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Unifying Scaler 2 under way


Bernd@PDX
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It is official, I received permission from the Scaler product team to go ahead and create a free patch bank for integrating Scaler presets with Unify. 

The technical side seems to work fine as I have been creating a bunch of Scaler presets for Unify for my own use already. My largest ensemble so far had 24 instances of Scaler in it 🙂 

Given that Scaler is both an instrument and a MIDI FX plugin, there is additional dimensionality to its configuration & use, which will reflect in the patch taxonomy and related naming standards. I have to spend some time thinking this through. And I will use this thread here to engage with the community (Scaler users in Unify) for brainstorming the best approach.

I'll also try to recap the motivation and ultimate goal of this effort, to paraphrase a fellow user's question: why would I do this, and what problem does this solve (what need does this solution provide). 

Thank you to the Scaler team, Ed & Davide, for graciously supporting this initiative, and for making a great product that complements many of the other sound, performance, and composition tools!

Stay tuned!
Bernd@PDX


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Bernd@PDX
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Hello Friends in Unify!

Here is my first draft at Unify patches for Scaler 2 from PluginBoutique (attached .ZIP file). 

This works only for folks who actually own a license of Scaler 2 (latest version 2.3.1) and have Scaler 2 already installed and working in their DAW. These patches just connect Scaler to Unify, they do not provide new sounds or MIDI to Unify itself, they just map Scaler presets to Unify for easier accessibility within Unify.

I am also assuming that you are familiar with the key features of Scaler, because these presets merely map existing Scaler features into preconfigured presets (patches). Scaler itself does not have a patch bank per se. The way you create patches within Scaler is to combine various options, such as scales, songs/artists' chord progressions, and performances and expressions of these chords. 

There is some logic to the naming of these patches, and I have extensively tagged them. I have used various approaches to organize these, and you may find them inconsistent. This is by design, since this is just an early draft to test the waters; I want to learn from the community which sort of naming and tagging would be most useful. So I applied different patterns of naming presets.

They key naming structure is that all Unify patches for Scaler (new Unify library "SCALER 2 UNIFY") start with either "Instr" or "MIDI". The ones starting with "Instr" manifest Scaler as a Unify Instrument Layer, which can be ALT+click selected from the Unify browser into any open Unify patch. The ones starting with "MIDI" are Unify MIDI Layers which only generate MIDI notes to be linked to other Unify instrument layers. Now I added some Scaler sounds into these MIDI patches, just as working example, so the patches could be browsed and listened to instantly, but feel free to replace the Instrument Layer in the MIDI patches. 

Anyway, before I go into further detail (and I am planning to create an explanatory video or some documentation) I let you play with this, and explore their features. Let me know your thoughts and how I can fine-tune this to make it useful for you.

Happy Unified Scalering!

Bernd@PDX

 

PS: UPDATED setup instructions... changed downloaded file to *.guru format, that allows you to just drag & drop onto a running instance of Unify, and it will install itself, no database rebuild necessary. Just learned that from one of Shane's post 🙂

So to clarify: download the attached ZIP file, unzip it, and then drop the resulting .guru file onto Unify.

 

 

 

 


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Bernd@PDX
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<removed the screenshot in this post since it caused more confusion than intended. this was just intended to confirm how a successful installation looks like, never meant as a demonstration of the patch bank. see ongoing discussion for more context>

To better inform the discussion below, here is a list of files the original ZIP archive contains, in case you are wary of opening a ZIP archive of unknown origins. This here is just a .txt (text) file that contains a directory listing of all the Scaler2Unify patch names (output of dir *.unify /w command in Windows). 

Here are the first few lines from this text file, as a quick overview...

 


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mschiff
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Is the purpose of this Unification just to give access to the instruments built into Scaler 2, or is there some other purpose. I'm confused.

-- Martin


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Bernd@PDX
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@mschiff Scaler is more than an "instrument". It does provide dynamic chord progressions and variations of expressions (how these chords are being voices and performed in terms of melodies, rhythms, phrases, chords, etc.).  So one of the key uses of Scaler in Unify would be as a MIDI source, in the MIDI layer, to drive other instrument plugins you may have that provide the actual sound, but driven by notes from Scaler. Another use is that you can use one of its myriads of musical scales to constraint (filter/map) your keyboard keys, so you would automatically play in the chosen scale (or any other MIDI notes source would be mapped into the desired scale).

Are you currently a Scaler user? This probably makes more sense to folks who have used Scaler before in a DAW setting. 


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thsve
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Just a thought. I think it would be better to have Scaler as a midi plugin at layer level and then have an UNIFY instrument (see attached picture). That way, it will be easier to add layers with different performances and easy to swap instruments for the layers.

Sorry, but I have no good idea for naming patches🙄.

