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scale player

MIDI Processor Plugin by rf Music
Newer Version:
scale player has been replaced by: InstaScale
scale player
scale player by rf Music is a Virtual Instrument and a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin and an Audio Units Plugin.
Windows 7 or higher.
OS X 10.5 or higher.
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Scale Player is a MIDI effect plug-in that allows you to play different scales in any key and mode using the idea of relative notes rather that static note values.

The plug-in calculates the intervals between pitches based on the selected scale and the user can move up and down the scale playing melodies, arpeggios or even chords using a few keys.

The result is an unusual way of playing instruments, which can be fun, inspirational and much easier to play since you don't have to worry about hitting the wrong note, memorizing all the scales in all the keys and practicing complex riffs and phrases that can be a challenge to play the usual way.

Scale player is a new kind of instrument that like any other instrument may take a bit of time to learn and master, but it will be a rewarding experience. It's ideal for live playing and with some practice you can play complicated licks and phrases that would impress everyone.

How does it work?

Scale player acts as an VST instrument plug-in that takes the input MIDI data and swaps it with the processed one. The output can be routed to any other instrument in the host application. The AU version works as a MIDI processor effect in hosts like Logic Pro x that support the type.

There are 16 keys with offsets assigned to them that are used to move up and down the scale and play different notes relative to the last note that has been played.

For example '+1' moves one note up the scale and plays it and 'Home' resets and plays the root note for that scale. Home can be changed to one of the notes on that scale (1st, 2nd, etc) using Home Note menu. The repeat key plays the last note.

In addition to playing keys there are control keys such as Scale -/+, Octave -/+, Key -/+, Home Note -/+, Key Selectors, Home Selectors, Scale Selectors and Octave Selectors that can be used to control settings with MIDI keyboard.


  • Scales: A list of commonly used scales such as Major, Minor, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, Spanish, Arabic, Major Pentatonic, Minor Pentatonic, Blues, In Sen, Hirajoshi and more.
  • Edit or Add Scales: Users can edit existing scales or add their own scales.
  • Home Note: The home note can be changed from root to some other note on the scale making it possible to play different modes of the scale. For example in C major by setting Home to '2nd' the home note will be D and so playing the D Dorian scale.
  • Playing Keys: These 16 keys are the main keys that actually will play the target instrument. Each of these keys can have an offset value assigned to them.
    • Home: Plays the home note (reset). 'Home + Octave' plays the home note one octave higher and 'Home - Octave' plays the home note one octave lower.
    • Repeat: Plays the last note that's been played before.
    • +1, ..., +14: Moves up the scale, and plays the new note according to its number. +1 plays next note, +2 moves two notes up and so on.
    • -1, ..., -14: Similar to plus keys but on the opposite direction. Example: if in C major and the last note was C, -1 will play B.
    • Notice: Replaying the same + or - key will not repeat the last note but moves relative to it. Example: If in C major, and the last note was C, +1 will play D an pressing +1 again will play E.
  • Control Keys: Main parameters on the plug-in can be assigned to MIDI notes so they can be easily controlled with the MIDI keyboard.
    • Key -/+, Scale -/+, Home Note -/+, Octave -/+:If assigned to a MIDI note, these keys can be used to change the Key (root), Scale, Home Note and Octave by switching up or down their values.
    • Scale Select, Key Select, Home Select, Root Select: These assign a series of MIDI notes to be used to switch between specific values just by hitting a single note. For example by setting 'Key Select' to 'C2-B2', C2 will set the key to C, C# will set the key to C# and so on.
  • Poly: Multiple notes can be played at the same time.
    • Notice: Same notes can be stacked on top of each other. For example in C major, Home key plus two stacked +2 key will produce C major chord (C+E+G).
    • Notice: Playing keys will change the last playing note value and because of that the order of notes are important. So even if you're using piano roll in your DAW and placing them at the same point in time or even on top of each other, the first note created will be the first one processed and so the second note's value is based on the first one.
  • Octave Shifter: Shifts the output octave up and down. Input octave also can be shifted to match a more preferable playing position.
  • Map Playing and Control Keys: Scale Player allows users to change the default settings and map all the keys to desired MIDI notes.

Changes in Version 1.0.4 (Dec 28, 2017):

  • Various loading/lunching/GUI bug fixes.
  • New price.

Changes in Version 1.0.3 (Nov 2017):

  • Fixed: AU verification error in Logic.
  • Fixed: AU will not appear as an instrument plug-in.
  • Fixed: Few GUI bugs.
  • Code optimization.
  • Updated the manual.
  • Build 2: Fixes scale bank initialization and file saving bugs.

