CodeFN42 has announced the release of Chordz, a freeware chord triggering/mapping MIDI utility in VST plugin format for Windows based host applications.
In a similar manner to the recently released Cales freeware plugin, Chordz is there to make the lives of beginner keyboard players somewhat easier. Whereas the aforementioned plugin is intended to map the MIDI keyboard to a single scale, the latest release from CodeFN42 maps individual MIDI keys to full chords. What this means is that you can trigger different chords with individual MIDI keys and play chord progressions with far less effort.
Besides helping beginner keyboard players to play their harmonies with ease, Chordz can also be an incredibly nifty tool for musicians who don’t have access to a full range MIDI controller (such as the portable nanoKEY2 controller or any similar mini keyboard). Since I often use a 25 key controller when playing live with my band (I just love being able to carry my entire setup in a single backpack!), it’s quite possible that Chordz will become a part of my live software toolkit in near future. Definitely looking forward to trying that! This plugin could also be an interesting option to consider if you have a MIDI drum pad or a Novation Launchpad type of controller.
Anyways, much like all of the other CodeFN42 releases to date, Chordz is a well crafted and highly polished VST plugin. It worked flawlessly during the test run on my laptop, without any hiccups and performance issues. It is available for Windows only, but will work in both 32-bit and 64-bit DAWs. The interface is well designed and easy to understand, without any unnecessary bloat.
Chordz is surprisingly versatile for being a chord mapping utility, giving the user a choice between several different play modes and types of setup. The so called “easy mode” makes it possible to play the chords in any scale using only the white keys on your MIDI keyboard, whereas the chord suggestion feature will suggest chords based on your choice of scale and root note. Chordz can also divide the MIDI keyboard into three separate zones, one for triggering the mapped chords and the other two for playing single notes. Imagine the performance boost this gives to a tiny 25-key MIDI keyboard! Awesome stuff.
The plugin comes with a factory bank of 40 different scale/chord templates and a chord library with more than 50 chord types. You can add an unlimited number of custom chords, as well as customize the preset chords using the on-screen controls. Users who work with virtual guitar instruments will love the start and end delay per note feature, which makes it possible to emulate guitar strumming. Finally, if you need help with setting up Chordz in your DAW of choice, take a look at the FAQ section on the CodeFN42 website.
Chordz is available for free download via CodeFN42 (4.9 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).