Win 10/Cubase Pro 11/Wavelab 8/Spectrasonics all/NI 13/Izotope MPS2Serum/Cthulhu/MusicLab guitar vsts/etc


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mschiff
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@berndpdx

Yes, I have used Scaler 2 quite a bit. However, your JPG attachment above  Scaler2UnifySplash.JPG just shows instruments. That's why I am confused. I've just generated MIDI from Scaler 2, and used that on Unify tracks. I don't use the instruments at all, except for prototyping. I am interested to see what comes of your use of Scaler 2. I find it to be a great tool.

 

 


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JeremyH
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@berndpdx

This is a useful discussion and I have also pondered how best to integrate Scaler 2 into Unify's preset system.

Like @thsve and @mschiff I was a bit confused by your screenshot. I had also assumed that you meant to Unify the pattern capabilities of Scaler 2, which is also how I use it; with the Scaler 2 instrument turned off on a MIDI layer or as a MIDI insert on an Instrument layer.

You could then have Unify presets for Articulations (Arpeggio, Strumming) and Expressions (Performances, Phrases, Rhythms, Bass and Melody). You could even add all of the Songs and Artists as presets.

I initially thought that it would be good to save these as layer presets but since the list of presets would be quite large this would be unwieldy without some kind of nested/MIDI library capability. So maybe saving them as normal presets in a Unify Library with a default instrument on layer 1 and the Scaler 2 preset on a MIDI layer would work best? So the user would load one of the Scaler 2 Unify presets then swap the instrument in layer 1 or add a new instrument preset from another Unify library.

Something like the attached screenshot where I have just saved 3 Performance Patterns in a new Unify Library.

 


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Bernd@PDX
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Thank you all for your interest in this, and I appreciate all the curious questions and thoughtful comments. I am sure if you wonder, a lot of others are too. I have removed the confusing screenshot as it was never meant to give you a first impression or get anywhere close to representing or explaining what this patch bank contains. I have added instead a complete list of all the *.unify files that are included, so you can get an impression of the patch names before installing them. I think some of your questions/concerns may be addressed by that. 

Please see this updated post above... https://forums.pluginguru.com/unify-patchbook/unifying-scaler-2-under-way/#post-9187


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Bernd@PDX
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I am also considering providing any further documentation on this in the Scaler forum instead since that forum platform allows me embedding screenshots and makes it for a more fluid reading experience when explaining stuff. I'll keep you posted on my efforts to document this. For now I'd encourage the few, the brave, to just give these Scaler 2 Unify patches a try, install them, use them, and learn more from practice. After all, it is about music, hard to put in words or pictures 🙂

 

And yes, @getdunne, I hear you loud and clearly, that a video speaks a million words. But I am old school, I still read words, so my first instinct is always to describe things in writing. Making a video takes me far more effort than just doing the actual work of patch creation/curation and let others try out for themselves how it works and what is possible (that's also how I operate usually, so I personally don't need much explanation before I play with something new). Perhaps we can have John (@PlugInGuruForums) take a look at this and incorporate a quick review some day into his famous Saturday live sessions 🙂


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Bernd@PDX
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I initially thought that it would be good to save these as layer presets but since the list of presets would be quite large this would be unwieldy without some kind of nested/MIDI library capability. So maybe saving them as normal presets in a Unify Library with a default instrument on layer 1 and the Scaler 2 preset on a MIDI layer would work best? So the user would load one of the Scaler 2 Unify presets then swap the instrument in layer 1 or add a new instrument preset from another Unify library.

 

@zinct I like your thinking, and realize this is a bigger discussion beyond Scaler. That as more MIDI plugins get incorporated into the Unify libraries ecosytem (which Unify practically begs for, with its flexible MIDI routing!) this question becomes broader. Perhaps we can start a discussion thread less hidden under a specific plugin (like Scaler here, which most non-Scaler users might ignore) - specifically around MIDI routing patterns/best practices. I haven't seen much discussion how to organize MIDI instrument patches meant for combination with actual (sound making) instruments. 


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Hexabuzz
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@berndpdx If you upload your images to something like Imgur, you can copy/paste the code to have your pics and screenshots appear in tour posts, just like this:

[img] [/img]


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JeremyH
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Posted by: @berndpdx

I initially thought that it would be good to save these as layer presets but since the list of presets would be quite large this would be unwieldy without some kind of nested/MIDI library capability. So maybe saving them as normal presets in a Unify Library with a default instrument on layer 1 and the Scaler 2 preset on a MIDI layer would work best? So the user would load one of the Scaler 2 Unify presets then swap the instrument in layer 1 or add a new instrument preset from another Unify library.

 

@zinct I like your thinking, and realize this is a bigger discussion beyond Scaler. That as more MIDI plugins get incorporated into the Unify libraries ecosytem (which Unify practically begs for, with its flexible MIDI routing!) this question becomes broader. Perhaps we can start a discussion thread less hidden under a specific plugin (like Scaler here, which most non-Scaler users might ignore) - specifically around MIDI routing patterns/best practices. I haven't seen much discussion how to organize MIDI instrument patches meant for combination with actual (sound making) instruments. 

