Antares Harmony Engine and Zplane Vielklang (Bonus)

Antares Harmony Engine and Zplane Vielklang apply different strategies to perform the same musical task: generating harmony parts from solo leads.
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

This online bonus material supplements the Antares Harmony Engine and Zplane Vielklang review in the April 2008 issue of Electronic Musician.

Output Routing in Ableton Live 7

The most flexible way to use Harmony Engine and Vielklang is to devote a separate stereo channel to each part (that''s your only option for Harmony Engine in Ableton Live). The process is slightly different for each DAW, but here, starting with Harmony Engine, is the setup in Live 7.

Insert the Harmony Engine plug-in on the track that is holding the melody. That might be an audio track with an audio clip or a MIDI track with a synth or sampler playing the melody. If you want to effect Vielklang-style MIDI triggering of melody clips, use a MIDI track with a Drum Rack and drag the individual clips to Drum Rack pads.

Image placeholder title

FIG. A: The leftmost track houses Harmony Engine and a Drum Rack. Five audio tracks to its right carry the five output channels.

Create five new audio tracks, and then use the upper of Live''s two input-selection drop-down menus (Audio From) to select the track that''s hosting the Harmony Engine plug-in as the input to each of those five new tracks. Use the lower Audio From menu to select which Harmony Engine output is used: Post FX for the first two tracks, 3/4-Harmony Engine for the next two, and 5/6-Harmony Engine for the fifth track (see Fig. A). Insert one of Live''s Utility plug-ins on each of the new tracks. Set the Utility plug-in''s input to Left for the first, third, and fifth track and to Right for the second and fourth track.

To set up Vielklang, insert it on a MIDI track, load a melody clip into Vielklang''s memory, and click on the MIDI button at the left of the Host Synchronization bar to allow MIDI triggering. Set the MIDI track''s Monitor mode to In so that it receives MIDI. That also prevents Vielklang''s mixer output from playing on that track. By default, note C3 will trigger the clip.

Create four new audio tracks, and then use the upper Audio From menu to select the track holding Vielklang as the input to each. Use the lower Audio From menu to select which Vielklang output is used: 3/4-Vielklang, 5/6-Vielklang, 7/8-Vielklang, or 9/10-Vielklang, respectively. You don''t need Utility plug-ins in this case, because each Vielklang channel gets its own stereo output.

The Live tracks will now match the tracks in the Harmony Engine and Vielklang mixers, and you can use Live''s mixer, insert effects, and send buses. Vielklang''s outputs are tapped before the mixer, so its mixer settings make no difference. Harmony Engine''s outputs are postmixer, so set each channel''s volume to its default value of –6 dB.