Map multiple scales *simultaneously* to MIDI key bind

I am not sure if this is doable in any other DAW than Bitwig. But I have dreamed of simultaneously playing different chords via MIDI keybind. In a single Scaler instanec you can only have one scale active at a time in Section B, and access it via MIDI key bind (default: C2 triggers first chord in scale). The other approach to choose chords from different scales via MIDI keybind from different scales is via section C, but you have to switch rows, and there’s no way to play two chords at the same time.
Why would I want to do that? I love chord blending (not bending). Say, overlap and then morph a Cmin into a Cmaj vc vs. Or any chord into any other. I guess it’s a poor-man’s chord bending approach that was brought up the other day with a 3rd party tool.

What I ended up doing (and recently discovered) is that I have multiple Scaler instances in parallel on one track (which is why I think this is only possible in Bitwig).


The first Scaler is e.g. C Mixolydian scale, mapped to C2

The second Scaler is e.g. C Minor scale, mapped to C3

Now when I press C2 and C3 key on my physical keyboard at the same time, both C maj and C min chords from the 2 different scales will play simultaneously. And any amount of chords can be overlapped this way.

I suppose you could achive a similar setup in Ableton or other DAWs, that let you arm multiple tracks in parallel, and then each track would have its own Scaler instance with the respective distinct Key Binding range. That should be able to achieve a similar effect?

If I understand you, it is very easy in Ableton to have two instances of Scaler with different scales being triggered from different octaves of a keyboard.

My approach is to simply set up an instrument group by

  • loading Scaler into a midi track, then
  • right-click and select group
  • duplicate Scaler
  • set key mapping on the first instance to C2-B3
  • set key mapping on the second instance to C3-B4

To avoid changing the default settings in Scaler I added the Ableton PITCH plugin set at -12 to the second instance (this pitches the incoming midi down an octave), but you can change the deafault in Scaler if you prefer.

C2 -B3 now control the chords in the frist instance of Scaler and C3-B4 in the second.

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Yes, I am familiar with the Instrument Rack feature in Ableton. What I should have added is that I use Scaler as a MIDI source to drive the actual sound plugins. Can you group multiple MIDI plugins in an Ableton track? (to output the combination of all MIDI created by all plugins grouped in that track)

(and I only have the 8track limited free version of Ableton Lite 10, so the full version might be able to do stuff I can’t see in my version)

Cool, so I can see how this can work just as well in Ableton. So has anybody been using the overlapping chord capability? Is this is musical use for you pros out there? Is that related to the “chord bending” feature mentioned in the other thread? (that dedicated plugin that was discussed)

what is also cool is configuring the various Scaler instances spread over the physical keyboard’s octaves, all in the same scale, but with different voicings. So the keyboard behaves similar as usual, but the voicings can change from octave to octave. Makes improvising really fun! :slight_smile:

You can group different instruments in a Group, but you cannot “chain” instruments so that one instrument drives another on the same track (Ableton Live’s midi routing is in some ways inflexible, and midi routing within Live does not support multiple midi channels! - a known “feature”). You can, however, route midi from one track to multiple tracks,

So to drive different instruments you will have to put each instance of Scaler onto an individual Live track. And to enable the Key zones each instance of Scaler will need to be set up as a Group and the Key zone set up.

You can also set up another instrument rack on a second track to drive multiple instruments. In this rack you may want to consider setting macros to fade between the instruments and possibly enable or disable individual instruments. This may help on crossfading if you are unsure about how to do it (I was)