Patterns And Pads - Can Be Restrictive When Trying To Save Whole Compositions

As suggested, creating Patterns containing chords and labelling them Intro, Verse, Chorus, Middle 8, Bridge, B Section, Instrumental, Solo, Drop, Outro, Silence etc etc is logical, organised and makes a lot of sense.

However, when it comes to arranging even reasonably simple songs in Pads, you can’t, you quickly run out of Pad rows. This is restrictive, 7 Rows is too few to adopt the Patterns Named By Section approach.

For Scaler 2 to be used for laying out complete arrangements we need more pad rows and for the number of chords that can be saved in a pattern to be increased.

It’s also common to want to repeat a section eg. Have one Chorus follow another Chorus. There is currently no easy way to simply do this without duplicating a section and using up more pads. It would be great if this was an option in the Pattern menu eg. ‘Repeats’ and a numeric value.

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(Not now relevant as the original post has been edited)

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Of course, I appreciate there are many ways one could choose to use Scaler 2 eg. Long chaining patterns without naming them and putting them in sections.

I’m coming from this as a new customer with the hope and expectation that I could use the functionality of Scaler 2 and build tried and tested, complete composition arrangements. Arrangements that are well labelled and organised in sections, before transferring to a DAW and loading Scaler 2 as an AUv3 to build out the full track.

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Hi, I think “flawed” sounds a bit harsh. Scaler is what it is and the Demo version, website descriptions and youtube videos about it show what it is. It’s all about strategic work flows and most often using multiple instances of Scaler.

For a more complex project as you outline I can see three or more instances of Scaler being used. You might have one Scaler for Each One of the parts you name. Granted that would be a little complex to navigate around in a DAW but no more so than navigating around any complex MIDI DAW setup.

For longer projects that are more or less “through composed” I’d suggest working with Scaler tracks that use Key Switched, bound notes for chord changes and perhaps pattern switching. Working this way with DAW Sync On allows you to jump into a song/project at any point on the timeline. Scaler doesn’t have MIDI Song Position Pointer (and I don’t know how it ever could, honestly), but Key Switches for Chords and Patterns offer a flexible and neat workflow.

Give it a little time and you’ll find your own style of making Scaler work for you. The forum has a lot of good posts with many good concepts as well.

The develops welcome good ideas and many feature requests have been added to Scaler in a relatively short time.

Good luck. :slight_smile:

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I agree. It wouldn’t hurt if there were a lot more pillows.

Hi @Burner

I have to say that I too have thought that seven patterns could be limiting, but I would suggest that as @yorkeman suggested there may be ways around this. Many songs have fewer than 55 chord changes indeed many have only 4 or 5 chord changes (e.g blues@ I, IV, V, or more complex I, IV, V7, I, V7, I, I7)

My preferred approach is to use midi binding and use midi clips or a midi keyboard to trigger the pads. This will enable you to repeat sections and possibly includ variations within one patterns.

I don’t know if you have considered this as a possible solution to resolving your issue but if not it may be worth a try.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot I like about Scaler 2. However, the two concepts put forward by the team - Naming Patterns By Section and Composition Arrangement Pads, don’t work together in reality, even for simple song arrangements.

Even at the most basic level (say a single chord each bar with no ‘performance’ applied, just a chord playing).

What’s wrong with expecting to be able to layout a full composition arrangement like that so you know you’ve nailed the full arrangement or could show the iPad/send the project, to a collaborator and they could see the full composition arrangement, sections and all the chords they need to play?

One project file, one instance, one full composition arrangement, all sections, all chords. Perfect. The Irony Is, It’s So Close To That Already.

I get you could have a project file per section or couple of sections and load multiple instances or could bind a chain of chords and trigger them individually but I could do that before Scaler 2. I’m talking about setting it apart, catering, as it does today, for those happy to have multiple instance and bind long chains AND catering for those who what to create tried and tested, complete composition arrangements, in one project with all the chords and sections in one place.

That’s about fulfilling the potential of what’s already been created. Enabling customers to build a full composition arrangement and be able to say, here’s the track. You can’t do that today with Scaler 2, without the usual workarounds.

Once that basic structure is down (and that’s all I’m talking about here) you can transfer to a DAW with the whole structure and concept in place. Then you can begin to produce the finished piece.

If you’ve got a great foundation composition in Scaler 2, you’ll hopefully end up with a great final track and no need to rethink arrangement.

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@Burner

Check my post in Feature Requests section. I had a very similar request.

I agree it would be nice to be able to

but how long a song would you want to build; a simple pop song (90 odd bars - something I feel you can already do in Scaler because you have 56 chords available) or a sonata or a full symphonic piece of possibly hundreds of bars (say for a concept piece)?

I am not sure that you can produce a full song in Scaler because it is esentially not a multi timbre product (it only plays a single instrument in each instance) unless you are composing for a single instrument, so one has to arrange different instruments in separate instances: back to the DAW.

I have always thought that Scaler facilitates the creative process where I can experiment with motifs, phrases and harmonies, but it is in my DAW that I will create the arrangement. Obviously this is a different way of working from what ou are suggesting as a develoment and each to their own in their approach to working.

Finally to reiterate my opening sentence, it would be nice to increase the nuber of blocks and patterns available, but is that the way that Scaler should progress?

