MelodicFlow is a MIDI VST for Windows and macOS. Use MelodicFlow to create and play stunning basslines, arps, and melodies quickly. You will never sound off, as all your input is mapped to the right notes instantly.
This is how it works:
MelodicFlow contains several operation modes that automatically bend your melodies to the right notes. MelodicFlow analyzes the chords that you provide and then creates a selection of fitting notes for you.
You only need to play on the white notes of the right side of your keyboard (yellow area). Concentrate on the melodic rhythm and MelodicFlow will sort out the rest for you.
Please take a look at the image below:
The yellow notes in the red circle "1" are routed from your keyboard to MelodicFlow. MelodicFlow uses these chord notes as its base input to calculate possible output notes. You cannot hear these notes, as they are only used internally (except when you turn on "Pass notes through").
The possible output notes can be seen in the red circle "2". They are shown as small white boxes on top of the keys. In this example they are built from a mix of safe scale notes and chord notes, as the operation mode is set to "Scale + chords (safe)" (bottom left box).
If you play on the white notes of the yellow area, MelodicFlow will map your input to the calculated output notes now. The C in the red circle "3" will always play back the first white box, the D will trigger the second box, and so on. You can use the white notes below the "root C" as well.
This is all you need to know to get started with MelodicFlow. There are also special black keys that trigger chords or transpose notes. Please take a look at the rest of this manual to learn more.
There are several ways how you can use MelodicFlow for your own productions. Here are some ideas:
Depending on your DAW and your operating system you will need to copy the plug-in to a different location. The most common locations are:
Windows (32 bit DAW): Copy the file MelodicFlow.dll to the folder "c:/program files (x86)/Steinberg/VstPlugins/" (this is the default for most 32 bit DAWs).
Windows (64 bit DAW): Copy the file MelodicFlow_x64.dll to the folder "c:/program files/Steinberg/VstPlugins/" (this is the default for most 64 bit DAWs).
macOS: Copy the file MelodicFlow.vst to the folder "/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/".
MelodicFlow acts as a VST instrument inside your DAW. It receives notes like any other VST instrument, but won't generate audio signals. Instead it creates MIDI notes which must be passed on to another instrument to hear anything.
Please consult the manual of your DAW to find out how you can pass the MIDI note output from one VSTi to another plug-in. Some pointers:
How to make sure that your setup works: Please take a look at the MIDI files in the installation package. There is a folder called "midi-examples". Drag the MIDI file "xx_mixed_technique.mid" on the MelodicFlow track. Play back this clip and your DAW should trigger the second instrument (which will output some sound then).
MelodicFlow contains several operation modes that influence how the possible output notes are calculated. As mentioned in the introduction, the possible output notes are represented as small white boxes on the keys.
The following modes can be used:
Hold down the F# in the red circle 2, then press a white note (e.g. the one in circle 1). The resulting note is played back one octave higher than usual now. The G# pitches the note up by two octaves. The G# and the A# in the red circle 3 work the same way, but they pitch the note down by an octave (A#) or two (G#). Use these "single note mod" switches to play melodies and basslines on different octaves.
Example file: 02_octave_bassline.mid (inside the "midi-examples" folder of the MelodicFlow package)
Use the Transpose octave section of the user interface to transpose the output notes by a certain amount. This way you can re-use the same chords for both basslines and higher instruments.
Press the C# in the red circle 1 to trigger all notes of the current chord. The D# triggers the same notes, but one octave higher. The C# and the D# in the red circle 2 pitch the notes down by one octave / two octaves.
Example file: 03_chords.mid (inside the "midi-examples" folder of the MelodicFlow package)
Activate Trigger big chords in the user interface if you want to strengthen the first note of the current chord (bassnote). Now the bassnote will be played back one octave below the original bassnote as well. This is very nice for big pad sounds etc.
Sometimes it is desireable to play back the notes as soon as you hold them down in the blue octave range.
Scenario 1: Click on Pass notes through in the user interface. Now all notes will be played back as soon as you hold them down. Perfect if you want to work on your chord progression and listen to your notes directly.
Scenario 2: Hold down the A# that is marked as "Pass notes through" in the user interface. Now all notes will be played back directly, too. But this time the Transpose octave mod is applied as well. This option is interesting if you want to create melodic patterns that react to chord changes instantly.
Example file: 04_pass_through.mid (inside the "midi-examples" folder of the MelodicFlow package)
Click on the small arrow button to expand the yellow playing area to the left. This is useful if you need to play melodies that go way below the main octave notes.
There is an advanced way to work with MelodicFlow that will require some initial setup efforts. But the rewards are high: You will be able to create new tracks faster and better by recycling melodic rhythms and ideas again and again. Very useful for common basslines, arpeggios, chord rhythms etc.
This is how it works:
I was able to create such a setup for both Ableton Live and Bitwig Studio. I am confident that many other DAWs are flexible enough to enable this kind of note routing. However, I am not an expert for each and every DAW on the market. If you find a way to create such a routing for a different DAW, please contact me and share your knowledge. I will make sure to update this page for your fellow musicians then (I will credit you of course :).
Bitwig Studio "chord master track" setup
Ableton Live "chord master track" setup
Download the project files:
You can download a simple example project here: MelodicFlow_Chord_Master_Track_Project.zip. Open it in Ableton Live and make sure to launch both the "Chords" clip (on track "Chords") and the "Melody" clip (on track "Piano Melody") at once.
There are no plans to do an AU port auf MelodicFlow at the moment. Audio Units cannot send MIDI data to other channels / instruments. Some other manufacturers worked around this issue by sending notes through virtual MIDI cables, but they highly recommend to use the VST version instead. Maybe an AU port will follow in the future, but it's not very likely.
However, it has been reported that MelodicFlow works inside Bidule AU without problems.
There is a simple way to come up with new chord progressions for your song. And it works nicely in combination with MelodicFlow.
Sundog Song Studio is a standalone software for Windows and macOS that helps you to create harmonic songs from scratch. It contains a powerful chords page where you can click through popular chords for each scale. As soon as you are ready with your chord progression you can drag and drop it to your DAW as a standard MIDI file.