Scale Key Binding for Improved Improvisations

Hey Scaler team,

First of all, your software is a godsend. I know enough theory to navigate within the scales and whatnot, but could never so easily apply my knowledge to conjure inspiration to such extent, and the colors your software allows me to access are endless.

my suggestion is as follows:

  1. I’d love to be able to bind my lowest octave to specific scales I pre decide (i.e. C0 - C major, D0 - F Major, E0 - C Harmonic Major etc…) and then have that trigger the “keylock” so whenever i punch a scale, the notes on the upper octaves will be locked to that scale.

  2. be able to save said scale-key-binding-set for later convinient loading/importing.

I’m a songwriter, and trying to write melodies that evolve between scales was always a challange for me, especially between modulated/complex scales. And so, if for instance i try writing a song whose verse+pre-chorus are in C major, and chorus is in F Mixolydian, i’d be able to noodle on the same keys on the upper octaves, while switching scales with the lowest octave (after writing and bouncing the progression using your modulation page).

I believe it’ll be a welcomed feature for live/performance users.


Welcome @screwup and thank you for the feedback. If I am understanding you correctly click on the < > either side of the keyboard on the top left one the scaler window to see lower octaves and then go to settings / bind midi and use the + - keys to move the bound area octave up or down

Hey Davide,
I very much appreciate the fast response.

My suggestion wasn’t for fixing a current feature nor anything that hinders my current usage of scaler -

Currently, the “keys-lock” feature is restricted to the “A” module and requires you to select 1 scale manually. It can also be used to relate to specific triggered chords & extensions…

I’d love it if there was a way to switch “keys-lock” scales while playing, as in binding C2 to trigger G Minor Pentatonic, D2 to trigger G Harmonic Minor, E2 to trigger F Mixolydian etc

And those correlating with the KEYS-LOCK feature…

I hope my explanation was clearer this time…

Thanks again for everything,


Understood Yair, yes switching modes and having scale lock respond to that would be fantastic and I do agree is something we are missing. At the moment everything is locked to the scale selected in Section B. Will happen and on the roadmap.

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Dear Davide,

This feature is an absolute must! Chordprism is doing it. Right now scaler only allows to be locked to 1 key and 1 scale. In chordprism, the key and the scale have the option to follow the chord.

So to compose a song the present selected key and scale is cool in scaler 2. But you also want a specific chord to harmonize in a specific key and scale for improvisation. Chordprism does this very nicely. chordprism does not have as many chord selection options like scaler 2. But they will catch up soon…

With this feature to be able to automatically have the scale and key harmonize with a specific chord, you will secure the future of scaler 2. Again, because chordprism is already doing that.
By virtue of automation of everything one will also be able to change the key and scale. Chordprism is doing this automation thing and with this one can change the scale and key at will.

Again, chordprism does not have the options to create all sorts of cool chords like scaler 2. But I can see them catch up really fast with that.

This is just my humble input to make scaler 2 ready for the future. Because you want a general way of selecting the key of ones composition, ie, one selects a key and scale. Scaler 2 does that perfectly, so this is done.

As a second option you want this scale/key per chord follow mode option. And this will help composers tremendously for when they use borrowed chords for example or chords that are out of scale and one wants to improvise on top of these scales.


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Well, I don’t know… they say this:

Certainly wouldn’t want to infringe on any “patented” technologies :wink: .

No pun intended…we need to be able to use scaler in a way that you have the capability to stay in one choosen key. But one also needs the capability that the scales are changeable in real time, either via automation or an extra option that depending on selected chord, the key is changed. Scalers has a very rich chord palette and this bussiness for automation and scale/chord adjustment is easy.

I downloaded all 11 videos via PluginBoutique from Youtube…
watched 1 hour, 14 minutes, 34 seconds, only sped up quite a bit.

Honestly, I didn’t find Zach’s ChordPrism videos enlightening. I was
kind of hoping to find something that was badly missing from Scaler.

If you use bindings in Scaler, the keys on the right hand do conform
to the Chords(scales) being “selected” on the left.

Please dig into Scaler… I didn’t see anything Scaler cannot do, but
actually quite the opposite.

P.S. An update is coming out near the end of this month. It may
address some of the automation issues that you are referring to.

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Dear Living edge,

I appreciate it that you are digging into subject matter, because a lot of folks missed this. I have both, scaler and chordprism. And I have also build hardware chord generators, so I am on this topic now for over 10 years :slight_smile:

Pros Scaler
Scaler has basically covered a fantastic palette to compose any progression you can think of that can be used in all genres. I am serious, this is a piece of stunningly well written code. I love it a lot!

Cons Scaler
There is no automation of the key, scales or chord parameters or the progressions. There is also no ability via key switches to change the key, progressions and scale. The only key switches are focused on the chords only.

