• More Tones for
    more Music

The Sequencer You Play

Arranger keyboards are probably the only musical instruments that would have to be clairvoyant. While with any other instrument the musician has the notes to be played on the sheet of music, the auto accompaniment system has to calculate the entire accompaniment (of all band members) only from the chords played. Even if the tones played in the melody were added, this would be impossible because tones of the common tone supply in the accompaniment can precede the melody.

An auto accompaniment cannot be clairvoyant. It does not know in which key the chords are currently played or, in other words, which chord scales belong to the played chords. And so it takes a lot of skill and ability to get a suitable accompaniment or characteristic scale tones out of a ready-made style. Many then prefer to play with a MIDI file whose accompaniment tracks are only played back. I.e. the accompaniment is no longer played by yourself at all.

nimbu follows a complete different philosophy. Usually you know what you want to play. E.g. a certain song. But if you already know what you want to play, then musically you can create a title-related style yourself relatively easily. Nowadays there are MIDI files for every music title on the Internet, from which the chord scales can be calculated. If you take this path, the auto accompaniment gets the full tone supply like a sequencer.

And since the styles in nimbu structurally correspond to our Western music, they are musically completely transparent, open to spontaneous improvisations, and also easily editable. The accompaniments can be reduced to chords tones at any time, so that all chords can be played freely, as with any auto accompaniment.

nimbu is a sequencer based on chord scales and played like an arranger keyboard. Chord recognition, chord resolution and sequence control are done in real time. Your played chords are translated into chord scales with 7 tones. This is the lever to play all available tones and thus also the characteristic tension tones of your accompaniment. Realistic, authentic accompaniments are created.

    Tones of the Key     =      Available Tones     =      Tone Supply     =      Chord Scale    =     Chord Tones    +    Tension Tones

Using the full tone supply of the chord scales, nimbu calculates title-related accompaniments from MIDI files. If you play these accompaniments with the original chords (i.e. with the same harmony progression as in the MIDI file), they are hardly distinguishable from the MIDI file. Of course you can also play these accompaniments with other chords by switching to chords in real time while playing.

In addition, you play accompaniment rhythms (styles) that were developed for keyboards. And if you want, you can edit your accompaniments at any level. As with a sequencer, the tone supply is unlimited. The only difference is that in the accompanying instruments that you play with your left hand, the notes are notated in scale steps. These scale steps are only resolved into tangible scale notes when you play your chords (via the assigned chord scales). This is how you make music without limits.

We describe the musical basics in   More Tones, More Music.

nimbu offers you two integrated sound modules as well as comprehensive functions and interfaces for building a complete arranger workstation. Whether virtual instruments or sound module, whether tablet or MIDI pad, the configuration and design of the system is very flexible. You can find the requirements here.

Here now follows a technical description. If you are already playing with an arranger or an auto accompaniment, you will know a lot of things. But remember that you will play with a larger tone supply. The categories bass or chord 1 to chord 8 differ in their transposition from the usual bass, chord 1 and 2, pads and phrase 1 and 2.
If you have not yet played with auto accompaniment or arranger, the following description will be less suitable for you. In this case we would like to refer you to our videos or to the detailed documentation in nimbu, which will introduce you to the instrument step by step. This is much more fun and relatively easy.

Since nimbu transposes chord scales, the tone supply is in no way limited. Transposable accompaniments for the auto accompaniment are created from MIDI tracks. The accompaniments of the auto accompaniment can be recorded in tracks while playing, in order to save them as MIDI files. In nimbu, the time signature can change from bar to bar within an accompaniment, so there are no restrictions in the time level. Fill-ins with several bars are also supported.

The music in nimbu is stored either in the form of notes in the tracks or in the form of scale steps in the instruments. The instruments form your accompaniment, which you play with your left hand. Both the tracks and the instruments are divided into the categories Drum 1, Drum 2, Bass, Chord 1 to Chord 8. For the melody voices, the categories Melody 1 and Melody 2 are also available in the tracks. In nimbu, notes and scale levels are time-controlled events.

Each category from drum 1 to melody 2 is assigned a corresponding instrument sound, which can be changed spontaneously while playing.

