Working With The Chord Track
For those of you who may not be aware, The Chord Track is a really killer new feature that was added in Studio One 4. Essentially it allows users to "Map Out" their entire song as a harmonic roadmap - quite similar to what one would do with Markers or The Arranger Track. It then becomes a visual indication of the chord changes that make up your song.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg! Essentially, based on each tracks individual settings, it has the ability to non-destructively alter both Audio Tracks/Events & Instrument Parts in your whole entire song to play perfectly against your chords as defined in The Chord Track. There are obviously some limitations here based on the complexity of the chords being used, but in general it does a great job.
I recently did a video showing some basic work-flow concepts of working with The Chord Track, and how it can be used in a standard production workflow. Long story short, one of the comments that came up was, "How would one go about rendering the changes made by The Chord Track into the actual Instrument Parts?" The reason this question came up is because of the way The Chord Track was designed to work.
Non-Destructive vs Destructive
When working in a DAW, you will most likely hear the above 2 terms being thrown around when speaking to various different work-flows. Let me just get this out of the way and say that in my opinion, there is definitely room for both. As for their meaning, well that's pretty self explanatory.
Destructive would be anything where the results of a process (or action) are rendered into an actual file, where as the opposite can be said for non-destructive.
How This Relates To The Chord Track
According to PreSonus, The Chord Track was mainly designed (but not at all limited) for use in song writing / song production. Hence, their approach was to have the entire process be non-destructive as evident by the ability to toggle the Global "Follow" mode on or off as needed.
But let's break this down for a second. Once you have the results you're looking for, why leave this in a temporary state? If you're happy, then why not commit and render those changes into the file?
This was one of the things that entered my mind when working with The Chord Track, but all the usual approaches that I expected to "work" for rendering did not seem to do the trick. But - there is a way to do it!
In this video, I demonstrate how to go about rendering any changes that were made by The Chord Track into Instrument Parts (otherwise known as MIDI Events) In Studio One 4.
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