MelodyBuilder is a tool to quickly try out chord progressions, find themes, motifes and create melodies and harmonies even if you do not know much about music theory. It’s easy to use once you understood the method this tool uses.
The main concept
You could call MelodyBuilder a sequencer, it’s very similar in its base functionality to programs like FruityLoops or Logic. The difference however is, in MelodyBuilder you do not arrange notes.
- You arrange chords in a sequence. These chords provide the notes that are ultimately played. E.g. drag&drop the A minor chord into your sequence and at this position the notes ACE will be played.
- You create so-called patterns that describe how the notes of a chord are played. For example, a pattern could be “first play the first note of whatever chord is currently used, on the next beat play the second note of the chord”.
Sounds complicated? In reality it’s pretty simple. All you need to remember is that chords tell the program what notes to play and patterns tell the program how to play a chord. You don’t have to understand why this works. It does.
How does it work in practice?
See a quick demo:
The MelodyBuilder interface
At it’s core MelodyBuilder has 4 key elements:
1. The sequencer: Here you build your song. Drag&drop chords into the sequence from the chord database, add instrument tracks and add patterns to the tracks that tell the instrument what to play.
2. The chord database: The chord database is, well, a database of chords. Select a scale (e.g. A minor) and then drag&drop the chords from there into your sequence. If you feel a bit lazy, switch to the “Progression presets” to find a database of predefined chord-progressions.
3. The pattern editor: The pattern editor is a piano roll where you can edit a pattern. The numbers in front of each row (e.g. “1-2”) indicate what note to play in which octave. “1-2” for example means: play the first chord note of the current chord in octave 2. “3-5” means: play the third chord note of whatever chord you are currently playing in octave 5.
4. The pattern list: To keep track of the pattern used in your song and to easily re-use them, the pattern list holds an overview of all patterns. Switch to the “Pattern presets” to access a large database of predefined presets, for example patterns that work well as bass lines or drum patterns.