What are the best plugins available for helping me to write songs?
In an ideal world, we’d all have the songwriting prowess of Lennon and McCartney combined, but as we all know, we don’t live in that kind of creative utopia. So, software developers have stepped up, creating a range of tools that are designed to help you with your tune-crafting.
We’ve seen plenty of plugins of this type released over the past year or so; take Mixed In Key’s Captain suite, for example. This contains three plugins: Chords and Melody
help you to come up with – get this – chord progressions and melodies, while Deep handles basslines. The clever trick is that changes you make in the ‘master’ Chords plugin are reflected in the others, so when you use them all together, you’ve got a very useful virtual songwriting team at your disposal. Captain Plugins costs $79.
Next up there’s Plugin Boutique’s Scaler, which analyses an incoming MIDI note sequence and suggests chords that will fit it. You can choose specific genre and artist presets, and experiment with different chord voicings. Version 1.5, which was released recently, adds a Fretboard display and a strumming feature for guitar fans, and offers more flexible chord editing and creation features. Scaler can be yours for £40/$49.
Another one to keep an eye on is I2C8, a composing plugin from Re-Compose, who previously came up with the powerful Liquid Notes songwriting assistant. This portrays chords as symbols, and enables you to arrange them into sequences. You get suggestions on sequences, and you can tweak the sound of your chords in various ways.
Check out this issue’s plugin round-up on page 92 for more!