Pros chordprism
Everything is automated! And the most important thing, not very well explained in the videos from Zac is…the key and scale can be set up in one of 5 ways. And one of them is so important for improvisation and that is that the key and scale automatically, in real time, tune the chord to the right scale and key! This is the winner! there is no patent on this, you are allowed to do this because I did it 14 years ago in micro controller code :slight_smile:

Cons chordprism
No flexibility in chord progression creation. This is very poor. Also, not many progressions. But…they have the roadmap in place in their code. So, it is just a matter of time and then they will have matched the same awesome chord palette generation capability of scaler 2.

Scaler 2 is a well established and well written piece of code and they will add all these abilities that are missing now. Because they listen to us. I have seen scaler 2 growing from something useful to something awesome! I love scaler 2!

I bought chordprism over christmas, it is very cheap. You know, just some fun christmas shopping so to speak. And then as I am playing with it’s features, I saw the 5 options for the scales and keys. And yes…this is a must have for scaler 2. Because in scaler 2 you only have the option to set the key one time and that’s it.

You want seperate key switches to have different options for the key and scales. In chordprism one has 5 options.

I now use both. I use scaler 2 for my chords and I use chordprism for the automatic scale and key changes in real time and the result is awesome for my improvisations.

But all this can be written in the code of scaler 2. That is not a patent issue. just as automation. You can write any piece of code and automate whatever you want. No patent restrictions on automation. And automation alone will give you the capability to change keys and scales in real time.

Happy music creation!

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very interesting comparative opinion

Out of idle curiosity, what do you think about AIR Ignite?

I think that this tool injected in Scaler could be very useful/interesting, and I wrote a post about it, but knowing the opinion of an expert like you is something I would love

Dear Claudio Porcellano,

I was very disapointed way back in 2014 to see further development on Ignite kind of come to a halt. Because it was a very promising tool. I also checked it out extensively. To now have a marriage between scaler and ignite is a very interesting opportunity :slight_smile:

However, scaler is way ahead of the game. Scaler is now at a point that it can spread its wings and fly anywhere it wants to go! I am serious. I don’t know if you explored the various modulation options in scaler for example. Trust me, what the scaler team did there is incredibly awesome and very difficult to do in software. Trust me, the science of harmony is very complex.

One is looking at tables and tables and formulas that interact with one another to eventually calculate the right chord for you in real time.

If you just click in scaler on the modal interchange option or my beloved Neo-Riemannian option, wow, my wife is so angry with me, because I spend too much time with scaler :slight_smile:

I spend so many, many hours exploring all these wonderfull harmony options that this well written piece of software is creating! I am sorry, I give up, scaler is the total solution!

Go experiment with the mediants, it is as if you basically take your entire composition in a total different plane of creativity. Scaler is in my opinion the only tool now that brings complex harmony into the world of everybody that wants to compose cool music, but does not quite know how to start.

It takes years and years to study and understand and practise to even be able come up with all this complicated modal and parralell harmony stuff. Trust me, scaler is a very, very deep piece of software.

Some 10 years ago, I brought up the idea to produce chords with one finger and at the same time tune scales in real time. I ended up building my own box (I am an Engineer and musician myself). Here is the link:

I am a windcontroller player. And I was able to make this thing do chords and self tuning scales. I accidently met, Mr. Herbie Hancock at an airport in New York who gave me a two tumbs up. When he was in Amsterdam for the north sea jazz festival we met and he checked out my box. He loved it, but, my invention totally went against his philosophy of practise and learn to figure out scales and chords yourself.

As far as I am concerned, that is out of the window and out of date! No need to practise complex chords, pick up a very affordable tool like scaler, listen and watch these awesome tutorials of David and you will compose a slamming hit. Yes, David his videos are very pleasant and easy to follow, he explores everything about scaler very nicely.

By the way, I don’t sell my instrument anymore, it is too expensive to manufacture and nobody wants to program chords by virtue of bending down to the ground and program an lcd display :slight_smile: And it plays only a limited amount of chords and scales, but, I did prove that windcontroller players can play chords now like a pianist. I use my invention only as a midi pedal controller now to control scaler.

Scaler is the total solution, it is easy, comfortable on your pc and again…I am shocked to see how it just produces all these complex chords! The scaler team is not just a group of good programmers but a very responsible team that knows a lot about music theory!

It takes a couple of very smart folks that know about harmony, to calculate stuff like secondary scales and neo-riemannian.

I spend a couple of hours last night composing a piece of music with scaler that was just totally impossible to do a couple of years ago.

Lets keep the conversation going!

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LOL, I suspect the small foot close to the foot-switch is just of your wife, ready to snatch the wind controller out of your hands… :grinning:

A lot of interesting stories, and thanks for sharing

I certainly love Scaler, and I was able to take out from it many strange things (check my activity if you like), but I am very scarce at tickling ivories and plucking strings, not mentioning I studied music 3 years only in the primary school and forgot all

This is why AIR Ignite still entices me (together with EzBass and other similar plugins that play well with zero effort), and I’ve understood I can still use this old software to build musical stuff that is harder to do with Scaler; so both tools will live together