a combination of musical notes played simultaneously. It creates a harmonious sound that adds depth and complexity to music.

A chord progression is the order in which chords are played in a piece of music. It's like a roadmap of the harmony in a song. Different chords can create different feelings and emotions, and by arranging them in a specific order, songwriters can guide the listener through a journey of different emotions.

As such, a great way to start off a Woovebox song (besides programming a rhythm), is to program 2 or more chords to create a chord progression.

More importantly for your Woovebox, chords set the tone for the rest of your song's other elements/tracks (such as basslines, melodies, arpeggios, paraphonic parts and even things like "ear candy" and effects). These elements can all be made to react and adapt to the chords being played in various musical ways, for example via the "FLW.C" ("follow chord") parameter on the "GLob" page of any non-chord tracks. It is one of the many ways, your Woovebox does more with less.

The chord track (1/Cd) is the only "special" track that works a little different to all the other (2/bs-16/A8) tracks. Whereas you normally record single notes, hits or sample triggers) to all the other tracks, the chord track records chords (e.g. multiple notes at once that sound harmonically interesting). The chord track is the only track that is truly polyphonic, meaning it is the only track that can play multiple, complex voices at the same time (your Woovebox is also capable of reproducing some limited paraphonic sounds per track - the chords these play are, however, informed by the 'Cd' track).

Unique to the chord track, rather than single notes, two sets ("types") of 7 chords are laid out across the 1-16 keyboard;

  • Press key 1, 2, 3, (but not 4), 5, 6, 7, 8 to hear the different chords at your disposal for chord type 1.
  • Press key 9, 10, 11, (but not 12), 13, 14, 15, 16 to hear the different chords at your disposal for chord type 2.
  • Key 4/CdHi and 12/CdLo cycle through the different types of chords available for chord type 1 and 2 respectively.

The following chord types can be laid out across the upper and/or lower parts of the keyboard;

  • 'MA; major (happy, simple) (3 notes)
  • 'Mi'; minor (sad, serious) (3 notes)
  • 's2'; suspended 2 (bright, nervous) (3 notes)
  • 's4' suspended 4 (bright, nervous) (3 notes)
  • 'au' augmented (anxious, suspenseful) (3 notes)
  • 'di' diminished (tense, unpleasant) (3 notes)
  • '7' major 7th (thoughtful, soft, "jazzy") (4 notes)
  • 'M7' minor 7th (moody, contemplative) (4 notes)
  • 'o7' dominant 7th (strong, restless, found in jazz and blues, as well as jazz-inspired r&b, hip hop, & EDM) (4 notes)
  • 'a7' augmented 7th (4 notes)
  • '7a' augmented major 7th (4 notes)
  • '75' augmented minor 7th (4 notes)
  • 'MM' minormajor 7th (4 notes)
  • 'd7' diminished 7 (4 notes)
  • 'dM' diminished major 7th (4 notes)
  • 'pw' power chord (2 notes)

As you can see, the maximum polyphony used up is four notes at a time by these chord types. For chords that use less than four notes at the same time, it is possible to specify what your patch should do with the "left over" notes. Specifically, it is possible to instruct the patch to play any "left over" notes at a lower octave via the 'bS.tr' (bass transpose) parameter under 4/Ar on the 'Glob' page.

It is also possible to make notes of the chord trigger in a slightly delayed fashion (aka a "strum") via the 'StrM' (chord strum) parameter under 7/hh on the 'GLob' page.

Please note that unless "free chord" ('FrE.C' under 4/Ar on in the Song's 'GLob' page) is set to 'yes' (firmware 2421+) , a chord's root note will always conform to the key/scale you chose for your song upon playback (you may still program an root note that does not fit the scale). For example, with the default C major scale, possible chord root notes are always the white keys of an imaginary piano (e.g. C, D, E, F, G, A, B) but not the black keys. Changing the root note of a chord by editing a step on the chord track, will always sound/play the closest "legal" note of your chosen key/scale/mode. So if you would, for example, choose a root note of C sharp for a song that is in the key of C major, your Woovebox will play a chord with a C root note (closest "legal" note for that scale), and not a C sharp (which is an "illegal" note for that scale).

(firmware 2435+) By holding a programmed step, the programmed chord - in addition to auditioning - will briefly be displayed in the top four characters of the screen.

