µTune - Micro Tonal midi cv converter, quantizer, editor

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

Moderators: Joe., lisa, luketeaford, Kent

Post Reply
Pldvs
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:55 am
Location: nola/chicago/denver

Post by Pldvs » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:03 am

currently using multiple utunes to calibrate the oscillators in my rig and keep everything precisely tuned up, and it works great.
I’ve been tuning the oscillators at 0V to 27.5hz (A440) when I’m using equal temperament and then combine my sequencer pitch output (metropolis in this case) with an offset before going to utune cv in so that I can change keys on the fly in a performance.
I set the scale quantization on the metropolis, and then use the offset to dial in the root note.. and as long as I’m in equal temperament everything works how I would expect and I can switch keys on the fly and keep everything tightly 12tet tuned up...

What I want to be able to do is change keys and scales on the fly while using just intonation and other microtonal scales.
For this I am tuning the oscillators at 0V to 27hz (A432) and then I create a just intonation scale on the utune. As long as my root note is any octave of A everything is all good and beautifully tempered. I cannot however figure out how to change keys on the fly with this set up as of yet.
I can’t use the offset method I described above, as far as I understand, because when I combine the metropolis pitch cv with an offset, I’m not shifting the root note of the scale in the utune, just the interval being heard.

Would it be possible to switch between A major just intonation and D minor just intonation (for example, or any other key) without retuning the 0V frequency of the oscillator?

Is that what the CV input SHIFT setting is for? It doesn’t seem to be working how I’d expect it to.

Also, what is the function of the reference pitch setting?
I originally thought it would be possible to use reference pitch to switch between A440 & A432, but as of now I have to retune the oscillators to do that.

Thank you for this incredible module And any help you can offer.

User avatar
SlyFrank
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:45 pm
Location: FL

Post by SlyFrank » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:06 pm

Pldvs wrote:What I want to be able to do is change keys and scales on the fly while using just intonation and other microtonal scales.
I guess I have a question for you before my response - As you know, Metropolis has its own built-in quantizer in 12-TET, and has transposition, so I'm not sure where the uTune comes in? For scales other than 12-TET, and for pitch sources without a quantizer, (and for MIDI) the uTune is awesome, for sure.

Anyway, you're using pre-quantization transposition, which only works with 12-TET, since that scale is based on semitones that are all of equal 'distance.' For scales that are not equal-tempered, such as just scales etc you need to use post-quantization transposition.

If I understand what you're doing (forgive me if I have it wrong) you are taking the pitch CV out from Metropolis, adding a voltage offset, and then quantizing it (a second quantization as Metropolis always does its own quantization) with the uTune. This means that you will always be restricted to the 'notes' that are in the uTune at that time. So you are just shifting around the order in which those notes play. Really you are only changing the root note. Since the intervals are not equal in non-12TET, one ends up with a mess. For this reason I find post-quantization transposition to be much more useful, not just for logistical purposes, but also for musical ones.

Even though it is possible to use pre-quantization transposition with 12-TET, I still find it musically not useful. I still don't get why most quantizers transpose in this manner - the TipTop quantizer is one of the welcome exceptions from what I've read - I don't have one myself. Metropolis also does post-quant trans (in addition to pre-), so the following discussion can somewhat be skipped if your only pitch CV source is from Metropolis, except for the fact that Metropolis only does 12-TET, and we're talking about non-12-TET here.

Let's say you have a C Major triad C-E-G with root note of C in 12-TET with the quantizer set to a Major scale. With pre-quant trans, if you add an offset equal of a M2 before going into the quantizer, then you get D-F-A which is a D minor triad. This is not what most musicians think of when they talk of transposition. They think of going from C-E-G to D-F#-A (Major triad to another Major triad). That can only be achieved with post-quant transposition.

To do this, you take the CV out of the quantizer, and THEN add the offset. Therefore, all pitches are equally offset. This makes it possible to accurately transpose in any flavor of scale. To do this you need a precision adder, such as the Doepfer A-185-2 or a Disting or there are others too. I imagine you are already using a system like this to add your offset pre-quant. In the post- situation, it is much more important that the offset is quite accurate, as the pitch CVs will not be hitting a quantizer again.

