The 7 Best Chord Generator Plugins (VST, AU) – Free and Paid Options

scaler-2

When it comes to creating a stunning music piece, many factors contribute to the process, such as sound quality, pitch, rhythm, sound texture, and melody. Among those many elements, creating a perfect chord progression for your track is one of the most important factors to success.

As much as chord progression is an essential aspect of music production, it can be a tricky and complicated process at first. However, that shouldn’t deter you from creating your desired music. That’s where the chord generating plugins come to the rescue.

Even if you have a lot of music theory knowledge, chord generator plugins are great for quickly coming up with chord structures, which can allow you to focus on finishing your tracks.

Best Chord Generator Plugins

As we have established the importance of chords in music production, in this article, we explore some great free and paid chord generating plugins.

Why go for chord generator plugins?

First and foremost, if you struggle with building the right chord progression, then chord plugins can help you. Secondly, using chord plugins can also aid in learning your music theory over an extended period. Additionally, you can easily edit and tweak your chords with these plugins and customize them.

Let’s dive into the list of chord generator plugins suitable for beginners and professionals alike for a hassle-free music production process.

1. Scaler 2

Scaler

Scaler 2 is the second release of the award-winning MIDI effect plugin that can substantially ease your woes related to chords and scales. Supported by Windows and MAC, this plugin is considered one of the best in the business.

It can discover your music’s key and explore scales and chord sets. It has a large number of chord sets based on artist, genre, and mood. You can also browse chord variations to come up with more advanced chords.

Scaler 2 is a plugin that is loved by a wide range of producers. Beginners and novice music composers who are not highly adept with the technicality of music theory for scale and chord find Scaler 2 a great tool to compose and explore chords. Pro music composers can also go for this plugin to get the creative juices flowing or to kick start your ideas.

It has a sophisticated detection system where you punch in a few notes from your instrument, and Scaler 2 comes up with a bunch of suggestions based on the inputs categorized by modes, styles, scales, and chords. Similarly, with available presets and chord detection features, creating engaging chords & progression becomes really flexible.

  • Free demo available
  • Sophisticated and easy-to-use GUI
  • Applicable to most genres & styles with recent updates

Check it out: Scaler 2

2. InstaChord

InstaChord

InstaChord is a powerful time-saving plugin that can easily create chord sets and progressions for you. An intuitive interface and a wide range of available presets make it a great starter pack for those who are not too comfortable with music theory.

The plugin allows amazing creativity since you can easily assign a key that will generate multiple chords in a matter of a few seconds. Therefore, InstaChord customizes your chord progression with a wide range of available action key features, voicing options attuned to chords. Henceforth, InstaChord is a fantastic paid plugin that uplifts the chord foundation of your tracks.

  • Great features
  • Hassle-free option for producing chord progression
  • Compatible with many preferred DAWs

Check it out: InstaChord

3. Captain Chords

Captain Chords

Captain Chords, like many plugins, offers excellent flexibility and effortless chord generation. However, what makes this nifty software stand apart from its counterparts is the unique “Jamming Mode” option.

You can turn your typical computer keyboard into a full-fledged instrument to write your chords efficiently, which is a pretty cool feature. In addition, the plugin makes it easy to create your desired chord progression with the help of scale selection, an adjustable knob, and it can also be modified in terms of harmony and chord length. Captain Chords is a paid plugin.

  • Supported by MAC & Windows both as AU & VST
  • Offers a month-long money-back guarantee
  • Delay, reverb & other effects can also be applied to enhance chords

Check it out: Captain Chords

4. Tonespace

Tonespace

Tonespace is a free-of-cost chord generating plugin that also acts as a visualizer. Explicitly not designed to educate beginners on the music theory, Tonespace is an exceptional tool in understanding the scales and chord relationship due to its grid-like structure and fit-to-scale feature. With tons of inversions, scales, and chord types, the potential for creating incredible chord progressions is endless.

Tonespace is a phenomenal plugin that allows functionality and editing with a MIDI keyboard and with a mouse as well.

  • Free plugin
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Supported as VST, AU, and standalone application

Check it out: Tonespace

5. Chordz

Chordz

Another free-of-cost option added to the list is the Chordz plugin, much admired for its high functionality and performance. The plugin is only compatible with the Windows operating system in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The plugin rolls off a full range of chords, followed by a single note from your drum, keyboard, or synths.

  • Free to use
  • Allows a randomization feature to generate unique chords

Check it out: Chordz

6. Ripchord

Ripchord

Again, here is a free plugin that entertains a simple interface but packs a punch when it comes to creating fantastic chord progressions. Extremely easy to set up, this plugin has a well-sourced library of presets that can be tweaked to create your own chord progressions.

It also allows you to create and save your own presets. Ripchord is particularly significant for musicians who might struggle with keyboard skills or need a starting point to build chords.

  • User-friendly
  • Easy to set up
  • Good range of presets
  • Note: Available only as VST3, which is only available with some more recently updated DAWs

Check it out: Ripchord

7. Cthulhu

Cthulhu

Cthulhu is a paid, MIDI-generated plugin that acts both as a chord and an ARP generator. The plugin requires routing to an instrument to function. The interface is really straightforward, with an arpeggiator on top and a chord generator in the bottom section.

The chord generator has more than 150 presets, giving musicians so much room to play with. A single note generates a bunch of chords, also taking into account the velocity of the input within the scales.

So, Cthulhu is a highly sophisticated chord generator that allows musicians to experiment in the chord generation and memorization process with its amazing editing features. It also, at times, serves as inspiration for ideas given its vast availability of presets.

  • Supports both Windows & Mac OS
  • Wide range of presets

Check it out: Cthulhu

Conclusion

If creating chord progressions is confusing or very time-consuming for you, but you need a great sounding track, then chord generator plugins are your saviors. These plugins can also serve as a source of inspiration for composers stuck in a musician’s block, given their presets and chord generation based on random notes.

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