INTRO LiquidMusic by WaveDNA is an inspiring MIDI music performance designer software that enables users to quickly create melodies, harmonies, and chords by "painting." It's effortless, visual, and perhaps even revolutionary.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS The purchase, download, install, and authorize process is straightforward with no surprised. To setup this plugin, launch your DAW, create a MIDI track, assign an instrument, and then load LiquidMusic as an effects plugin. Note: Multiple instances may be used, and there is a built-in system that keeps CPU optimized. Upon launch, users will instantly notice a clean, modern interface that is intelligently arranged.
CHEATING? Let's get right down to the question at hand — is using music composition software cheating? My opinion — who cares? Whatever it takes to translate creativity from your brain to mixer or to jolt your noodle out of songwriters block is fine by me. Let's not blame the tools for the overwhelming percentage of terrible music being produced today. Plugins don't kill music; "musicians" kill music! Yeah, the digital audio world has made it easier to produce generic junk, but it has also made it easier for talented people to realize their golden potential. The fact that so many traditional musicians and producers are upset about this software clearly indicates how fantastic it is! Having said the above, plugins do tend to create more producers than musicians. Is using a chord book and reference chart cheating?
IN ACTION I was going to clearly outline my workflow and illustrate the main features one-by-one, but half way through writing I realized that WaveDNA does a much better job. Please notice the video tutorial and the section at the bottom of the webpage that lists the layers and tools (Sketch, Key, Chords, Voices, Rhythm). You can manipulate and "evolve" song ideas in real-time using these layers of control:
There are many ways to use LiquidMusic — it can suit various workflows. The Harmony Builder provides a powerful set of tools that have a moderate learning curve, but the rewards are great. A common approach is to create a chord progression as a framework for the note painting. Chord Roots, Types, and Modifiers help create and refine chords. The chords within the selected key are clearly indicated and distinguishable from dissonant or out-of-key chords. Keys may be changed (major, minor, dorian, phrygian, lydian, etc. Arpeggiators may be added. I consider LiquidMusic's workspace a canvas. I can begin with presets or freely splatter notes and see what sticks. If the painted notes are inspiring, I edit. If not, I wipe the canvas clean and start over. There are also ways to change chord progression with or without adjusting the melody. If the Key Layer is locked, none of the chords are changed. This allows users to construct progressions and then add cool stuff, like melodic rhythms. The Voice Layer helps add harmony to melodies and chords. All in all, this is a very visual, tactile virtual process that is unique and rewarding. By using a Chord Tracks along with the Rhythm Editor of Liquid Rhythm, users can sketch out rhythm, chords, melody, and harmony.
THINGS I DIG • Looks sweet • Fast and easy, yet powerful with an excellent workflow • Syncs perfectly with DAW • Inspiring — bust through songwriters block • Experiment freely without going out of key • Small footprint • CPU Efficient • Forward-thinking developer.
THINGS I WANT • More video tutorials I'VE BEEN ASSURED MORE VIDS ARE ON THE WAY. "With the release of 1.7.0 after a long period of development we intend to now focus on user experience by improving our website and YouTube channel, and more tutorial videos are very much a part of that!" • Standalone version! I'd like to launch and compose with this powerful MIDI music composition environment without going near my DAW. I wouldn't be surprised if an updated version is in the works because LiquidRhythm has this feature.;-) I'VE BEEN ASSURED THAT THIS IS BEING WORKED ON. • Max for Live users can take advantage of a cool feature called Import Wizard that analyzes a MIDI performance to interpret the key and chord progression. I've heard that this feature is often spot-on, and when it isn't, users might just get a pleasant surprise or at the very least — a start point to work from! Unfortunately, this feature is only available for Ableton Max for Live users. "For VST / AU users: Unfortunately, the import feature is currently in development and as of yet unavailable." DONE! THANK YOU FOR RESPONDING! "This feature is now vastly improved upon in Liquid Music 1.7.0, with the introduction of Project Clips, as now multiple Liquid Music clip ideas can be managed and switched between with ease, bringing the VST and AU plugins much closer to the Max For Live plugin experience!" • MIDI Event Editor.
SUMMARY To quote a YouTube poster, Daniel DeMayo, "This is a dangerous tool — smart as hell, but now everyone and their grandma will be acting like they are Mozart." Well, Danny, what's wrong with having more Mozarts? LiquidMusic can help users get what's in their heads down on tracks. It also provide an excellent environment for eMusicians and producers to discover happy accidents. This software is way beyond an arpeggiator; it's an artistic pallet for creative composers of all genres. Some words that come to mind are: VISUAL! FUN! INSPIRING! UNEXPECTED! If you are an old school composer who values the traditional music composition process, this software is not for you — close your browser NOW! However, if you believe the ends justify the means, and only the music matters— grab this gem and never look back! If you're not sure, check out the 30-day full access demo. My entire user review is based on the expectation that soon all the features will become available to all DAW users and even non-DAW users. At present, only Ableton Live for Max users can completely enjoy this beast. With that expectation in mind, I hereby give LiquidMusic two guilt-free thumbs up! Great stuff.
UPDATE: Version 1.7.0 has delivered some excellent improvements and exciting new features, most notably the Import MIDI, Project Clips, and Track Selector. These features help make it possible to quickly create multiple variations within a single instance of LM or to employ multiple instances of LM and navigate between them easily. I am happy to bump-up my user review rating to 5 Stars. Way to go, WaveDNA!.
At this time, we only feature 4/4 time. However, that doesn't stop Liquid Music from working as a great ideation tool no matter where you're headed rhythmically! Check out the 30-day trial and see how LM fits in your toolkit: