Looking for "scale" app that can help me find "interesting & NICE SOUNDING" 6 note "scales"

Hey all...

Here's what I've got & what I want to do.

I have a Nord Drum 3P. It's got 6 pads. Each pad is tied to it's own synth that can do more than just drum sounds. So for this case, just assume it's a keyboard with 6 keys.

Each pad can be "tuned" to a MIDI note/pitch. It can actually do 1/2 pitches... Like midi note 60.5 or 72.5 as well, but I'm not sure if that's relevant.

I'm looking for an app that I can use to quickly discover & audition "scales" or at least 6 note collections of pitches that I can throw on the Nord Drum and play with.

A few more data points:

1) I **need **the app to at least display the midi note numbers. That's a key point. I have other apps that I can use to find scales, etc., but it's a pain in the ass to keep looking up midi note numbers. Kills the flow.

2) I'm not sure (because I don't really understand it), but I don't think things like Wilsonic will work for me as I think it spits out alternate tunings... i.e. pitches that don't line up to midi notes. If there's some way to use Wilsonic to do this, it would be cool as it "seems" powerful (but crazy obtuse).

3) I don't think ScaleGen will work either as again, I'm pretty sure it outputs "weird tunings". But if you know ScaleGen and after readin' above you think it could work for what I'm after, I'd love to read your thoughts.

Comments

  • thumb jam? set your notes to the white keys... theres white key only mode. and pick a scale, mute instrument, ... thru midi, ...

  • tjatja
    edited January 30

    There are 7 white keys, but the Whole Key and Blues Scales have 6 notes.
    Also some others, like Pelog and Six Tone Symmetric as seen in ScaleBud.

    The MIDI Note numbers may be visible in any of the MIDI Monitor Apps like from MidiFlow, but I cannot give a recommendation.
    I don't own ScaleGen, but maybe have a look at ScalePlay too:

    https://rogame.com/d/ios/scaleplay.html
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1140530163

  • Six note scales seem kinda rare.

    Maybe try Pentatonic scales with an octave of the root for the 6th note.
    Or regular seven note scales, but just ditch one note, like the 7th, or whatever sounds best depending on the scale.

    If you look at it this way, you can use just about any scale app. Both of the suggestions should sound good for the plethora of 5 and 7 note scales in the many apps that support scales.

  • edited January 30

    Yea, I guess "scale" may be a bad word. I mean 6 notes that sound good. :) I've got pretty much most (but not this scale play.. I'll have to check that out) of the scale/chord tools on iPad, and yea, I've been using midi monitors etc. to get the numbers I just wanted to see if there something else more lazy-conducive. :)

  • edited January 30

    I've got a Nord Drum 2 and 3P as well. Love them to bits.

    As @CracklePot mentioned, pentatonic scales often work well, or are a good starting point. If you select all channels on the 3P, you can press (from memory) Shift+Pitch to assign them to a preset scale. I think P1 is Major Pentatonic, P2 is Minor Pentatonic. Pad 1 will be the root note of the scale, Pad 6 the same an octave higher. If you have all pads selected and then set Pad 1 to 60 (or 36, 48, 72 etc), your scale will have a root note of C. You can then transpose all pads up or down simultaneously to change the root note of the scale, e.g. to 62 (or 50, 74 etc) for D, 79 (or 67) for G, etc. Starting with a pentatonic scale, you can make adjustments to pads 2-5 to create interesting-sounding scales by ear.

    I keep a printed copy of this midi-note-number-to-note-name table on my desk nearby - it's very useful with the Nord Drums.

    Some of the inbuilt preset scales are pretty interesting too - the scales starting with H are hang/handpan alternate tunings. Pretty sure the first pad is always the root note, so you can transpose up or down relative to that.

    You can also use this chart to tune an existing drum kit to a known scale, e.g. set the kick drum to 29 if you're in F.

    Hope this is useful.

