Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Wednesday, 20 April 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

There are many things that we are limited by in today’s world. Scale limitations are one of those things. In the past, if you wanted to play in a different tuning than the standard 12-tone Equal, you were out of luck. However, thanks to the scale breaker, that is no longer the case! This revolutionary device allows you to break out of scale limitations and play in any tuning you desire!

Developed by Chaos Culture

Chaos Culture has always pushed the limits of what is feasible with Ableton Live and MaxforLive, and we first offered his MIDI MultiClip Editor for Live 9 years before it was an official feature in Live. Then came Modulat, the ideal modulation toolkit.

The most significant was Ableton Live 4’s lightweight version, which allowed him to delve further into sound design and other areas of music creation.

Scale Breaker in Live
Scale Breaker

Sebastian got his start in the music business as a mixing engineer and sound designer by studying audio engineering and working with numerous studios.

Max for Live devices and other Chaos Culture projects are examples of Max for Live software that extend the capabilities of Live.

Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations
Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations

Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations

Scale Breaker is a groundbreaking new musical instrument that breaks the traditional limitations of pitch and scale. With its unique adaptive tuning system, it can perfectly adjust to any key or scale, allowing you to play in any style you desire. Additionally, its latency-compensated synchronization ensures perfect timing across instruments, making Scale Breaker perfect for multi-instrumental performances.

Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations
Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations

And with support for Scala .scl and .kbm files, as well as a built-in editor, creating custom scales and tunings is easier than ever. Finally, Morphing between 32 tunings and 32 mappings for every note individually means that you’ll never run out of possibilities.

Scale Breaker: The Ultimate Retuning Device for Breaking Out of Scale Limitations

Whether you’re a musician looking to explore new sonic territory or a composer wanting to add more color and texture to your music, Scale Breaker is the perfect tool for expanding your musical horizons.

The third-party software program Max for Live has a Max for Live device that can be used to retune MIDI-controlled devices in Ableton Live 10 and 11.

Scale Breaker UI
Scale Breaker UI

Scale Breaker a Retuning Tool

Scale Breaker is a powerful retuning tool that can help you break out of the standard 12-Tone Equal tuning that is so prevalent in today’s music.

With Scale Breaker, you can force your instruments to play in tunings that would otherwise be impossible, giving you a wider range of sounds to work with. In addition, Scale Breaker comes packed with a lot of small functionalities that make it the ultimate retuning device.

Scale Breaker
Scale Breaker

With its easy-to-use interface and wide range of features, Scale Breaker is a must-have for any musician who wants to expand their sound.

Custom Keyboard Mappings

This device supports custom Keyboard Mappings in addition to the Tunings. It can import and export .scl and .kbm files, and a built-in editor can be used to make customizations in real-time.

This is a great feature for those who want to use the keyboard for more than just playing notes. With this feature, you can customize the keyboard to your specific needs and preferences. You can even create your own keyboard mappings, which is a great way to add your own personal touch to your music.

Adaptive Base

Scale Breaker is a special Adaptive Base that allows for proper Just Intonation tunings in any key. This is because the Adaptive Base is controlled with low-velocity notes, making it possible to specify the Base Tunings within Live’s MIDI Editor or through other means of generating MIDI notes.

As a result, this system is necessary and the reason why 12-TET became the standard, as it doesn’t require retuning the instruments for almost every chord that is being played. However, returning gets easier with Scale Breaker since the Adaptive Base is controlled with low-velocity notes. Therefore, Scale Breaker provides an easy way to use Just Intonation tunings without having to retune your instrument for every chord.

Tunings and Mappings 

The Follow system is a powerful tool for linking together the tunings and mappings of different instruments in a song. This includes the Adaptive Base, as well as automation of the Base Tuning. All of this data is communicated across the devices in real-time with latency compensation for the most accurate timings. It also helps to write music in Just Intonation, as every instrument is guaranteed to be in tune with each other for every played chord.

This makes it possible to create complex and beautiful textures with ease and opens up new possibilities for sound design. The Follow system is an essential tool for any musician who wants to explore the full potential of just intonation.

The Tuning & Mapping Slots feature in MPE Note Expressions enables users to load multiple Tunings and Mappings into the device. This gives users greater flexibility and control over how they use automation or MPE Note Expressions on a per note basis.

The Tuning & Mapping Slots feature is particularly useful for those who want to use different Tunings and Mappings for different parts of their composition.

With the Tuning & Mapping Slots feature, users can easily switch between different Tunings and Mappings as needed, without having to manually adjust each note. This makes the process of creating complex compositions much simpler and more efficient.

Freeze Functionality

The Freeze functionality is a powerful tool that can be used to create smooth transitions between different Tunings. By freezing the Adaptive Base system, you can switch between different Tunings for each individual note or for the whole system directly from Live’s MIDI Editor. This allows you to create more complex and evolving compositions, and to add more subtlety and nuance to your performance.

The Freeze functionality is a powerful tool that can be used to create smooth transitions between different Tunings. By freezing the Adaptive Base system, you can switch between different Tunings for each individual note or for the whole system directly from Live’s MIDI Editor. This allows you to create more complex and evolving compositions, and to add more subtlety and nuance to your performance.

Conclusion

Scale Breaker is a device that breaks out of the standard 12-Tone Equal that is used in today’s music. This allows for proper Just Intonation tunings in any key, which makes it easier to use Just Intonation tunings without having to retune your instrument for every chord. The Follow system is a powerful tool for linking together the tunings and mappings of different instruments in a song. The Tuning & Mapping Slots feature in MPE Note Expressions enables users to load multiple Tunings and Mappings into the device. Freeze Functionality is a powerful tool that can be used to create smooth transitions between different Tunings.

By using Scale Breaker, you can open up new possibilities for sound design and create more complex and beautiful textures with ease. If you’re looking for a way to break out of the standard 12-Tone Equal, then Scale Breaker is the perfect device for you.

Scale Breaker FAQ

How do I use Scale Breaker?

To use Scale Breaker, simply connect it to your computer via USB and launch Live. Once Live is open, create a MIDI track and add Scale Breaker to the track. You can then begin playing notes on your MIDI controller and Scale Breaker will retune the notes to the selected Tuning.

Can I use Scale Breaker with other DAWs?

No, you need to use Live.

What is the Follow System?

The Follow system is a powerful tool for linking together the tunings and mappings of various instruments in a song. This allows for a more seamless and accurate performance, as every instrument is guaranteed to be in tune with each other. Additionally, the Follow system helps to write music in just intonation, as every note played will be in tune with every other note. This is especially useful for live performances, as it ensures that all of the instruments are perfectly in sync. Overall, the Follow system is an essential tool for any musician who wants to ensure a flawless performance.

What does the Freeze Function do?

The ‘Freeze’ function is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to create smooth transitions between different tunings for each individual note, or for the whole Adaptive Base system. When using this function, it is important to keep in mind that the ‘Tuning’ parameter will be disabled. This means that you will need to set the desired tuning for each note manually. The ‘Freeze’ function can be accessed by selecting the MIDI Editor from Live’s main menu. Once you have selected the MIDI Editor, you will need to select the ‘Freeze’ button from the top toolbar. This will open a new window where you will be able to select the desired tuning for each note.

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