Reviewed: Scaler 2 by Plugin Boutique
Scaler 2 by Plugin Boutique is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, ways to work with chord progressions and melodies for producers with little or none music theory knowledge.
It detects the scale or chords you are playing and suggests progressions which you can edit to your taste. This detection also works with MIDI and Audio files by drag and drop which makes life so much easier for those who like to get inspired by sample pack’s loops. Just bear in mind, MP3 files are not supported.
After the detection, you need to choose which style/mood of the scale you would like to go with and it is very nice of them to have put what each scale sounds like in words. For example Cm scale: Serious, Sad, Emotional, Sentimental or C Dorian: Jazzy, Bluesy, Rocky, Sophisticated.
You can edit each part of the progression on the Edit tab changing Chord Voicing, Inversion and Semitone to give your own personality to the notes and also Playback Timings and Playback Performances.
Under the Chord and MOD tabs, there will be Chord suggestions and you can also use the Circle of 5ths as a guide.
This plugin is fantastic for every musical aspect of your track apart from the drums so now you will choose an option under Perform tab depending on which part of the track you are writing. It can be Articulations where you will find the Arpeggio and Strumming mode or Expressions with Performances, Phrases, Rhythm, Bass and Melody. Every single one of them is super simple to use.
Another useful feature is the Key Lock function which allows you to play only the notes in the scale or chord you selected in the beginning. Right next to it the Voice Groupings makes smooth the changes between chords as it group notes in a specific range, and Humanize which applies random velocity, swing and/or timing to each note.
As of in Scale 1 you can Drag and Drop the MIDI created from the plugin to the DAW.
It also comes with lots of cool sounds.
Although you cannot place a VST before Scaler, there are ways to route Scaler to play whichever instrument you want, depending on your DAW.
As I am not a trained musician and do not play any instruments, Scaler 2 has been seriously helping me with my melodies as it is so quick and easy to use. Some features go beyond my understanding because it was not just made for beginners but I have been learning a lot while having fun! Surely a plugin worth having!