Setup Cakewalk / Sonar / CbB: How do I make Scaler trigger other vst from Scaler's paino keys?

Hello, there’s not much on how to setup Plugin Boutique’s Scaler w/ Cakewalk. I just cannot figure out how to get Scaler to trigger another vst when clicking on Scaler’s piano keys or chord buttons. In Cakewalk by Bandlab I can load Scaler as an Instrument track, load up another vst synth to trigger via Scaler such as FM8, set the MIDI input on FM8 to Scaler and the corresponding MIDI channel and play the FM8 through the Scaler instrument track that I control w/ my MIDI keyboard, that much I’ve figured out. BUT how do I get Scaler to trigger said vst from it’s own keys/chord buttons on the GUI so I can hear these chords played in context via the vst I’m trying to trigger? For me Scaler will only play whichever of its own internal sounds it is set to when clicking the piano keys/chord buttons, but I’ve seen YouTube videos where they have Scaler’s keys triggering an external vst so I know it can be done. I’ve tried using the Cubase et al Setup instructions here, but they don’t extrapolate neatly to Cakewalk. Anyone successfully using Scaler w/ Cakewalk? Like, how?

Hi @slydyne,

It seems your track is only routing the MIDI signal from your controller but the MIDI generated by Scaler is not routed.

Unfortunately I don’t use Cakewalk and for some reason I cannot get a test version from their website right now.

Based on this video (, it seems you need to route the MIDI through an Aux MIDI track and enable the VST MIDI output.

I will try to create a step-by-step setup guide when I can get access to a version of Cakewalk, in the meantime, let me know if you need further assistance.

OK I solved this by opening a new session w/ just Scaler and FM8 and doing exactly what I’ve been doing in feeding FM8 midi input w/ Scaler and now Scaler’s keys/buttons are triggering the external vst like they’re supposed to. I’m not necessarily blaming Cakewalk but I did everything exactly the same before and still it wouldn’t work in those other sessions and I have been battling recurring bugs lately, but it’s working now. You turn off the speaker button on Scaler and it will mute its own sound and play only the sound from the vst it’s triggering. Thanks for the response. I think I was working against a bug or something corrupted.

Actually this hasn’t been completely solved. I got it working to some degree, but Scaler’s piano keys and chord buttons will only trigger external vst on midi channel 1, any other midi channel and Scaler won’t trigger external vst; only on midi channel 1 it works. Anyone know what’s going on there? Why only channel 1?

Hi Ed1, thanks for responding, I don’t know if you work for PB or just a customer, but would you happen to know why Scaler will only send midi data on midi channel 1 in Cakewalk by Bandlab like I described above? Currently this Scaler program is just about useless to me; communication on midi channel 1 only is no good and so far I haven’t heard back from Support. Thanks

I should say also that I did check that link you posted for Instachord and unfortunately that didn’t work either. It seemed a little much anyway that you’d have to route Scaler through this aux and that aux in order for it to work, but I tried it anyhow and still it’s not working. All you [should] need to do is simply set the midi input of the vst you’re trying to trigger to Scaler and you set Scaler’s midi input to the midi controller you’re using and that should be all - and in fact that works, but only on midi channel 1 like I’ve been saying.

Hi @slydyne,

I am one of the developer of the plugin, all the midi events generated in Scaler are sent to the channel 1.
This is a choice we made in order to keep other channels available as we plan on using them for other features in the future.

Could you give more details about what you are trying to do that would require Scaler to output the same MIDI outputs on every channels ?
It seems to me that you could just make all your external VSTs to listen the the same channel, but I might be missing something.


If anyone’s missing something it’s definitely me, but yeah I assumed Scaler could communicate on any channel like other vst. I didn’t know it’s meant to be this way and it’s the first I’ve run into like this. So this is common for some vst to run only on a single channel? Is it a common knowledge thing?

Each channel can transport different information, we simply don’t send the same data on all of them.

In terms of configuration, a lot has to do with the DAW , I am not familiar with Sonar, but in FL Studio for example you can set the “MIDI Output Port” of Scaler to be any channel as long as the external VST’s input is set to the same channel it works. Scaler’s output is the same, but the way you route the midi signal is different.