It would be a lot easier if most quantizers just added this offset for us post-quantization so we wouldn't have to add it after-the-fact via a precision adder, but that is the way things are. Also, keep in mind that with non-equal temperaments, all intervals are different, so to transpose, the voltage added is usually not a 12-TET semitone. You will have to figure out the correct voltage offset for every interval that you want to transpose with. One way to streamline this is to add the voltage of a static second quantizer output using the same scale. Just pick the appropriate note and patch it into the adder. You will then have it transposed up that interval and it will be in your scale.

Final thought: To change from an A Major to a D minor (in your example), with a quantizer set to an A Major scale in 12-TET, you will need to alter some notes in your original sequence as well as post-quant transposing from A to D.

Hope this helps :party:
Last edited by SlyFrank on Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pldvs
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:55 am
Location: nola/chicago/denver

Post by Pldvs » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:15 pm

thank you for the response
SlyFrank wrote:
Pldvs wrote:What I want to be able to do is change keys and scales on the fly while using just intonation and other microtonal scales.
I guess I have a question for you before my response - As you know, Metropolis has its own built-in quantizer in 12-TET, and has transposition, so I'm not sure where the uTune comes in? For scales other than 12-TET, and for pitch sources without a quantizer, (and for MIDI) the uTune is awesome, for sure



I use 4 utunes to calibrate 8 oscillators distributed thru 5 voices. 2 voices with 2 oscillators each, 1 voice with 1 oscillator, and a polyphonic voice with 3 oscillators. The utune modules correct the linearity of the cv response for each oscillator so that all voices are musical across all octaves.
Metropolis can quantize but it can’t keep my entire system in tune with itself.
So In the case I was explaining with changing keys in 12tet, utunes scale is set to chromatic equal temperament.. I use an offset going into utune pitch map cv in to set the root note of the voice and I add the metropolis (or other sequencer) to the offset in order to sequence the melody. But yeah I’m starting to grasp the musical limitations of this.

As you said this only works with12tet because if you offset the root note in a just intonation pitch mask, then all the intervals get real messy quickly.





Anyway, you're using pre-quantization transposition, which only works with 12-TET, since that scale is based on semitones that are all of equal 'distance.' For scales that are not equal-tempered, such as just scales etc you need to use post-quantization transposition.

If I understand what you're doing (forgive me if I have it wrong) you are taking the pitch CV out from Metropolis, adding a voltage offset, and then quantizing it (a second quantization as Metropolis always does its own quantization) with the uTune. This means that you will always be restricted to the 'notes' that are in the uTune at that time. So you are just shifting around the order in which those notes play. Really you are only changing the root note. Since the intervals are not equal in non-12TET, one ends up with a mess. For this reason I find post-quantization transposition to be much more useful, not just for logistical purposes, but also for musical ones.



Even though it is possible to use pre-quantization transposition with 12-TET, I still find it musically not useful. I still don't get why most quantizers transpose in this manner - the TipTop quantizer is one of the welcome exceptions from what I've read - I don't have one myself. Metropolis also does post-quant trans (in addition to pre-), so the following discussion can somewhat be skipped if your only pitch CV source is from Metropolis, except for the fact that Metropolis only does 12-TET, and we're talking about non-12-TET here.

Let's say you have a C Major triad C-E-G with root note of C in 12-TET. With pre-quant trans, if you add an offset equal of a M2 before going into the quantizer, then you get D-F-A which is a D minor triad. This is not what most musicians think of when they talk of transposition. They think of going from C-E-G to D-F#-A (Major triad to another Major triad). That can only be achieved with post-quant transposition.

To do this, you take the CV out of the quantizer, and THEN add the offset. Therefore, all pitches are equally offset. This makes it possible to accurately transpose in any flavor of scale. To do this you need a precision adder, such as the Doepfer A-185-2 or a Disting or there are others too. I imagine you are already using a system like this to add your offset pre-quant. In the post- situation, it is much more important that the offset is quite accurate, as the pitch CVs will not be hitting a quantizer again.

It would be a lot easier if most quantizers just added this offset for us post-quantization so we wouldn't have to add it after-the-fact via a precision adder, but that is the way things are. Also, keep in mind that with non-equal temperaments, all intervals are different, so to transpose, the voltage added is usually not a 12-TET semitone. You will have to figure out the correct voltage offset for every interval that you want to transpose with. One way to streamline this is to add the voltage of a static second quantizer output using the same scale. Just pick the appropriate note and patch it into the adder. You will then have it transposed up that interval and it will be in your scale.
Hmmmm... ok this makes some sense.

