Need help with Meander; follow chord progression from external melody

hello, i love this module but to dive into and create some own ideas is not the easy way :slight_smile: perhaps the reason for this is “i am a newbie here”. my simple problem: i want to let meanders chord progressions follow my melody from a midi keyboard, or sequencer or anything else. the chords should be in harmony with the melody note. every time i play a note, the chord progression should go a step forward. Not clocked!

is it possible? here is my current patch.

meander test.vcv (2.4 KB)

any ideas? Karl

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Hello Karl. I am the Meander developer. Meander probably cannot do exactly what you want, but there are a couple of things you can play around with. Both the circle of 5ths “degrees” I-VII and the melodic intervals 1-7th can be sent from your MIDI keyboard. Send the keyboard v/oct to the inner circle “In 1V/DEG” input or the melody section “1V/DEG” input. Send the keyboard gate signal to the inner circle “In -GATE” or to the melody section “GATE” input. When you play the white keys on the keyboard, the 7 keys in an octave are interpreted such that C=I, D=II,…, B=VII for the harmony chords or C=1st, D=2nd, …, B=7th for a melody note.

The actual representation is via an octal radix “decimal” voltage as DEGREE.OCTAVE .

This is not what you want to do, but, these two control formats are the only thing that Meander supports.

You may want to try some of the melody harmonizer modules made by other developers. Someone else can probably point you to the harmonizers as I have forgotten which ones I was working with recently. If no one else chimes in here, I will try to remember which harmonizer I last worked with.

I’m glad you like my Meander module.


I noticed after replying that you are already using Meander’s melodic interval (degree) octal radix control.

Here is the harmonizer topic that may be of interest to you.

Here is the specific harmonizer I was thinking of:

Here are a couple of patches I made back in February using Foristan Modulare Interea with Meander. In these cases I harnonized a chord to a bass note and to a chord tonic note. I think this probably only works in Cmaj.

Forsitan Interea Chords Test-1.vcv (15.1 KB)

Forsitan Interea Chords Test-2.vcv (15.2 KB)

hello, it is amazing, what is possible!! though i do not understand every detail of the provided patches.

sorry for the delay, but i have to carefully understand every module that is used from others to fit my needs. i search in the forum for different ideas.

i have some questions about your two patches, btw i can hear them for a time and it does not get bored :slight_smile: thank you for that.

  1. in patchnr 2 how do you control the step tempo from meander? i can not see a connection between the bpm and the stepspeed.
  2. i can not find a description for the time sig bottom and time sig up fields in the meander manual. what is the use for these two knobs?

cheers karl

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Which “stepspeed” are you referring to? If you are referring to the step speed in the AH ARP3.1, that module is driven by a X4 clock from CLOCKED. That same X4 clock goes into the BGA ASSIGN GATE which gets distributed to the FM-OP GATE polyphonically along with the V/OCT from ASSIGN polyphonically.

If you are referring to the Interea chord step, that happens automatically when the Interea V/O input changes. But, Meander is sending its harmony part gate output to the FM-OP This method is bascally overriding the Meander generated chords with a harmonized chord based on the Meander chord tonic channel note, but using Meander’s chord gate.

Blockquote i can not find a description for the time sig bottom and time sig up fields in the meander manual. what is the use for these two knobs?

The Meander time signature top and bottom are in western music standard practice format. The bottom tells which note gets full count which is a 1/4 in this case and the top tells how many beats per measure there are, or 4 in this case. CLOCKED is supplying the BPM into to Meander as well as supplying the 8X clock input to Meander.

By golly, you are right that I never define the time signature top and bottom in the manual. See:

If I didn’t understand your questions correctly, feel free to ask again.

By the way, Meander is a generative music composer and sequencer. It uses fractal Brownian motion pseudo-randomness to continually vary the harmony chord voices as well as the melody, while staying in the key.

Which “stepspeed” are you referring to? I mean the steps on left of meanders circle of fifth. There are twelve step lights on and they step through chords. But which is the trigger source ? The step input is not connected, so as far as i understand, it should be the clock. But it is slower. Hope it is clearer now, what i mean.

