How To Use - Cthulhu by Xfer Records with Synth Hacker / 487

In this all new How to Use, we look at a plugin that’s been around for a while but sometimes doesn’t get the glory it deserves. We are talking about Cthulhu by Steve Duda’s Xfer records. Here, expertly guided by Synth Hacker, we take a look a the controls in both the Arp section and the chord sections, then moved on to some real world examples, putting Cthulhu through its paces.

How have I never heard of this plugin? Those chords were amazing- I always struggle getting decent sounding chords

just bought this after watching this video and am loving it already. It’s sort of confusing but I really am liking what it’s putting out as far as ideas so far.

Fascinating tutorial. I bought he plugin yesterday. Couple of things. Those Bach chorales are really great but they switch keys a lot and that makes adding vocals a bit tricky - for me anyway. I watched a Steve Duda tutorial as well and he seems to record the serum tracks. It has the advantage that you have the full chord patterns to play with in Serum track and can then delete the Cthulhu channels to save space. Or have I got it wrong?

This pluggin is one of my Trance music production secrets… I’m excited to know that finally someone has made a good tutorial for it but sad to see this plugin being exposed. Awesome Tutorial… Thanks

Fabolous! And he has a great voice too!

Question: Once you have the chord progression you like, do you have to lay them into midi by hand? I’m a bit new to this, but trying to understand how you translate the vst into the notes in Ableton. Thanks!!

Cwedor, you can record arm your midi destination track and record the incoming midi from Cthulhu.

Nice quick-win tips using Cthulhu.

TIP: because there’s a lot more to explore, a more advanced version combining composition, scales and different kind of music styles would be amazing.

great thank you

Great and straight to the point. Thanks.

good information

Very clear, thanks.

Great instructor and solid pace. Thank you!

Great tutorial. Thanks

This was sort of helpful but still have lots of questions:

  1. How do I record the midi from chords being generated in Cthulu to piano roll in Ableton Live to be able to build a start a progression and then develop it outside of the VST?

  2. What is typical workflow for creating a melody other than literally just randomly mashing keys on the keyboard? I played with the different sort options but they still all feel incredibly random. how is this any better than just using a different stock chord plugin?

Thanks for the content!

Hey there @mattymurda

  • To record Midi out from Chtulhu inside Ableton ( works only with the VST, not the AU plugin if on MacOS )

1- Launch an instance of Cthulhu VST on one Midi Track.
2 - Create a new empty Midi Track, set the audio monitoring to IN and for the source select the Cthulhu Midi track, then in the next slot, select Chtulhu again
3- Arm the track for record, press the record button : any Midi coming out from Chtulhu will be recorded onto the 2nd Midi Channel.

  • Typical workflow would be to work using scales & a root note for your track and melody and therefore just using notes falling into this specific scale. This involves getting around some basics of music theory and sticking to this workflow can have limitations. An other option is to do it by ears and create melodies or chords that are simply sounding good to you, even if they don’t match standard notation ( think about the infamous way Deadmau5 wrote numerous chords progressions & melodies ).

When it comes to Plugins that can really help with this, do have a look to Plugin Boutique Scaler 2, it’s an amazing learning & creative tool and a really affordable plugin. I highly recommend you to watch this course from Kirk Degiorgio here on S.A website.

Hope this helps :wink: