Melodic Inverter

A one-of-a-kind realtime polyphonic note manipulation tool for Reason and Reason Rack Plugin, available now in the Reason Studios Shop

Melodic Inverter FAQ

It inverts mel... [SLAP!]

It actually does way more than just invert melodic patterns. Melodic Inversion itself is an old classical technique which can rearrange existing parts and give them a "remix" of sorts. Probably the most famous example is Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini". 

We developed a version which is a little more advanced and complicated than the original standard method, in order to allow for polyphonic events, which would be very challenging to achieve in the old fashioned manner. 

We then added some other algorithmic tricks we had been working on to the list, and after some consultation with the ReasonTalk community, between us we came up with a full step sequencer interface design. This was then amended a little by us and made reality. See the permanent thanks list in our blog for more background information.

To the end user, you simply find some old stuff that sounds great but never got past the 4-bar mark because the "where to next" wasn't obvious at the time. You can use host of randomize and sequencer options to come up with different patterns, or use the global algorithm mode either to audition the results of a single method or even bounce it down as is.   

The original concepts that Melodic Inverter started off from were born of a desire to have a type of Note Alter effect which was mathematically reproducible, and thus patchable and recallable. 

We hit target with this, and then some!

Melodic Inverter allows you to effortlessly recreate a plethora of rearrangements of existing musical pieces, simply by changing the note number values in a reproducible fashion. Usually the spread algorithms are the simplest method for doing this.

This is typically best achieved with Chordbank on the output so you can control the scale, because this technique is entirely mathematical, and thus the outputs can differ radically from the input, especially with polyphonic material. However, if you just fancy getting some inspiration, why not just rip up the original part and start again? All you do is feed it some MIDI and then hit randomize a few times, until you hear something you like. From there on it's a case of finding the best spread values, and you are a long way toward having a completely new arrangement. 

Sort of. 

When Melodic Inverter V2.0 is released for Rack Extension, a ported version is desired, but will go by a different name. Melodic Inverter started out as 2 different projects which were going to be added to the Loopcracker Suite collection - the original Melodic Inverter concept and "Note Spread", a never released plugin concept.

We decided to ask the ReasonTalk community to come up with feature suggestions for a "blank plate" version we released - this was partly to see what users would come up with, and partly because this was a first of it's kind plugin in any format (so, ultimately we really weren't sure what was the wisest feature set); extensive web searches on this have revealed that there were maybe only a few scripts ever built to do it - and only ever in more esoteric formats like Max/MSP and CSound. 

Knowing that there are no VST equivalents certainly gives us incentive, but there is the issue that the end feature set dreamt up by ourselves and the ReasonTalk community helped the device become far more than either of the original 2 designs. So, keeping the name Melodic Inverter gets more and more inappropriate with every revision.

There is a caveat however, with regards to all non-RE development in future. There are other major barriers to overcome, such as distribution and anti-piracy, which we don't have to deal with when developing Rack Extensions. If our explorations of these issues are positive then Melodic Inverter 2 (or whatever it is rebranded as) will be available for VST - If not, it won't.

In short, more algorithms. We have a framework now where we can pretty much add any crazy melodic reconstitution method that we desire. Graphically, we'll need to completely redesign it, but that will emerge and evolve naturally while the design phases are completed. 

In the meantime, we need to to a graphics fix for the next RE version, and if time allows we'd like to add pattern banks while still in the V1.0 product cycle. 

Keep an eye out on our blog section The Journey for updated details, or alternatively sign up to ReasonTalk, the premier forum for all things Reason and get involved in the conversation.  This is also the place to contact us regarding any feature requests and to sign up for beta testing. Just open an account on ReasonTalk and send a direct message to the username 'Enlightenspeed'.  


Not telling :)