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Four Chords

MIDI Generator

(14 Votes)
1.0 (Updated 6 years ago)
August 29, 2014
Reaktor 5 or lower
Instrument Sequencer


Four Chords was inspired by the song Four Chords by Axis of Awesome, which you can watch here:

It generates MIDI sequences that are surprisingly musical (in my opinion) for the simple set of rules that it uses. Four Chords does NOT produce sound, you must route the MIDI to another instrument.

The first 3 snapshots use the chord progression used in a staggering amount of pop music.

A video is available here, explaining all controls and features:

My recollection of music theory may be off and I did everything from memory so if you find mistakes with any scales or chords please let me know. If there are chords you would like to see added, please let me know the notes, I don't remember how to build 9th chords very well.

Four Chords was written in Reaktor 5.9 by salamanderanagram


Stephen Reid
4 years ago
This is great. Simple, elegant, with very musical results. Thanks!
Greg Killmaster
6 years ago
This is fantastic. I love your work. Such simplicity and as a result such controllable complexity!
Norman Maldonado
6 years ago
Amazing! I would like to know of I can add any chord that I like to make the progressions more advanced, thanks anyway!
6 years ago
Ouh - yeah!
6 years ago
Hey Kimmo, The way things are built, hard-wiring in new chords is actually pretty easy. It requires a few steps but they are all basically cut and paste operations. Note probability could be added... I'm also thinking of changing direction or choosing random notes to trigger. Many possibilities exist!
Kimmo Kivelä
6 years ago
Would be cool to add own chords there. Tom's midi mangler has some niceties... like "Note probability". I wish I could mix these two. Or move this chord thing into "Random molecules"!
6 years ago
Thanks Phil. For some reason the naming conventions start to really confuse me after 7th chords. I think I'll add some with octave jumps too, everybody loves that sound ;)
Phil Durrant
6 years ago
9th chords: D minor 9 is D, F, A, C, E. D 9 would have an F sharp. D Major 9 would also have a C Sharp. you can also have minor 7th chords with a flattened 9th - for D this would be E flat. Btw, your uploads and excellent video tutorials are always appreciated:)
S Bateman
6 years ago