Changes in Version 1.0.2 (June 2017):

  • Added 6 new scales.
  • Bigger and enhanced GUI.
  • Fixed: Scale menu bug.
  • Fixed: Save/load issues with AU.
  • Fixed: GUI initialization bug.
  • Code optimization.

Changes in Version 1.0.1 (March 2017):

  • New options for action keys:
    • Home Dont Play: Resets the position but doesn't play anything.
    • All Notes OFF: Sends off messege for all 'ON' notes.
  • Output MIDI Keyboard: Helps visualizing the scales and whats being played.
  • Includes Installer and Online authorization now.
  • Minor improvements and bug fixes.

3/19/2017: Build 2 fixes a bug that caused plug-in fail on some windows hosts.

Changes in Version 1.0.0 (Oct 27, 2016):

  • Fixed: Pitch bend and other MIDI messages didn't pass through.
  • Fixed: Home + Octave and Home - Octave didn't return the correct note in the scale.
  • Fixed (Not in VST3): Switching to process while there was On notes caused them to stick.
  • Fixed: Shifting virtual keyboard returned incorrect labels.
  • Fixed: Choosing off in some menus returned a wrong respond.

Version 1.0.0 beta 5 (Oct 2016)
A lot has changed in this update new features have been added.
Changes in beta 5:

  • VST3 and AU support.
  • Offsets for playing keys can now be customized, plus more options to set them to. Each of the 16 keys can be set to any of the offset values from the list. So there are more possibilities like having multiple keys with the same offset value.
  • Virtual keyboard. Makes it easier to find and set the keys and see what they're doing.
  • Midi Learn for mapping controls more easily.
  • Repeated notes wont choke each other anymore.
  • Switch keys for octave and scales.
  • Minor changes in Scale Editor.

Version 1.0.0 beta 4 (Sep 2016):

  • Edit or add new scales.
  • 5 new scales.
  • 5 more slots on scale menu.
  • Home note can be offset up to 12 now.
  • Minor changes in default preset and mapping.

Version 1.0.0 beta 3 (July 1, 2016): Be aware that this is still a beta release so there might be changes in the final release and may effect your saved projects.

Changes in beta3:

  • Optimized both PC and Mac versions.
  • Problems with windows are solved.
  • Minor bug fixes.
  • Users Manual is updated.

Demo limitations:

  • You can only play C Major scale (Plus its modes).
  • Editing scales are disabled.

Price: 59$ $49.

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Comments & Discussion for rf Music scale player

Discussion: Active
3 April 2018 at 5:47pm

It isn't always easy to set up the various scale and chord tools in DAWs: each DAW has its own method, some easier than others. If you use more than one DAW, you have to figure out how to set it up on each one, time that could be better spent creatively. So here's my guide to a single, easy method that will work with almost any DAW and involves no extra purchases. You also get some other very useful functionality.

First up, google for 'Minihost Modular download'. It's a free product from Image Line (the Fruity Loops folk). Theoretically still in beta but it has been our a few years and is stable. The download is via a support site, you'll be looking for v1.5.8. Install the VST. (Downside: it's 32-bit only.) Note that if you have any Harmor, or certain other of Image Line's products, the standalone versions run inside Minihost Modular v1.6, which is both more recent and 64-bit. Unfortunately it isn't available for separate download, and doesn't have a VST option.

Next step, open the Minihost Modular VST in your DAW. Go to File -> Preferences, select the Plugins tab, browse to your VST folders, select Scan and Verify, close preferences. That's a one time setup procedure.

Next step, right click on the blank screen, and select the top option, Add Plugin. Add an instrument from your VST collection. Play your controller, if MIDI input and audio output is set up correctly then you should see the green line (midi) on the left change as you play, and orange line on the right (audio) also change, and you should hear your instrument.

Final step, right click on the blank screen, and select the top option, Add Plugin. Add Scale Player. (This works with other scale and chord players.) Right Click on the green line and select Remove Connection. Drag the mouse from the green shape top left, to the green dot on the left of the scale player icon. Next, drag the mouse from the green dot on the right of the scale player icon to the green dot on the left of the instrument icon.

That's it. Your MIDI is now routed through Scale Player to your instrument. Double click the Scale Player or instrument icon to access their interfaces. And you can add as many instruments and effects as you like, just as easily.

One confession: I discovered this through using v1.6, and I know about v1.5.8 from reading the Image Line forums. I haven't yet installed v1.5.8 in case it kills my v1.6 install, so the above is partly theoretical, but I'd be surprised if it doesn't work.

Have fun :)

3 October 2019 at 3:36am

The CM version does not work as a MIDI effect in Logic Pro X.

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