Breaking up BLOCK chords in Scaler - 2023 (strategies)

Hi all,

Leaving aside Performance/Arp automations for the moment, what are your REAL-TIME performance tips and tricks for breaking up BLOCK chords in Scaler.

You can use the Multi MIDI Out in Scaler 2.7 to send different notes to different MIDI channels. Works well in most DAWs except Live since Live only supports Channel 1 on tracks.
For me I’ve taken to using Divisimate to do similar things but more controllable. I send Scaler to Divisimate and get back different combinations of notes to different instruments depending on my choices and goals. Expensive but worth it in the long run.

I’ve been looking at some of the issues from a Live perspective and have set out my understanding here

I’ve summarised the MIDI capabilities of the VST host I’ve been using here . The routing are pretty flexible, allowing one to many and many to one, as well as rule based structure for doing things like transposing.

I’ve now got multi Scalers happily synching to Live with MIDI Time Code to have the DAW and the host also operating in sync. See trivial example at
Here’s the overall picture

I’ll shortly post more on this topic working with BBS -SO.

@jamieh Thanks but I’m speaking more about “performance” and playing single notes, or passing phrase or transistions among the BLOCK Chords you may have set in Scaler.

@panda that looks intriqing but I must admit I don’t understand what is shown thus far. (I dont know what Cantible is). In any case again, I’m trying to think of ways to break out of the “One note” Chord triggering to best mimic or replicate a skilled Piano player.

It’s quite difficult to get a handle on poster’s orientation on a first post, but I think I’m getting a picture of what you are seeking.

Am I right in thinking this is on the lines of, but not the same, as the ‘performances’ provided by Scaler., but notes sitting between the chord attacks on the beat add accents, embellishments and transitions ? You pose an interesting area for exploration, and that is by taking Scaler performance MIDI and amending and enhancing that. I suspect that some good ideas might be triggered by taking alternative chords off the Modulation page, and then trying out how some of the ‘motifs’ might sit with those?
It’s a challenge, which maybe needs a pianist (not me … ) to chime in.

Yes like the auto performances provided by scaler but also the “Lock to scale” feature where you can trigger chords with 1 note and same time work transitions or passing notes etc and even break up some of the One note triggers (BLOCK Chord) but all in Real-Time.

Real-Time being the key I think. So basically getting as much human feel into the performance rather then all the pre programmed performances.

Interesting. If it’s real time it will have to be controller driven, with keyboard or NI’s Maschine / Ableton Push 2 … what controller do you use?

I’ve posted this before (so sorry, Moderators), but I’ve always thought Neon Vines demonstrates just what can be done merging MIDI / looping and real time playing - something like this maybe? (watch all 3:50 …)

If you are a live performer (sounds like it) Cantabile is what I’ve been using to merge Ableton and Scaler.

Our jamming champ is @ClaudioPorcellana and he may have some thoughts - Claudio ?

err, sorry, I didn’t even get what he is trying to break

@Panda Impressive video. Well yes this kindof live improvising but obviously without beats, Basslines and all the bells and whistles.
So you have your block chord sequence and now to get the most human, live improvsed performance of it.

There is a terrific plugin called chordpotion that may do the performance side (by for you. It also records what is played into it and then provides a drag’n’drop editable midi file. It has many presets, it’s also totally programmable and capable of generating random yet very usable variables as well as humanising the whole performance. Well worth a look, it goes way beyond Scaler’s performance presets.

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Melodic Flow is a great program. An incredible number of different Scalas. I haven’t seen this much in any other show. Otherwise it works great.

Interesting. Thanks Guys. Will check them out.

Yes indeed
What is lacking in Ableton Live and Bitwig is more scales to play melodies on

And Scaler also still lacks an improved Keys-Lock feature, and I really hope it will appear soon because it is a dynamic feature, compared to the other tools that are static AFAIK

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You can use Pitch Quantize in the Note Grid to conform to any scale of your choosing.

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Like @Ben says the Note Grid in Bitwig is quite powerful. Time to start utilizing the Power Package of Bitwig AND Scaler for your jams.

How might you utilize these tools similtaneously with Scaler?

Whereby the Chords you might trigger on S2 could be ignored by the Jam you might do with the other tools. …And even further, there could be a kindof “choke note” if the live Melody Jam happen to be repeating a note from a S2 Chord.

I use Harmonize in Bitwig every day, and it seems to me it works very well

and I also use Key Filter, but the number of scales is very limited (compare with Melodic Flow ones above)

Now, I suspect (but unsure about) that the Scaler’s Keys-Lock feature could work better (if improved) because it’s dynamic (the available notes changes at each chord)

I don’t use it so what needs to happen to make it better. Changing on each chord seems to be a winner right there. What is wrong with it?

Mmm, I tried it just now, but I am unsure I dropped Pitch Quantize in the right place with the right connections…

there are gaps between series of notes, as mentioned before by me and others
for example, on a chord you have 1-2-3 then 4-5
when you hit on note 1-2-3 all is fine, but if you hit 4, the note played is a higher pitch compared to the previous 3 so it sounds bad

And, generally speaking, compared to Ableton Live Scale or Bitwig Key Filter & Harmonize, the solo notes available in Scaler are way less