Stupid Questions re Scaler 2 & DAW Syncf

Hi, all - I have been struggling with getting my Scaler 2 chord progressions to play accurately in my DAW. Very frequently, the chords are muddled, not at all the chords I’ve generated in the plug-in.

After many weeks, I think I found the solution, and I can’t believe how simple it is. Please tell me if this is it:

Once a chord progression is in the pattern editor, you just drag from the drag button onto the DAW track. You can do this with multiple patterns to create a complete song.

Is that it? If so, thank the Lord! But I have some other stupid questions:

  1. If it’s that simple to drag a chord progression into the DAW, what is “Midi Capture” used for?

  2. What are the use-cases for “DAW Sync”?

  3. When binding chords to specific keyboard keys, the DAW only shows those individual notes, not the full chords. And those notes are then “corrupted” - that is, every time they show up on that track, they trigger the chosen chord. So how do you properly bind, play, and get into the DAW multiple progressions? Do you have to do separate tracks, each with its own instance of Scaler 2, for each individual progression?

Thanks for your help!

1 Like

Sync issues are less problematical nowadays, but were much bigger before the rise of VSTs. One reason for sync is to get a common clock base. So if you had a DAW running on a PC and a hardware drum machine and they were recording to a separate device, some form of sync would be needed. This is because timing is specific to a device ; 120 bpm on one machine is not the same as 120 bpm an another; their internal clocks both decide what a ‘minute’ is and there will be small but relevant differences between them.
The other reason is to trigger simultaneous play of midi or audio sources, and this is where DAW sync comes in.

So if you have two instances of Scaler in a DAW, one providing, say. a pad and one a performance, you can fire one up and start it without affecting the other. They both need to start at the same time, so if they both have DAW sync on, then hitting start on the DAW kicks off both together.

As an example of DAW sync, 'clocking ’ sync and (another type) Scaler sync working together check the diagram below. 3 Scaler instances are running in a host, and all three have DAW sync on.

They all send the midi output to another host (Live in this case) to one or more VST’s in that host.
This means that you not only have to all three Scalers start together, you need to start both hosts simultaneously , and this can be done by a clocking sync, in this case MTC, which is fed from Live back to the Scaler’s host.

So this is one use case for DAW sync, and also for timing sync.


Thanks so much! That helps a lot. What’s the use-case for “Midi Capture”, as opposed to just dragging-dropping?

You can just drag and drop the MIDI out like you’ve discovered and honestly that’s what I probably do more than half the time and then just use my DAW to manipulate it from there because I find that far easier and then I just disable the scaler track and hide it when I’m done with that process.

  1. MIDI Capture allows you to bind the keys to your MIDI keyboard, and then play a selection of the trigger notes in real time and capture it. When you stop, you’ll see that you can then drag that into your DAW. So say you just want to pop in 3 or 4 chords, play them in real time and then drag and drop what you played into your DAW. That’s how you do it.

  2. DAW sync, allows you enter the trigger notes into your DAW’s timeline and then play that Scaler back by pressing Play on your DAW. You could then use that in combination with MIDI capture or you could also route the output of Scaler to another track in your DAW and capture it that way. I also do that quite often. How you do that depends on which DAW you have and some do it far better than others I believe.

  3. I wouldn’t call that corrupted; I would say that Scaler is processing your input in real time. But either way, yes you would use multiple instances of Scaler and then you can sync those together as well.

I don’t mean to be condescending here but I suspect you haven’t really watched any or not very many of David’s videos on YouTube? If you have and it just wasn’t clear, forgive me. But if you haven’t, you really should do that, and it will reveal in depth answers to all your questions.

(3) School of Synthesis - YouTube
There are some other topics there mixed in but there are a lot of Videos showing Scaler being used and how to make the most of it. There is also a very affordable course and that is even more in depth and very well done. I would highly recommend either or both if you have the time and few dollars more to part with.

1 Like

Unbelievably helpful!

And no, not taken as condescending at all. I HAVE watched a ton of David’s videos, love them, and even step-by-step followed many to get the hang of it. But many move too quickly for me, or else skip over items that are in the category of “assumed knowledge.” So I often find myself scouring YouTube for the one nugget I need to move on.

This issue - the relationship between Scaler and the DAW - is one of those. There are so many multiple ways to manage that interface, each with its own set of use-cases, that I still haven’t gotten it straight. But answers like this get me closer and closer, so I thank you again!

Today I’m planning to experiment with Multi Out!

@GoliathGrouper - been reviewing some of your posts and had some thoughts about the Midi Capture (MC) feature. While many use it exactly as described above ( a minor correction to a post above…it does not bind keys, it simply captures the MIDI Scaler is generating or processing). And while simply capturing the notes or chords (if binding is enabled) that you play is one use case, here are a few other uses:

  1. Capturing Circle Of 5ths experiments - You can use MC while using the COF and experimenting with ideas. Since MC captures timing, this really helps. I often enable MC and then just start clicking w’in the COF interface. If I stumble on a sequence I like, I typically hit one note a # of times so I can locate that sequence later. Don’t forget, you can then drag the midi from your DAW back to Scaler and reproduce the notes or chords in Scaler.
  2. Capturing Scaler performance and settings changes while in playback - One of the most creative ways to explore Scaler is to think of all it’s performance modes and settings as a Synth and then tweak them during playback. Since Scaler is great (albeit maybe not perfect) at keeping things in beat when you make changes to settings, you can create some great playback sequences by adjusting various parameters while you have chords or patterns in playback mode. The combinations are nearly infinite and a lot of fun to explore
  3. Quickly Combining Performances and straight chords - Some times I don’t want to take the time to setup playback patterns with Performance settings for certain chords while leaving other chords. Here i can just play the chords I want and toggle on the performances as needed while MC is enabled. The Command Mapping feature makes this easy…

This is just a taste of the ways you can use MC, Combine it with the in and out drag and drop functionality of Scaler and you will find all kinds of uses.
If you have any questions, feel free ask. However, I’ll be offline for a month.


1 Like

This is above and beyond helpful - thank you so much! I’ve been enjoying experimenting with playback variations as you suggest, and it’s very inspiring. I will take you up on your offer to query you on other things!