A little while ago, Dylan Tallchief, a YouTuber with a focus on electronic music content, made a drum machine in Microsoft Excel. It got popular.
Now, Dylan has gone beyond and created xlStudio, a fully functioning DAW within Excel, complete with arrangement view, transport control, looping functions, Export to Live and so much more. There’s even a piano roll that you can input MIDI data, such as notes and velocity values, to then be read by Ableton Live once you import the track into it.
A more powerful and surprising part of the piano roll is the ability to instantly select and deploy chord structures with one note. As Dylan shows in the video example, by typing ‘m’ (for minor) on a root note, Excel will automatically play the notes required to create the desired chord. Other chords include major, diminished, augmented, dominant, minor 7, major 7, minor 9 and major 9.
You can also see the drum machine video here: