Is Scaler really for those of us with limited music knowledge?

I think Scaler has so much potential.

However, from a teacher’s point of view, the problem is that it assumes the users know as much as the creators.

I’ve read the manual, which alone had me going around in circles. I’m sure the terminology used is clear to the writer, but it’s not intended for the writer but the users, and the users aren’t always on your wavelength.

The manual isn’t a User Manual, it just a brief overview. Unless you have a clue what they are talking about, it means nothing and has no value to the user.

As a Teacher, the goal is always to explain something that you know, to those that don’t.

Address all users’ needs from all music levels if you intend to provide this fantastic app for everyone. Add links to all the technical terms used, giving clear explanations as simple as possible; this isn’t always easy. Have short video clips to clarify each section and sub-section of the manual. Think as you do so; would most people reading or watching this be able to understand it? If the answer is yes, then watch Scaler fly.

For instance: What does ‘Suggested Modulation Pathway’ mean? In simple terms!

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Hi @Alfie and welcome to the forum, I totally get your feedback. It’s always tough to have everyone covered but I appreciate that it can be self-defeating when you are not looking after both ends of the market. We will look to improve and include the users you think may feel alienated.

Hi @Alfie

Like you I have limited musical knowledge, but I find Scaler is a great tool to play around with.

I don’t think it is a tool for learning music theory, but I find it very useful that once I have learned some theory (e.g. about Modal changes - changing from one key to another) I can practise this using Scaler.

However, even without too much music theory (and I admit a little theory does help) The best tool for composing music is your ears: if it sounds right then it probably is right. I believe that even the greatest composers will make several attempts at a motif, phrase or harmonisation before deciding on the “right one”.

Hope this helps you.

Thanks Alfie and welcome to one of the coolest musical communities out “there”.

I’d like to offer an additional perspective, where a tool like Scaler fits perfectly in the musical education journey. And as @ed66 notes, there is nothing better than your ears for composing.

As someone who knew absolutely nothing about music theory or even music playing in general before I found Scaler, I experience it as fantastic tool that compliments the countless formal music learning tools. I think a teacher who builds part of their curriculum around Scaler will have a real advantage.

It seems to me that teaching in 2022 is as much about helping students explore their learning w/in modalities that fit their interests and needs, as it is “explaining something that you know”. While Scaler does not attempt to explain the theory behind a particular concept (something it was never intended to do), it often helps by making the results of that theory tangible or should I say audible It lets them explore various elements of musical creation in unique ways and likely pulls them in deeper and deeper. At least it did for me (as you can see if you look at my post history)

While Scaler can initially seem overwhelming, it is amazing how quickly things start to come together. Before you know it you are loosing yourself in the creative process for hours on end and deeply enjoying Scaler (that is when Play Quantize is working :slight_smile: )

As a LLleaner, I would love it if one day the Scaler team exposed APIs that enabled building student focused experiences. That would let the Scaler “music engineers” do what the do best and the teachers developers out there do what they do best.

BTW, I noticed you did not mention that you had watched any videos. There are lots and a great way to learn Scaler concepts and workflows. Top of list is Davide Carbone, creator of Scaler who has many interesting videos. Here is a good beginner example: (1) Scaler 2 Workflow | Starting with a Melody - YouTube

Good luck in your exploration and teaching, and good to have you here.

Good Morning and let me first appologise for the late reply.

The more I’m using Scaler the more I’m finding what I’m looking for.

I think at first I was getting draw into the amount that scaler offers to all user. I was clicking this and clicking that and getting deeper and deeper. The trick is to start simple and get to know how to control it before you fly.

I certainly don’t think the creators of Scaler are trying to alienate anyone, it’s just that they must be so in deepth with this thing that to think of anyone just starting, without a clue must be phew!

An idea; and it is just an idea, what about some simple step tutorials ie, basic chord progressiosn with basic rythmns. I know this is there, but you have to find it and I think if you show us at this basic level, it would teach us the basic workings of Scaler in a meaningful way, at our level, and we would then ready to explore.

And maybe by someone that doesn’t look like he is held in prison and just longing to be set free :rofl:… that’a a bit of a joke :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

Hi and thanks for taking the time to reply!

Scaler is a great tool! But then again, a grass stimmer is a great tool, but I still manage to dead head more flowers than grass. If only I’d learn the basics and maybe read the manual, but we all know what manuals are like :roll_eyes: Check out Scaler’s manual :exploding_head:

True, ears are best… did I tell you I am profoundly deaf, I have to be plugged in to hear anything… honest, I’m deaf. Maybe that doesn’t help :grin:

Thanks again and all comments help.

Hi, and thank you for taking the time to reply!

I, too, think a term, or even half term could be built around learning the basics of Scaler. It would have to be kept at a basic level. Kids are notorious for going nowhere or flying ahead, so you have to keep them in check. Give them enough to keep their interest and excited enough to want to know more. This would be wholly on music making and fundamental theory; this should inspire and open up future studies for anyone wanting to learn more about music theory.

As for the videos you mention, yes, I’ve seen most a few times, and while some are better than others, they all help in some way. :roll_eyes:

I forgot to say I’m a retired teacher. I now spend my days wondering where it all went as I kill more plants in the garden or while the hours staring at Logic and Scaler!

It’s incredible, but I still never seem to find enough time in the day! :thinking:

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I recently bought Scaler 2.7.
I knew it was going to be a learning curve even though I am a musician. I have some musical knowledge but more limited than what I could see that Scaler offered.
So I bought at the same time The Scaler 2 Official Course 2023 by The School of Synthesis.
Designed into 7 Modules from the basics of operation inside your DAW to using all it’s various features.
Not a large investment money wise, but huge investment knowledge wise.
I’d recommend anyone buying into Scaler for the first time to spend a little bit more and buy the designer’s knowledge on how to operate it. It’s a powerful piece of software and it will help to improve your musicality.
Enjoy the ride!