Scale lock not working properly

hi I notice that on the scale of B minor, the scale lock is in error on the E F and F# keys.

Pressing E triggers triggers E pressing F triggers E and F# must still be played to play the F#. Shouldnt the F# be placed on the F key? Please review all the scales and their locking positions. We need an update here. Thanks

Scale-lock works by calculating the number of semitone between the root of the scale you are locked in and the note you pressed and playing the related degree of the scale.

For example in B minor scale, if you press:

  • B: in the scale, so it plays a B.
  • C: not in the scale. 1 semitone distance, which correspond to a minor second interval, so we will play the “second” degree of the locked scale: (C#).
  • C#: in the scale.
  • D: in the scale.
  • D#: not in the scale. 4 semitone distance, which correspond to a major third interval, so we will play the “third” degree of the locked scale: (D).
  • E: in the scale.
  • F: not in the scale. 6 semitone distance, which correspond to a tritone interval, there is no “related” degree in the scale. Scaler looks for the semitone below that fits the scale which is 5, a fourth interval, so we play the fourth degree of the locked scale: (E).
  • F#: in the scale.
  • G: in the scale.
  • G#: not in the scale. 9 semitone distance, which correspond to a major sixth interval, so we will play the “sixth” degree of the locked scale: (G).
  • A: in the scale.
  • A#: not in the scale. 11 semitone distance, which correspond to a major seventh interval, so we will play the “seventh” degree of the locked scale: (A).

The only possible “inconsistency” would be the F where it looks for a note below and it could look up, but it is a choice we made that is applied the same way on every scales.

I understand how it can be confusing, but it doesn’t seem to be a bug or an error.

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Perhaps Xtremsounds is thinking of the apps that map all scale notes to the white keys? Should Scaler do this?

Yes, this would be a different feature.

We wanted to keep the notes of the current scale “in place”. Mapping everything to white notes means you have to press C to play the 1st degree of the target scale (here, B for example).

Maybe, there hasn’t been much comments around this, both solutions have pros and cons.

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I like how Scaler always tries to do what it musically ‘theoretically correct’, fitting everything to the white keys would be confusing from a learning perspective but straightforward from an efficient perspective. Potentially we could look at an option. Food for thought.
As Ed said it’s the first feedback we’ve had on it thus far.

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The problem, of course, is that the current system makes it difficult to play the scale directly on the keyboard if you do not know it already. Looking at Ed’s example, it looks as if you could have played the minor scale with just the white keys if the choice had been for non-scale notes to look “upwards”, no?

I think having the scale lock to all the white keys would work best. If people know the scale already they dont need the scale lock feature.

I think I agree with xtremsounds. I’d be more satisfied with playing only white keys and be locked in the scale.
I think this feature would be very interesting at least as an option (not default).

Thanks for the feedback guys and that’s very informing to hear all your opinions. I quite liked the play the chord, learn to play the constituent keys in the right place approach but in this small sample pool the argument against is overwhelming. Ed and I and the rest of the Scaler team will discuss this. We are working on a ‘silent’ update to address a few of our own concerns particularly with the ARP performance and will strongly consider locking to the white keys for this silent update.

Thanks for the feedback, we will try to add it as an option.

:thinking: I am not sure everybody will expect the same thing… so let’s discuss this here:

When using this future new “lock to white notes” feature:

  • What do you think the black notes should do?
    • Be silent? Be mapped to the notes of the scale?
  • What about scales that contains black notes?
    • Should they play their own notes when pressing a black key?

I think black notes should be silent in both cases.

Although I do see the vlue of the current process as well to force us to play the chords correclty by liocking the scale in this way its just not how I expected it to work. if we could have both that would be really good but if we can only have one, then white keys for sure.

Vera Nice to hear this!


In my opinion both options are acceptable, “lock the scale” is more a educational version and play the correspondent keys in keyboard including the black keys if they are part of the scale and a “free unlock” option to distribute the chords as a chromatic style.


‘Lock to Scale’ and ‘Lock to White Keys’ it is then!

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I vote for locking the scale to the white keys and have the black keys silent. As a guitar player I bought the plugin because I don’t play piano. I find the doubling of certain pitches that occurs in the current scale lock to be confusing. It’s like what ableton and logic already do. The white key concept will help me to keep track of the scale degrees of any scale and that would be awesome (the 1 is always here and the 6 is always here and so on). It would be great for writing basslines. ios apps do this a lot and it’s so helpful.

Yes…this would be awesome!

I can see the value of both positions, but as a guitar player would welcome the option to have the mode/scale locked to the white keys (and the black keys could still play their normal note in the scale if people see value in that).

Hi @smcnamara,

we have added the “white keys” lock mode to the 1.6 update. It also contains new features, new sounds and chordsets and fixes some bugs.

It is now available on Plugin Boutique, from your account page.