Using chord track correctly

I’ve tried for some time to learn how to use the chord track properly. But I can’t for the life of me, figure out how to use it. I’ve read the manual and watched some tips on youtube but I still don’t get it.

What I want to do:

I have created a piano strum on a midi channel (1 bar in length). The strum consists of two hands playing:
The left hand alternates between the root and the fifth.
The right hand plays an arpegiated pattern through four notes.

Eg. if the chord is a c minor 7 add 9 the left hand should play c - g while the right should play bflat-eflat-d-c (leaving out the fifth).

I want to hear different chord progressions played using that strum/pattern.
Is there any way to setup the chord track, så I can use that to hear different progressions?

I’ve tried many different settings, but they all seem to alter the pattern or do other strange things. E.g. On each chord I hear all notes played at the same time instead of just the strum I’ve made.

Btw. is there some sort of “strum-creator” in Cubase 7? Like the beat-designer or step designer but for other instruments like piano or guitar perhaps?

I have no answer but I too am interested in this; although I’m looking at it from a different tack… I wanna know what it’s useful for… ie. if you’re a ‘trained musician’ are there other benefits to it, or is it basically like an Autoharp or that button on old electronic organs, in that it just makes it easier to ‘play’ chords than having to learn them on the piano/guitar. Sincere question.


You probably should use a combination of techniques. The chord track won’t do any strumming, just play some basic chords.

You can then either drag those ‘basic chords’ to a midi track and to the the rest manually, by hand


setup a midi track using monitoring from the chord track, and experiment with midi plugins or other 3rd party plugins to start to add new characteristics to those source chords.

Use the chords to punch in the main chords and you’ll likely need to do some manual fine work for your specific needs.

There is also many other 3rd party plugins that do neat strumming tricks like some of the fine plugins by Sugarbytes Guitarist, for example.

I use it to quickly sketch out different progressions and try out various chord substitutions and alternatives. Once that’s settled I write out a real part with a midi editor. Additionally if you set the colors in the Key Editor to the Chord Track and are writing a melody for example it is visually easy to see which notes are in or out of the chord or scale.

Also I find it very useful as documentation. I used to use the notepad to write down my progressions, but now I use the chord track which is better since it aligns with the actual music. I’ve recently looked at some songs I wrote 20+ years ago on guitar where I only seemed to write down the lyrics and not the chords (apparently I thought I’d never forget, wrong, wrong, wrong) - over time I’ve come to appreciate the value of documentation. :wink:

Interesting. I also wanted a ‘lead sheet track’… ie. chord symbols and lyrics.



No real quick way to do this… still have to use a MIDI track and the Score Editor (which can also display the Chord Track). As for Lyrics, you’ll need to enter the corresponding notes (although their pitch is unimportant), add lyrics to them, then select all the notes, and, in Set Note Info, set them to “No Stem”, and set their note heads to blank (thus, completely invisible apart from their attached lyrics).

What I do is use it to make my chord progressions bigger and and more complex. There are options to add make chords fatter and add more notes. It’s incredible for pads and melodies. I just used it on a remix I’m doing and I wasn’t happy with the pad that supported the lead that I was given. I out the midi through chird track and bamb it Made it huge and awesome. I’m not a trained musician but I have learned on my own with some theory. I’m not amazing but chord track has given me an edge that I have been missing. Sometimes I feel like it’s cheating but hey my parents didn’t send me to piano lessons when I was a kid and for some reason I have a burning desire to produce music, so fuck it.

Limit 54

my parents didn’t send me to piano lessons when I was a kid and for some reason I have a burning desire to produce music, so knuf it.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

i use the “X” function to write in basic ryths (strums) eg set up grid t 8ths … typ your chords so .:
c c x c c c x c
1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a … is the counts to which the strum will be played back… for alternate bass line use another with the arpache …
hope this works for you

Yes I agree with beerbong. Drag those basic chords to a midi track and go from there. Don’t forget the Chorder which works differently. Tricky to use at the same time as chord track be careful.

Good luck…

I do the same thing. In fact my main template comes pre-populated with X chords on every 8th note.

Another approach I’ve played with is to take something that generates drum patterns (I used BFD, but Beat Designer and I suspect GA would work too) and route its midi out to a track that is set to have midi input follow the chord track (sorry not at my DAW to get the right terminology) and have it play a synth. You end up with the rhythm being played on chord notes. You can use drum maps & midi mods to pull the drum notes into a desired pitch range and also lengthen the note duration.

Fantastic idea which had crossed my mind also ! :smiley: