Wishlist for Scaler 3.0 – improve Section C

I’ll try to explain what I need, and I hope you will understand.

Imagine a scenario like this:

I want to compose a song with following elements:

  • Intro – 4 bars
  • Verse 1 – 16 bars (first 8 different than the second 8 bars)
  • Pre-chorus – 4 bars
  • Chorus 1 – 8 bars x 2
  • Verse 2 – 16 bars (a bit different than Verse 1)
  • Chorus 2 – 8 bars x 2 (a bit different than Chorus 1)
  • Ending – 2 bars

Purely mathematically, there are 74 bars, which gives 9 rows by 8 chords + 2 bars (already over 56 currently available).

If we add another verse with another chorus, we are way over 7 x 8 chords grid.

I wonder if it would be possible to do something like what I have in Jamstix. No need to use the AI for this, as Jamstix do:

Display the list of available parts (elements to include in the song structure e.g., Intro, Verse, Chorus, Pre-chorus, Breakdown, Solo, Ending…).

Select the parts and their order, as in my list of elements at the beginning. Every element can be duplicated as many times as needed (Verse 1, Verse 2, Verse 3 etc.). This is displayed in the Song Structure list. Order can be changed by freely dragging the element up or down.

This is how it looks like in Jamstix (just to have an idea):
image

The example of final structure:
image

Once satisfied with this structure, click on the button (“Go”, “Create Song”, ”Proceed”, whatever you name it). This creates a grid similar to the current Pad view. From here, we proceed normally as we already do by using Main, Edit, Chord, Pad and Mod buttons.

Patterns can automatically be named as the selected elements in the structure of the song. Each “pattern” occupies as many rows as necessary to have them for the length of 8 (or any other fixed value the developers decide). So, the number of chords in a row is fixed, but the number of rows is variable and depends on the structure of the song.

After we add all the necessary chords to each section, we can either directly play or drag/drop each section to the DAW.

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I think 3.0 would definitely be a nice upgrade

I like that idea​:+1::+1:. I use Jamstix as well so understand your idea.

I too use Jamstix, and find its approach to song structure definition and organization very intuitive and fast to work with.

I agree that dynamic creation in Scaler of as many pads as needed, grouped by song section would be quite nice to have.

Offhand though, I wonder if perhaps such an implementation would best be done as a completely new section of Scaler, since the current Pattern/Row organization of Scaler is also founded on clear, understandable logic and many users have already configured (and habituated) to take advantage of it. Breaking those configurations would not be good!

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Of course. I prefer leave to the developers to decide how to implement the idea. This could be a button like Build", “Wizard” or so, that would open this section and, once finished, the plugin could go back to its usual interface, with a difference of the grid rows and patterns that would be added as the result of Build action.

image

I suppose that there should be a horizontal scroll bar if someone decides to have more than 8 patterns (something like this already exists for chords in Mod section) in Section C and, of course, a vertical scroll bar should be added to Pad view.

This is one of the possibilities, but if the idea accepted, @Ed1 and his team should decide how to do this.

Not everyone uses standard song writing format so it would need to be quite flexible. The one thing I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere in this wish is the fact that Scaler does not currently start from any point in the song structure. It always starts from bar one of whatever pattern you have selected. It would need to chase position with DAW which might be tricky since there would be a lot of factors to take into consideration.

I fully agree. should be able to add more than eight chords in a section. I think it would be easy to implement and an important feature.

Not only should we be able to add more than eight chords in a section, we should be able to use one section several times with or without modifications, as in Intro-Verse 1-Chorus 1-Verse2 (somewhat modified Verse1) - Chorus 2, etc.

For this, I believe, it will be necessary to use several lines of chords in one section instead of making a section/pattern extra large and it’s easier to add rows than columns.

To make this even easier (once again, inspiration comes from Jamstix4), we can link or unlink some section. For example, we want Verse 1 and Verse 2 to be identical, so we select “link”. In that case, the section Verse 1 will be copied to Verse 2 and locked. If we want to change one or two chords, we select “unlink” or “unlock” and in the Verse 2 we change what needed.

OK, for me this looks easy, but this will certainly add some complexity to programmers. However, I prefer some chords or structure improvements to the new sounds or so.

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys very useful and it is where we are headed. Agree with all comments.

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Just a point on @jamieh 's issue on Scaler starting from the first chord of the pattern. It is possible to change this by binding the pattern to a midi clip.

Having said that it would be nice to have more patterns available, but I forsee issues for those of us who are used to the constraints of Scaler and use midi clips and binding to drive it.