Apologies @berndpdx, I somehow missed that other thread and your updated list of presets. That is looking like a great list of presets 👍 

Good idea re a separate thread regarding the Unify Libraries ecosystem. I imagine that Shane has a huge list of related ideas on the Unify to-do list, but unfortunately I also imagine that none of them are quick to implement.


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Bernd@PDX
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Okay friends, you have me persuaded to create some video material for giving more context to the Scaler 2 Unify patch library project.

https://youtu.be/PF4mUPco48g

I tried to keep this short. Let me know where you'd like me to focus more on. There is so much content already, easy to get lost, just like the sound tools themselves 🙂

 

And here a quick sound sampling, no talk, just playing some presets.... https://youtu.be/1wVEm5PrwKc

(and yes, next time I'll turn off my room mic 😉


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eakwarren
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Hi @Bernd@PDX,

Love the idea and will check out the presets zipped above. One initial thought is that Scaler 2 uses more CPU when the Audio detection engine is running, which is the default behavior. One can turn that off by clicking on the AUDIO text to the right of the Scaler logo in the top left of Scaler. The text -OFF- will appear in that row.

I know it would be a pain to go back and change that in each preset, but let me explain why it may be important in the context of addressing some of the use case questions above. I've been enjoying CoreStation because it is much more CPU friendly than Logic. I've setup the entire orchestra and added Scaler MIDI Effects for Melody, Countermelody, Harmony/Rhythm, Bass, Texture 1 and Texture 2. Then for each orchestral section or instrument, I change the MIDI Source to one of the above. It's great for rapidly trying out different ideas from Scaler, but it does get CPU intensive.

I've attached a screenshot of a simplified version setup with pianos.

 

Eric


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Bernd@PDX
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@eakwarren Thanks for the reminder about turning off the Scaler instruments where not heard. I did realize that as well, later of course. But no sweat, I often reopen these presets as I play with them and then fine tune them, so I frequently make changes and resave anyway. On those occasions I might as well turn off the internal Scaler insruments in the case where Scaler is used as a MIDI effect only. 


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Holmwoody
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@berndpdx  Sounding good on my system.

 


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JeremyH
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@berndpdx  

I'm enjoying what you have done so far, bravo! Those ensembles are sounding excellent! 

Thank you for doing this 👍 

 


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Tocan
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I Like to drop in inside the discussion a bit. My Problem for the moment is that scaler i use as Midi Effect for the Moment. And it crash if i use it in a DAW.

My Promotion goes for Unify a bit different way. There exist thousands of Video Producers outside. There is no knowledge about cords and music theory.

What they do in regular. They search arround the Internet to find a music they can use. By the way often they follow Influencers that promote EG. Artlist, Epidemic and so on. Means creativity stop at the place when it comes to sounds or music.

Can you test yours libary please with the DaVinci Fairlight DAW? DaVinci Resolve is free to use.

For such Users is it important to have a Basic description.

In case you go this way i like to help you before the libary is official.

Sounds from Epidemic and Artlist are nice to listen. The Problem starts when the music is used with dialog together. If you have Dialog than you need a total another mix. I guess If WE can handle both and produce  something like a a Libary for music that include also a mix optimised for dialog than this can be a de facto standard. For filmic, cinematic, YouTube Tutorial based and Dialog Sounddesign.

I give you an example from a German Channel. Its not important you understand the Dialog. An optimised Libary can support a workflow and time reduction immense.

https://youtu.be/8Bz1ISSVyc4


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Bernd@PDX
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@tocan 

Hi Daniela,

Have you looked at the Scaler forum for your technical issues with Scaler? 

Regarding testing the scaler presets in another DAW, that's not my point. The presets I created for Unify are not portable. And I don't consider them "my presets" - it was just part of that volunteer community effort to make our favorite plugins easily available in Unify. I think I'll pass having to get involved with yet another DAW 😉

Warmest Regards from Portland,

Bernd

 

For your convenience to better translate here's the same answer in German:

Hallo Daniela,

Hast Du mal im Scaler Forum nachgeschaut, bezueglich Deiner technischen Probleme mit Scaler?

In Bezug auf das Testen der Scaler Presets in einer anderen DAW, das war nicht mein Ziel. Die Presets die ich erstellt habe fuer Unify sind nicht portierbar. Und ich sehe diese nicht als "meine Presets" an  - dies war nur Teil der freiwilligen Bewegung, unsere Lieblings Plugins zugaenglicher zu machen in Unify. Ich denke ich werde besser nicht noch in eine weitere DAW verwickelt 😉

 

Herzliche Gruesse aus Portland,

Bernd

 


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mschiff
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@berndpdx

Your video was incredibly helpful in understanding your purpose for this library. I installed it (before the video) and wasn't really sure how to use it, but after the video it is more clear. I would be very interested in watching more videos of how you use the Unified Scaler project to make music.

Thanks for all the hard work in putting this together.


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