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, updating of the Audiobus SDK, new internal sounds, a metronome, a sequencer for use with the chord pads, Ableton Link and MIDI input options. The latter offers MIDI Learn for the chord pads and a channel split for chord so you could set up some quite sophisticated MIDI control options. However, things have been pretty quite since June last year…..
Until today, of course, when a further update – taking the app to v.2.5.0 – appeared on the App Store. Aside from the usual bug fixes, this brings a series of both major and minor enhancements. Amongst the more significant changes are a new preset system that includes all settings, Audiobus State Saving, improved pad editing (making it easier to configure Navichord), MIDI Clock support and new colour themes.
There are a whole host of more minor changes also. These include the addition of a simple mixer for the the internal instruments, the help section has been updated, Bluetooth MIDI support (hardware permitting) is added and there are more options in terms of assigning scales to the virtual keyboard.
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£3.99/US$3.99, the app is an absolute bargain. Hit the download button to find out more…..