Chord Suggestion Discrepancy

I’m using Scaler 2.5.0 VST3 with Ableton on a Windows system, and I’m following Plugin Boutique’s video series Producer’s Guide to Scaler 2. These videos use a Mac implementation whose title bar reads “Scaler2/4-MIDI”. My title bar is labelled “Scaler 2/3-Scaler 2”.

In video #11 at about 2:30, the demo guy takes Cmaj7 into the chord editor. Among the recommended (blue) chord suggestions is C6, third from the left.

My chord suggestion screen and pressed keys looks like this:

The chord button that I’m pressing should really be labelled C6 instead of C maj add 13, right?

(I prepared four different screen captures to include here, but when I tried to post this, an alert window appeared and told me that because I’m a new user, I could only use one piece of embedded media. That would have been good information to have an hour ago.)

I just tried this, and I didn’t get a C6. I looked at my list of tonic variations, and couldn’t see it. It must be a mistake on my part , so I’ll check things out more carefully and report back

Welcome to the forums @Infideluxe. Chord nomenclature can be bewildering but when you indicate a ‘6’ in a chord it implies all the lower odd numbered chord members could be present but only 1,3,5,6. Once you add the 7 (in this case your B) it becomes a 13 because the odd numbers of 7,9,11 & 13 can also be present. My understanding anyways.


Yep, this is pretty much the correct way to think about it.

I realize that I was also unclear about what the Scaler video shows:

In a nutshell, both C6 (in the video) and C maj add 13 (in my life) hit the same four notes C E G A.

So… the demo/earlier version of software was incorrect, or these chords are synonymous. Right?

If I make a chord from scratch CEG - Scaler labeled CMaj. If I add the A = C E G A Scaler calls it a CMaj add 13 which in this case it is not since it does not have the 7th. It should say C6, so there are some issues with labeling that someday will get cleared up. In your picture the B is tan like it is part of the chord so in that case it is a 13 because of the B.

Thank you everyone for your kind and patient assistance.

IMHO, chord terminology can be a bit hit and miss, as different sources can show different names for the same thing.

So in my dictionaries / tools say C6 (or often C add 6) give C E G A ; C maj 13 is given in a reliable source as C E G B D A ( 1 3 5 7 9 13). However, if you just add a 13th to C maj it would be the same as C add 6 i.e. C E G A.

Scaler naming convention would see C maj add 13 as the latter, so my take would be that they were synonyms, different only in voicing.

** Added later : I didn’t see the post from @jamieh until after I posted mine.

My table earlier is created from reading the Scaler state file, and analysing the midi, so is a definitive statement of what their names mean. You can check anything you have a query on by visually examining a saved State File and looking at the midi notes.

I suspect some names are ‘pattern matched’ and some are interpreted - I managed to produce a chord “G#?” the other day :slight_smile:

Here is a long explanation by Christopher Smith that should indicate why it is not so easy to just call it one or the other. And since Scaler is making the call probably based on true or false computer language you can see the confusion.

The 6th and the 13th are the same note in a chord. Why use one name instead of the other? It is NOT because the 13th is an octave higher than the 6th, because you can voice the different chord members any way you like, in any octave, and the chord name will be the same. This is why:

When you indicate “13” in a chord, it implies that all the lower odd-numbered chord members COULD be present as well, so 1 3 5 7 9 11 and 13. When you indicate “6” in a chord, it also implies all the lower odd-numbered chord members could be present as well, but this list is only 1 3 5 6. Most tellingly, the 7th is missing from this list, and that is the most important note for chord function, along with the 3rd. All the other chord members are just colour and thickness.

Because of the nature of chord nomenclature, you assume all chord members are from the major scale of the root of the chord, EXCEPT the 7th, which is assumed to be the minor 7th. So C13 could contain (not “must contain”, but “could”) C E G Bb D F A. In practical terms, you would generally include the 3rd and 7th, and then one or two of whatever other chord members you wanted. A lot of musicians would TRY to include the 13th, because it’s there in the chord name, but it is not a rule that it has to be there.

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Wonderful information! And just to neurotically beat this to death, I realize that I should have shown this composite image to begin with: