Convert chord progressions into one chord

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if there is a way to convert chord progressions into one chord. Why?

Because I have an arranger keyboard. When I create styles, I do so in one chord and then when I play live, my left hand will change the chord as I play with the right hand.

I have the Korg Pa4x. It has a nice converter and slices the parts into different buttons (Intro 1, Variation 1,2,3,4, Fill 1, Ending 1, etc.). The chord conversion is great but putting the parts where it supposed to, not so great. It also has a feature that puts it where I want unless I do it in a DAW whew I use markers (i1cv1 = Intro 1 Chord Variation 1, etc…), but it doesn’t convert the chord progressions into one chord.

So I’m looking for a way to convert the whole song (in Midi) into one chord and then use the markers so that I can use the later feature in the Pa4x. There are ways around that but it is too time consuming, therefore not practical.

I hope I make sense. If anyone has anything, please post.

Thanks in advance.

What exactly do you mean by this? By definition a progression consists multiple chords. Do you mean that if you have a C-F-G progression you want a single chord that contains the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B?

Can you provide a before & after example of what you are looking for?

When you play on an arranger keyboard, and you choose a style, let’s say, reggae, the beat , the bass, the guitar, all the accompaniments will be played at the same time, right. The keyboard is split into two. The left side will scan for finger placement. If you press C then the chord will change to C major. If you press C and Eb then the music changes to Cminor and so on. And the right side will play solos or what ever you want that goes with the chord.

Now using a Professional Arranger Keyboard (I have the Korg Pa4x), you are able to create your own style. You enter Style record mode and then on button Variation 1 you will program the beat, the bass, the guitar, etc. But you do it in one chord. I do it in C major. Once saved, I can then manipulate the chord live and do my own chord progressions.

There is a feature that automatically change a midi file with complete chord progressions into a Cmajor chord progression, so that you can use the style to reproduce it live. But it doesn’t put the intro where it’s supposed to be. SO I was wondering, since I know the codes to enter in the marker for the right sections, if Cubase had a way to convert a whole song into one chord. Or maybe there is a plug-in somewhere…

See, if a song in the major scale has the following chord progression C F G F C, then My bass on a style recording mode will be C C C C C. Once saved I will play live C F G F C. The benefit of converting to one chord is that if the singer makes a mistake, or changes to another song on the same style, I can just press the appropriate chord.

SO if a song as FGA and I want to record in C (style record mode), I would do within that one measure CDE… but a converter can do that quickly without re-recording for use in style mode.

I hope I’m not confusing you more.


Yeah that kinda did make it… well if not more confusing, certainly not less.

I still have no idea what you mean by “convert a whole song into one chord”. Say you have a simple chord progression that goes C-F-G-C, just once - that’s it. What would the “one chord” for this look like? You want to take a progression in Cubase and have it generate an output that is suitable to use as an input for your keyboard. I don’t need to understand how the keyboard uses that output (although you do), I just need a good description of that output looks like. Is it a midi file? If so, specifically what does it contain?

Are you saying you want a midi track to have one chord repeating, according to your rhythmic style you created?

Yes SteveInChicago,

I can take a whole production in MIDI and convert it to one chord so that I can play in in my arranger. One chord, so that I can produce different chord progressions (or the same) live. I can manipulate better.

See, a person can sing to a playback, but he/she cannot repeat the chorus if it’s not supposed to be repeated on the song, otherwise when the song is playing a verse, the lead singer would still be on the chorus. When you are playing live, you compensate based on the crowd, you may sing something else and then back to the original programming.

That’s why it’s important to have that one chord conversion, to eliminate any limitations. :slight_smile:

Raino, I will upload 2 small midi files, 1 being converted into that one chord, sometimes this weekend or Monday, so you get an idea.

Sorry about the confusion and thank you for your participation :slight_smile:

Doesn’t that mean you simply need to transpose all the midi notes to the notes in the chord? Like c, e, g, b, so you have 1,3,5,7?

Ahhh, good clarifying question Steve. So a C-F-G-C progression ends up being C-C-C-C. I was reading the OP as wanting to end up with one single chord to represent a progression. Instead they want to end up with the same number of chords that are in the original, except they are all converted to the same chord value.

Probably the simplest way is you’d have your starting progression on an Instrument (or MIDI) Track (or a copy on a track if you wanted to preserve the original). Then add a Chord Track with a single C Chord Event at the start. In the Instrument Track’s Inspector on the Chord Tab set the Follow Chord Track to Chord.

