January 29, 2013 in Music (E)
[prMac.com] Rochester, New York - When preparing accompaniment for a song or Jazz standard guitarists and keyboard players often resort to a handful of go-to voicings. While there is nothing particularly wrong with that, in the end there can be too much similarity between different pieces and harmony is often created without any consideration for the melody. Simple chord look-up tables or applications are not much help because essential information is missing. What if for continuity a Drop-2 voicing is needed for an entire B section? And then there is four-part harmony to consider where look-up books with diagrams fail completely as they only generate 5 part or even 6 part voicings for 9, 13 or more complex chords.
ChordLab works differently and involves the player in qualitative decision making right from the start. Instead of indiscriminately presenting two or three diagrams per given chord symbol, a base chord is generated via chord picker, automatically spelled with the necessary accidentals and displayed in music notation - 4-part harmony already applied. At this time it can be put through inversions and most common (and not so common) voicings to taste and melody notes can be matched if so desired. This allows for much better understanding of the underlying harmony and is invaluable for any kind of voice-leading.
Version 3.0 adds many graphic and important functional features to the application. On the surface it has been updated with all new high resolution graphics for full support of Retina capable iPads. There is a new middle-c indicator in the piano instrument and guitar frets are now individually marked with position numerals. Gum drops indicating chord tones in ChordLab's instrument views now also display the note name and are visually separated from non-voicing chord tones to a much higher degree (non-voicing chord tones can still be hidden completely if so desired).
The top left corner of the display has gained additional touch functionality in version 3.0. The chord rating display can now be used to change a rating directly just by dragging a finger over it and tapping on the chord symbol itself produces the new history table. Every time a chord is picked, ChordLab HD now takes note and updates its internal history. Tapping any row in the history table brings up the selected chord while not creating additional history. This allows to step back and audition chords previously selected and even rate them. Ratings in the history table are live draggable which makes the history table a great tool to batch edit ratings.
Guitarists will find a welcome new addition in the new tunings window available in ChordLab 3.0. In addition to the custom setting that was available in prior versions the new tunings dialog offers all alternate and open tunings as additional presets that do not affect the stored custom setting. With so many guitar processors offering virtual tunings in patches, being able to quickly switch tunings in an application like ChordLab becomes a true life-saver. All tuning changes are now reflected live in the guitar instrument.
Another added feature for the guitar instrument is the new alternate fingering table located centrally in the application's toolbar when in guitar mode. Alternate fingerings make the guitar a difficult but on the other hand also much more capable instrument. For many chords there are 3, 4 or even more alternate locations to play the exact same voicing. Where prior versions of ChordLab merely indicated the existence of alternate fingerings with semi-transparent arrows, ChordLab HD 3.0 adds a toolbar button that shows exactly how many alternates there are. When tapped the button reveals a table with Roman numerals indicating the exact positions of these fingerings and tapping a row updates the instrument display to that location.
ChordLab addresses the needs of a somewhat advanced audience with a sharp focus on elementary areas like chord spelling, voice leading, four-part reduction and similar topics that are so essential to many modern music styles. By simultaneously addressing both main harmony instruments in modern music it also becomes an invaluable tool to the composer/arranger of today that needs to evaluate the playability of certain voicings. In short, ChordLab goes far beyond the generic chord app that only aims to show a diagram or two. While providing valuable fingering information - albeit in a context firmly based in theory - with its included interactive circle of fifths, chord finder, rating system, history, tunings adaptation and so many other features, ChordLab is the one harmony tool one finds oneself coming back to again and again.
* chord spelling for all common chords
* music notation and textual representation of chord tones
* chord finder finds correct chord descriptions for triads and seventh chords
* alto, bass, tenor, treble clefs, TAB and grand staff
* all possible inversions
* all standard voicings
* virtual piano and guitar instruments
* chord tone labelling in instrument views
* all common open and alternate tunings presets (guitar)
* alternate fingerings popup menu (guitar)
* history view
* chord rating
* automatic reduction to 3 or 4 voices
* automatic root and fifth substitution
* key signatures for all major modes (circle of fifths)
* degree structure in Roman numerals for all major modes (circle of fifths)
* support for left-handed players
* high quality guitar and piano samples
* European and American chord notation
* arpeggiated and block chord playback
* support for sound libraries
* high resolution graphics for Retina(R)
* academic discounts available
* localized into Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
* iOS 4.3 or later
* 24.9 MB RAM
Pricing and Availability:
ChordLab HD costs $9.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the music and education categories. Educational discounts as well as a limited number of teacher copies are available.
RoGame Software is located in Rochester, NY and provides quality software for iOS and Mac OS X systems. All Material and Software (C) 2012 RoGame Software / All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.