Trackbout recently launched Ripchord, a MIDI plugin dedicated to simplifying the MIDI mapping process. For those still learning chords, Ripchord works as a perfect way to play unlimited notes by touching just one. It’s also a powerful tool for live performance, as the plugin can turn your standard keyboard into a launchpad by allowing you to map any compatible sounds or plugins directly through its bus.
Ripchord is ridiculously approachable and simple by design. The plugin consists of a UI with two keyboards: One for your MIDI input and one for the software output. You can create your own presets within the interface, as well as download other users’ shared presets via the Ripchord online library for free. Individual chords can be named and renamed, making this plugin a potentially powerful teaching tool.
The best part about Ripchord is that it allows you to focus on rhythm as you don’t have to worry so much about whether or not you’re pressing the right keys for a particular chord — As long as you’ve mapped properly, playing a chord is as easy as pressing a single key.
Specs and Features
Ripchord does not have a ton of futures per se, but the ones that are integrated are of good quality. Presets can be imported and exported from Ripchord which makes it easy to seamlessly translate patterns from one DAW to the next. If any user has the VST, they can access your particular mappings once uploaded to the online database. You can search all of your mappings within the plugin which helps keep things organized and also makes it easy to find your patterns when you’re under pressure during a live performance. The plugin has default 64-bit compatibility, so it may not work with older versions of the software.
Overall, I loved how simple Ripchord is and how it aids in streamlining workflow. It’s nice to see a plugin coupled with an online community, and it is easy to see that Trackbout is working to create an environment that facilitates creativity. In terms of the plugin, there’s not a whole lot to say other than Ripchord works well and does what it sets out to do. There aren’t any fancy bells or whistles, but a large part of Ripchord’s beauty is its simplicity. The UI is sleek and intuitive and I can definitely see using Ripchord as an aid playing live. The VST seemed to be compatible with all virtual instruments, and I experienced no technical errors while trying out its interface.
Users loved how accessible this plugin was. For guitar players and other instrumentalists not necessarily familiar with keys, this plugin aided in easing the transition to digital music production. Moreover, it seems that Trackbout is in its infancy, and has taken the initiative to reply personally to any customer qualms or comments, despite the plugin being entirely free. A couple of users asked for the ability to play multiple chords simultaneously and it looks like Trackbout will be working to include the suggested features in the next update.
Ripchord is a powerful tool that can be especially useful for beginners or those unfamiliar with the keyboard, but it is practical enough to lend itself to the likes of experienced music professionals. The potential of the online community attached to Ripchord is huge and permits musicians to access songs and patterns that they may not have reached on their own. Moreover, by streamlining the chord process, the VST allows the user to focus on rhythm and make more complex beats. For a non-existent price and otherwise, this plugin is certainly worth the minimal time investment.
Where to Get It
You can download Ripchord for free here. It is available in VST and AU formats. It is available for Windows 10 and Mac with a download size of 3.4MB.