How to determine scale of expansion projects

EvertJG
EvertJG Member Posts: 15 Member

I'd like to use the expansions to play along too but I cannot seem to find a way to look up the scale of the melodic sounds included in the Expansion?

Looked through the forums and manuals but didn't find anything.

Also curious if you could transpose a whole group within Maschine software?

I'm using an S61 keyboard, not a Maschine pad.

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Best Answer

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited July 2023 Answer ✓

    Maschine offers zero key tonality indication, people have come to expect this to be clear in modern times (especially sample packs / Expansion equivalents) but Maschine is not known for keeping up with the times... 🤷‍♂️

    To figure out the true Key or what Scales fit I use the same techniques @Ed M suggested.


    I noticed that in Key display mode the melodic sounds show the C key highlighted in most cases and perhaps that is the indicator of the scale?

    No, that's just the default scale that shows when you open it.


    I may have found the solution to my own question. In the Maschine software, the root key is highlighted in Key view for each Sound. It can be changed in Mixer view, Sampler, Zone. Maybe that was already obvious to most but I'm glad I found it

    That wont help you unless it's a multi sample patch, in that case it behaves as an instrument so the key is whatever notes the MIDI Data controlling it play.

    'Root Key' has nothing to do with the tonality / key center of samples that have melodic content, meaning more than one note. A sample of a sax lick with several notes in D Minor will have a root note of C.

    C just indicates that when you press a C it will play in the original pitch, and C# will be a semi-tone above, but it will still start off by still being Dmin, so uping a semi note would make it Emin instead of C#.

Answers

  • Ed M
    Ed M Member Posts: 139 Advisor

    If it's a midi track, you have the notes, just google in which scale these notes fit(best).

    If it's an audio loop or one shot, play a single note at a time. The note that seems to sound "the best" is probably the root of the scale being used. You only have to figure out if it's a minor or major scale: try a few triads from either scale to determine if it's a minor or major scale. Alternatively use the S61 key feature and set the keyboard to minor or major, play the keys to find out wether a minor or major scale is used in the sample.

    Mind you, this might take some time and experience to train your ears. Things could even get more complicated when you try this method with jazzy or soulful loops because they tend to drop in notes or chords that are from another scale.

    Besides that, a bunch of 3rd party VST's have a scale detection feature built-in: to name a few Scaler 2, Serato Sample, Mixed In Key Live, ...

    Transposing a Maschine group is not possible just like that, but you can resample the whole group and change the pitch of the newly made sample.

  • EvertJG
    EvertJG Member Posts: 15 Member

    Hi Ed, thanks for that and that is all useful advice. In Key mode I can see the notes played and can work out the scale from that. Also, playing along it is fairly easy to work out when I'm in tune. I just wondered if the key/scale was documented somewhere. I noticed that in Key display mode the melodic sounds show the C key highlighted in most cases and perhaps that is the indicator of the scale?

  • EvertJG
    EvertJG Member Posts: 15 Member

    I may have found the solution to my own question. In the Maschine software, the root key is highlighted in Key view for each Sound. It can be changed in Mixer view, Sampler, Zone. Maybe that was already obvious to most but I'm glad I found it

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited July 2023 Answer ✓

    Maschine offers zero key tonality indication, people have come to expect this to be clear in modern times (especially sample packs / Expansion equivalents) but Maschine is not known for keeping up with the times... 🤷‍♂️

    To figure out the true Key or what Scales fit I use the same techniques @Ed M suggested.


    I noticed that in Key display mode the melodic sounds show the C key highlighted in most cases and perhaps that is the indicator of the scale?

    No, that's just the default scale that shows when you open it.


    I may have found the solution to my own question. In the Maschine software, the root key is highlighted in Key view for each Sound. It can be changed in Mixer view, Sampler, Zone. Maybe that was already obvious to most but I'm glad I found it

    That wont help you unless it's a multi sample patch, in that case it behaves as an instrument so the key is whatever notes the MIDI Data controlling it play.

    'Root Key' has nothing to do with the tonality / key center of samples that have melodic content, meaning more than one note. A sample of a sax lick with several notes in D Minor will have a root note of C.

    C just indicates that when you press a C it will play in the original pitch, and C# will be a semi-tone above, but it will still start off by still being Dmin, so uping a semi note would make it Emin instead of C#.

  • EvertJG
    EvertJG Member Posts: 15 Member

    Thank you both for your answers: very kind and I'm learning a lot. Maybe I'm looking at the expansion packs the wrong way and they are predominantly great collections of loops, kits, presets etc. Perhaps some included documentation from the artists about the instruments, FX and keys and chords used in the project and pattern compositions might be an idea? No idea if that would just be me to have an interest: as Ed M suggested, you can work it out for yourself with some effort.

  • BigPictureSound
    BigPictureSound Member Posts: 47 Member

    If I recall, there is a plugin called Serato Sample that detects key. It's a little pricey, so may not be practical.

    However, MPC Beats is free and also offers key detection. You could drop it in as a plugin and might be able to drag samples into it to quickly analyze the key.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited July 2023

    There's no wrong way of looking at it... Expansions do come from the days Maschine was heavily marketed towards people making beats / finger drumming, it's basically often whole "beat" in a Group/Kit, 16 sound package, or a 'construction kit' that is somewhat customizable.

    It simply does not have modern features that the likes of Splice or typical Sample Packs have since NI is completely out of touch with the production expectations of the modern era.


    I bought it for 50$ o sale, no sure how often it goes on sale tho... There's free stuff out there tho, but will require exporting first and analyzing.

  • EvertJG
    EvertJG Member Posts: 15 Member

    Yes, I gathered that the history of Maschine explains quite a lot and it will be interesting to see what the next versions of hardware and software bring.

    BigPictureSound2:51 am

    If I recall, there is a plugin called Serato Sample that detects key. It's a little pricey, so may not be practical.

    However, MPC Beats is free and also offers key detection. You could drop it in as a plugin and might be able to drag samples into it to quickly analyze the key.

    I've got MPC Beats and will give that a try, just out of interest.

    Thanks!

  • PK The DJ
    PK The DJ Member Posts: 820 Guru

    Antares (of AutoTune fame) have a free app for iOS and Android called Auto-Key.

    https://www.antarestech.com/products/auto-tune/auto-key-mobile

  • BigPictureSound
    BigPictureSound Member Posts: 47 Member
  • EvertJG
    EvertJG Member Posts: 15 Member

    As BigPictureSound suggested, I tried dropping an Expansion sound into MPC Beats and indeed that detects the Key and BPM. Assuming that the various sounds that make up a Project song are in tune, I can use MPC Beats to determine the key of the song and play along. As Ed M said at the start, I can also just look at the notes in the melodic parts of the song and figure it out from there and that might be simpler, or train my ears to detect if I'm in tune :-)

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