Chords to MIDI: how to maintain the 'narrow' inversions of the chords?

Hi there,

Is it possible to get the Chord Track to generate a MIDI track with the original ‘narrow’ inversions of the chords?

E.g.,I have a following chord sequence:
C/E -> Dm/F -> E7 -> Fmaj7.
I want to obtain MIDI events with the following chord inversions:
(E3-G3-C4) -> (F3-A3-D4) -> (E3-G#3-B3-D4), etc.

I tried experimenting with different voicing options of the Chord Track, but each time I ended up getting either ‘wide’ inversions (E1-G2-C3-G4, etc.) or chords in root positions (C3-E3-G3, etc.). Please take a look at the attached screenshots.

Try this and see if you find the results more acceptable.

  1. Turn off “Adaptive Voicing”
  2. Set Inversions by Hand from the Info Line.

Once the Inversions are set chords may be dragged to an instrument track or populated to a MIDI or Inst. Track with “Chords to MIDI.”

Another method that may give useful results is to use the Chords Tab in the Inspector of the MIDI Key Editor. Select chord tones and then transpose using the supplied voicing options. You may have ti first transpose down and then up an octave to get more closely spaced chords.

Try using the different Players and see if that gives you any more acceptable results.

(Chord Pads and Chord Track may have some issues in Version Pro 10 (https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=286&t=161763), but as far as I can tell, the basic functions are working).

Stephen57, thank you!

Setting inversions by hand in the Info Line seems to be the fastest way to get around the issue, but it’s still pretty time-consuming…

I hope Steinberg creates another Voicing option - in addition to ‘Basic’, ‘Piano’ and ‘Guitar’ - to enable narrow inversions of chords (triads and seventh chords that can be played by a single hand).

There are options to create additional “players” but, honestly, I’ve not explored that much. The Chord Track styles – Jazz Pop, etc. do sometimes suggest interesting sounds.

The inversions and voicing options in cubase are pretty good. It would be nice if more vocings were offered or if we could create our own.

If I think of any other useful ways to create closely spaced voicings, perhaps with the Logical Editor, I’ll post them for you.

Thank you, Stephen57!

I’m going to experiment with the Chord Track styles a bit more.
(The necessity for ‘narrow’ inversions arose because of the inability of The Orchestra (by Sonuscore) to interpret an ordinary sequence of a Chord Track correctly - it would engage only a few of the instruments available in a patch unless a ‘narrow’ inversion had been fed. I assume similar VSTis capable of creating automated orchestral harmony and rhythms will exhibit the same type of behavior).

In reading your reply, I"m wondering if you’ve used an Expression Map? I don’t know the VST you mention, but I’d check to see if any notes a “locked out” because those keys (notes) have been reserved for the Map. Usually Expression Maps are assigned to Keys way outside the usable range of the instrument, keys without assigned samples or sounds.

Not sure, but you may find it useful to Dissolve the Part by Pitch. Or, you can assign a Voice to each line… This is more complex, but look at that. In this case it may help. Cubase will also generate harmony voices and if you have a chord track, the harmonies are based on the chords.

IMHO, Cubase’s Chords, Scales, Vocings and Styles are pretty darn good. Not perfect, but good.

Sadly, there are some bugs too. For example, if you place chords on a chord track, add a transpose track and a transposition point (or points), when playing back the sequence of chords in a loop, the second time the loop plays, the chords do not Transpose. The Transposition will work if you have MIDI on the tracks and are not using the Chord Track to playback the chords.

BUT, if you want to experiment with different chords and just use the Chord Track for playback, Cubase won’t play the Transposition in Loop on the Second Pass. It works if you stop and re-start, but in Loop, the chords do not transpose. IMHO, this is a bug. Anyway, that’s really off topic, but here’s a screen shot to illustrate. So, if you start to work with a Chord Track and Transpose Track BOLO for this issue.


Good luck with your work. :slight_smile:

If your goal is to end up with all the chord notes within a specific range an alternative approach might be using the Logical Editor after the chords are created to limit the pitch range. For example create two LE Presets. One takes any note above a certain pitch and drops it an octave and the other raises any note below a different pitch by an octave. Build a macro to run one and then the other and assign that to a Key Command.

There might be a more elegant way to do this, but the above should work unless you are getting notes more than an octave out of the desired range.

Raino, thanks for this piece of advice. A pretty straightforward solution.