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Fix the Base II Scale & Root Note Settings

I've been setting up my Base II with ableton and have a couple questions I was hoping someone could help me figure out concerning scales and root notes. The Base has a function which while holding shift and being on an instrument or drum rack (in Sends or Device mode), allows the change of scales and root notes. By default, the "Major" scale is the automatic selection scale, which automatically detects if your track contains an instrument or a drum rack and actively changes the controller layout view, but when you change to other scales directly from the Base this function is lost, and using a drum rack and an instrument simultaneously becomes very difficult. The normal drum rack layout switches to an instrument layout, where only a few lined up notes are playable and the rest are blank; why isn't the automatic detection included in all scales so that drum racks always have the same layout? 

Also, if you want to play lower notes and move the root down, the drum rack notes move up and eventually dissapear from the 4x8 grid. I think it works fine if you're just playing synths, but that kind of defeats the purpose of this multi-use controller doesn't it?

I've been working a way around it, which has been using devices directly in each ableton track which define the scale and pitch of each. However, when they're set up individually like this, they don't match the color layout the Base displays (which is always set for the Major-automatic scale) and therefore the color layout of the Base doesn't display the real notes you're playing in ableton. I think this defeats the purpose of the active display of notes which makes Base behave like an instrument. 

Am I doing something wrong? or is this the way the Base is programmed? Is there a way to fix this? 


  • You can set the scale explicitly for tracks on per MIDI channel basis.  (e.g. track 2, set to MIDI input channel 2, can have a different setting than track 3, MIDI input channel 3).  "Auto" will always default to the scale for the first device in a track, so that if that device is a drum rack, the script will assign the "DrumRack" scale.  

    I don't know if this helps, but I'm also not completely clear on the problem, sorry :(

    FWIW, the Base script is not setup to deal with using multiple types of instruments on the same track.  It assumes a "one-device-per-track" approach, so perhaps this is the problem your experiencing.


  • @amounra thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I am somewhat new to music production and am teaching myself ableton and how to work the Base II. I actually wasn't aware of the way to use channels but now it all makes sense, I was using all tracks in a single channel and that's why whenever I changed scales on one it changed on all the others as well (including drum racks, and that's why they changed layouts). One thing I wasn't doing though was using various insturments in a single track, I try to group them individually by tracks to make my set more organized. Sorry if the question was dumb, your answer was of much help and clarity. 

  • Sweet, let me know if I can help further!


  • edited June 2016

    Actually @amounra I do have another question if you don't mind! It's concerning automatic selection and synchronization between ableton/base2.

    Once I've selected the scale I want (on the base) for my synth track, is there a way to automatically syncronize that selection with the Scale device (for the same track) in ableton? I understand there is no need if I am playing individual notes, but if I were to add a Chord device for that track, the Scale device in ableton is a must so that Chord forces all notes to be inside the selected scale. Right now I am doing it manually whenever I want to play chords/arpeggios, but if that could work it would be awesome.

    Thank you again, Y

  • No, the script has no relation to the Ableton Scale device, sorry.  

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