ChordMaps2 is a music app for iPad which allows musicians, songwriters, music educators, and students to explore and improvise chord progressions, melody lines, and bass lines in both major and minor keys, most of the time tapping with just one or two fingers.
The most powerful feature of ChordMaps2 is that the user can explore and play common chord progressions by touching chord locations on one of the "musical maps."
You can work with ChordMaps2 as a...
Songwriter - to explore melody lines, bass lines, and chord progressions when you are away from your guitar or keyboard.
Music Educator - to demonstrate principles of music theory, (including major and minor scales, diatonic and secondary chords, common chord progressions like IV-V-I, ii-V-I, I-vi-IV-V, I-V-vi-IV, etc.). You can also create spontaneous ear-training exercises, and explore melodic lines and chord progressions with students in an interactive environment.
MIDI Musician - to tap out chord sequences, which are then played by one or more of the synth apps on your iPad, or you can send the MIDI information out through a MIDI interface to a computer running a digital audio workstation (DAW) like GarageBand or Logic Pro.
How ChordMaps2 Works...
ChordMaps2 is a MIDI controller. It works by being paired with a synthesizer app that generates sound. (Example synth apps include ThumbJam, SampleTank, bs-16i, Nave, GarageBand by way of MidiBridge, iM1, Launchkey, SynthMaster and many more.) ChordMaps2 sends the MIDI signals: the synth app responds to the MIDI information and creates the audio signals.
ChordMaps2 allows you to explore, play, or improvise interesting musical phrases and progressions on the iPad, in both major and minor keys. The MIDI information sent out can be played on a variety of synthesizer apps, or, with an iOS midi interface, sent to software or hardware synths.
There are video and audio demonstrations at the ChordMaps2 website (click the Developer Website link in the left column or visit mugglinworks.com/ChordMaps2). The video shows the kinds of musical phrases that can be played with ChordMaps2.
Fixed visual display elements - When moving from map to map, some of the backgrounds were loading incorrectly.
Fixed visual display elements - Some of the smaller display elements were not locating correctly when the device was rotated.
Ratings and Reviews
Access to Harmony & Melody
It’s great to be able to have access to tools which have organized harmony/melody theory in such a practical way that you can access it and incorporate it into your music creation process so seamlessly.
All of the chords in the app can be accessed from one page. You can select various chords, set the octaves for bass, chords, melody, and accompaniment parts plus set their MIDI destinations in the app.
Even though you may have limited knowledge of music theory, you can still connect the app to whatever MIDI compatible apps or hardware you have and try any number of combinations out and record what is of interest to you as a MIDI track and/or audio track in the DAW of your choice. From there you can do further editing and always return to the app for further exploration at anytime in the process.
Wonderful, if a little overcrowded
I've enjoyed this app for years. When the new OS started giving warnings, I was worried the app would get updated. While I preferred the simpler interface, everything is all on one page now, but it also means using a stylus to press the correct sound. All things considered, I extremely pleased with this app. I even used it with KORG Gadget with no trouble.
DOES NOT Get along well with GarageBand
This app is harder to use with GarageBand ...I contacted the developer and he replied by saying “please also buy this other app” which is even more expensive ...
Other than that... it seems quite useful... and I hope it continues to develop... how about some dynamics based on tilt...
Developer Response ,
Yes, ChordMaps2 can be used with GarageBand, but it takes an extra step.
Because GarageBand doesn't "advertise" that it's available, an app is required that acts as a bridge, connecting the virtual midi output from ChordMaps2 to the virtual midi input of GarageBand.
Here are three "bridges" you can use to connect to GarageBand.
1 - The simplest and easiest way is a free app called FreEWI. After opening GarageBand, open FreEWI. Then open ChordMaps2 and connect to FreEWI on the ChordMaps2 info page. (Touch the name "FreEWI" and a checkmark will appear to the right. Also, you don't have to set anything in FreEWI. Just open it and let it run in the background.)
2. You can use an app called MidiFire. (ChordMaps2 can see MidiFire as a midi destination. In MidiFire, connect MidiFire's output to MidiFire's input. This creates a path for midi information that GarageBand can read.)
3 - You can use an app called MidiFlow. (In MidiFlow, under Select Source you can create a virtual midi input. Under Select Destination, you can create a virtual midi output. ChordMaps2 can send information to the virtual midi input, and GarageBand will then respond to the midi information coming from the output.)
Re: Other Midi Apps
ChordMaps2 acts as a midi controller. Any app that accepts midi information will respond if there is a path for the midi information to get through. In general, this is the usual setup.
1 - Make sure the midi app is running and you can hear sound when playing it.
2 - Make sure the midi app has "Background Audio" on. Some apps don't have this automatically enabled. It's usually an option that can be selected.
3 - See if the app is listed in the Destinations on the ChordMaps2 info page. If it is, touch the name of the app and a checkmark will appear to the right, indicating that midi information will be sent to that app.
4 - If the app doesn't appear in the list of Destinations, use one of the "midi bridge" options listed at the top of this discussion.
We hope you will enjoy exploring chord progressions with ChordMaps2.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.