Cthulhu (polyphonic chord layering, mono legato and strumming)

Started by stelvio

Hey there!

I'm getting back to demoing Cthulhu and I like it a lot. Definitely buying it next month.

— I'm wondering if there's a way to layer chords? Do you guys think this could be interesting to integrate?… Some sort of polyphonic mode. I use ChordPolyPad on iPad and it has this feature. You get some surprising and rich results by just layering too chords (not to mention the possibility of augmenting existing chords by adding single notes). It's great for coming up with new chords, enrich, augment, combinate, come up with variations, or transition between chords.

— Since chords are monophonic, another mode that could sound good would be some sort of legato. As it is now, if you press a chord, then (while that chord is pressed) play another chord it will play the second, but it would be awesome sounding if, when releasing the second chord the first chord would trigger again. Hope it makes sense. This could allow some nice shredding options.

— Then finally a per-chord strumming option (strum up, strum down, strum random - with a dedicated curve/rate) would be so nice. I know you can make something similar in the Arp section but having different per-chord strummings can be quite beautiful.

Wishing you all a great weekend!



HI Stelvio,

Thanks for the feedback, Currently only one chord plays at a time, that isn't likely to change anytime soon.
Re: Legato, there is a latch switch at the top, though if you want trills between chords you have to play them manually.

re: Strum, indeed I use the arp, you can really get very detailed in terms of what happens, e.g. I use arp patterns for up versus down strums and switch between those using the lowest octave of MIDI notes. A strum module has been requested before, should you chose to purchase I'd be happy to hear more about what you'd like there.

Thanks a lot Steve.
Purchased! Would be happy to discuss a strum module.
In the mean time I'll spend more time making strum presets with the arp and always keep 2 or 3 strum presets at the beginning of my preset bank.

Hey Steve,
Hope you're keeping safe.
I was wondering if you gave the strum module more thoughts?
I enjoy setting a different strumming pattern and different strumming speed to every single chord when I use ChordPolyPad on iPad (too fiddly on iPhone). The M4L tool "Chordimist" has some interesting options to set per-chord strum patterns too. Just mentioning those tools for inspiration/research :)

Would love to have something similar or something even better with Cthulhu.

It's something I'd like to do, I haven't thought through the exact features, but I plan to get the solidified once I have the time to work on a major re-work of Cthulhu.

I have thought about it more, but not to any real result - I tried a session of strumming using the arp module in free rate, and setting A/B patterns to do up/down strum (e.g. 3 steps followed by 13 muted steps), and this allows for velocity and timing changes with the graphs, I was getting very good results this way, and it allows for sequencing 12 different strum articulations. The main downside was the arp looping. so I'm pretty unsure how to exactly provide the ideal results. Having a different strum on each chord (?) is a different concept as well, so ultimately I want(ed) a good vision of what will be the most ideal way to go, basically deciding on a few controls versus something more advanced.

Strumming + velocity and timing graphs sounds expressive. I have to try that.

Personally, I prefer the different-strum-on-each-chord-concept because it allows to compose strumming in advance alongside chords themselves. You can write chords like you can write the phrasing. If the strum are written beforehand, one can focus on chord progressions with two hands, rather than for example bang chords with one hand and tweak a knob to switch between strum-patterns. It makes it more like one single simple instrument to focus on. But I guess the latter involves more work in order to implement a dedicated strum-arp module for each chord. I'd warmly recommend you trying ChordPolyPad if you know someone who has an iPad. You can get an idea of how expressive and fun it is to have different phrasing on each chords pre-set, up/down, very fast/very slow, random etc. The velocity is set by individual note on there rather than with a graph, and there's no timing option unfortunately… Their strum module is limited but you can get an idea what the concept feels like when you play with it.

I'd be happy to try and test anything and give you feedback if needed.
I'm happy to hear you're keeping this in mind.


Any news on the different-strum-on-each-chord-front? :)