So just to be sure I’m understanding this correctly, you’re saying that perhaps in other daws, such as FL, Scaler can send data on other channels so long as the external vst is set to the same channel (which is what I was doing), but that in my case using Cakewalk, you’re saying Scaler’s limited ability to send data only on channel 1 is completely normal behavior and is how it’s supposed to be? So basically for me to be able to use Scaler in Cakewalk anyway I must always reserve midi channel 1 for Scaler? So if I’m, say, two weeks into a session with a bunch of vsts going, and suddenly I decide to bring in Scaler I will need to swap whatever vst is currently using channel 1 so Scaler can have channel 1? Thanks


It is not Scaler that can send data on other channels in different DAW. It is simply how you route Scaler’s output that is different.

By default, channel 1 will contain Scaler’s data only on Scaler’s track. Your controller’s output for example will never contain Scaler’s data on any channel so your other VSTs can listen to it.

Slydyne- did you ever get this resolved. I have been working on this for two solid days and nothing I try works as you have stated above. Yes, I can get my keyboard controller to work in EITHER Scaler’s VST OR my external VST (Lounge Lizard) by turning the Scaler Speaker button on/off. But, I have never been able to get the Scaler keyboard or buttons to trigger Lounge Lizard VST. I am using SONAR X3 and have for many years; so, I feel like I know what I am doing but nothing about Scaler’s MIDI implementation seem to make any sense to me. I will keep on trying but I feel like I do need some more imput. By-the-way. I can export Scalar’s MIDI data which is created in Scalar’s Progression feature by dragging it into the MIDI Track of Lounge Lizard and it will trigger the Lounge Lizard VST. No surprise; but that is the only connection I can mke between Scalar and LL. Thanks for any help! Bo


Well w/ all due respect to Ed1 of course, I was still left confused by his answers and felt like I was just beating this thing to death by trying to get to the bottom of the same question you’re asking, which is, with the exception of channel 1, why won’t Scaler communicate/trigger other vst sounds from Scaler’s keys on ANY OTHER channel but channel 1? So no, other than via MIDI channel 1 ONLY, I never did figure how to get Scaler to trigger other vsts from Scaler’s keyboard, and if I understand Ed1 correctly it is not possible to do so.

As you can see up there I was asking this question to Ed1 and his answers confused to me to where I started to feel ignorant (which I may be lol) so I stopped asking. If I understand correctly, basically what Ed1 is saying is this is all normal for Scaler to only function in this way on midi channel 1 and that they left all the other MIDI channels ‘free for something else.’ Yeah that’s what I didn’t get, and I still don’t understand why, NOR do I like this design at all. So, Bo, you should be able to do what you want to do ONLY ON MIDI CHANNEL 1, but no other channel. This STILL does not make sense to me and so no this has not been “resolved” and it doesn’t look like it can be, not the way we’re hoping at least.

But why not ask one more time to Ed1, since I’m here:

Ed1, why only MIDI channel 1? I don’t like this design at all man. What if I have a session going w/ a bunch of vsts from, say, Kontakt all routed to specific MIDI channels including, say, a piano on MIDI channel 1… and lets say I decide to bring Scaler in later on… I would then have to change that Kontakt piano I had comfortably set to MIDI channel 1 and find it another open channel so that Scaler can have channel 1! Wtf? Unless I’m missing something here which is entirely possible, that’s just lame and I STILL do not understand the point of this design. So Ed1, forgive my ignorance–and as I said I dropped this issue because basically your answers confused me–but why is it set up this way, which is a total PITA? Why must I ALWAYS reserve MIDI channel 1 in my daw for Scaler (if there’s a potential that’d I’d bring Scaler into the session for songwriting help later on, which is how I and probably a lot of other people tend to use it? If I seem agitated, sorry, but yea this has caused me a lot of grief too.

Thank you for the reply Slydyne! Yes I get your frustration. My question to you was were you able to get your instrument VSTi to sound using the Scaler keyboard and/or Chords on the Progression path. No matter what I try I can not get any instrument VSTi to sound with the Scalar MIDI output. I’ve watched/read over 30 You Tube/Forum reviews and none of them gave a complete solution for SONAR. I did learn some things that helped like being reminded to turn on the MIDI Monitor button and Arm all the Tracks in SONAR. But, still, no joy in getting Scalar to play my instrument VSTi.

From what I read of your posts, you were able to get Scaler to play your VSTi using MIDI Channel 1 on both your VSTi and Scaler. I tried that and it does not work for me - so I tried OMNI Channelon both and get the same results (Null). So, if you do have this working, can you be so kind as to give me a brief outline of what is set to what?

My MIDI Keyboard Controller can trigger either or BOTH the VSTi and Scaler internal sound when the internal Scaler Speaker is turn off!???

