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Create Awesome Chord Progressions with this FREE MIDI Rack

Hey guys!

In this article I'm going to show you how to use my chord generator rack. It can be downloaded for free here. It's an Ableton Live 10 MIDI device.

The Chord Generator is a MIDI effect rack which transforms single MIDI notes into chords. It can be useful for playing chords if you don't have the skills to play the piano.

How to use the PML Chord Generator

First, you need to place it on the left of your MIDI device (piano, synth, whatever).

ableton live 10 chord generator

Then, all you need to do is press keys on your keyboard from A to L, or just the white keys on a MIDI keyboard. That’s going to generate MIDI notes. When you turn on the generator it's gonna transform the notes you play into chords.


See this article on "How to sample the kick from any track"


"Major / Minor" Switch

If we turn the first „major/minor” switch all the way up, we're gonna create a minor chord progressions instead of a major. We still can press just the white keys. The generator is going to do the transposition work, so that you’re always in C major or C minor, depending on the first knob’s position.

ableton live 10 chord generator

Let's go through all the other knobs we have here:

The "Drop Bass" Knob

The „drop bass” knob, for example, sounds really cool to me. When we turn this all the way up, it’s gonna play a bass note one octave lower from the root. It's pretty simple.

how to make chord in ableton live 10

See the video on the Chord Generator:


The „Triad-7-9-11/13” knob

It may look confusing. Here you can choose the extensions of your chord - for example if it's all the way down (at 0), then we're playing just the basic triad. If we go to „1”, we're playing a 7th chord. It works in both major minor keys, and the other extensions work exactly the same. If we go to „2”, we're playing the triad, the 7th and the 9th. If we go to „3”, we are playing the triad, 7th, 9th and 11th. Here’s a C major chord with a 7th note on top:

7th chord ableton live 1

The „3” position lets you add 11th or 13th extensions. You can switch between 11th and 13th by using the „11/13 Selector” knob.










See this article on "How to create a synth in 10 steps with Ableton Live Racks" 


The "Rootless" knob

chord ableton live 10The „Rootless" knob does exactly what it says - it creates a rootless chord. If we turn this all the way up while playing C, there's going to be no „root” in our C Major - the C note is going to stop playing. It's useful, because sometimes you don't want to double the the root if you're already playing it with the bass.


The „Rootless” knob is especially useful when using the „Drop” knobs on the right. These knobs lower the extensions by an octave. For example - if I’m playing C with a 7th, and I want to drop the 7th extension by an octave, I turn the „Drop 7th” knob all the way up. It works exactly the same way with „Drop 9th” and „Drop 11th/13th”.

Here’s C Major with Drop Bass, a dropped 7th extension, played rootless:

pml chord generator free download

Thanks for checking out this article! I hope you’re going to have fun with the generator. Stay tuned for more freebies and check out our courses information below.

Make sure to download the generator from our freebies section! :)

Author: k-pizza

I’m a music maker who likes to share his experiences with other producers. I regularly  show up with tutorials, articles & project files at PML.

Skype lessons with me: http://bit.ly/pml_s_one2one


Check out our "Harmony and Chord Progressions" Online Course 

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