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Chord Maestro Configurations

Chord Maestro can be utilized in several different configurations based on what works best for you. Since Chord Maestro can be controlled via MIDI Time Code and simple MIDI messages, several instances of Chord Maestro can be chained together (just like you would chain together MIDI devices). This allows you to incorporate automation and manual control very easily. The configurations below provide ideas for how Chord Maestro can be configured.

Basic Configuration

The basic configuration of Chord Maestro involves the use of a manual control source (such as a foot pedal) coupled with an optional MIDI Time Code source (e.g. built in Chord Maestro metronome, DAW, Drum Machine). Chord charts (in PDF format) are imported into Chord Maestro and then displayed on a computer, TV, or large screen. The user creates "navigation anchors" in Chord Queue files to section PDF chord chart files into displayable sections. During live performances, chord chart navigation can be controlled either manually (using foot pedal or other MIDI source) or automatically (using MIDI Time Code sync).

Single Laptop Configuration

The configuration that we use most often is a single laptop that serves as both the "click-track" computer and the "display" computer. We have Sonar (i.e. our click-track) synchronized with Chord Maestro which in turn sends video to a large "confidence" screen at the back of our church. Chord Maestro receives MIDI Time Code sync messages from our click-track as we play through songs and ensures the appropriate chords are on the screen at each point during the song. If we mess up and get off from the click track, we stop the click track and then control Chord Maestro using a small MIDI foot switch (we use a Logidy foot switch). This ensures that no matter what happens, we never lose our confidence screen.

Two Laptop Configuration

During band practice, we typically want to record chord chart navigation events as we play through a song. For this situation, we have one laptop configured as described above (i.e. single laptop configuration) and another laptop that can be used to record navigation events. In this way, we can have the confidence screen display as well as a separate laptop display for recording navigation events. Both instances of Chord Maestro are synchronized with the click-track using RTP MIDI protocol. On windows, you need to install the open source rtpMIDI tool, but MACs have this capability as part of the operating system (i.e. Audio MIDI Setup utility).

RTP MIDI allows MIDI messages to be sent over a local network and easily propagated to Chord Maestro. In this way, we can run the click-track and confidence screen on one laptop and record time synched navigation events on a separate laptop. This allows the band leader to do a run through of a song with manual control (e.g. with a MIDI foot pedal) and at the same time record the timing of the manual control events. After recording the time synchronized events, the navigation can be played back during live performances using the single laptop configuration.


Single Laptop With iPhone Control

Occassionally, it is desireable to control Chord Maestro using other devices such as an iPhone or iPad. This is often the case when you don't have a MIDI foot pedal or other MIDI device (e.g. keyboard) that can be used to manually control chord chart navigation inside Chord Maestro. In these situations, you can just use your iPhone or iPad to control navigation. There are several cheap iPhone/iPad applications (available in the app store) that can be used to send MIDI messages over a network to control chord chart navigation in Chord Maestro. In order to use an iPhone or iPad to control Chord Maestro, you'll need to download and install the open source DS Midi Wifi software and buy one of the compatible iPhone/iPad apps (e.g. AP-7 Wireless MIDI Pad Controller) from the app store. Once the connections are established, Chord Maestro can be controlled using your iPhone or iPad. 


Networked Configuration

It's also possible to "daisy chain" multiple laptops running Chord Maestro together using a network MIDI configuration. This is useful in cases where multiple laptops are required in addition to large screen displays in different physical locations on the same network. Using a network configuration, it is possible to control many instances of Chord Maestro using manual and Midi Time Code synchronization methods. 




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