In addition, tempo changes, changes in time signature, chords and other controls, so-called control changes and markers in the Event Track category. For temporal and velocity dynamic accentuations, the Groove Design and the Velocity Design as a category is available. The lyrics can be found in the Lyric Track. All instruments and tracks are stored in a session file.

 Instruments   Event Type   Tracks  Event Type 
 Drum 1  Drum  Drum 1  Notes
 Drum 2  Drum  Drum 2  Notes
 Bass  Scale Steps   Bass  Notes
 Chord 1  Scale Steps   Chord 1  Notes
 .....  .....  .....  .....
 Chord 8  Scale Steps   Chord 8  Notes
 Melo 1  Notes
 Melo 2  Notes
 Event  Track  Chords +  Controls 
 Velocity   Design   Dynamic   Progression
 Groove  Design  Micro Timing  Progression
 Lyrics  Text

Instruments, Tracks, Categories and Event Types

You can edit all events in many ways like in a word processing program. So are Undo/Redo functions and the indexing of entire event areas as a matter of course. When playing, the different events are processed in real time. The graphical display of the playing of all events also takes place in real time, so that you can track your song on every level. This means that the chronological progression of melody, harmony, accompaniment as well as the controls during playing is displayed in all windows continuously and synchronously.

Features and Design
The nimbu instruments include the accompaniment, which is notated in scale steps. Their actual pitches are determined by the chords you play. More precisely, by the chord scales that are assigned to the played chords. Of course, this does not apply to Drum 1 and Drum 2, whose events notes are directly assigned to the percussion instruments.

DOn the other hand, the events of the tracks are fixed in terms of their information or their pitch while playing. The tracks are played like a tape. They contain notes and chords on the one hand, and information for flow control on the other.

The following figure illustrates the principle design. The nimbu tracks with the notes are not shown here, because they are primarily used for importing and exporting MIDI files, for recording from the keyboard or for playing and demonstrating functions. Here we deal with the actual playing.

Desing of nimbu
Basic design of nimbu

The nimbu instruments are transposed with the corresponding chord or scale preset. When playing, the chord presetting comes from the keyboard. The assignments of the chord scales to the played chords are defined separately for each of the 24 nimbu sections (in case of deviations from the standard scales). When importing MIDI files or styles, this assignment is done automatically.

The session is controlled via keyboard, touch screen or MIDI controllers or MIDI pads directly at the keyboard as well as via the internal EventTrack. The order of the played sections results from the sequence definition and the direct control at the keyboard.

Markers such as intro, main, etc. are jumped directly across the boundaries of a accompaniment, whereby the instrument setup is adopted "on the fly". nimbu also allows multiple time signatures and fill-ins with multiple bars within one accompaniment.

In addition, nimbu also knows so-called NoMarkers, in order to be able to close off certain marker areas in accompaniments derived from MIDI files. The marker areas in nimbu therefore do not have to be lined up in a row (as is the case with styles).

With the groove and velocity design, further temporal and dynamic accent flow into the session.

nimbu for Newcomers
To practise, you let nimbu play certain categories and call up specific windows that support you in practising. nimbu shows you every level of your music in real time. This is an advantage when the accompaniment is calculated from a MIDI file. However, this information can also be specified by you for a style. Here are a few examples:

  • If you only want to practice the melody at first, let nimbu play the chords from the event track. nimbu will show you the melody keys to be played while practicing.
  • Wenn Sie nur das Harmoniespiel üben wollen, können Sie Nimbu die Melodie aus der Melodiespur spielen lassen. Auch hier zeigt Ihnen nimbu beim Üben die zu spielenden Akkordtasten.
  • nimbu shows you the keys and chords to be played in real time. nimbu even draws your played note events below the note events of the melody to be played, so you can compare your played notes directly with the notes of the melody. While playing, you can see very clearly where your notes are playing too early or too late. You can also view these recordings after playing.
  • Even when improvising, you can see in real time the respective tone supply that is musically available to you.
You can find further details under Keyboard Learning made easy.

nimbu at a glance
For a functional overview of the 3 nimbu editions with corresponding maximum values click here.

Graphical User Interface
If you want to get a first impression of the graphical user interface, then you should read on here.

nimbu - because cool accompaniments play with full tone supply.   Here is our offer.

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