Hi … I really like Scaler and the great built-in performances but I would like the ability to create my own. What I am looking for is a plugin that will take the chords from Scaler and use those chords in a pattern of notes that I have created. I want to create song-specific “patches” that have the feel of the song I am playing or accompanying. I believe this is called a step sequencer but I am not sure. Anyway, can anyone recommend a good one? Thanks
Phrasebox works great with Scaler.
Venomode | Phrasebox
It was on sale at Audio Plug In Deals but that sale may have ended, I don’t know.
@RBIngraham thanks very much for the quick reply and the information on Phrasebox. I looks like just what I am looking for. You are also correct that it was on sale but I think I just missed the sale. Oh well. The last few music-related programs that I have bought are for the ipad and those apps are generally a lot less expensive than programs for the Mac or PC.
Anyway, I forgot to mention in my original post that I don’t typically use Scaler in the “normal” way. I use it primarily for live performance. I need to take a second look at Phrasebox to make sure it will work for that.
Have you tried looking at the free Stochas Sequencer? Kenny Gioia has a good video on it here
@ed66 thanks for the tip and the links. I really enjoy all of Kenny Gioia’s videos. It looks like Stochas is a great plugin but I don’t think it will work in live performance but I will investigate further. Thanks again.
You may also want to lookat the Stochas tutorials here to get an idea of what can be done with Stochas.
As an aside for live playing, if you ave a keyboard you can map keys to actions:
The default mappings are:
(I think that the term “Change Pattern” actually means select pattern).
Thus you can control which pattern or patterns (8 on each layer) is being played. I think that by being creative with the midi mapping you can create some interesting songs.
Yes I bought it on your recommendation, and I love it. I don’t like many of the presets and wish there were more different ones, but I do like the way you can adjust the timing and also manipulate the piano roll to create your own pattern.
I just noticed that you can output each line to different channels, so I will be trying that next.
Hi @arcman when I was investigating Phrasebox I came across this video from a company that sells a package of presets for Phrasebox. I think the package sells for $15.
You can see the needs of this. Scaler’s own one is the most perfect.
I agree that the presets are only going to get you so far. But I probably end up with 3 or 4 new custom presents of my own with every use of the software.
I’m just glad to be able to easily create my own. Even with Scaler, Phrasebox and Divisimate. I mostly just use these tools with a piano patch to sketch, then drag and drop the MIDI and then chop up and orchestrate by hand. And then do automation passes for MIDI CC control. Although Divisimate I sometimes keep it up and running through the whole process.
This person sure loves their multi-tap delay plug in.
Hi again @ed66 I am still investigating Stochas. Do you use it with Scaler? If so, how do you have it set up? Thanks.
I bind a Scaler pattern to midi and use the output of this pattern as input to Stochas pattern sequencer.
In Stochas I have a simple sequence built on a pentatonic scale in the same key as the Scaler chords (in this case C maj).
The output from Stochas is input to a synthesizer.
I have a second instance of Scaler which I have synched with the first instance for my bass.
Unfortunately Ableton Live has a problem with midi routing, but I hope to upgrade to Reaper soon which should enable more interesting configurations.
To avoid sounding too robotic you can apply variations using probablity to the note length, and velocity, and apply groove and swing
@RBIngraham thanks again for the tip about Phrasebox. I have downloaded the demo and it seems to do exactly what I am looking for. The only problem I have had is crackling in the audio on a few of the preset patterns. I would have suspected the bitrate setting in my audio set up but the computer I am using is robust so I doubt that is the cause. Just to be sure I doubled my bitrate but got the same crackling on some of the patterns. It is strange because the patterns that seem to crackle are not the complex ones. Have you had any problems like this?
As I am writing this it occurred to me that I didn’t try it with a different instrument. I will check that out.
Update: I checked it with a couple of different instruments and got the same crackling noise. I was trying to see if there was any rhyme or reason why some patterns crackle and some don’t. I finally figured out that all of the patterns that crackle have notes in the very top “All” row.
The all row plays the whole chord at once. If you have a monophonic patch set it would keep trying to steal voices. Make sure the patch is polyphonic.
@jamieh That’s a good thought but the fact that we are talking about 2 different solutions (so far) in this thread may be a confusion factor. Stochas has a Mono/Poly switch … I don’t think PhraseBox has such a switch and Phrasebox is the vst that is producing the crackling.
Phrase box is what I am talking about. Is it not sending MIDI to an external synth? How are you using it? Phrase box is not Mono nor Poly it’s just sending MIDI Out.
Hey … I am sending chords from Scaler into Phrasebox and then out from Phrasebox into Arturia’s Analog Lab.
Yep that’s the way to do it. Not sure why I’m unclear here. So the synth is what’s crackling correct? I don’t experience any of that. Scaler>Phrasebox>Synth. Synth crackles right? I’ve played through most patterns and I cannot duplicate this.
I am not at the computer but from memory in the factory patterns under the Chords category, several of those presets generate a pattern that has notes in the All lane. Those are the ones that are crackling. It may be that I am using an M1 Macbook. I have written to the company to see if anyone else has this problem.
On another topic, do you know if you can export the midi from a Scaler performance and import it into Phrasebox. The whole purpose of my looking outside Scaler is that I want the ability to create custom patterns and the Scaler performances might be a good starting point.