  • I think there are many apps, TJ certainly, that scale lock received midi notes - i.e. if the receiving app is set to C minor, it will force any recieved E to an E flat.
    The trick with your controller is it has to be in a certain key to start out with. The root note, pad 1 presumably, needs to ,match the the root of the receiving app for predictable results, as the app will be converting each recieved note to the nearest allowed scale note based on the the interval to the root.
    On the other hand - you could set the controller so each pad is a third (4 steps) apart. Then randomly try keys and scales in the receiving app. Pad 1 may not be the root any more in this case but it may inspire some modal explorations. Recording the scale locked output into a DAW (controller>TJ>DAW for instance) would give you a picture of a scale for adding additional parts. -IRL, I did several , primarily improv, shows with a drummer that used a DrumKat where he would switch to a pitched modal thing and it was pretty easy to sort the mode within a couple of bars.
    FYI, (and I’m totally open to being proved wrong) there is no such thing as a 60.5 midi note number. There are 128 values, 0-127, whole numbers only that are built into the midi spec. It makes sense that if your controller has a synth built in it can be tuned to microtonal values, like tablas would be, but my presumption is the vast majority of iOS, VST, and hardware synths have no support for such a thing as this. Maybe in MPE and the proposed new midi specification, but nothing now.
    Hope that helps.

  • @handed said:
    I've got a Nord Drum 2 and 3P as well. Love them to bits.

    Yup. I've got 2 3P's & a 2 as well. I'm using one 3P for "melodic" parts and the other for "percussion." Running them into Zoom MS-CDR's for FX/delay's & looping, then into a A&H DB4 mixer as a "Looper"

    I'm planning on driving the 2 with my Pearl Malletstation as soon as I get around to building a midi note map for it.

    Have you tried the app Senode with the nord drums? It's pretty cool to play progressions and scales with one pad!

    As @CracklePot mentioned, pentatonic scales often work well, or are a good starting point. If you select all channels on the 3P, you can press (from memory) Shift+Pitch to assign them to a preset scale. I think P1 is Major Pentatonic, P2 is Minor Pentatonic. Pad 1 will be the root note of the scale, Pad 6 the same an octave higher. If you have all pads selected and then set Pad 1 to 60 (or 36, 48, 72 etc), your scale will have a root note of C. You can then transpose all pads up or down simultaneously to change the root note of the scale, e.g. to 62 (or 50, 74 etc) for D, 79 (or 67) for G, etc. Starting with a pentatonic scale, you can make adjustments to pads 2-5 to create interesting-sounding scales by ear.

    Yea, I love how they have the scales set up. I wish there were a few user slots. And I think how they did the "ganged" tuning is a great idea.

    I keep a printed copy of this midi-note-number-to-note-name table on my desk nearby - it's very useful with the Nord Drums.

    I've got a similar one as well... Again, I'm just trying to be as lazy as possible. :)

    Some of the inbuilt preset scales are pretty interesting too - the scales starting with H are hang/handpan alternate tunings. Pretty sure the first pad is always the root note, so you can transpose up or down relative to that.

    That was the other thing I've tried to make, a google sheet or something where I can enter in the scales off all those hang drum sites and it spits back midi notes. I even tried to make a little Midi Designer Pro layout to automagically use midi to set drum pitches, but it uses those MSB/LSB things to set pitch (because of those .5 midi notes I think) and I could never figure out the combo for setting pitches (beyond just random crap) :)

    You can also use this chart to tune an existing drum kit to a known scale, e.g. set the kick drum to 29 if you're in F.

    Hope this is useful.

  • Sounds like you're already on top of things. I'll have to check out Senode. :) If you haven't tried it, Patterning 2 also works really well with its scale lock options.

    You probably know, but there are some great Max for Live editors:
    http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/2741/nord-drum-2-controller
    http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/4500/clavia-nord-drum-3p-editor

    The DB4 looks amazing. The MS-70CDR must be a great match. I recommended one to my brother for guitar effects and ended up having a play with it, it's awesome for the price, will have to pick one up for myself one of these days. The Nord Drums just beg for external effects - I went possibly a little overboard and ended up getting two Eventide H9s and an Analog Heat, couldn't be happier. My latest complementary piece is the Octatrack Mk2, so it's sequencing the ND, and the 3P is set up for live playing. Needless to say I'm eating beans from a tin right now. ;) The midi arp and LFOs for CC control are awesome, and eight channels of midi sequencing is perfect - as would be any Elektron unit with midi sequencing. It's a bit of a grind learning the Octatrack, but I'm committed, and I've stuck with it long enough now to have some real a-ha moments.

    I hope you find the answers you're looking for. Maybe there's some kind of midi-note-number-scale-calculator-web-thingy out there.

  • Thumbjam

  • Tessitura Pro should have hexatonic (6-note) scales

  • @handed said:
    Sounds like you're already on top of things. I'll have to check out Senode. :) If you haven't tried it, Patterning 2 also works really well with its scale lock options.

    You probably know, but there are some great Max for Live editors:
    http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/2741/nord-drum-2-controller
    http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device/4500/clavia-nord-drum-3p-editor

    Sadly I don't use Live/Max... :(

  • @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Hey all...

