RapidComposer (RC) is used to produce compositions quickly using MIDI phrases. It is not meant to, and cannot mix, or master music. Once a composition have been finished, it can be exported as a MIDI, WAV, or AIFF file. These files can then be imported into a DAW for mixing and mastering. RC can also be used as a VST plugin inside your favorite DAW, for synching up audio and virtual instrument tracks (and vocals) with your RapidComposer compositions. Additionally, you can drag-n-drop entire Compositions or separate tracks to your DAW as MIDI files.

Before you start using RC, it is important to understand exactly what a Composition consists of. A Composition is a collection of one or more Tracks, each which contains an Instrument (SoundFont, VSTi, or MIDI) controlled by a Phrase or Phrase Generator. Tracks are common to the whole composition, and, like DAWs, combine to produce a musical arrangement with harmony and melody.

The basic unit of composition is a Phrase, which is a sequence of notes and/or chords (i.e. notes in parallel). Most commonly, phrases are created and extensively manipulated by using a Generator. There are 10 common Generators in RC:

  • Bass Generator (melody in a lower octave, resembling a bass guitar performance)
  • Chord Generator (simple rhythms: quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, etc.)
  • Fingerpicking Generator (guitar-style patterns/arpeggios)
  • Generic Generator (piano-like patterns that can be easily manipulated rhythmically, based on a series of variables)
  • Melody Generator (generates melodies that intelligently fit over any chord or key. Not available in LE version)
  • Phrase Morpher (intelligently connects Generators/Phrases, via voice-leading/analyzation. Not available in LE version)
  • Rest Generator (NEW! Use in the Idea Tool to inserts rests in the composition)
  • Piano Run Generator (rhythmically rich arpeggios running up and down chords, similar to the piano playing of P. Glass)
  • Dyads Run Generator (generates a MIDI run, specifically by interval… commonly a “thirds run”, similar to the bridge of “Let It Be”, but could also be any interval or more than two notes)
  • Strings Staccato Generator (creates beautiful staccato patterns, perfect for orchestral and string quartet arrangements)

You can also create a phrase manually (in Note Mode, by entering with mouse or recording from a MIDI keyboard). Furthermore, you are able to save custom phrases with RC. Generators and the Phrase Browser are covered in detail in Chapter 1. Commonly, you will start with a Generator and tweak it, as this is the fastest way to get ideas going in RC.

There are two types of tracks utilized in RapidComposer:

  • Standard Tracks (MIDI) – Contain notes/chords/phrases for a particular Instrument. These track types are the bread and butter of RapidComposer.
  • Audio Tracks – Audio track implementation is very basic with limited functionality (no pitch-detection or timestretch/tempo-matching). 16-bit/44.1 or 48 WAV and AIFF import only. Useful for sound effect placement, perfectly-chopped drum loops with a known, solid tempo, or for non-harmonic sounds.