So I could offset the utune cv output to achieve the right voltage for any chromatic pitch in 12tet a440 as the the root note... and the just intonation pitch mask would work with the frequency achieved from adding the offset?

This is hard for my brain because I don’t quite grasp how it’s all happening yet.

Seems like it could be possible to post quantize offset the utune cv out, inside of the utune with voltage control. Is that theoretically possible? Can the utune do this?

Thanks you much for the help:)[/quote]

User avatar
Scatterfold
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:03 am
Location: Kaldbaksbotnur, Faroe Islands
Contact:

Post by Scatterfold » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:00 am

Still loving this module; particularly exploring very consonant, very simple tuning systems.

This is all in John deLaubenfels' "Optimally consonant major pentatonic". If you're going to go pentatonic, you might as well go all out with yer ratios(!)...

https://soundcloud.com/scatterfold/fifth-shape
Soundcloud

[bandcamp width=400 height=307 album=165726047 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 artwork=small]

User avatar
monads
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1941
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:05 am
Location: Odyssey Island
Contact:

Post by monads » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:07 am

monads wrote:Are we close to finalizing?:

1. uTune B.10 beta OS to official version 1.10;
2. uTune Expanders release.

Wondering the progress above and TIA for updates!!!
How's the above coming along??? I think the OS is now B.11 beta.

User avatar
tubbutec
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:29 am
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Post by tubbutec » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:44 am

Pldvs wrote: Is that what the CV input SHIFT setting is for? It doesn’t seem to be working how I’d expect it to.
Shift is supposed to do excactly what you are looking for. It changes the mode of a scale, without transposing it.
Pldvs wrote: Also, what is the function of the reference pitch setting?
It's not used in the current official release yet, but used in the current beta to match cents to frequencies in the tuner.

User avatar
tubbutec
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:29 am
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Post by tubbutec » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:46 am

monads wrote:
monads wrote:Are we close to finalizing?:

1. uTune B.10 beta OS to official version 1.10;
2. uTune Expanders release.

Wondering the progress above and TIA for updates!!!
How's the above coming along??? I think the OS is now B.11 beta.
Well I hope so. The expanders had to be sent back from the beta tester, because of a few issues. They are now back there being tested again. There was Christmas / New Year in between, so hence the delay.

User avatar
SlyFrank
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:45 pm
Location: FL

Post by SlyFrank » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:52 pm

Hi - I recently installed the latest beta firmware and it's going very well, except for the last thing I tried.

I am trying to use the new MIDI-MIDI microtonal conversion, and I can't get it to work. Using my MIDI keyboard, it works great for MIDI-microtonal CV note/CV gate, but not for MIDI-microtonal MIDI. Here is my setup:

MIDI keyboard DIN out to uTune IN. uTune DIN out to DIN IN on USB MIDI interface. MIDI USB into Pianoteq on Mac computer. Pianoteq plays the 12-TET that it is set to, not what uTune is set to (a microtonal scale). uTune is fine with receiving MIDI from my keyboard and outputting correct CV note and gate to my modular, but looking at the website (maybe I am wrong) uTune should now be able to convert regular (12-TET) MIDI to whatever microtonal scale uTune has loaded and send it to make a 12-TET destination respond as the microtonal scale in uTune, due to pitch bend information. Do I have this wrong? Have I misinterpreted what this beta can do? Am I doing something wrong (most likely explanation :doh: )

I have also tried with Native Instruments FM8, which responds well to pitch bend MIDI data, and I still can't get it to play the microtonal scale that I have in uTune.

User avatar
Phil999
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:59 pm
Location: Cavardiras

Post by Phil999 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:07 am

it should work for monophonic MIDI, but I haven't tried it yet with the uTune module (regular firmware).

Regarding software instruments, I recommend to use their internal microtuning system. MIDI is not a good method to transmit microtonal notes. Maybe in future, with MIDI 2.

User avatar
tubbutec
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:29 am
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Post by tubbutec » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:59 am

SlyFrank wrote:Hi - I recently installed the latest beta firmware and it's going very well, except for the last thing I tried.

