Chordion update – new features for Olympia Noise Co’s brilliant MIDI performance app

Download from iTunes App Storechordion logoAs most regular Music App Blog readers will be aware, my keyboard skills are not going to win me any prizes. As a consequence, I’m always interested in the MIDI performance tools that appear and which exploit the iPad’s touchscreen interface to provide an alternative to piano keys (real or virtual) as a means of generating a MIDI performance.

There are a good few apps that fall into this category; Synthecaster, SoundPrism Pro+, ChordPolyPad and Gestrument, for example. However, perhaps my personal favourite has always been Olympia Noise Company’s Chordion. The app is perhaps one of the best examples of some clever design to exploit the strengths of the touchscreen and create a playable interface that musicians can use. It’s not as deep as something like ChordPolyPad but, equally, it is very easy to use and configure so, when you just need to bang out a few chord or chords plus a bass line or melody, Chordion will usually get the job done very quickly.

Chordion is a great tool for generating MIDI data.

Chordion is a great tool for generating MIDI data.

I did a full review of Chordion some time ago on the blog and there have been a number of minor updates since then most of which dealt with bug fixes and minor improvements. However, v.1.32 has been released today and this brings both some improvements to the MIDI implementation and, particularly useful, the ability to send Mod Wheel changes by moving your finger sideways on a key or chord hexagon pad. Having given this a go with a few of my favourite iOS synths, I have to say that it seems to work pretty well and it certainly provides an extra element you can add to your performance. It suspect it is perhaps a little easier to make use of on the full-size iPad screen (where the chord hexagons are a little larger) than it might be on an iPad mini (I don’t have a ‘mini’ to try it out on) but, even so, its a great option to have.

Incidentally, one of the earlier updates also added support for IAA. My iOS DAW of choice is generally Cubasis and, given that Chordion could always connect to Cubasis and send MIDI data to a Cubasis track, I’m not sure whether this really offers me any significant workflow advantages. However, things might be different if you are a Garageband user and want to control a virtual instrument using Chordion. I have not, as yet, delved deeply enough into how this might work (and the Chordion manual is due an update to include some of the newer features) but it would be an interesting possibility.

If, like me, your keyboard playing sucks but you want to be able to access the wonderful world of iOS synths, apps like Chordion are brilliant tools. It’s great to see developer Olympia Noise Co. keeping Chordion moving forwards. It’s easy to use and configure and, now with added ‘Mod Wheel’ control, even more fun. At UK£2.49, Chordion is an absolute bargain.



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    1. The app works just fine with midi out to GB. Try it with the classical grand piano under keyboards. In fact, It works great on all my apps.

      I was hoping this new release was going to include midi record. Oh well, guess I’ll have to wait a bit longer.

    2. Eric Linder says:

      I really like this app, but very disappointed that it neither sends or receives Midi clock. Is there any kind of workaround?

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