Exploring Scaler's Performance settings....an easier way the look beyond the chords

We all know Scaler is a chord creation and playback machine, but what about the performance playback engine?

If you are new to Scaler (or maybe not) do you ever wonder what all the performance settings actually did and how they influenced each other. If so, did you know you could change almost all of Scaler’s performance settings while it is playing, letting you hear the changes almost instantly without missing a beat? You can even keep the Settings pane open letting you more easily see (and change) your settings and access settings you cannot access in the main panel.

While this might seem pretty mundane, it is a key to quickly exploring how the different settings interact with each other and it lets you hear subtle (and not so subtle) differences in playback you might never stumble onto in a typical workflow.

A quiz…do you know off the top of your head what a certain quantize setting will do to a particular performance? How about when you change the Chord Duration, the Perform Mode or the Instrument type? Reading a description or knowing some of the related theory might work for some but hearing it live is hard to beat.

A couple Performance Exploration tips:

  1. When exploring the basics, start with a short pattern and simple chords Identifying the changes can be tricky sometimes so a pattern that turns around quickly is helpful. Try something like G F C C to make it at least a little interesting.
  2. Try a simple 1/8 UP Arpeggio as a performance mode so you know exactly what you are hearing.
  3. Start with an instrument with a fast attack (meaning it plays quickly like a piano key or a plucked string) I like Substantial because it has a fast attack with nice rich sustain. Try a different one.
  4. Enable loop on your pattern and hit Play
  5. Start at the top of the Settings pane and work your way down starting with chord duration.
  6. For example, try 1/2 beat and toggle Retrigger/Follow, 1 beat, 2 beats…
  7. Some of the settings relate to when you are having Scaler Play chords in a pattern and some impact the way Scaler plays keys/chords you are playing by hand.
  8. And lastly, understand that the different settings interact with each other in unexpected ways. I’ve been exploring for months and still stumble onto unexpected combinations that sound really good…or as some like to say…“the happy accidents.”

If you learn something or stumble onto anything interesting, add to the thread. Something puzzling…ask.

Exploration is a collective process…what did you stumble onto today?

9 Likes

You got my curiosity up and running.
Exploring and hopefully coming back with some findings.
Thanks!

1 Like

Thought I’d drop this as an example of how I explore Scaler’s performance modes and gather interesting performance clips. FYI this is not an example of the steps above, I just tossed it together this morning without much of a plan. Sorry the production quality is a bit rough with some audio dropouts some clops …still dialing in a screen recording setup that works with my gear.

This example is strictly feeding Scaler it’s own performance midi via a loop and then tweaking and trying things. As a heads up, the drum level (coming in at 02:00) is a bit hot. It was a direct recording to video capture so no way to drop them in post. I’ll monitor them a little more closely next round…if there a next round.

2 Likes

It’s a great kind of Scaler use.
Thanks

1 Like