A scale is simply an ordered series of pitches. Each scale type sounds slightly different because the pattern of pitch intervals varies from one scale type to another.
LSSP includes a range of modules that represent the most common types of scale, but more fundamentally it defines a standard way of representing scales so that a scale can be carried down a cable from one module to another. These “scale signals” use S-Poly connections.
The structure of these scale signals is not particularly complicated (the first S-Poly channel specifies the number of notes in the scale and subsequent channels specify the pitches) so you can construct your own scales using the MONO TO S-POLY module.
Because chord signals in LSSP use exactly the same format as scales they are generally interchangeable.
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All scale modules have a 1 V/Octave KEY IN socket. When nothing is connected to this socket a scale will be in the key of C and the output for the scale’s tonic note will be 0 V, this corresponds to C2 in Voltage Modular.
The most flexible and yet in some ways most primitive common scale is the chromatic scale, it represents all the white and black notes that you would find on one octave of a piano keyboard.
If you look at the image above and twist your head to the left you will see that the module looks like the pattern of keys on a keyboard.
The major scale is the most used scale type in western music. Its pitches follow the same pattern as the white notes on a piano keyboard.
After major, the minor scales are perhaps the next most popular, they tend to sound more serious than Major scales.
The blues scale is very popular in blues, jazz, rock and other genres.
There are seven modal scales. Each has a slightly different pattern of intervals. The Ionian modal scale is identical to the major scale and the Aeolian modal scale is identical to the natural minor scale.
Chords from scales
There are a variety of chord modules that produce chords. One particularly related to scales is the Chord From Scale module which can be used to automatically produce chords based on stacks of thirds from the major, minor and modal scale modules.