All Chords Live at Once (7x8=56)

Scaler 2.4 offers the user ability to choose any one of 7 rows (in Section C) to make (up to) 8 chords “live” for playing at a time.

There is much potential for larger chord layouts on modern grid controllers (e.g. 8x8 pads).

An option to have the entirety of Section C (currently 7x8=56 chords) “live” and playable at once would be lovely. There are many potential ways one might wish to organize such a larger sets of chords for immediate access during playback.

Advantages of doing so include not having to give up pads for the purpose of row switching, and not having to perform extra gestures (i.e. row switching) during live performance.

Please understand, I am not dissing the way it is now. The way it is now is very good and useful.

I am merely suggesting an optional, alternative way that could be implemented for utility and fun without having to undo anything that currently exists and without having to make any major changes in the UI as we now have it.

Best Regards.

Not wanting to take away from your feature request, @sj1 - I would also welcome another 8 chord row in the Section C matrix on top of the existing mx 56 pads.

But the mapping to 8x8 controllers for the current 7x8 chord sets is already possible in DAWs with clips capability (e.g. Ableton, Bitwig). Just activate key binding for Section C, by default you can use the keyboard range C2-B2 for row selection, and C3-B3 for chord selection. The way I map these in Ableton or Bitwig clips is via piano roll notes C2+C3, C2+D3, C2+E3 etc for the first row, then D2+C3, D2+D3, D2+E3. Each clip basically contains 2 notes, the vertical row selection, and the horizontal chord selection.

Hi Bernd!

Is your method above meant only for recording (or drawing) the note-pairs in the DAW and then having those recorded pairs trigger Scaler, or are you saying that you have a way to configure the DAW so that the hardware controller (e.g. Launchpad) can command the DAW to send those note pairs live?

BTW, I agree that having an 8th row would elegantly correspond with 8x8 grid controllers under a “64-all-at-once” scenario. (Whereas 7 rows for chords as now, allows for the 8th row on the controller to be the switching row, which is the nicely working setup we have currently.)

Actually, I use this setup to play live - well, not in front of people, but in a sense of jamming, interactively, real-time.

Yes, I am basically setting up the patterns in the DAW, as described above. But I understand that not all DAWs have clip capability. I don’t think this works on a linear composition timeline. I am only familiar with Ableton Live, Bitwig Studio, and FL Studio, and Maschine (software sequencer) where clips are possible.

Given that the Novation Launchpad was primarily designed to work with Ableton, you already have native integration, to map each of the 8x8 Launchpad buttons to a corresponding clip in Ableton (also 8x8).

The flow is: Launchpad calls up clip, and clip contains the MIDI notes to trigger Scaler’s section C rows & pads.

Ah, yes, I get your meaning now! Thanks.

I’ve been so used to triggering audio clips recently that I didn’t immediately think of setting it up with MIDI clips as you describe.

As it happens, I have both Ableton and Bitwig DAWs (and a few others) here. Any chance you could post (or email) me .als and/or .bwproject files to kickstart my setup and save me some time?

Sure, here’s a Bitwig project, with 8x8 clips mapped to Scaler chords. It’s the most straight forward way, a dedicated Scaler instance for each clip row, mapped to chords of the same Scale, but with different voicing and expressions/performances. As long as you play all chords in the same row, it sounds harmonic (maybe a few other combinations work as well). Each of the 8x8 pads on your controller should activate one of the clips. You can configure in the DAW if you want to play oneshot or loops. I prefer loops as they can take on the role of an auto-accompaniment.

I had to name the file .mid for upload since the forum software does not let me upload ZIP files. Just take the .mid off the name, and then unzip it, and you have a .bwproject file you can open in Bitwig (I used 3.3.10 for this).
Scaler 2 Ensemble 8x8 (17.8 KB)

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Wow, thank you kindly Bernd!

That’s a very nice BW project, it loaded and played very well, though it seems to be a not quite the live 8x8 (i.e. 2 control notes per clip) layout you discuss above.

I noticed the first 5 scenes each played a comprehensive accompanyment, and the last 3 scenes were more like “orchestra hits”. Was that intended?

The reason seems to be that the last 3 scenes are sending notes up above the Active Bind Keys: All range, whereas the first 5 scenes are not.

It’s really a great illustration of having multiple instances of Scaler 2 working together!!

I much appreciate you sharing this, it is a great starting point that gives me many ideas.

Thanks again!

There are many ways to configure this, it was just an initial illustration of mapping clips to Scaler in an 8x8 midi controller. You can map all these clips to just a single Scaler instance (a fully configured section C matrix), if you wish. But then you are bound to one instrument, that’s why I put 8 Scaler instances in the sample project, so you get a bunch of instrumental variety. This also answers your other question about the “orchestra hits” - I wasn’t trying to demonstrate any instrumentation, as is I am not yet very musical and better versed on the technical side how to set stuff up. Of course you can change the configuration of each Scaler instance in terms of instrument, voicing, expression, performance. This should be really interesting with the new 2.4 options with MIDI control, which by the way you can also program into the clips. But at that point, it may be easier to just drag&drop Scaler MIDI patterns directly into the DAW MIDI clips :slight_smile:

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Here’s the variation I described originally…

This is from one of my “mega ensembles” (with 64 VST instruments), which doesn’t make sense sharing since it probably contains a lot of instruments that you might not have. Aside, it’s fairly bloated, takes a long time to load, and I am still working on the stability (also very complex to use, but I like parameter tweaking :slight_smile: )

Thanks for the extra comments!

I am on my way to recreating the Bitwig set for Live and then I can post that and they can both be available for others.

I am having a strange issue though, which is almost certainly just something I don’t understand yet about how to do the setup.

In Live I have established clips containing notes to drive the chords of the Scaler instances (set up similarly as for Bitwig). What is strange to me is that, when triggered, I get 4 measures of sounding playback, then 4 measures of silence, repeating just like that, etc.

Any suggestions as to what could be causing this would be most welcome!

Here is the .als file for Live 11 (very much in-progress!) in case anyone has Live 11 and can take a quick look to help understand the issue.

SJ_Scaler2_8x8_Chroma_01c.als.mid (149.7 KB)

I can’t open Ableton Live 11 projects. You might want to share it in version 10 format, more people might be able to open it.

Fair point, but Live 11 is so far beyond Live 10 I’m not keen on spending time recreating backwards.