Simple Update Request - Chord Substitution Sticky Octave


When I am exploring chord substitutions I find that Scaler often puts the new chord I select in “Octave 4” which means I have to go back and click that button a couple times to bring it back into the range of my other chords.

These kinds of clicks as well as the non sticky settings I pointed out in my previous posts seem like they are only minor inconveniences but I would like to really point out that when using this type of software for actual writing and for coming up with new harmonic ideas, these seemingly small breaks you have to do mentally potentially kill some of the flow and motivation of the songwriting session.

For example you play through the first few chords of your current progression and you want to change the 4rth chord, so you listen to the first few chords for reference, you right click the chord, go into a sub menu and you sub the new chord in and you listen to it and then make adjustments to the octave to bring it closer to the other chords, you then will have to go back through the first 3 chords listening to them again to see how it sounds. This in a sense doubles the time of experiment and often leads to my eventual frustration.

Right now I use a chord grid tool that uses a chromatic chord display so that I am not only able to borrow chords using a modal interchange strategy but I can also plot out key changes. I know that this is most likely overkill for the future of your tool however it’s the last piece of the puzzle to be able to use your tool more effectively for writing - single-clicking a chord sub to hear it instantly in your progression would be ideal.

Chord Grid Process - listen to chord progression up to the chord you are subbing, click on new chord and you know instantly how the progression sounds in full

Scaler - listen to chord progression up to the chord you are subbing, right-click to subs menu, navigate to sub chord type, adjust the octave of the sub’d chord, relisten to the progression in it’s entirety

My main point is that there is a small window of time before the mind lets go of the previous chords played by Scaler and the new chord I am trying out and the small amount of clicking and menu navigation required stunts Scaler being the only tool I use for writing progressions.

I understand that there is a tradeoff in usability and maintaining a clean UI for more advanced concepts like chord subs and key changes being addressed by Scaler however I know you have a smart development team and even hiding some of these features unless toggled on in your config settings would make this tool a one stop shop for all things theory while songwriting.

That being said, Scaler has been an invaluable tool for writing melodies for me and it’s the best at what it does on the market. This is why I have taken the time out to actually create suggestions for improvement this morning.


Hi @xevoius

I completely understand the frustration coming from those repeated actions, it’s all about the small things…
This is something we are slowly addressing thanks to the feedback we get here.

Your point on the accessibility of “other chords” and how to hear them in context definitely resonates here.
This is something we are looking at improving, but as Scaler is constantly growing in terms of features, it becomes a real challenge in terms of UI.

Thanks for the detailed feedback,

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@xevoius yes I agree. As one of the developers of Scaler I share your frustrations. I also find some of those ‘superfluous’ actions annoying. But we are victims of our own success. Ed and I (and other members of the Scaler team) are forever sitting down to discuss how we use Scaler, how our users use Scaler and how we ‘could’ use Scaler but for improvements. We will discuss your points in our next major version of Scaler which already has some features I’d imagine you will find most useful!

Here is one more graphic I thought I would share if you guys are brainstorming atm.

A Chord Substitution Map I put together in EXCEL.

Ah yes, nice work. We consider this to be part of our Modulation section which is currently in development. I think you will like!:grinning:

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