The sixteen different chord types, all playing a C in the default scale of C major / A minor. Strumming and bass transpose (set to one octave lower) have been enabled.


Inversions

In music theory, a chord inversion refers to a chord where the notes are rearranged in a different order from the original chord. Or in laymen's terms; it's the same chord, but just sounds "different".

Chord inversions refer to the rearrangement of the notes in a chord so that a different note other than the root (the fundamental pitch of the chord) is the lowest sounding note.

For example, in a C major chord, the root is C and the other two notes are E and G. In the first inversion of this chord, E becomes the lowest sounding note and the arrangement of the notes is E-G-C. In the second inversion, G is the lowest sounding note and the arrangement is G-C-E.

Inversions allow for greater harmonic variety and can add more interest and tension to chord progressions in music. They can help turn a boring chord progression into a more interesting one.

You can give any programmed chord on the 'Cd' track a fixed inversion (or even an automated inversion!) by editing the 'Inv' parameter, e.g. on any programmed chord;

  • Hold step 1-16 until blinking
  • Cycle through parameters by pressing value to find the 'Inv' parameter
  • Turn value to select an inversion type

As with regular notes on other tracks, you can make these inversions conditional (for example, only play the inversion on every second playthrough of the chord progression, etc.).

The following inversions are at your disposal;

  • 'root'; no special inversion
  • '1st'; first inversion
  • '2nd'; second inversion (no effect if chord is a power 'pw' chord)
  • '3rd'; third inversion (no effect if a chord is a triad, e.g. only has three notes)
  • '1st.d'; first inversion, with chord transposed one octave down
  • '2nd.d'; second inversion, with chord transposed one octave down (no effect if chord is a power 'pw' chord)
  • '3rd.d'; third inversion, with chord transposed one octave down (no effect if a chord is a triad, e.g. only has three notes)
  • 'rand'; pick any of the above inversions at random
  • 'auto'; depending on playthrough, cycle through root, 1st, 2nd (if applicable), 3rd (if applicable), back down to 2nd (if applicable), 1st, root, 3rd one octave down (if applicable), 2nd one octave down (if applicable), 1st one octave down, back up to 2nd one octave down (if applicable), 3rd one octave down (if applicable), and repeat.
  • 'auto2'; cycle through root, 3rd one octave down (if applicable), 2nd one octave down (if applicable), 1st one octave down, back up to 2nd one octave down (if applicable), 3rd one octave down (if applicable), root, 1st, 2nd (if applicable), 3rd (if applicable), back down to 2nd (if applicable), 1st, and repeat.


Chord progression without inversions

A Gm-Dm-Fm-Cm chord progression in C, playing four times without inversions.


Chord progression with random inversions

A Gm-Dm-Fm-Cm chord progression in C, playing four times with each chord randomly inverted.


Popular chords

For some people, chords come naturally to them, and the Woovebox make easy to find a chord progression you like. There are no rules.

However, if this is all new to you, here are three progressions (assuming the default C major / A minor scale) that form the basis of many hit songs.


I-V-vi-IV ("Axis of Awesome")

In the key of C major, the I-V-vi-IV chord progression would consist of the following chords:

I - C major (C-E-G) V - G major (G-B-D) vi - A minor (A-C-E) IV - F major (F-A-C)

So the chord progression would be C-G-Am-F. This progression is a very popular and widely used chord progression in modern music, and is often referred to as the "Axis of Awesome" progression because it can be used to play dozens of popular songs.


vi-IV-I-V

In the key of C major, the vi-IV-I-V chord progression would consist of the following chords:

vi - A minor (A-C-E) IV - F major (F-A-C) I - C major (C-E-G) V - G major (G-B-D)

So the chord progression would be Am-F-C-G. This chord progression is also quite common and is often used in pop, rock, and folk music. It is a versatile progression that can be used in a variety of tempos and styles, and is often used as the basis for simple and catchy melodies.


i-bVII-bVI-V ("Andalusian Cadence")

Assuming a key of C major / A minor, the i-bVII-bVI-V chord progression would consist of the following chords:

i - A minor (A-C-E) bVII - G major (G-B-D) bVI - F major (F-A-C) V - E major (E-G#-B)

So the chord progression would be Am-G-F-E. This chord progression is often used in rock and pop music, and has a melancholy, moody feel to it that can be used to evoke emotion in a song. It can be played in a variety of tempos and styles, and has been used in a number of popular songs.


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