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Since I am old, I have an education that my parents and teachers gave me; so I’ll welcome you, @Burner; although, from my point of view, I think you’re a bit flawed
You have inspired me, in a way, and now I am @Burned
I think, if that doesn’t offend you, you should try the suggestions some folks have given you here, as well as read the Scaler manual; also in this forum you will find some ways we have improvised and also suggested improvements for our favorite plugin. If you want to suggest things that other more expensive plugins already do, I hope the developers don’t raise the price of Scaler just to suit your needs, since you can find what you ask for in RapidComposer, OrbComposer or BandinaBox (to name a few). And yet I will tell you that even with those other plugins, you will need to finish your work in a DAW (if you want to do it right). In any case, it is true that all those things that you have asked (or rather demanded) would not be bad, and I would agree as long as they did not mean an abandonment of the main idea in which this plugin appeared. For example:
It’s been months since I politely asked for a suggestion function for negative harmony; I also asked in the same way for divisi functions on chords. Currently, despite the fact that they did NOTHING about it, I have my way to get both things, and what I do not want is to pay more for what is very important to you, and yet for me it is not so important

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(Not now relevant as the original post has been edited)

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Looks like we reached the same conclusion having hit the same limitations.

Good to see one of the team acknowledging ‘Thanks for all the suggestions guys very useful and it is where we are headed. Agree with all comments.’

It’s been 6 months since then, it would be good to get an update on thinking, progress and possible delivery from the Scaler Team.

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Voucher. If that is so, I see no reason to continue here.
Please leave this forum right now. Fare thee well

Playing one timbre is fine and, in terms of composing the core of the track, that’s all I’m looking for. Is it the finished Master, no, it might not even make it into the final track. Try and think of it in terms of a guitarist strumming, or a keyboard player playing, through the whole song.

That way you can write lyrics, try different top lines, form melodies, tryout different drums, bass-lines etc etc.

Currently, you can’t do that. If a guitarist or keyboard player couldn’t play through a whole track (or couldn’t play more than 56 chord changes) they wouldn’t be invited back the next day.

I prefer to spend my time crafting the composition, finding the emotion, the feeling, what works, what doesn’t, than wiring things up in AUM (or wherever).

I’d like Scaler 2 to be a core part of composing and arranging in the future, it has that potential but without addressing the things outlined it won’t be. It’ll just be another app (one of many!) that I might reach for, for a simple phrase or missing chord. With the amount of work that’s clearly gone into Scaler 2, I think that would be a shame.

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Move Along Nothing To See Here

Well , my post referred to what I would like to see in v. 3.0 , so what @davide wrote is just a direction they want to take. Six months to fix a bug is a long time, but six months to develop something completely new is almost nothing , especially when we know that the team is working on other improvements. We need more patience and I am sure that the new major release will be fantastic. In the meantime , we’ll see other improvements.

@Burner I’ve said it quite a few times in this forum but Scaler started of as something extremely simple and due to enthusiasm of myself and the rest of the dev team in Ed, Paul, Shaun, Josh, James and the others it’s become a bit of a behemoth. We on the creative side are constantly trying to convince the developers of what we feel needs to happen in scaler, to their credit they’ve managed to accomodate 99% of our requests, problem here is that it has been a case of fitting a square peg into a round hold or shoehorning new feature after new feature. The entire UX is being redesigned from the ground up to be familiar to the tens of thousands of users we have but also to accomodate new users and power features - like not being restricted to now many chords, our using clunky menus! So please do appreciate that you are looking at it from an end point but we view it as a start point that needs to get to a better end point. Flawed not by design but perhaps by over development, or better phrased as a victim of its own success!

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In my experience in the world of commercial (ie business and operational systems in manufacturing, financial services and healthcare) this is a common issue as companies try to fulfil the requests from all their users in the belief that this is good customer service.

These companies may then fall foul of trying to please all but pleasing no-one. So at the risk of sounding patronising (and I don’t mean to be patronising) lets keep Scaler development on track on the roadmap envisaged by the development team, with additions being made to that roadmap from user suggestions, BUT lets also be aware as users that not every suggestion will be incorporated into either the current or next release (some may not even be included at all).

IMHO I believe that by adopting this approach we will have a stable well developed product.

I hope I am not teaching anyone to suck eggs here: but I feel this is a point that users need to be aware of. Having said this I do not want to discourage users from making suggestions, (that is how ideas and the product can be developed) only for user to realise that individual suggestions may not fit the product strategy.

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I think ‘behemothism’ is merely a characteristic of any (commercially) successful and rapidly evolving software, so this is more a badge of honour as opposed to being a flaw.

The next step in software product evolution is generally refactoring, and it sounds like this is planned. Like @ed66 , I’m happy to sit and take what comes with confidence that Scaler will continue to evolve in innovative ways.

@davide Thanks for the history and sorry if you feel you had to repeat yourself. I believe the team know that Scaler 2 isn’t the first and won’t be the last product to suffer from the initial Spec or Scope Creep and suggestions from outside the core team. And that’s OK. I’m more interested in the future than the past.

Without expectation, I still have a couple of questions I’d love to get answers to, from you or someone else in the Dev Team, if I may?

Does the development team (of their own desire and free will :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) have on their roadmap the intention to lift the hard limits on the number of chords in a Pattern and number of Patterns available in the Pads section? The intention in the Pads section, to repeat a Pattern (from Pads > Pattern Menu) without duplicating the Pattern and using up more Pads? If so, is the intention for those to be made available in an imminent (not necessarily the next) iteration or miles away? And, if so, will that be a completely new product (3), an IAP or a free upgrade on iOS?

At this point I don’t care what the answers are, I’m fine either way, I’d just like to know how to proceed and can make that decision with those answers.

Also, any luck on helping me with the requests sent last night via private message regarding the other issue?