Chord scales

It should be possible to specify the specific chord scale for each chord of a progression. Furthermore, when using the key-lock modes and while playing back a progression, the key lock should be able to conform to the programmed chord-scale of each chord in the progression.

Right now it seems that key lock can either confirm to only one overall scale, which supposedly might apply to the whole progression…or else to the chord notes…but not to a defined chord scale, because currently there is no chord-scale defined per-chord in the progression at all.

This is particularly important when using modal interchange and other forms of chromaticism where definitely the one overall current scale does NOT apply to the borrowed modal interchange chord at all. And further more, in many cases, different modes use the same chord for its scale degree, but infer a totally different underlying chord scale. The chosen borrowed mode should infer that chord scale onto key lock modes and NOT the one overall scale, which is totally and completely wrong while using modal interchange and other forms of chromaticism.

In any case we need to be able to define the chord scale for each chord in a progression, mainly so that if we are noodling around in key lock mode or using key lock mode to modify some incoming midi pattern, it will follow the complete chord-scale and not just the notes of the chord.


We have thought about this and ways to implement a more user customisable form of keys lock. It’s an ongoing internal discussion. Thanks for useful feedback.


I second this request. As an unaccomplished keyboardist I’ve found scale key-lock is a real helper when exploring chord progressions. Now that I’m moving into modal interchange I would like key-lock to help me with the underlying chord scale as it momentarily wanders away from the chord scale that is shared by the overall progression.


In addition to the above, it’s also necessary for scaler to know what chordscale is desired For any given chord in order to properly add tension notes to the chord that fit the desired chord scale.

And In some caseS the same intelligence can be used to prevent generally undesirable dissonant tension add notes from being added.

I think scaler is already doing that but based on the common scale. When using the “modulation” pages, the current overall scale no longer applies, not for noodling and not for even voicing the extra add notes of the chord either! The user needs the choice to specify which vertical chord scale to use for every chord

In purely diatonic progressions, every chord that is based on that one horizontal scale is using the same scale as it’s vertical chord scale. And that makes sense when it’s purely diatonic that way. But when branching into chromaticism, the vertical chord scale of every chord can and will change from chord to chord. That effects how the chord can be built in terms of chord tones as well as how melodic phrasing over that chord would carry out.


In my humble opinion, getting this working along with scale sync would be the most useful features that could be added.

Essentially, it would allow full control over the complete harmonic content of your DAW, which IMO, is the holy grail of this type of thing.

Imagine, sketching out a chord progression. Then, triggering those chords rhythmically on a piano track. Then, other tracks could be setup to follow the scale of each chord. Then, if you want to change the complete harmonic mood of the piece, it could all be done from the main instance. The harmonic and rhythmic/phrasing content would be loosely coupled. Insanely powerful stuff.

In Ableton, there are some MFL devices that do this a little bit, but nowhere near as powerful as Scaler would be.



maybe I’m jumping ahead but how about a “Scaler Solo” on the solo track, with the sole purpose of filtering incoming notes based on what ever Scaler 2 tells it to? My CPU and RAM would like a lightweight solution instead of full blown Scalers on several tracks… Ability to CC-automate the set scale from outside Scaler 2 would be a nice bonus; I could impro on the same progession trying different scales on each passage…

I was thinking this EXACT thing. Would be great if there was a new “key lock” mode that allows SCALER to dynamically track “chord Scale” for when you are modulating chords and want to play the scale of the chords you are modulating to. So then the white keys map to the 7 notes of whatever the scale is of the chord being played and you can get 2-3 octaves of that scale while that chord is triggered.

In my dream SCALER 2.5 or 3.0 scenario, the user would be able to have an “keylock user” edit mode where you determine rules of what scale notes lock to the white keys when chords are triggered. The trick would be allowing the user to determine the scale for each chord individually (maybe defaulting all to the key of the progression at first). So for example, if I am in F major and modulate to F minor to borrow say a IV chord…I would need to be able to tell SCALER that the IV chord is from the mode/scale f minor and I want that scale when that chord plays, and not just the scale of the root of the 4 chord. Or if someone wants the resultant scale to be based on the root note of the nondiatonic chord for some reason, they could set that as well. I think more commonly in modal interchange I’d want it to be based on the mode and key I pulled the chord from and not the root note of the individual chord. I think the only clean way to do that might be to let the user input that in a “user keylock mode” for every chord in some edit mode.

1 Like

This is all great feedback thanks guys. Got us thinking.


This type of chord scale functionality would definitely be game changing as @jbone1313 and others have said if implemented. Scaler would just be god tier for composition at that point.

Thanks for hearing us out @davide

1 Like

we need this feature.