In case the OP is talking about midi and not chord track chords:

Using the context filter in the Logical Editor to select notes in their vertical order in chords (where 0 (zero) is the lowest) will allow you to select and transpose notes to where they need to be. The L.E. sees a chord as notes that start within a few ticks of each other, so if that’s how things are it’s easy.

But I imagine it’s not that simple. If you can be very specific, maybe I can give you some more ideas on how to get this happening without too much hassle.

I was out for a while…

Thank you all for your help

Measure 1 = FGA (F major Chord)
Measure 2 = F Bb D (Bb Major 2nd inversion)
Measure 3 = F maj chord (root)
Measure 4 = C maj chord (2nd inversion) then back to Measure 1

Conversion (all in C major chord)
Measure 1 = CDE
Measure 2 = GCD (C major chord 2nd inversion)
Measure 3 = C Maj chord (root)
Measure 4 = C maj chord (2nd inversion) then back to measure 1

So it cannot all be C maj chord root

If the conversion goes right then when I change the chord live in the arranger it will sound the same as the very first example, because it has been setup as the second example.

The chord track might wrongfully convert it, but I haven’t tried it yet. I watched videos about the chord track but I never used it in making music on Cubase.

I need to know more about the logical editor.

But if there was an arranger conversion type plug-in, this would be amazing.

Thanks again everyone.

Yes the Follow Chord Track should do what you want. In the post above I suggested just putting a single C chord at the start of the Track. Don’t do that. Instead insert a C Maj Chord Event on each of the 4 measures and make sure to change the bass note so you get the inversion you want (e.g. C/G on bar 2). Also in the Chord Track’s Inspector you’ll probably get the best results if you set the Voicing to Basic (but it’s probably worth some experimenting to see what you like). Then when you set your existing midi data to follow the Chord Track they’ll all be converted to C chords in the desired inversions.

Steve, it seems like the Logical Editor should be useful for this, but I can’t think of a clean way to do it. The problem is that on each bar the distance the bass note, etc. needs to move is going to vary depending on if it is a I, IV etc. chord & also the inversion. The 0 position notes in each chord will need to move a different number half-steps from the other chords.

Look at the other Context filters in the LE. You can select specific intervals as well. It would take less time for you to explore than to explain.

Also, there are chord and transpose tools in the key editor, to control inversions etc. Best thing would be to explore these tools in Cubase for your specialized use-case.

That said, I think it would take less time to just transpose them individually.

Actually the Context Filters don’t solve the need to transpose by different values depending on the measure. In bar 1 of the example you’d want to lower everything by 5 semitones but in bar 2 raise them by 2. Being able to select the 5th in the chord doesn’t really help that situation.

However I did figure out a way to simplify using the Chord Track to do it. As is often the case the instructions are longer than actually doing it.

  1. Open the existing MIDI Part in the Key Editor
  2. In the editor’s Inspector select Create Chord Symbols. In the dialog box make sure to check the boxes to include both Bass notes & Tensions (I think there is a bug because just selecting Bass alone doesn’t result in /bass-note).
  3. Now you’ll have Chord Events for what was previously played and recorded.
  4. You could just go through these Chord Events one-by-one and change the Root to C in the Info Line. But instead select all the Chord Events and hold down the ctrl key while changing the Root value to C. This will set them all to the same value.
  5. Select the Track with the MIDI data on it & in its Inspector set Follow Chord Track to Chord. Now all the original chords will be converted to C chords.
  6. That should be the end of it, but in some cases the bass note in a chord ends up an octave lower than it should. To clean these up select all the wayward notes and shift+up-arrow them to raise them an octave.

Automatic voicings on or off?

I tried it both ways and the results were the same. But my test case was pretty simple & it might matter with something more complex (or not).

Also looking more closely at the wayward bass notes - they seem to be lowered to avoid voice crossing when the chord before or after was in a lower register. Since setting all the chords to C pretty much messes up any voice leading that existed in the original the need to do some clean up by hand is likely inevitable.

Considering that he’s using chords like Fmaj add9 No5 this won’t work. Also, Cubase doesn’t understand a chord without a 3rd, and that will be run into at some point.

It could be possible to create complex LE presets to do this, by filtering for which octave notes are in, etc., etc., etc., but really, Cubase is not the tool for this kind of thing.

The chord editing tools in the Score and Key editors are good for this though, and a person could get very quick using them for this.

Good points.

I wonder if there are any stand alone tools that will do what the OP wants? Google is you friend…