Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 7.5 can now sync audio tracks with harmonic progressions.
This new feature is great for developing a better understanding of tonal harmony while listening to real-life examples from the masters performed by great musicians.
Troubleshooting iTunes Tracks
Some files are not allowed in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro. These are DRM protected files. To learn more about these files and learn how to check if the audio file you want to use is DRM protected, click here.
Here’s the same info in this post in a video tutorial
If you watch the video you can skip to part 2: How to sync progressions to audio tracks in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro
Since Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro understands harmonic progressions in many styles (from Traditional Harmony to Jazz and everything in between) the possibilities are certainly endless. You can study the harmony of Beethoven, Queen and Charlie Parker all within the same app.
Here are three examples of the audio-sync feature in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 7.5
It is important to know that Mapping Tonal Harmony does not produce the harmonic progression automatically from the audio track (as of 2019 there’s no software that can do that)
The harmonic progression must already exist in your catalogue and the audio track must be locally present on your computer’s hard-drive and accessible from within iTunes (no iCloud nor Apple Music tracks). You must own the track, either because you’ve purchased it on the iTunes Store or you’ve created it yourself.
In the example above the first two tracks are OK. They are in the iTunes Library and exist locally on the user’s hard-drive.
The next two tracks are BAD. They are both in the cloud (and also the first one is a video)
Checking for Progressions w/Audio-Sync in your catalogue
The new version comes preloaded with some audio-synched progressions to get you started. To view the audio-synched progressions in your catalogue just enable the “Only w/Audio-Sync” button
Load and Play
(Including a step-by-step tutorial when you don’t have the track in your iTunes library)
To load a progression just click on its card in the catalogue. The progression will still be a regular progression and you can use the play-along feature to practice the song with the piano.bass.drums accompaniment, change tempos, style, voicing-rules, etc.
The only difference is that now the Audio-Sync button will be enabled. Click on it
The audio-sync menu will appear, but no track will be selected. Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro can sync the same progressions with multiple different recordings. In the example we loaded Blues for Alice and there are hundreds of version of the song in iTunes. You can sync as many audio tracks to the same progression as you want.
So click on the Popup Button to reveal all the audio tracks that have been synched to the progression. In our example there’s only 1 Blues For Alice. Select it.
Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro will check to see if the Audio Track is present in your iTunes Library. In our example I had purchased that exact same track but never downloaded it. MTH will let me know the track is in the Cloud. Click OK so Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro can open the track in iTunes.
iTunes will automatically show you the track. Just click on the Cloud button to download the track locally to your library.
Once the track has downloaded you can go back to Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro and click on the RETRY LINKING ITUNES TRACK button
Now the song will stay linked to the progression as long as you keep the audio track local in your iTunes Library. Mapping Tonal Harmony will also save the track you’ve chosen as the default so next time you open Blues for Alice the audio-sync will be ready to play.
You play the audio track with the Play button in the Audio-Sync panel
Cool things you can do in Audio-Sync
Pre-roll : Some audio-syncs start playing before the progression starts (for example when the introduction for a song is included). Other audio-syncs might start in the middle of the audio track to show a specific harmonic device used by the composer.
So Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro will wait until after the pre-roll has been played to start syncing with the progression.
In Blues for Alice we allow the intro to be played as a pre-roll for the track
Form Repetitions: When syncing with repeating forms, such as in pop tunes and jazz standards (and some classical pieces with repeats), the app will just need a single statement of the harmonic progression which will loop while the audio track keeps playing. The track will stop once the form has repeated the amount of times allotted.
In Blues for Alice we synced the audio track to 4 repetitions of the form so as to fit the head and the sax solo by Charlie Parker (he improvises there times over the form)
Progression-To-Audio Linking: A cool feature in audio-sync is that every function in your progression is synced to the audio track’s timeline.
For example, in Blues for Alice the 2nd measure in the form is an Em7. Since we have repeated the form 4 times this same Em7 will occur in measures 2, 14, 26 & 38. (to view bar numbers enable the “#” button)
By clicking repeatedly on the Em7 in the 2nd measure the audio will cycle through all the occurrences of that Em7 in the audio. So it will go to measure 2 then 14 then 26 then 38 and back to 2 and so on…
Now you can play the audio track from that measure as many times as you want. So let’s use it to compare the jazz lines that Charlie Parker played over that ii7/vi V7/vi (Em7 A7) during his solo.
This is a great feature to transcribe and analyze solos, and to see how the same harmonic progression is treated differently among form repetitions.