Thanks in advance for any time spent in helping this very confused player!

So to be able to trigger an external vst from Scaler’s keys, and only on midi channel 1 in Cakewalk anyway:

Let’s say you have Scaler open and Kontakt open w/ a string sound set to midi channel 1 for this example.

On the Kontakt midi track set its input to Scaler ch. 1, and set its output to Kontakt. On the Kontakt midi track be sure to enable Input Echo.

On the Scaler midi track set the input to channel 1 of your hardware midi controller, and set output to Scaler. Enable Input Echo on this track.

You should now be successfully triggering Scaler via your hardware controller AND Scaler’s internal keys, both of which are in turn triggering Kontakt (in this example) - on channel 1 only sigh lol

let us know if this doesn’t work for you.

I should say also (and as you probably already know) that if you don’t want to hear Scaler’s internal piano along w/ whatever vst you’re triggering then just mute the little speaker in the upper right corner in Scaler gui.

Also, I’m wondering if Scaler behaves differently w/ regard to midi in Cakewalk than in other daws, as reading over Ed1’s responses here suggest that it might as his responses make it seem like there’s nothing to it, at least w/ the daws he refers to, whereas from my perspective w/ Cakewalk being able to trigger Scaler only via channel 1 just makes zero sense to me but what do I know.

Lol I should say also sorry Ed1 if I came off as a jerk man and you have certainly tried to be very helpful and your Scaler program is badass and getting better, but just channel 1? Lol k I’ll drop it.

Hi @Bo_Baker, @slydyne,

It seems there’s some confusion here about the MIDI routing and what you can do with Scaler.

Scaler receives MIDI from your DAW and can transform it. The transformed MIDI signal is output by Scaler on its channel 1 (by design).

Unless you routed the MIDI in a specific fashion, Scaler doesn’t broadcast its MIDI output anywhere.
Internally Scaler could output 16 different MIDI signal (1 per channel), when routing the MIDI you have to tell you external instrument to listen to a specific track and channel.

If Scaler outputs to all of your instrument it is because either:

  • All of your instruments are configured to listen to Scaler’s MIDI output
  • You routed Scaler’s output in a way that it is redirected to all of your tracks’ MIDI channel 1

To make sure of this:

  • Add a track into an empty project in your DAW and load Scaler.
  • If you add another track with an instrument, playing on Scaler doesn’t trigger any note on the new instrument.
  • Now if you tell your second track to listen to Scaler’s MIDI output, the signal is routed to your instrument. Scaler can now “control” the new instrument.
  • If you now add a third instrument, playing on Scaler still doesn’t trigger notes on it, unless you make it listen to one of the tracks Scaler’s output is redirected onto.

I understand how it can be slightly different depending on your DAW and its routing capabilities. For example, some DAW allow you to redirect Scaler’s output onto a MIDI track that you use as the source for your routing. In that case it might complicate things a bit if multiple instrument were already configure to listen to this common MIDI track.

Midi routing can go from really straightforward to awfully complicated, so I hope I haven’t added more confusion as it also depends on your setup and the configuration of your project.

Also @Bo_Baker, make sure you use the VST2 version of Scaler as the VST3 still has some issues with routing.

Let me know if you need further help on this.


Hello Ed1 and thanks for jumping in. I do understand the “routing paradiam” for Scaler. My only issue was getting it to route in SONAR (I was/am using the VST3 dll so I will try the VST2 today. However; It took me about 90 seconds to get the VST3 dll to work in Reaper (my second DAW). In Reaper it is strait forward and makes perfect sense. So, there you go. SONAR’s routing has always had issues and while a fantastic product, this is its weak spot as far as a learning curve. I’m not saying it can’t be done - and I will figure it out in time. It most likely will take more than two tracks (i.e. Aux tracks) to get it to work. If I do figure it out, I would be happy to pass my findings along to both of you as a “Thank You” for your help.

So to recap: Reaper is working fine and is a simple process. SONAR has issues (at least with VST3 dll) and I’ll see what I can find out and report back.

Thanks again for all the help. Scaler is a great program and while as a Jazz guitar player I’m pretty well versed in theory, this is a real time saver and inspiration tool. Keep up the great work (I have done programming and I know what it takes to get something like this to market!)

Blessings, Bo

Bo, I also listed for you how to route Scaler in Cakewalk /sonar to get it to work on channel 1 like I have. Are you saying you tried that and it’s still not working for you?