Scaler is good at Fela Kuti's Afrobeat

Fela Kuti is one of the African artists I love more, and I can say that without Scaler it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, made such a funky, syncopated, anarchical, and hypnotic stuff

It is not all made with it, for example I prefer EzBass for the bass, and drums are beyond Scaler possibilities, but the guitar and the Rhodes riffs come both from Scaler, and Scaler is an unbeatable source of inspiration when selecting chords

now while building a piano stuff with Scaler is easy, building a guitar strumming using it only is possible, and I was able indeed to compose some funk, blues, flamenco, krautrock, and rock parts with it, but the process of editing chords in the Section C is too complex to me

on the other hand, AAS Strum-GS has tons of amazing patterns ready to use, many of them in the funky style, but the output sounds too “mechanical” to my ears, so deadly boring, even for this musical style considered boring by many :joy:

this is why I tried in the past to have Scaler driving AAS Strum-GS but I encountered a severe issue with this GUIs

The keyboard for strumming in AAS Strum-GS (but even in Ample Sound or the UJAM guitars) is too small (about 2,5 octaves), so it happens often that the more suitable Scaler’s expressions, as e.g. melodies, add notes to the main chord that hit the Stop button of AAS Strum-GS, or change the pattern abruptly, ruining the result

So I asked the forum and a couple of good guys suggested using MIDI Polysher that solved perfectly the issue

NOTE: I have built 2 MIDI Polysher presets; the 1st is showed in the picture and blocks all notes that can change the patterns or push the stop button, while the 2nd leave some freedom to change the patterns, and this can add more variability

there is no a fixed size for the free (white) part: all depends on the Scaler and AAS Strum-GS patterns selected, so everyone must find the right preset by trial and error

that said, here is the guitar part
Felas - guitar.xml (56.3 KB)

and the rhodes part
Felas rhodes-1.xml (15.6 KB)

the guitar in afrobeat vibes doesn’t do melodies, usually, so the subtle changes are all made by Scaler melodies driving AAS Strum-GS

the piano instead, while being generally rhythmical, plays some melodies sometimes and in certain songs, and I made them manually editing the midi

as you can see the blue-red circled piece is the original, and the red circled pieces are made essentially doubling the speed, then duplicating and moving, or splitting and putting together the small thrills made by Scaler

and here is the Rhodes MIDI modified
Fela Rhodes.mid (6.4 KB)

here you see the situation of Neutron Visual Mixer

where I recreated a typical layout of musicians in Fela Kuti’s shows

the brass section is quite poor due to the fact I don’t have all needed instruments, and I played the 3 sax manually, not using Scaler, even if I think that Scaler can do that better

If I’ll remake this section I’ll update this post

and here is the result


Very good work. I love Fela and I think he would really like what you did.

I’ve not gotten into Polysher but I see the concept of what you’re doing. Great bass lines.

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thanks for endorsement but it’s not made by myself :grinning:
it is Toontrack EzBass that creates amazing basslines in a breeze

and about Fela I missed him by an inch, SIGH
a show was expected in Turin and I wanted attend, a few days before his death

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Great work as usual Claudio :+1:

When not using a DAW or Cantabile lite I use PluginGuru Unify which allows you to limit key ranges for individual plugins. I had convinced myself that I don’t need EzBass but after hearing your bass part in this song I might need to rethink. :slight_smile: :smile:


ah, a fellow Unify user! Skippy is a pretty neat guy and Unify is a great piece of kit. I sometimes wish the devs could meet up with Shane, the sole dev of Unify.

He’s overcome a lot of the hurdles that are still being worked on in Scaler. :wink:


LOL, I’ll ask them for a percentage

joking aside, I love tickling the ivories and plucking strings, but waaaay less editing and any kind of complex jobs; this is why I used Broomstick Bass for years, until EzBass jumped out improving basslines building a lot

and for the same reason I bought Ezdrums for drums & percussions, and Izotope plugins for mixing and mastering: lot of time more, available to tickle the ivories and plucking strings

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