Additional visual indication when using suggested chords?

Apologies if this has already been covered, or indeed I’ve failed to notice it in the tutorials! I’m more of a “grab and go” type than working studiously through the “how to” beforehand :slight_smile:

Current use case: I’ve got some basic parts laid in (drums and bass) and which has established a key for the track overall. Let’s call that A Major for purposes of discussion.

Now I’m using Scaler to drive an additional instrument for rhythm or lead, and exploiting Scaler’s power to both define a range of basic chords in A Major, while also extending two of its powerful features: the variations of “Voicing” for each chord, and the “suggest” button in the below panel for once a chord or chord sequence is set.

What I find is that I’m interested in finding a variant voicing or chord by how it’s related tonally to the current. Which is to say that one might find a single voicing of e.g. C# min in Octave 2 which actually “sounds higher” than a suggested chord alternative in Octave 3.

I’d find it really helpful if it were possible to invoke the Voicing and Suggest (and indeed the Variations) through visual colouring on the keyboard… because what I’m looking for are variants that have a common note - not by trial and error but by deciding that (in the Key of A Maj) I’m interested in C#3 and WHERE alternative voicings and chords lie on the keyboard in relation to it.

Hope that makes sense? Feel free to ask if not :slight_smile:

Hi @alan9990 Not sure if it helps but have you tried right clicking a chord or chords and checking out the ‘Substitution’ section like ‘Common Tones’?

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I had not gone as far as to think of right clicking!! My bad. This is indeed helpful, thank you.

Just as comment, I realise everyone has an opinion on “what would be really great would be…” and now that I have spent some time inside a DAW, and have found my feet a little:

I notice how many VSTs are now deploying much more colour - not as eye candy but to provide further immediate context. This is where my mind was going when I made my post above.

If I call it “mind mapping” it may be the wrong term, but you may know what I mean. I’ve attached the XO sample manager… although I haven’t yet purchased it, I really like the way it presents the sound information

Your answer does indeed address my question, but only insofar as I’m tied to a mouse menu, exploration of which then leads to three submenus per choice. If instead this could be presented in something akin to a coloured cloud - it strikes me that it would add enormous power to what already exists within Scaler?


just to add further context…

I’ve been exploring this menu option as you suggest. Great! Except…

I’d set the Octave range in panel B to Octave 4 because I’m using a vintage organ. I then set out a chord pattern in C based on selected chords from B.

Now when in Pattern Editor C I right click, and choose a substitute chord based on tone:

1: I cannot preview it first, as one can with the chord pad buttons

2: without then knowing if it IS the chord I require, it replaces the current chord. Oh dear. I can’t see a simple way to copy the current chord, paste it into a new slot on the Pattern Editor, thereby preserving my original pattern while I experiment.

3: it’s not in the same octave at all - meaning that it might be the perfect ‘fit’ but in entirely the wrong octave. Assuming I’ve negotiated the above hurdle i.e. managed to place this new “maybe” chord into a spare slot in the Pattern Editor, I now have to right click again, select “Edit” and attempt to move it up by 48 semitones.

And all of this also means that when experimenting “tonally” and I might find a chord - let me use a current example to illustrate: I’m working in A Maj, Octave 4. I’m reopening my project from two days ago and when I had spent some time setting up a pattern in the editor (panel C).

My pattern has A maj/E, D maj/A, Emaj as its first three chords. Looking at panel B I can see that the E maj is the V chord of the A Maj scale. But I’ve no way to immediately tell where I picked the first two substitutions from. I was working “in the moment” and never thought to take note.

From here, and sensing that my first chord of A maj/E isn’t quite the sound I want… I’m looking for a substitution… and now I’m all at sea. I want to be able to see at a glance how all the current pattern is related - which modes or variations I’ve used, from which scale or mode… and to be able to insert a new substition in the same octave range - or… as part of this entire tonal way - in the octave range that suggests that it will be a close enough tonal match. This might be Octave 3 depending on which chord I’m substituting.

Brilliant as Scaler absolutely is, this is WAY too much clicking and fiddling about. It feels like there ought to be some more direct and intuitive way of doing this, all the while allowing me to see ALL the tonal options mapped out, allowing me to “click to listen” while I build my pattern, and while being able to constrain my choices via the top keyboard, and locking a key as my “tonal centre” for substitions.

I offer all this only to be helpful not overly critical.


Appreciate the feedback and constructive criticism from our users is an integral part of the platforms success. There is an overhaul of the UX due later this year and is primarily designed to get rid of the excessive clicking and steps to achieve things.

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