Scaler future directions

(sorry, long post; fee free to skip)

Looking through the many requests for ‘next steps’ with Scaler, I am reminded from my own past in software products that there was always the difficult choice of whether to develop ‘breadth’ or ‘depth’ in a product. [i.e. more functional areas or deeper capabilities in core functions - it’s often hard to do both]

My personal take on Scaler - which is such a elegant product in concept and execution - would be adding depth to the distinctive elements in that concept, rather than trying make it do what DAWs already do so well by broadening the non core functions. {Noting that It is already potentially the exiting ‘front office’ to the boring ‘back office’ of Logic, Cubase etc.) The key factor therefore in doing that would be to ensure the interaction / interfaces with those already mature products was as efficient and seamless as possible.

Another musing on Scaler futures is the comparison with synthesizer market success - what made the Korg M1, Yamaha DX7 commercial successes? {Sorry, I’m ignoring the analogue era here …). I believe it was “sounds”. Non-pro Buyers were less interested in their architecture or technology than that they had novel patches out of the box, by programmers such as Person and Hottop etc, which inspired them in the music shop.

Much of the (entirely justified) comments on Scaler are about the quality of the content i.e. “patterns”, and I guess developmentally folk want to see the range of breadth of those extended. I agree that would be great, but (just like the DX7) it was the underlying engine that made those sounds possible, and for me it is the evolution of Scaler’s musical architecture which is to me fascinating - and I’m sure Davide will have a long list of new ways he plans to do this !


Apart from the other typos, my spelling corrector changed “Persing” to Person … sorry Eric P of Spectrasonics !

Thanks an interesting post. Yes firstly the future direction is dictated not only by Ed and I but the rest of the team and our users directional push. Ultimately for me personally its about simplifying everything into scalers core raison d’être, which is about making music fun and liberating. Yet we also want to give access to a wider audience that we currently don’t cater too for reasons of altruism and revenue of course. Then there is catering to the more advanced composers and producers and integrating complex user customisability all whilst keeping the software feeling fresh and current. It’s a multi lane roadmap with no clear route from a-z. But we are very excited about the opportunity to rethink things from the ground up and achieve all of the above without losing focus of what scaler was, is and wants to be.

Yes I owned all of the synths you mention and those particular two were all about the sound banks, actually their synthesis engine was convoluted and not user friendly at all so their engines limited their longevity. There are many 100% perfect emulations of the Korg M1 and many DX type FM engines which make owning the hardware almost superfluous.

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You touched on a few points of interest, so I guess I would like to relate this conversation to my buying / thinking / reasoning.

I own a Casio Workstation. I own a Korg Triton-Le. I own a Roland FA-08. Did I need yet another keyboard or another sound module – perhaps not. But I did purchase a Yamaha Genos… why?

My wife already liked using the Casio as an Arranger years ago. I wanted to employ hardware to avoid the latency of VST & software. We both really like the “realistic” (to a point) sound of Genos. Is the price point of the Genos justified?

Well, perhaps… The Casio is part Arranger. The Korg has some Arp and fancy demos. The FA-08 is a piano weighted keyboard. But none of the keyboards are as famous for their Arps like the Yamaha make is.

The Yamaha Genos has aftertouch. The Genos is Yamaha’s full-fledged flagship Arranger. The Genos can accept two MIDI ports and play ALL 32 channels at the same time – the equivalent of two keyboards-in-one.

The Genos has some advanced sounds. The Genos “compliments” all the other different makes/sounds of the other manufacturers of keyboards that I already own. They all sound very, very good together, as I knew would be the case as they all sound very, very different.

So, I guess I’m into flagships of sorts, but sound is very important to me.

So why Scaler and where does Scaler fit in? Well, it never hurts to have more tools, or does it? A LOT of people say that, but it simply isn’t true! Using the wrong tools will hurt you badly without you even knowing it.

The wrong tools cause you to build the house funny. And the wrong tools cause you to build the house slowly. The wrong tools also cause you (during your slow building) to microscope everything and question your own self-worth from time-to-time.

