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Microtonal/Alternate tunings - what is your workflow?
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Author Microtonal/Alternate tunings - what is your workflow?
Villarceau
Ever since I got into synths, I've been interested in microtonal and "alternate "and arbitrary scales/tuning systems. I downloaded scala and played around with it but never got very far. I would like to get a setup which would allow me to experiment and especially perform in conjunction with my modular.
I'm interested to know if there are any microtonal die-hards out there who like to try out different tuning systems and would like to learn what type of workflow/setup you have.
I've researched this quite extensively, mostly just getting into dead ends and because of this new project I have, I really want to get started and think I won't get anywhere without a little advice by people who are into this and have found a successful approach.
Refund
I've built all my own quantizers for use in puredata

in the modular world I stick to 12-tone because I don't know any way to do easily recallable/upgradeable microtonal work with at least 4 voices
myecholalia
Working with different tuning systems is exactly why I have a Yarns on the way.
Relatively easy way to have up to 4 voices in different tuning systems.
Can define your own via Scala files.
sleepmcevox
For experimenting with alternate tunings I turn to software first for convenience and speed. All the Madrona Labs synths support alternate tunings with scala files, and indeed come pre-packed with many different scales split up into categories. Might be worth picking up the Aalto demo and using it to flick through scales and see which ones you like the most! You could then apply these in a hardware / modular context.
hihi
Refund
myecholalia wrote:
Working with different tuning systems is exactly why I have a Yarns on the way.
Relatively easy way to have up to 4 voices in different tuning systems.
Can define your own via Scala files.


I'll look into it, thanks!
edit: had a look into it, I don't really want to use midi so it doesn't fit my criteria, I got excited for a moment that I could send it four cv channels and have it spit out quantized notes
dark_carcass
ER-101: Indexed Quad Sequencer seem to have customizable scales.
Phil999
routing a softsynth into the sync input of a VCO works sometimes. Useful for non-12-tone scales which I have some trouble to do with Scala and MIDI.
Villarceau
myecholalia wrote:
Working with different tuning systems is exactly why I have a Yarns on the way.
Relatively easy way to have up to 4 voices in different tuning systems.
Can define your own via Scala files.



Can you do larger than 12-tone scales with it?
What controller/keyboard are you going to use?

What intrigues me, is the total setup/workflow, not just gear or softsynths that can do a part of the job. It's easy to inventory gear but something else to work to a flexible and fun setup. I think I can't see the forest through the trees or something. I know that trying and performing with my fingers is what matters most to me. The continuum would be an option but it's just too expensive for me especially with the expansion for CVs and knowing it's not really geared towards microtonal but does seem to support it. The seaboard rise + the ES FH-1, well it's twelve-tone with pitch bend, I might get that but not to do microtonal stuff. For now, I often think just using a ribbon controller (or two) and the addac quantizer might allow a lot of leverage but feedback on that quantizer hasn't been amazing on this forum. A lot of people just don't get it to work well and although it seems powerful, the interface is quite daunting.
I really like ribbon controllers but it's not easy to play without much visual/tactile feedback.
I think the reality is that very little modular users are actually interested in microtones but to me it's a waste to have so many timbral choices and control and not be able to decide upon pitch intervals without sufficient control. Intervals aren't everything but timbres aren't either. Pelog is one of those inspiring things, rash timbres that work well with "weird" intervals.
To be clear, what I would like includes total "xenharmonic" stuff (I hate the word though), I want to try the most outlandish scales out there on my small modular and see what it brings me. The project I have is important, but not as much as noodling like crazy is.
grantmoney
I've enjoyed running a quantised voltage through an attenuator for basslines, but it's tricky to setup (so don't do terribly often).

Would be nice to have a precision attenuator with set ratios - that way you could fit 24/48/etc notes to an octave. Does such a thing exist?
Villarceau
It's just pretty much hopeless I guess.

Modulars without arbitrary scales are like pianos without the black keys (and notes) though.
Mood Organ
Refund wrote:
I've built all my own quantizers for use in puredata

in the modular world I stick to 12-tone because I don't know any way to do easily recallable/upgradeable microtonal work with at least 4 voices


Could you do this with Silent Way?
wigwig
grantmoney wrote:

Would be nice to have a precision attenuator with set ratios - that way you could fit 24/48/etc notes to an octave.

Indeed exclamation
Did a quick search for quantizers, but...

Quote:
Does such a thing exist?

Would love to know.
Anyone?
Mood Organ
wigwig wrote:
grantmoney wrote:

Would be nice to have a precision attenuator with set ratios - that way you could fit 24/48/etc notes to an octave.

Indeed exclamation
Did a quick search for quantizers, but...

Quote:
Does such a thing exist?

Would love to know.
Anyone?


