Need Help, Beginner

Ableton Live 11. Macbook Pro M2 16GB
Scaler Midi works fine.
I work with a lot of samples, I want to add backing chords/baselines to samples that I chop. When I drag Scaler FX onto an audio track, it won’t pick up any of the audio being played. Alternatively, when I drag and drop audio into a channel with Scaler 2 FX open, the audio detection is absolutely dreadful. I tried with a variety of samples, and then I literally resampled audio of me playing the notes in the C major scale and Scaler 2 was giving me F sus 7 chords to play along ?? I am so confused and I am sure I am missing something because I hear such amazing things about this plugin.

Hi, and welcome @ziernerwood

It worth be worth doing a search here (magnifying glass, top right) for “audio detection”, and you will see aspects of this is one of the most common queries posted to the site. There is a lot of information there.

The first thing to say is that it probably won’t be what you imagine :frowning: but given what you are seeking to do is not uncommon (which includes me - I use loads of samples) and I’m sure you will be achieve your goals with Scaler :slight_smile:

I’d recommend that you drag and drop audio - it’s more controllable, and it’s trivial to get a quick capture using something line MRecorder (free). I’ve never tried live input, so I can’t comment on that.

Firstly, I assume that you are aware that there is a ‘scaler audio’ VST (I’m on windows , so not sure what if any relevance this has to the Mac, but check out the manual. I’ve never used it. I am also not sure if scaler takes a live feed.

I’ve done several posts as I use audio detection all the time, but I will p*ss off the moderators by pasting some content here from other posts (rather than a link) to simplify the context. So …

Two things to consider using audio detection :

{1} Its goal is to detect chords, and hence if an audio note isn’t stacked up with the chord, it will show the note in the detection. I’m not aware of any way to switch this off.

{2} Scaler detects changes in chords, and so not ‘time aware’. So if you have a 4 bar piece which goes C F F G Scaler will show C F G

The bottom line is that unless you can feed in plain chords, you have some editing to do in your DAW.
If your samples are solo lines, you are probably not going to get a decent progression. At the risk of re-starting a music theory war, for practical purposes think of a chord as three or more notes played together (and other readings please don’t troll me on the ‘unison’ thing again.)

You should also be aware that Scaler attempts to interpret chord extensions (which it actually does quite well), but sometimes that’s not what you want. Other AD tools tend only to pick up triads and maybe 7ths.

So playing a scale, as you did, (see {1}) isn’t going to work.

To give you an idea about your target (to allow Scaler to create the backing tracks) here is a link to a embryonic site of mine which includes some Scaler /Live thoughts. Ig note the fact that for various reasons I ran the VST’s in another host, it illustrates the ability to stack Scalers up to generate a backing .

There are some other pages on Live below the above link on the web site…

So yes, you can stack Scalers up for base, pads, candy (try the ‘Avant Garde’ sets), with your samples providing the main line, and presumably drums. Don’t forget to keep an eye on warp settings.

If there are no chords in the samples, you might have to be a little more creative, but that’s probably another post. a a quick test, I just dropped in a a one bar trance solo line into Scaler and it came up with

…not really helpful. They were in fact notes, but distorted and reverby, so Scaler thought they were chords (but the wrong ones).

I them tried one bars worth of ‘stabs’ from the same synth, and it came up with

which was in fact fine.

The crucial thing here was that it’s hard for the algorithm to detect if it’s major or minor unless it can see a flat 3rd without being psychic, much less what mode it might have been. The stabs had a clear minor tonality to the ear, which is what Scaler found.

You might also look at

I don’t know what samples you are using, but you can maybe use the above approach to get something close to useful.

Bottom line is that samples and Scaler can mix very well, and if you use its facilities to the full, you can get some great backings !

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