Well, thankfully, Scaler is none of that! I appreciate that the purpose behind Scaler has led to a well defined road or pathway, and I really appreciate that Scaler is fulfilling the purpose(s) for which it was built.

I don’t see much fluff – it’s kind of slim and trim. Do I know music theory? Sure, you betcha! Is it something I concentrate on? NO! It’s just something that I do withouth even thinking. It took years to hone that. Well, Scaler is this and more to many, many non-techo would-be musicians.

For sure, I’m not downing anybody, or anything, whatsoever. I’m just stating that life happens and we go our different diverse ways for whatever reasons. Scaler is “probably” one of the greatest tools for ALL – as it truly levels the “playing” field. (Honestly, I wasn’t trying to be punny.)

Seriously, Scaler has never once wasted my time with “mundane junk”. The “hit-n-miss” random generator stuff that is out there really stinks. It’s kind of an insult, imo. But some really like it – that’s just me.

I’m glad that the Scaler team took the time to say hello to many different folk asking, “How would you like to develop some performances for Scaler that we can use in our product?”. (I don’t know that’s the question, but you catch my drift.)

To me, it’s simply amazing to watch a product that is constantly in full-swing hands-on development. Or, said differently, “Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”. Well, hopefully that’s close enough to be recognized.

Thank you for your contribution, especially during the past year that we’ve all been through. I have my own opinions, but suffice it to say that people have needed something to turn toward, and Scaler’s purpose and timing couldn’t be much better than it was, or currently still is.

What else can I say (that hasn’t already been said)? If you haven’t seen the interview between PluginBoutique and Ed & David of Scaler you should! (No offense, but that’s just the order you guys were sitting in left-to-right.)

It’s a really good interview; you should check it out!

Interesting discussion to me as well

I was just thinking to do a post, on about a similar topic

Somebody could have noticed I did a couple of posts on AIR Ignite and Broomstick Bass
and I often mention other musical stuff I have as e.g. EzBass

Well, after much test and reasoning I understood that I love equally 2 different musical philosophies

  1. live tools
  2. composition tools

the first category includes AIR Ignite and Broomstick Bass, or my DAW with a keyboard, AAS Strum-GS 2 and Broomstick Bass
with these super-simple tools I have 100% fun and 0% hassle (0% study :smiley:)
but at the expense of little personalization, if any

Note: I don’t dislike to study, but consider that I studied a lot, and I still study a lot while working, so when I cultivate my hobbies I want to have mostly fun, if possible

the second category includes Scaler feeding keyboards, and/or AAS Strum-GS 2 + EzBass and EzDrummer that must be fed through a complex process after
with these complex tools I have much personalization but at the expense of much hassle (study :smiley:) so less fun

Now you’ve certainly got that the tool of my dreams is a “pink unicorn” :smiley:, so I’ll keep using both systems according to the mood:

when I want just to have fun, without recording anything maybe, only for the pleasure to hear a dozen of violins, I’ll use the 1st option
when I’m willing to study a bit I’ll use the 2nd option

the moral of the story is that the human being has a bent to unify (simplify) systems, but the uniqueness can hardly to satisfy all

my 2 cent of philosophy

P.S. I never had more than 6/10 in philosophy at secondary science school, and this explains many things :laughing:

Very interesting topic. I guess I will go in counter direction of what was said in previous posts - I would hate to see Scaler become a “big fat rompler” with loads and loads of sounds or a half-DAW.

For me, it’s a composition tool that allows me to:

  • play chords that I would never be able to play,
  • play rhythms that I would never be able to play,
  • explore options “allowed” by music theory

I believe Scaler’s strength lies in its simplicity - the interface, while not perfect, makes sense and does not overwhelm user with zillions of options.

Why woudn’t I want more sounds (novelty or not)? Time… Looking for perfect sound in Scaler would distract me from my primary goal of composing. At the same time, I can understand that people might want more sounds - I guess Extension Packs would satisfy both worlds :wink:

I absolutely looooove Scaler as it is :heart: - best plugin purchase ever.
For me, to reach absolute perfection, it just needs split-keyboard and user programable expressions :wink: .

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