Attenuate the output of a regular quantizer. 24 notes to an octave = quarter-tones. So attenuate the quantizer output so that 2 octaves maps to one octave. 48 notes to an octave would be eigth-tones so 4 octaves maps to 1 etc.
Greengrocer202
My setup is either Sunvox on my Ipad using the Set Pitch function or my Arduino controlled YM2612 (Sega Genesis soundchip) breadboarded circuit. Either way my workflow is tediously inputting frequencies in the form of hexadecimal values.
M6live
Mood Organ wrote:
Refund wrote:
I've built all my own quantizers for use in puredata

in the modular world I stick to 12-tone because I don't know any way to do easily recallable/upgradeable microtonal work with at least 4 voices


Could you do this with Silent Way?


Yes, see: http://www.expertsleepers.com/index_files/microtonal-tuning-scripts.ph p
Refund
M6live wrote:
Mood Organ wrote:
Refund wrote:
I've built all my own quantizers for use in puredata

in the modular world I stick to 12-tone because I don't know any way to do easily recallable/upgradeable microtonal work with at least 4 voices


Could you do this with Silent Way?


Yes, see: http://www.expertsleepers.com/index_files/microtonal-tuning-scripts.ph p


it needs to be done without a computer to suit my purposes
Mood Organ
Refund wrote:
M6live wrote:
Mood Organ wrote:
Refund wrote:
I've built all my own quantizers for use in puredata

in the modular world I stick to 12-tone because I don't know any way to do easily recallable/upgradeable microtonal work with at least 4 voices


Could you do this with Silent Way?


Yes, see: http://www.expertsleepers.com/index_files/microtonal-tuning-scripts.ph p


it needs to be done without a computer to suit my purposes


How about the Quantix-8? Has anyone used this?
http://m.bareille.free.fr/modular1/quantix8/quantix8.htm#quantizer
Iromeku
I would love to see an 8hp module that could do microscales. I know that the ADDA has quite a few options (including Just Intonation) however, something with a smaller footprint & lower price point would be most welcome.
Mood Organ
What I actually want is a quantizer module that allows you to send Scala files via USB connection.
justintonation
You could use a cirklon sequencer or an orthogonal devices er-101 sequencer which both can use any arbitrary scale and output pitch cv.

I am also interested in this. I am going to use my just intonation guitar through an entry point for melody and into a patch chord and a doepfer a-113 to create harmonic and sub- harmonic chords respectively. I'll use switching and mutes to choose which chords are sounding.
wigwig
Mood Organ wrote:
wigwig wrote:
grantmoney wrote:

Would be nice to have a precision attenuator with set ratios - that way you could fit 24/48/etc notes to an octave.

Indeed exclamation
Did a quick search for quantizers, but...

Quote:
Does such a thing exist?

Would love to know.
Anyone?


Attenuate the output of a regular quantizer. 24 notes to an octave = quarter-tones. So attenuate the quantizer output so that 2 octaves maps to one octave. 48 notes to an octave would be eigth-tones so 4 octaves maps to 1 etc.


Just saw this. Of course! This is a good solution. Now I just need a quantizer...
Thanks
dc_Sux
Do any mac users know a way to get Scala working on El Capitan please?
Or if not, any alternatives?
Villarceau
dc_Sux wrote:
Do any mac users know a way to get Scala working on El Capitan please?
Or if not, any alternatives?


Scale works on mine with El Capitan (phew, didn't try it since I upgraded not so long ago).

Did you download X11? It's kind of an involved process to install it all. Make sure you performed all the steps.

I don't think there is anything out there as complete as Scala.

This company has some interesting software but I haven't tried it yet.
http://hpi.zentral.zone/scalavista

It's the company that produced the Tonal Plexus keyboard, I hope they start building them again.
dc_Sux
Villarceau wrote:
dc_Sux wrote:
Do any mac users know a way to get Scala working on El Capitan please?
Or if not, any alternatives?


Scale works on mine with El Capitan (phew, didn't try it since I upgraded not so long ago).

Did you download X11? It's kind of an involved process to install it all. Make sure you performed all the steps.

I don't think there is anything out there as complete as Scala.

This company has some interesting software but I haven't tried it yet.
http://hpi.zentral.zone/scalavista

It's the company that produced the Tonal Plexus keyboard, I hope they start building them again.


Great. Thanks.
I was being a total douchebag and hadn't read through the setup instructions on the Scala website d'oh!

Just went through the tutorial.
Didn't understand a word.
Will take me a while to get my head around I think.
justintonation
The dsi pro 2 uses the midi tuning standard and also has cv out. A good microtonal technique would be to use the pro 2 to tune eurorack or other format modular oscillators. Tuning on the dsi pro 2 could be controlled dynamically via the alt tuner program on a laptop.
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