Mapping Next and Previous to MIDI CC

I know this was a much asked for add on but to me it behaves exactly like I knew it would - with a slider or rotary knob dialing in the exact next or previous phrase is fairly difficult to do even if you are watch the scroll. Doing this on the fly results in random scrabbles for the most part. I do prefer the arrow keys myself. Also, since it appears that you can’t assign it to one CC so you can go forward and backward with the same rotary CC it’s much more awkward and unintuitive.
@Bernd what are your thoughts now that this is here? Does it make composing faster for you? I know you’re a fan of random.
Also it’s difficult to find this command list. I stumbled on it by accident. Not that I know it’s in Preferences I can find it again.

I still feel that utilizing the Bank/program commands designed into MIDI, if that were possible, would be much better. The Banks being the Categories i.e. Performances, Phrases, etc. and the programs being the elements of the category i.e. Color A All, Color A 1, Color A 2, etc. It no doubt would require a rewrite of code to make that happen. But since Scaler is an instrument it seems like it should be possible.
Again, just my opinion and I am often wrong.

I haven’t used the new CC mapping features yet. They haven’t been intuitive enough for me to play with them without reading up on how they are meant to function.

I am a big proponent for mapping a whole linear (not nested) list of menu selections (like songs) to one CC parameter, which I then can map to individual values within the CC (as a trigger). I do prefer rotary switching between selections, which becomes especially useful when using automations in the DAW. Because if I have to use a different CC for each performance/snapshot, I have to add corresponding separate automation tracks in the DAW, which is to me more convoluted than having one automation curve per track and just change values.

And yes, as you mentioned, from an aleatoric composition standpoint, it is easier to modulate one CC with multiple possible values (0…127) and change performances via a random or nested LFO(s), than alternating between snapshots between different CCs (in fact, I do not know of a method to randomize the CC selection, short of some sophisticated nested CC modulation in Bitwig)

I also think it could still make sense to map functions to MIDI Notes (additionally to CCs), since many 8x8 pad controllers like Push/LaunchPad/Maschine can map their pads to MIDI notes also. Just use a different MIDI Channel than for playing actual sounds.

If you are talking about automation and CC mapping then yes it is way better then key switches since CC data is chased by the DAW. I’ve always liked that for articulation switching. But in your initial posts about CC mapping to the various menu items I remember you wanted to scroll. Since it requires the a different controller be mapped for forward or backward I find it difficult to hit an exact spot in the 127 selectable items.
I’ll be curious to see what you come up with in your workflow.

Not sure if we’re talking about the same concept here. What I suggested in my other posts was that the items in a single linear list (often these are nested in the Scaler) are “browsable” with a single CC knob. In Scaler most (sub)lists don’t really have a lot of items (far less than 127). In my personal experience more than 10 different values are hard to manage with a potentiometer type controller. Endless controllers are a different thing, they work much better with (well, nearly) endless lists - see Arturia or NI’s Komplete/Maschine preset browsers.

At any rate, the key here is that the (max.) three levels of nesting in Scaler menus could each be mapped to one CC. So for illustration, the Song menu has 3 levels. Each level would have its own CC assigned. So within that particular level you would browse to open the next level menu, the item in which gets selected by the next CC, and so on to the 3rd level. Of course the 2nd and 3rd level CC would not be hard coded to a particular song sub-menu, but be generically remapped (Scaler internal) to always present the sublist of the current parent CC selected.

In my current understanding this is how MIDI Bank Select and Program Change is implemented in many synths.

Ok, found a 4 level hierarchy in Scaler, but that’s the most nested hierarchy, I think.


Yeah but Scaler keeps scrolling past the ones you start with until all 127 step are used. For Example If you start with Performances Basic 1 it will scroll through Triplet Feel - Triplet 6
You could use a filter to keep it from doing that but it still has the problem of using 2 CC controls.
Try it.

