Text Track to display Chords / Instructions in the Arranger

Mockup using Cubase Chord Track

A simple track whose clips show large readable text.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Quickly write down chord progressions or short instructions into the arrangement or scenes.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Improves intuitive workflow

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

  • Use Cue Markers to write down chords
    Small font makes reading difficult and the timeline will get to full to be readable.
  • Use clips and rename them to the desired Chord / Instruction
    This is pretty close to the suggested solution but the font size can not be increased to a readable level for individual clips.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?

Barley. One could paint single letters in Midi Notes with the help of an API script, but this seems unstable and awkward in general and results in pixelated letters that are again hard to read.

Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?

Only in the same flawed workaround it would be possible with the API.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Cubase Chord Track Feature implements this nicely for Chords, but not instructions.

A general Chord Track Feature similar to Cubase. (Chord suggestion / automatic play along) would be nice too but imo not currently worth implementing as there are more urgent complex feature requests.


This request looks like a duplicate of Introduce chords as musical units?

Kind of. This would imply my request (expect the annotations but those are not that important). But I decided to pitch this as separate request, because it is much smaller and thus might have better chances to be quickly implemented.
A Track that simply shows text should not be too much work and possible in a minor Update. A full blown Chord track, while being nice, should be integrated into so many places and thus be a much bigger project.

What is not so simple is that, to print that text, Bitwig needs to be capable of turning note data into chord values, which is the main point of Introduce chords as musical units. Without that, Bitwig cannot deduce what is an A minor chord, an E minor 1st inversion, and so forth.

I meant no automatic chord recognition, the user would have to input the Chords simply as Text. It would just be a simple Text track that can be used as a Chord display. Maybe including visual display from Chord strings to fancy chord symbols, but nothing more.

Something like FL Studio’s Fruity Notebook but more integrated. But doesn’t it have to be a track? I think arranger markers can be improved to support longer text.

This workaround by @Fannon gets pretty close to the feature requested here:

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Thanks for mentioning it @icaria36 !

Indeed I created this with the problem described here in mind.
Allthough the current chord pack does not really have chords with bass notes like in the original example (Emin7/G). I tried to add this, but I wasn’t sure how to reduce the bass note options in a sensible way.

Here’s the direct link to the project: GitHub - Fannon/midi-chords-and-scales-pack: Generates MIDI chords and scales, which can be downloaded as a free MIDI pack.