More Scales! E.g. Prometheus, Augmented…

With scale diversity, I often have this feeling that I want more. MOAR!
For instance, I have a “noodling scale” that I enjoy a lot, which is pretty much never found in any plugin: G G♯ B C C♯ D F. (You might interpret it in different ways, including as a mode of a raga or even a version of a Messiaen scale. Still, it’s not a known quantity.)
So, I’d like a way to add custom scales, as is done in (for instance) Audiomodern Riffer.

Also… it’d be nice to have more known scales in the plugin. For instance, hexatonic scales like Prometheus and Augmented.
After watching Ben Levin’s video about poppy lines in “weird scales”, I want to experiment with them.
Now, maybe they’re in Scaler under other names. Part of the difficulty with scales is that they come under different names (even well-known ones like “Jazz Minor”, which is the same as “Melodic Minor (Ascending)”.

The ultimate solution would be a full scale database… which would fit really well with our beloved plugin’s name. Been having lots of ideas about those, including the sort of metadata to include in such a database. And I know it could be a significant project which may not benefit current users that directly without a bit of nudging.

In the meantime, though, I’d really enjoy having a way to add custom scales.

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maybe Scala file support would be handy for this purpose and thus have virtually unlimited scale options?
ex. Scala scale file (.scl) format

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@Enkerli Do you have the ‘all possible scales’ file with 2049 scales defined in a spreadsheet.? If not I can post it to the cloud.

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2049? the scala set has >5100 :slight_smile: more than enough for a day or two of experimentation!

Scale Archive
A large collection of over 5100 scale files for Scala is also available for download.
Scale archive, version 91, May 2022:

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Chordz that lets you change notes in a scale and save the new scale as a preset can be a way

I just created a mix between Dorian and Blues that works very well for solos

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Good point! I’m a big fan of tuning systems. The MTS-ESP protocol is a neat way to sync them and it does help in terms of handling diverse scales. Especially if we map notes to keys (either through .kbm files along .scl ones or with alternative formats, like .tun and such).

I don’t think I do, no! I’ll gladly take anything you send me!

I’ve been using things like Tonality, Harmonious, All the Scales, Scale Omnibus, Scale Compendium, and Tessitura Pro. Yet I don’t have a spreadsheet!

Something which is probably obvious to a lot of people is that it’s pretty easy to use a binary system to notate every possible scale in the “12TET ecosystem”: each bit represents a “pitch class” (0 is C, 1 is C♯, 2 is D, etc.), flip on the bit if the PC is part of the scale. You then have a 12-bit number (101011010101 for C Major) that you can convert back to decimal (2773) or even hex (AD5). That’s how All the Scales works, using some specifications. I sometimes feel that it should be in reverse and maybe drop one bit, as there’s always a root note. So, 10101011010 which is 1370 or x55A. (Kinda similar to “little-endian” vs. “big-endian”.)

At any rate, I feel like something could be done in Scaler if it embedded every possible scale (in 12TET) and could use them when we type them in (either by scale detection or by that decimal number).
For instance, with the Prometheus scale, I could only find Lydian Dominant (what Levin calls “Lydian ♭7”). The difference is that the Prometheus scale doesn’t use the fifth, and that makes a significant difference when you try to find which chords to use.
I ended up experimenting a bit until I was able to create this.

(Riffer does have Prometheus so I generated a line with that. For chords, I created a progression of four chords that I tweaked for maximum voice-leading and with a large “open voicing” gap between the bass and the middle voices. I then made that progression “polymetric” by shortening the lines for each of the middle voices.)

Well, @panda is likely talking about scales in 12TET, which remains a dominant approach. Works well for databases and it’s what Scaler uses.

All the Scales only lists 228 unique scales in 1490 modes. Part of the reason is that it eliminates “Pitch Class Sets” with gaps wider than a major third. AFAICT, this decision is probably a measure to avoid (most) chords. In Set Theory, the difference isn’t that useful. In fact, the "Prometheus scale” uses the same notes as the “Mystic Chord”.

(Speaking of PC Sets, there’s an online calculator I use on occasion.)

So, yeah, there can be a lot more scales to take into account if you do the combinatorics for every tuning system. For instance, I like 31EDO and an exhaustive list of all its modes would probably be orders of magnitude more than the number of unique scales in 12TET.

Also, it’s useful to keep in mind that many scales use the exact same notes under different names (as mentioned previously). Something I’ve noticed with Scala files is that they lack a robust classification system and it’s quite possible to have two files describe the exact same collection of intervals. And since it doesn’t have a notion of reference pitch, I often have to tweak one to get the results I want.

Cool! Wish it were crossplatform.

very true, tricesimoprimal practical rolls off the tongue as well :wink:

Indeed, I was. The ‘all possible scales’ (and my interpretation f it at ‘scalecoding’) can be accessed here

I did some work in a spread sheet to compare scales and chords to look for common notes, by representing both as bit maps, as noted in your post. Then simple logical binary operation allowed a comparison.
scales and chords were based in C, and MOD 12 arithmetic trivially manipulates the actual key, albeit with expressions such as

=IF(BITAND(chord_comp!$B$5,2^(chord_comp!E5-1)),chord_comp!E4,0) and


The result is a couple of tables such as


Excellent! The kind of useful thing I wish I had access to, a few years ago when I was trying to come up with an easy way to identify all chords available in a given scale.

Thanks a whole lot!

(And, yeah, I might expand that to 31EDO at some point. :wink: )

Unfortunately, it is just Windows