I am trying to use the new MIDI-MIDI microtonal conversion, and I can't get it to work. Using my MIDI keyboard, it works great for MIDI-microtonal CV note/CV gate, but not for MIDI-microtonal MIDI. Here is my setup:

MIDI keyboard DIN out to uTune IN. uTune DIN out to DIN IN on USB MIDI interface. MIDI USB into Pianoteq on Mac computer. Pianoteq plays the 12-TET that it is set to, not what uTune is set to (a microtonal scale). uTune is fine with receiving MIDI from my keyboard and outputting correct CV note and gate to my modular, but looking at the website (maybe I am wrong) uTune should now be able to convert regular (12-TET) MIDI to whatever microtonal scale uTune has loaded and send it to make a 12-TET destination respond as the microtonal scale in uTune, due to pitch bend information. Do I have this wrong? Have I misinterpreted what this beta can do? Am I doing something wrong (most likely explanation :doh: )

I have also tried with Native Instruments FM8, which responds well to pitch bend MIDI data, and I still can't get it to play the microtonal scale that I have in uTune.
There is no manual for the beta yet, so here is a quick explanation.

- In midi routing you can now define midi pitch translation. (arrow, µ-arrow, no arrow)
- currently the settings from midi out are used, so you must set midi out mode to sysex, or pitchbend
-

User avatar
tubbutec
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:29 am
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Post by tubbutec » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:00 am

Phil999 wrote:it should work for monophonic MIDI, but I haven't tried it yet with the uTune module (regular firmware).

Regarding software instruments, I recommend to use their internal microtuning system. MIDI is not a good method to transmit microtonal notes. Maybe in future, with MIDI 2.
It works monophonically in pitch bend mode and polyphonically in sysex mode (for those synths which support it)

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:41 pm

nvm
Last edited by tenembre on Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
SlyFrank
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:45 pm
Location: FL

Post by SlyFrank » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:02 pm

tubbutec wrote:There is no manual for the beta yet, so here is a quick explanation.

- In midi routing you can now define midi pitch translation. (arrow, µ-arrow, no arrow)
- currently the settings from midi out are used, so you must set midi out mode to sysex, or pitchbend
Thank you for the reply. I am not clear on the difference in 'MIDI note routing' between 'arrow' and 'µ-arrow.' I have obviously come across them but not clear what the difference between the two are.

Anyway, I think the main thing here is that you mean I will need to go to 'MIDI out config' and select 'sysex' and in 'MIDI sysex routing' make a DIN-DIN connection there, despite what is in the 'MIDI note routing'? I am away from my house for a day but will try your suggestions tomorrow.

EDIT: I just now quickly tried this before having to leave now, and I can see that one must use µ-arrow for it to work - so that is solved. Also, using sysex out is working, although, at least with the microtonal scale I am using, it is not working on all notes - I will have to work at this when I get back, on other software destinations and with the settings, etc. to see if I can get it to work properly. But at least it is starting to work for me. One problem is that sometimes on adjacent notes (say, B & C) they both play the same note..

Cheers

User avatar
SlyFrank
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:45 pm
Location: FL

Post by SlyFrank » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:45 pm

tubbutec wrote:There is no manual for the beta yet, so here is a quick explanation.

- In midi routing you can now define midi pitch translation. (arrow, µ-arrow, no arrow)
- currently the settings from midi out are used, so you must set midi out mode to sysex, or pitchbend
OK, so I've spent quality time with this tonight and it's been very good. Long story short: I'm good-to-go.

I have always used MIDI software destinations using a MIDI controller and their (soft-synths) own tuning systems, but never really understood those tuning systems/files. Now I do. This is a good article to read: MIDI.org article

The only reason I wanted to use soft-synths with their default 12-TET tunings (i.e. not their tuning files) and, in real-time, changing that with µTune, is due to my upcoming delivery of the MIDI MicroZone Keyboard, and thought that maybe I could use any soft-synth with this keyboard without having to re-tune soft-synths with their own microtuning systems (and there are a few different systems...).

I don't think that's a good way to go about it now, especially polyphonically, since most soft-synths don't support sysex tuning. And I don't expect them to.

µTune is awesome for the reasons I bought it for: microtonal CV-CV and MIDI-microtonal CV (with my modular it is great). MIDI-microtonal MIDI, I think it is much better to use regular MIDI into a destination that uses its own tuning file as referenced in the article above written by MIDI.org.