I see what you’re saying. I guess I haven’t run into this in a while, since in Bitwig I can remap the range of a knob - say I know I only have max 10 combinations, I can map the 100% knob range to only the first 10 MIDI CC values. If it were mapped standard linear, yes, you’d have the first 10 presets in less then 10% of the knob’s rotating range, that would be some fiddling. Not sure if this sort of rescaling of a MIDI control is possible with all controllers/DAWs :-/

There are midi filters that can do that. I do it all the time in Ableton. I usually want a limited range.

I guess I don’t understand what you mean with “Scaler will scroll through…”. I know it currently just increments across (sub)folders with the +/- logic. With my suggestion of CC per list it would stay focused within the current (sub)folder/list.

But it doesn’t unless you set a limit like you said. I take it you haven’t tried it yet in 2.4.1

Yup, per my initial statement :slight_smile:

I saw that. OK. Sorry for the pointless conversation.

I don’t quite understand this. You asked for a way to control Expression switching with MIDI CC. They implemented that but you don’t want to try it out. Where are you going to read up on them? It’s not in the manual. The problem I see with them compared to your specs is that the menu needs to be in the foreground unlike controlling the entire performance snapshot that’s available anytime.
Maybe just to give them feedback on what you wished for and what is there?

I didn’t say I don’t want to try it out. I just didn’t have the focus yet to play with it further. My first attempt to play with the new 2.4.1 Scaler version was limited in focus, and it didn’t jump in my face intuitive enough for me to grasp what has been newly implemented in the CC arena. What I asked for hasn’t been implemented. And my intuition-based poking around didn’t yield the results, which had me think that I should read up on the new features. But I since also found that the manual doesn’t go into detail on the new features, which is fine by me. I just need more time to play with them. But I can tell you that it’s not aligned with my workflow, when I right-clicked on the arrows with which you would mouse-select menu items from lists and nothing new happened, like mapping the arrow keys directly to CC. I am not complaining, just know from first short trial that it’s not there what I had in mind - and that’s fine. I also got sidetracked from playing with the cool new performances :slight_smile:

Right now I don’t have a void in Scaler’s feature scope. What I asked for is a nice to have for me. But I can work around it, as I have been. Bitwig lets me build device wrappers that do most of the modulation a device does not support directly. And since Scaler instances are very light, I can easily switch between differently configured Scaler instances with my native DAW controls, not worth the impatient haggling over my seemingly edge-case ask.

So I spent some time figuring out the additional CC mapping functionality. It is so counter intuitive to me that it was really hard to get it working. Not sure if this is related to my particular DAW setup (I tried Bitwig and Ableton Live). But it was really finicky for me to click on the menu selection before it would recognize the new navigation buttons/keys. That breaks my workflow. If I have to mouse click a selection before I can use a button/key, then I might as well select it with the mouse in the first place. My goal is to be 100% MIDI controller based, once I have the DAW/plugin ensemble setup accordingly. I want absolute and individual control over each relevant element in Scaler, not keys/buttons that are context sensitive, let alone require a mouse operation to set context. So we are still a far cry from implementing my dream, dedicatable MIDI CC knobs for selection from any of the linear list menues (or sub lists in the case of nesting).

Also: the next/previous item shortcut does not seem to work on the “Songs” menu.

This is what I was trying to say. For me the arrows on keyboard are fine although I have some plans for this new system as soon as I have a little more time. I have a hunch that this was an easy program work around. Anything deeper will probably be down the line towards the 3.0 version. This would no doubt go along with a GUI reworking.
Still, as you know, we have a great piece of kit here with Scaler as it is evolving. New music is definitely coming with the new Chordal and New Basic presets. They fit so well with the NI Picked Guitar for a film I am composing for. The few tests I’ve done with that combo the more excited I get. Lots to explore these days.
The modulation in Bit Wig sounds super interesting but it’s not designed to play a movie to compose to so I’m sticking to Cubase for now.
Cheers and continue your aleatoric odyssey.

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Good to hear and I also am having fun with them.

In regard to your first post I agree, but it is intended to be used (previous and next) with a button CC in which case it works great. I do think we need to focus on getting everything right overall rather than patching bit by bit but we’ve tried to facilitate user requests in the meantime.

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