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Mozaic Beats AutoTheory review at Sound on Sound

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If you want to create convincing keyboard parts but don’t have the playing chops, AutoTheory might save your bacon.
Many of us are not blessed with stellar keyboard skills. I include myself in this category: I can get a half-decent tune out of a guitar, but when it comes to the piano keyboard, I’m far less fluent. As well as having led me to try almost every MIDI guitar system ever invented (they are always interesting and frustrating in equal measure), it has also meant that I’m a keen student of other tools that can assist me in creating MIDI performances in my DAW/sequencer projects.
A new option on this front is Mozaic Beats’ AutoTheory software. Available for both Windows and OS X, AutoTheory sits between your MIDI keyboard and your sequencer and, with a little pre-configuration, can allow you to play complex chord sequences with a single finger, or constrain your melody playing to notes within a chosen chord or key/scale combination.

The Theory Behind AutoTheory

Mozaic Beats describe AutoTheory as an “open arpeggiation system”, and it has two main functions. First, to the left of a MIDI keyboard split point, you can map a set of chords for the currently selected key and then play any of these full chords simply by pressing the appropriate single MIDI key. Second, on the other (right-hand/high-pitch) side of the keyboard split, the software automatically adjusts the notes mapped to your keys so that they are confined to those available either within the currently triggered chord or an associated scale. Within this zone, the note generated by a particular key changes as you trigger different chords.

In practice, what this means is that you can leave the fingers of your right hand poised over the same five keys on your MIDI keyboard and, based on the chord you trigger with a single finger of your left hand, whichever notes you hit with your right will be harmonically ‘correct’ given the current chord. No more fluffed chords and no more out-of-key melody notes. And this is, of course, where the “open arpeggiation system” concept comes from, as you could play an identical finger pattern with your right hand but the MIDI notes generated would change in response to the chords your left hand triggers. The end result will be a perfect arpeggio pattern from your right-hand playing. You can, of course, vary your right-hand note pattern to vary the nature of the arpeggio.


Original source: Sound on Sound


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