I reviewed Navichord here on the Music App Blog back in September 2014. The original release was designed to do one job – it allowed the user to explore chord structures and progressions and possible melodic association – but the design is so simple and elegant that, even though it was (at that stage) more of an educational tool or idea pad, rather than an actual musical instrument, it is a pleasure to use.
The first major update – taking the app to v.1.1 – turned the app into a ‘MIDI performance app’, with MIDI out being the key new feature turning Navichord into rather a nice MIDI performance tool for creating MIDI data to drive other iOS synths or to send to a DAW/sequencer for recording.
Further updates came in a bit of a flurry and, in February last year, v.2.0 arrived bringing a new chord pad system, chord presets, new internal sounds, a metronome, a sequencer for use with the chord pads, Ableton Link and MIDI input options. More recently, v.2.5.0 bought another round of routine bug fixes, a new preset system, Audiobus State Saving, improved pad editing (making it easier to configure Navichord), MIDI Clock support and new colour themes.
A further update arrived on the App Store yesterday – v.2.5.2 – and, while the additions are modest, it is yet another update with new features added. For example, for those of us with less than brilliant keyboard skills, you can now lock a custom scale to just the white keys on your external keyboard; it might not make much sense to someone who actually knows what the black keys are for but, for the rest of us (well, me at least!), it’s quite a useful option :-)
Equally, some external keyboards offer LED lights for their keys…. and Navichord can now use these to light up just the notes within the selected scale. Again, this is a useful aid for those with more basic keyboard skills. Further additions include support for Audiobbus 3’s new MIDI routing options (great if you are using Navichord as a MIDI performance surface to drive external sound sources) and tweaks to the IAA support.
Navichord really is a very cool tool and, because of the way the note buttons are arranged in the upper portion of the display, you can quickly learn quite a lot about chord construction or, with the MIDI out features, create a MIDI performance with another app or onto your desktop computer. The chord pads are also easy to configure so this is great for budding songwriters or if you want to transpose a chord sequence from one key to another.
You can read the original Navichord review here but, currently priced at just UK£8.99/US$8.99, the app is offers a lot of features for a pretty modest price. Check out the v.2 demo below and then hit the download button to find out more…..