Sundog Scale Studio - The Quickstart Tutorial

Tip: Scroll down if you want to read a transcription of the video instead.

The Setup

Sundog needs a MIDI connection to another sound software or hardware to work properly. It doesn't create audio output on its own.

If you use Ableton Live: How to use Sundog with Ableton Live
If you use Bitwig: How to use Sundog with Bitwig
If you use Logic Pro X: How to use Sundog with Logic Pro X
If you use FL Studio: How to use Sundog with FL Studio
If you use Propellerhead Reason: How to use Sundog with Reason
If you use Presonus Studio One 2 or 3: How to use Sundog with Studio One 2 or 3
If you use Cakewalk Sonar: How to use Sundog with Cakewalk Sonar
If you use a different DAW: How to use Sundog with a DAW

If you know your DAW inside out you simply have to do this: Use a virtual MIDI cable to connect Sundog's MIDI Out to your DAW. Route Sundog's different MIDI channels to different channels of your DAW. Simple as that ;).

Video Transcription

This is the same text as in the video. You may want to read it if you want go through the tutorial step by step.

Basic setup

Basic setup In this quickstart tutorial I want to show you how to use Sundog to build a song.
Sundog is a standalone software and you will need to connect it to a DAW or a synth to hear a sound. I use a virtual MIDI cable to connect Sundog to Ableton Live. Different Sundog channels are connected to different Ableton channels via MIDI.

Patterns and Pattern Triggers

The box above (in the image to the right) will trigger the pattern below. You can draw lines to control the pitch of the pattern.

Patterns and Pattern Triggers

Click on a pattern slot to add a note. And click twice to add a stop symbol ("#"). You can create arpeggios with + and minus. Sundog includes a big list of patterns to choose from. Perfect for basslines, arpeggios, and melodies.

You can switch the scale of your song anytime. I will use E Minor now.

We want to add some drums as well. The bassdrum is triggered by a "Fixed note". C-2 is a standard value for bassdrums in many drumkits.
You can adjust the velocity of single steps with your mouse.


To tap the full potential, let's take a look at the chords feature. Choose an instrument and click on "Chords".


What you see here is a matrix of chords of our scale. You can find triads in the upper part and four note chords in the lower part. Click on "Settings -> Show chromatic keyboard in chords view" if you want to see the chords on a normal keyboard.

Let's create a chord progression now. We want to take these chords for our song, and I press "Use chords".

Instrument settings I press play and it still sounds like before. So how can we use our chord notes now? It's pretty simple. Instead of "Scale Notes" we will use "Full Chords" and set the pattern to "Off". Now the piano will follow all chord changes. Let's create an arpeggio that follows the chords as well. Simply switch from "Scale Notes" to "Chord Notes".

The lead melody

Finally I want to record a lead melody for our song. I set the pattern to "Off" and turn on the recording mode. Let's do some fixes until it sounds right.

Now the final step. We pick the small MIDI symbol and drag it to Ableton Live.

The Full Manual

In-app help Sundog contains a built-in page which points to an online and an offline help. Just click on the logo in the main view to get there.
You can finde the online manual here. If you need an offline PDF, you can get it there, too.

Also take a look at the included example songs. The examples only use one instrument channel and work best with piano sounds.

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