    Here's what I've got & what I want to do.

    I have a Nord Drum 3P. It's got 6 pads. Each pad is tied to it's own synth that can do more than just drum sounds. So for this case, just assume it's a keyboard with 6 keys.

    Each pad can be "tuned" to a MIDI note/pitch. It can actually do 1/2 pitches... Like midi note 60.5 or 72.5 as well, but I'm not sure if that's relevant.

    I'm looking for an app that I can use to quickly discover & audition "scales" or at least 6 note collections of pitches that I can throw on the Nord Drum and play with.

    A few more data points:

    1) I **need **the app to at least display the midi note numbers. That's a key point. I have other apps that I can use to find scales, etc., but it's a pain in the ass to keep looking up midi note numbers. Kills the flow.

    2) I'm not sure (because I don't really understand it), but I don't think things like Wilsonic will work for me as I think it spits out alternate tunings... i.e. pitches that don't line up to midi notes. If there's some way to use Wilsonic to do this, it would be cool as it "seems" powerful (but crazy obtuse).

    3) I don't think ScaleGen will work either as again, I'm pretty sure it outputs "weird tunings". But if you know ScaleGen and after readin' above you think it could work for what I'm after, I'd love to read your thoughts.

    This sounds like a typical application for Lemur or another programmable iPad MIDI controller.

    The Nord 3P uses CC#31 for tone pitch MSB and CC#63 for tone pitch LSB.
    If you create a template that both sends tuning messages and a note trigger for each key and pad, you could play each pad chromatically and you wouldn't have to worry about scales at all.

    Of yourse you could also write a MidiFire script that translates incoming MIDI notes from different key ranges to appropriate messages for the 3P.

  • I’d keep it simple. Get a midi chart like the previously mentioned one, use Animoog to pick and choose individual notes to map across the keyboard. I use six note scales in Animoog all the time just by choosing notes one by one. They sound great

  • @rs2000 said:

    The Nord 3P uses CC#31 for tone pitch MSB and CC#63 for tone pitch LSB.
    If you create a template that both sends tuning messages and a note trigger for each key and pad, you could play each pad chromatically and you wouldn't have to worry about scales at all.

    I don't get the MSB/LSB bit. I'm not sure how to send midi to get what I want. I tried it and just kept getting seemingly random values. I know they have to work together, but I'm sure it quickly devolves into hexadecimal fortran written in COBOL or something...

  • edited January 30

    @MonkeyDrummer said:

    @rs2000 said:

    The Nord 3P uses CC#31 for tone pitch MSB and CC#63 for tone pitch LSB.
    If you create a template that both sends tuning messages and a note trigger for each key and pad, you could play each pad chromatically and you wouldn't have to worry about scales at all.

    I don't get the MSB/LSB bit. I'm not sure how to send midi to get what I want. I tried it and just kept getting seemingly random values. I know they have to work together, but I'm sure it quickly devolves into hexadecimal fortran written in COBOL or something...

    Think of MSB as semitones and LSB as cents for fine-tuning. Experiment a bit, you'll find out what values to use.
    Most MIDI controllers can be set to send specific CC controller values, one should send on CC 31 and the other one on CC 63.

  • Okey dokey! I wanted to at least finish this out with what I managed to do...

    So I was over-complicating things (wow, how unusual for me...)

    So it turns out the MSB/LSB thing was easier than I I first thought with the Nord Drum 3P... Turns out all you really need is the MSB to tune to midi notes. MSB=CC31: value = midi note. The LSB is just <64=x.0 > 64 =x.5 (for those half midi steps)

    Anyway...

    My solution is to use an app like ScaleBud, send that to MidiFlow, have midi flow with a simple midi note to CC translation, send that out to midi channel 16, have nord drum global midi channel set to 16. Then set Nord to change active pad based on last one hit

    Hit a pad, it "activates"
    Press a key in ScaleBud
    It sends that note to midiflow, midi flow converts it to the appropriate cc value and sets the active pad to that value.

    Pretty sweet, and WAY the F easier than other stuff I was trying!

  • @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Okey dokey! I wanted to at least finish this out with what I managed to do...

    So I was over-complicating things (wow, how unusual for me...)

    So it turns out the MSB/LSB thing was easier than I I first thought with the Nord Drum 3P... Turns out all you really need is the MSB to tune to midi notes. MSB=CC31: value = midi note. The LSB is just <64=x.0 > 64 =x.5 (for those half midi steps)

    Anyway...

