Really like Scaler but the way it handles keys and scales is super clumsy

I’ve been enjoying Scaler and really love how unlike a lot of similar plugins it gets continuous updates.

However the main thing that bothers me about it compared to alternative apps is one thing, which is the way keys and scales are handled. Both the Hooktheory app (Hookpad) and the OSX app Suggester do this much better. There, you choose a key first and then everything else (alternate modes/scales, etc) orients itself according to that. In Scaler you have to deal with a giant list of scales when this list could be vastly reduced by just choosing the key separately first. And then e.g. if I want to try out different chord set presets but stay in the same key - well, there is no “Key lock”, just a “Scale lock”, so I have to keep changing the Transpose setting every time I switch presets.

All that could be easily fixed by just changing the design to be “key first” like the apps I mentioned.

Also a “palette” mode similar to Suggester would also be cool, sort of a “enlarged view” mode of the Chord variations tab where you can randomly try variations not separated by degree, but all in one view.

Anyway, looking very much forward to Scaler 2 so maybe you guys are already thinking of stuff like that.

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Hi @ncho

we assume our differences here. Personally I never liked the scale/key first approach it lacks the freedom of coming up with your own stuff and can be limiting if you don’t know which one to select.

When it comes to the key-lock with automatic transposition, you end up losing the knowledge of what needs to happen to “convert” a chord sets into your desired key. You can even miss other ways to achieve what you are trying to do as many different transposition can help you bring chords from one progression to another. You might also want to borrow chords as they are even if they don’t match your scale or specifically because they occupy a specific function in another scale.

Doing choices in the software, especially where you could apply artistic choices is something we try to avoid. We try not to take away the browsing, extracting and transforming side of things as it is part of the process and can help with creativity.

When it comes to your more specific feedback, it seems know already quite a bit about what you are trying to achieve so you expect Scaler to do more things as it won’t take away anything from you. We get this and agree that having a key-lock in this case could help a lot. We simply have to find ways to make it transparent so everybody can have the best of both worlds.

When it comes to further exploration of musical content, Scaler 2 will be what you will be looking at ultimately. We are focusing on some of the things you mentioned already to offer new ways to navigate and link content together. There will be more information as the development progress.

Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Ed

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Hi Ed, thanks for the thought out reply. I guess this is a subjective matter, but I cannot really see any circumstances under which my proposed workflow would be limiting creativity. In that workflow you could still freely transpose or borrow chords from parallel and relative scales after having chosen a key - all you’re doing is reversing the steps of the workflow so that it becomes easier and faster to make Scaler fit your needs at the start of whatever you’re doing, letting Scaler do what it does best, which is shortening the time for needless busywork like entering MIDI notes, adjusting voicings or transposing so that you can actually focus on the artistic details.

On the other hand, with the way things currently work, Scaler’s current workflow becomes quite a stumbling stone in many situations. If I already have an existing melody, loop, vocal etc. in a specific key in my DAW and now try to harmonize it with Scaler, I now have to keep readjusting the transposition settings as I switch through chord sets, or have to scroll around in the needlessly long scale list to find the right key(s) I find this a far bigger hindrance for spontaneous experimentation and playing around than in the situation you described.

So at the very minimum, I hope a simple key lock setting could be expected for future versions, and then the rest, I guess it is up to your vision as developers, as at least personally I don’t see any disadvantage to the logical separation of keys and scales, but many advantages to doing it.

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I totally get what you are saying and I use Suggester too. I also agree with Ed. What I will say though is that we are aware of being able to work within two Scales easily (whilst having one ‘locked’ and this is a workflow that Scaler 2 will allow. So what you want to be able to do, will be possible. Stay tuned.

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Thanks, I will look forward to that then.