Most of my music creation is on my iOS device. To my surprise, Sundog Scale Studio was a breath of fresh air when I started using none of my touch devices for music creation.
Its design is just as intuitive as most iOS apps. I caught myself wanting to touch the screen of my MacBook. With a few clicks and your favorite DAW, you are off and running making melodies, chord progression, bass-lines, or whatever you want.
So what is Sundog Scale Studio exactly? It is a MIDI melody and song creator laboratory for OS X and Windows.
It can help with overcoming creative block or give you that inspiration you have been looking for.
It also takes the repetitiousness out of clicking in MIDI notes for simple and complex melodies.
Getting started is pretty easy. Make sure you visit their website to see how easy it is to connect to your favorite DAW.
Pick a root key to work with and a scale. It has over 300 scales to choose from out of the box. Setup a few virtual instruments inside your DAW and click the play button inside of Sundog. You are just a few clicks away to easy chord progression and melody lines. It helps take the guesswork out of the equation and lets you focus on dialing in the sounds.
It simply sends MIDI notes to your DAW and lets you hear the sounds before making a commitment to hours of programming in MIDI notes. It works seamlessly with any iOS device using the app Midimux. I have also tested it with Ableton Live Lite and Logic Pro X. Both DAWs work great.
Some basics in the layout
It has 15 blocks in the middle of the screen labeled instruments, but I would consider them MIDI loops. Each of the 15 blocks can send MIDI to a different channel, and each can have different settings as well. So I guess calling them instruments does fit since each could control a different instrument.
At the top, you have different song parts, which is its own set of 15 instruments. You can arrange an entire song or create a bunch of different parts to change between on the fly. Each of the song parts can vary from 1 to 16 bars in length. It has several MIDI export options available as well. Both the song parts and the instrument blocks can be labeled.
Capturing the MIDI
Once you have some chord progressions and melodies that strike your fancy, you can easily just hit record in your DAW and capture it the MIDI or just record the audio output. You could also export the MIDI data for later use.
Dragging the MIDI symbol either in the main screen or the chords screen will copy the current MIDI pattern or chord progression to your DAW. The developer has created an extensive online manual and a great getting started video.
Compatibility and price
It works with Windows Vista, 7, 8 and up + Mac OS X 10.7 (64 bit processor). The nice thing is, you can try it before you buy it. So you are able to test the compatibility and its function.
The price of the application is $45/39 EUR. I think it is a very fair price for what you get. Having the ability to quickly and easily create chord progression, melodies and bass lines is well worth the price.
It is also a great addition to anyone with an iOS device and a computer. It gets my full recommendation.