v1.2.5 - release notes

Basic Layout

The main ScaleMaster window contains 5 distinct parts. The very top of the window is a standard macOS window bar with title and toolbar. Below it to the left is the document view and to its right the notation view. Further down a bit we have a horizontal toolbar and below that finally our instrument view. As a note we are looking here at the app in reference mode as opposed to exercise mode.


Document View

Title Bar

The document view at the left side of the main window provides a list of all available scale documents. Titles are double-click able for editing and the list automatically sorts itself alphabetically.

The scale detail section at the bottom may be expanded to provide a brief overview of semitones, note names and so forth. These items can be clicked and copied to the machine's clipboard.

At the very bottom of the view are buttons for adding / removing documents as well as a button that expands to a list of options to share a scale document (i.e. via email).


Reference Mode / Exercise Mode

Title Bar

The view button in ScaleMaster's center toolbar switches the app between reference and exercise modes. Another option is to use cmd-1 for reference and cmd-2 for exercise mode or the menu commands in the View menu. The reference mode will always display the same information for a given root / scale combination, but exercises can of course vary quite a bit. We will stay in reference mode for most of this documentation and then delve into exercises in depth in the up-coming exercise chapter.


Window Bar

Title Bar

ScaleMaster's window always displays the current document's name and next to it the current root and scale. So in this example we have My Bebop Scales 1 for the document and then Eb Bebop Dominant as the root/scale. In the toolbar below to the left are two browser arrows. The browser allows paging back through any changes made in the current document much akin to what we are used to from a web browser. On the far right end of the window bar are then from left to right the Auto Follow switch, the scale direction switch, the display options switch and finally a button for ScaleMaster's exercise generation tool.


Notation View

Title Bar

The notation view, here shown in reference mode. Reference mode always shows whole notes with color coding where applicable (roots in orange, chord tones in red) whereas the exercise view only contains quarter notes. Other display items like semitone indicators are not available in exercise mode. Clicking on a clef produces the clefs menu with a selection appropriate for the current instrument. Please note that the bass and double bass instruments do currently not have any alternate clef options.


Center Toolbar

The center toolbar in a sense is ScaleMaster's nerve center. It provides access to the main reference and playback options. In addition all auxiliary windows are implemented as popup windows descending from the associated buttons. This design was implemented specifically for a seamless full screen experience and to reduce window clutter. Conceptually the toolbar is divided in the middle and houses reference related items to the left and playback related items to the right.


Reference Tools

Title Bar

With exception of the "default position" button and of course the view toggle (in green) all other toolbar buttons shown above produce a popup window. These are the scales, circle of fifths, position and tuning windows. Of course tunings are not available in the piano instrument and are grayed out above.


Playback Tools

Title Bar

The buttons with exception of the instruments button in the image above do not produce any windows. The play button toggles playback of the current exercise, the reverse button toggles the auto-reverse state and count-in toggles count-in. The bpm control is not a button but a drag control.


Instrument View

Title Bar

The instrument view is very wide and scrollable. All string instruments go up to the 24th fret / position and the piano instrument features 88 keys. Other than by scrolling with a track pad or the top of a magic mouse an instrument can be positioned via the positions window and the default position button.

Note: The current instrument of a scale document can be changed in the instruments window. A much more convenient way of setting instruments, however, is to set the default instrument (i.e. guitar) in preferences. Once set every new scale document will then use that instrument.


Touch Bar

Title Bar

ScaleMaster supports the Touch Bar on modern MacBooks in two configurations for the main application window. As seen in the top the centered group of 6 application buttons include from left to right two browser buttons which can also be found in the main window toolbar. The 2 button group in the middle consists of the view and play buttons. The last 2 application buttons in the Touch Bar finally are the reverse and count-in buttons.

In addition to the 6 application buttons ScaleMaster features a popover button similar to those for system audio volume or screen brightness. This is the tempo popover. In collapsed state it simply shows the mteronome icon and tempo in bpm to the very right side of the application controls group. When tapped the popover will expand into the popover view as seen at the bottom of the 2 illustrations above. The slider can then be used to adjust the current tempo.

Tip: Thouching and holding the tempo button in the Touch Bar will automatically transfer the touch to the underlying slider. So one touch followed by a sideways drag will adjust the tempo without need to lfit the finger .



Writing up these descriptions of ScaleMaster's different layouts makes even our head spin a little. But I promise, once you get your hands on the app and get to work with it, it will make sense.

Now that we have a bit of an overview, let's take a look at how we can display and filter our scales.