OK, Cheers, all is good! :guinness:

Thorsday
Common Wiggler
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:22 am

Post by Thorsday » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:18 pm

How far along is the Arpeggiator feature? I have no complaints with uTune since velocity has been fixed and I am glad I waited to get MIDI to CV long enough for uTune to become available.

User avatar
sizone
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:47 am
Location: OR-E-GONE

Post by sizone » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:36 am

any news on the minicase and power supply?

User avatar
tubbutec
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:29 am
Location: Berlin
Contact:

Post by tubbutec » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:42 am

sizone wrote:any news on the minicase and power supply?
Yes, started working on this again and doing a second revision. Prototype will be produced soon, then we'll see...

Pldvs
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:55 am
Location: nola/chicago/denver

Post by Pldvs » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:08 am

I have not been able to get SHIFT cv in to work.
Is anyone else using this feature successfully?

I set CV in channel 1 to SHIFT all channels, then I go into the scale editor, play a note via midi, and observe what degree of the scale mask is indicated by the little arrow. I run a voltage offset into CV in 1 and I would expect to see the arrow change to different scale degrees as I sweep the offset..
But nothing changes.

Am I doing something wrong? Is that not how it is supposed work?

User avatar
monads
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1941
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:05 am
Location: Odyssey Island
Contact:

Post by monads » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:07 am

tubbutec wrote:
monads wrote:
monads wrote:Are we close to finalizing?:

1. uTune B.10 beta OS to official version 1.10;
2. uTune Expanders release.

Wondering the progress above and TIA for updates!!!
How's the above coming along??? I think the OS is now B.11 beta.
Well I hope so. The expanders had to be sent back from the beta tester, because of a few issues. They are now back there being tested again. There was Christmas / New Year in between, so hence the delay.
Awesome!! The holiday's came and went fast! Hoping for an official OS v1.11 update release and expander this year???

User avatar
Bomauch
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:38 am
Contact:

Post by Bomauch » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:40 pm

I am also anxiously waiting an expander! Just bought a utune and can't wait to try it out.

User avatar
monads
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1941
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:05 am
Location: Odyssey Island
Contact:

Post by monads » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:16 pm

tubbutec wrote:New beta 1.11 available
How's the beta coming along??

zoo212
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:18 am
Location: EST

Post by zoo212 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:26 am

It's been a bit quiet on this forum (updates, expander), mostly, since February. I love and find this module confounding. Manual (not supported). I can figure out most things. Updates great for more avant garde but some basics missing. I haven't given up but at the same time I'm beginning to wonder if the Fh-2 wouldn't have been a better choice. Please note I have programmed synths and so on for decades, I get how things work. I'm not giving up on the device because calibration great, plethora of scales etc., great but at the same time I'm beginning to have a love/hate relationship. And that's never good. Anyone want to chime in about supporting the basics (midi cv, arp, and so on). And I'm not against the thought I bought the wrong module.
"We are shaped by the fashion we love." - Goethe. No it's not.

User avatar
sizone
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:47 am
Location: OR-E-GONE

Post by sizone » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:24 pm

only problem I've ever had with the utune, that was a fault of the device and not the user or the gear it was connected to, is the keyboard mapping.

once I got the hang of the manual tuning routine, it did exactly what it was supposed to do, midi note number in, corresponding frequency out from connected oscillator. it does this with a -great- deal of accuracy and it does so without ever needing to be hooked up to a computer.

User avatar
Scatterfold
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:03 am
Location: Kaldbaksbotnur, Faroe Islands
Contact:

Post by Scatterfold » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:13 am

Is there a way to completely factory reset the uTune, including firmware?

I only ask b/c at one point I installed the 1.11 beta, had issues with it, returned back to the latest non-Beta, then went back to 1.11 when I realised I needed a beta feature and now the most recently used scale won't save. It defaults on power-on to the most recent scale that was used pre-firmware flip.

Silly, unique error, I know...
Soundcloud

[bandcamp width=400 height=307 album=165726047 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 artwork=small]

User avatar
monads
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1941
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:05 am
Location: Odyssey Island
Contact:

Post by monads » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:49 pm

No sure regarding the factory reset. Did you fix??? There's been no update regarding firmware in 'beta' and update on the uTune expander. Appears no one is home atm...but hopefully being worked on.

Post Reply

Return to “Eurorack Modules”