    My solution is to use an app like ScaleBud, send that to MidiFlow, have midi flow with a simple midi note to CC translation, send that out to midi channel 16, have nord drum global midi channel set to 16. Then set Nord to change active pad based on last one hit

    Hit a pad, it "activates"
    Press a key in ScaleBud
    It sends that note to midiflow, midi flow converts it to the appropriate cc value and sets the active pad to that value.

    Pretty sweet, and WAY the F easier than other stuff I was trying!

    This is a very inventive solution! I think I might try something like this soon as well.

  • @handed said:

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Okey dokey! I wanted to at least finish this out with what I managed to do...

    So I was over-complicating things (wow, how unusual for me...)

    So it turns out the MSB/LSB thing was easier than I I first thought with the Nord Drum 3P... Turns out all you really need is the MSB to tune to midi notes. MSB=CC31: value = midi note. The LSB is just <64=x.0 > 64 =x.5 (for those half midi steps)

    Anyway...

    My solution is to use an app like ScaleBud, send that to MidiFlow, have midi flow with a simple midi note to CC translation, send that out to midi channel 16, have nord drum global midi channel set to 16. Then set Nord to change active pad based on last one hit

    Hit a pad, it "activates"
    Press a key in ScaleBud
    It sends that note to midiflow, midi flow converts it to the appropriate cc value and sets the active pad to that value.

    Pretty sweet, and WAY the F easier than other stuff I was trying!

    This is a very inventive solution! I think I might try something like this soon as well.

    Been messing with it this afternoon. Swapped out ScaleBud for M-Chordy... "game changing" as the youth say. :)

    You can choose a key, ppick/play a chord, then use the keys on the bottom routed to midiflow in's channel.

  • Yup. I've got 2 3P's & a 2 as well. I'm using one 3P for "melodic" parts and the other for "percussion." Running them into Zoom MS-CDR's for FX/delay's & looping, then into a A&H DB4 mixer as a "Looper"

    Dayyyyyyyyyum.

  • @syrupcore said:

    Yup. I've got 2 3P's & a 2 as well. I'm using one 3P for "melodic" parts and the other for "percussion." Running them into Zoom MS-CDR's for FX/delay's & looping, then into a A&H DB4 mixer as a "Looper"

    Dayyyyyyyyyum.

    Yeaaaaa... I'm like the guy at the track day with the Ferrari that early apexes and gets in everyone's way! More gear than talent. But I've got IDEAS!!!! :)

  • @MonkeyDrummer said:

    @syrupcore said:

    Yup. I've got 2 3P's & a 2 as well. I'm using one 3P for "melodic" parts and the other for "percussion." Running them into Zoom MS-CDR's for FX/delay's & looping, then into a A&H DB4 mixer as a "Looper"

    Dayyyyyyyyyum.

    Yeaaaaa... I'm like the guy at the track day with the Ferrari that early apexes and gets in everyone's way! More gear than talent. But I've got IDEAS!!!! :)

    You get all of today's humorous humility points. 👍🏽👍🏽

  • @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Yea, I guess "scale" may be a bad word. I mean 6 notes that sound good. :)

    Arpeggios may be what you're looking for. But why ask a machine to do this for you? Man up and find six notes you like on your own. That's part of the creative process.

  • @Wrlds2ndBstGeoshredr said:

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Yea, I guess "scale" may be a bad word. I mean 6 notes that sound good. :)

    Arpeggios may be what you're looking for. But why ask a machine to do this for you? Man up and find six notes you like on your own. That's part of the creative process.

    So you wrote this amazing gem of wisdom using a quill from goose you killed and ink you manufactured yourself? Oh... I get it, you used a tool to make the job easier. Not very “manly” of you.

  • Also check out ScaleGen from us at the Gestrument team! It's meant for experimenting with scales.

  • @MonkeyDrummer said:

    @Wrlds2ndBstGeoshredr said:

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Yea, I guess "scale" may be a bad word. I mean 6 notes that sound good. :)

    Arpeggios may be what you're looking for. But why ask a machine to do this for you? Man up and find six notes you like on your own. That's part of the creative process.

    So you wrote this amazing gem of wisdom using a quill from goose you killed and ink you manufactured yourself? Oh... I get it, you used a tool to make the job easier. Not very “manly” of you.

    I always encourage people to develop their musicianship, because it's far more rewarding than shopping for apps. And really, selecting six notes that you like together is hardly an overwhelming task. In the time you've spent posting on this thread you could have come up with five different good-sounding combinations.

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