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Oh, okay. Meander does its own internal stepping that depends on the tempo and beats per measure and beat note length. In general, the column of progression steps are intended to indicate the current progression step. These lit buttons can be used in creating a custom chord progression. The manual has details on how to create a custom progression, but, this should be considered an advanced topic.

There are several user actions which will disable the Meander “Harmony Chords Enable” button and state. For example, if you click on any circle of 5ths buttons in the RGB annular ring, Meander will play that chord immediately as well of pass that chord on to the Melody and Bass engines, with everything corresponding to the current “Mode” and “Root”, which defines the current heptatonic diatonic scale or “key”. This can be useful for working out a chord progression as well as as a circle of 5ths learning tool, to understand how harmony is built in each of the 84 modes and roots and for each, which chords are played as major, minor and diminished per standard music practice.

Note, after manually playing with the circle steps, you need to re-enable the “Harmony Chords Enable” button and state. But, while harmony is disabled, clicking on the interior “STEP” button or by sending a trigger to the STEP input port will cause the current progression to advance by one step.

Remember that Meander needs to be fed an 8X clock if external clocking is desired. The speed at which the chord progression steps is dependent on the Meander “BPM” tempo knob or input, as well as upon the time signature top and bottom numbers. Until you understand time signatures, it is best to leave this set at 4/4 time.

Almost every parameter in Meander can be controlled via CV but no input is required if you just want to let Meander handle everything via internal clock.

Here is a screen grab of a setup that will allow you to play a melody on keyboard and the patch will harmonize a chord to the played note and will use that chord in the arpeggiator and play the chord root or tonic as the bass note.

Super! thank you, i will try to patch it and come back here. one last question regarding your provided patch “Forsitan Interea Chords Test-1.vcv”: could you pls explain the use of the module assign from bga? i read the manual, but do not understand it :frowning:

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oh and i read a bit about time signatures. now it is much clearer.

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I feed a serial sequence of v/oct and gates monophonically and set ASSIGN to how many notes I want to ring out simultaneously and and run those polyphonic outs to a voice that can handle polyphonic input, such as FM-OP. I typically set the number of channels to 2 or 3 so that the most recent 2 or 3 notes will continue ringing per the FM-OP envelope settings until the next notes come along.

ok, i patched Four-Key to the output of Assign and for me it seems, that the notes played like a kind of shift register, right? If i change bga assign to use two voices, then the last two notes are played, like you described. But i thought, that the notes from the input are serialized, so that every second clock the two notes are played. But it works different, now i see. thank you.

now i try to make the melody line a bit varied, but until now nothing changed. i change the variability knob or the time signature of the notes, but nothing changed. will check further on and read the manual again.

i just managed it to patch your picture above. but one cable is missing here. where is the gate from the bga assign right to the arp3.1 connected? the cable goes left above out of the picture. sorry that i ask again…

Here is my patch file for the image I posted" Forsitan Interea Chords Test-3.vcv (15.3 KB)

Of course there are many ways to arrange a patch. Mine may not be what you are looking for, but it is what it is.

This patch is a bit absurd. It does not make much sense for Meander to be in the patch. ALL Meander is doing is sending the bass note gate to he next patch row FM-OP gate but the actual bass note played is determined by you playing a melody on the keyboard. So, you could change the CLOCKED CLK1 to /4 and run that to the bass FM-OP gate and achieve the same thing without Meander being present.

Here is the patch without Meander: Forsitan Interea Chords Test-4.vcv (14.4 KB)

So, this is really just demonstrating one way to play melody notes on the keyboard and have Insterea harmonize a chord, play the chord, arpeggiate the chord, extract the chord tonic and play that as the bass note on a /4 clock.

We have enough modules in Rack that virtually anything is possible if the patch is logically correct and coherent. But, doing such is no easy task. I mix Meander with a lot of other modules and let them work cooperatively, but each such case is a challenge for me, even though I developed Meander and have been doing modular for 50 years.

I hope this helps.

yes thank you for all your patience. i will walk further on into testing, playing, reading. just find a patch from you in another thread to play with.

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