System 7 or later. To make sounds, you either need the QuickTime Musical Instruments extension installed, or a connection to an external sound source via MIDI (see below). Please note that the default setting is QuickTime, so if you don't have that installed when you first use the program you will get an error message, which you can ignore.

You should also install the latest "ChordStudio" font which is in the "Put contents in System Folder" folder. To do this simply drag it onto your System Folder and OK the prompt. "Helvetica" is also required, but you almost certainly already have this font. 

Midi Interfaces

On application launch, Chord Studio will try to load whichever MIDI driver you have selected in "Preferences", and warn you if it couldn't. As from Version 2, the outdated Apple Midi Manager is not supported. This means you will need OMS if you want to use external hardware.

Open Music System (OMS)

OMS is the MIDI driver written by Opcode. Chord Studio has been tested with OMS Lite. If you want to send MIDI to or from Chord Studio to another application, make sure the IAC driver is installed (an option in the OMS Lite 'Custom Install' option). Once installed, and selected as the interface in 'Preferences', you can select the OMS Settings dialog:

The two buttons to the right open OMS's own dialogs.
TIP: If OMS has 'stopped Midi' for some reason, opening 'Midi Setup' and closing it ought to reset things.
Notice that you can use Quicktime via OMS. It can be a bit confusing, because you can also use OMS via Quicktime. You may need to experiment with different settings to get things working how you want.

Important: Avoid loops in your routing system. This can easily happen with different applications sending data to each other. OMS will cut in and warn you if it detects a loop, but meanwhile Chord Studio will warn you if you try to use the same device as both source and output.

When trying to monitor the MIDI output from a sequencer via the IAC bus, you might want to slow down the sequencer's tempo to give Chord Studio a chance to process the info fast enough to show the chords correctly, especially if the sequencer doesn't allow much time for background applications. Also, the same comments made about importing MIDI files, ie using suitable tracks, apply here too.

Quicktime Later versions of QuickTime incorporate a limited software synth by Roland, in the QuickTime Instruments extension.
If you cannot access the 'Music' tab in the Quicktime Control Panel, you will need to reinstall the music component of QuickTime.  

Notes on Chord Notation

This is an interesting topic and subject to many different opinions and preferences. I have considerable experience reading and notating chords in different settings eg jazz gig, show band, big band, and would like to think that I have achieved a logic and consistency which others might like to adopt themselves. Having said that, context is everything and the program does not look at the musical context when naming a chord. And of course there are bound to be some odd ones I've overlooked!

If the program gives a sensible name to a meaningless jumble of notes, this will be because if the same notes were sorted with different octave spacings, a sensible chord would appear.

I take 'altered' to mean a dominant chord which uses as extensions three or four notes from the 'altered scale'. This is a melodic minor scale (ascending version - also sometimes known as 'jazz minor') built on the flat ninth of the chord. So the altered scale on a G7 is: Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F G Ab. The possible extensions are therefore Ab, Bb, Db and Eb. If there are less than three, I think it's more useful to simply describe them (eg G7 b9 #11).

I have tried to differentiate between b5 and #11 extensions by seeing if the note in question is below or above the seventh, respectively.

Csus = Csus 4 = C triad with third suspended up = CFG. However, Csus 2 = CDG (as if you can suspend something downwards! - but still useful).

I welcome comments on any aspects of my notational system.


Many thanks to GÅnter Nagler for his MIDI classes, and to all those who replied to my queries in the comp.sys.mac.oop.powerplant newsgroup, including Richard Buckle and especially Shinsaku Akogi who generously answered all my dumb queries.
Greg Chapman March 2003