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Micro Tonal midi cv converter, quantizer, editor
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next [all]
Author Micro Tonal midi cv converter, quantizer, editor
tubbutec
Hi,

current status of this module:
- Software almost finished
- Second hardware prototype with larger display will be assembled next week, front panels powder coated and screen printed. If everything fits and works we will produce the first batch.
µTune will be presented at Superbooth17



I tried to write down all the features currently implemented. This is a very rough list, if anything is unclear please let me know:
----------------------------

µTune is a tool designed to serve all needs that may arise when dealing with microtonal scales in a modular context.
Is is:

- A two-channel microtonal midi interface
- A two channel microtonal quantizer/mapper
- A Scale editor
- More than the sum of these parts

Its inputs and outputs can be freely configured to various functions. It can also detect when an input is plugged in and change its behaviour accordingly.
Here is a very quickly written overview of its current features:

Quantizer / Mapper
- CV inputs adjustable to custom V/Octave
- Inputs can map to scale degrees, transpose or shift a scale
- High precission CV outputs
- Quantizer can run in continous mode, gated or triggered

Midi to CV interface
- Midi from DIN midi or USB midi
- Dual Monophonic and 2 different Duophonic modes possible

Scale editor
- Any number of notes per scale
- For each note edit: cents, fraction or select from a list of common intervals
- scales not based on the octave are possible
- quickly generate EDO scales
- deactivate certain notes in a scale
- save and load scales on SD card in scl format

VCO calibration
- Easily calibrate any VCO using built in tuner
- 10 point calibration of pitch
- save and load calibration data on SD card

CV to midi interface
- microtonal 2-channel cv/gate to midi interface
- uses midi pitch bend commands to generate microtonal pitch

MIDI router
- a powerful midi router and merger
- route notes / clock and sysex independently
- have a usb midi interface independently from quantizer for example

Firmware update from SD card
Pretty strait forward. Put update file on card, update, ready to go.
If you know Tubbutec, you now that feature updates will be released frequently.

IO functions
CV out: microtonal pitch, velocity chan1, velocity chan 1/2, after touch chan 1/2
Gate out: Midi gate, midi clock, midi start/stop, pass from input
CV in: map to pitch, transpose chan 1/2, shift scale chan 1/2
Gate in: trigger mapping, gate mapping, measure frequency, trigger random transpose chan 1/2

Technical data
- runs on +-12V and/or +-15V
- 16Bit DAC for high resolution of ~1.5mV or 0.2cents
- Input / output 0..10V (10 octaves)
- Hysteresis technology at CV input for stable input note recognition.
- Gates: 0V/5V output, Input 0..15V (High at about 1.5V)
- 1.3'' 128x64 OLED display

Planned features
- Automatic VCO calibration
- Live pitch matching using closed loop approach
- Support KBM keyboard mapping files
- Midi to microtonal midi conversion
- Send/ Receive midi tuning dumps
- Switch tunings via trigger in
- Shift scale root via midi
- .. more

Extensions
µTune features an extension port and we are planning
- Two more channels for a total of 4
- An oscillator extension with perfectly pitched OSCs

here are a few display screenshots. The actual graphics may change until the release version...

Main Menu:


File browser with scale preview


Scale editor - you can edit cents, fractions and select from a list of common intervals


Input / Output configuration for channel 1:


Midi routing


Manual VCO calibration


Configuration menu


There are many more pages and features....

---------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------
original post:
Hi,

while developing micro tonal updates for the Juno-6 / 60 and SH-101, I started to wonder if some of these features might be interesting for the modular community.

I would like to know if you would be interested in a module with the following features:

- High resolution microtonal midi2cv/gate interface, 10 octaves
- microtonal quantizer, CV in 1V/oct converted to any scale
- Upload scales via Scala or use scl. files directly from a SD card
- Includes a scale editor: Create your own custom scales without needing an external computer.

Looking forward to hear your opinions and suggestions.

-Tobias from Tubbutec
oootini
sounds amazing!
StringEmil
Sounds really cool!
Stupid question: Would it be able to do non-microtonal stuff as well for more 'normal' use?
tubbutec
StringEmil wrote:
Sounds really cool!
Stupid question: Would it be able to do non-microtonal stuff as well for more 'normal' use?


of course. after all, well tempered tuning is just a sub-set of the whole micro tonal space wink
slow_riot
This was a feature I've been hoping to implement in my designs. For all the blue sky thinking of "West Coast" Don Buchla, Serge, Wiard, etc. None of them has left 12tET. (No, unquantized does not mean microtonal). I found a more "hacky" way to get non 12-tET intervals, as I don't have the talent/resources to do a full featured implementation with a PIC like this. But, all credit to you, this sounds *amazing* !

Practically, you should think about creating a PCB that was format independent (i.e. +/12 or +/-15V operation), multiple faceplates for euro/frac/5U etc. As personally I don't think that many modular users will be climbing over each other to use microtones.

Another thing worth thinking about is the (in)accuracy inherent in many VCOs, e.g. the 1% (or greater) losses through common 1k/100k output/input impedences, passive tempcos, and temperature variance in Zener diodes or OTAs in VCO cores. All of these may mean that some analogue designs are simply unsuitable for very intricate microtonal programming.
Mood Organ
Yes, and I'm not the only one.

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=160545
mmeixner
tubbutec wrote:


- High resolution microtonal midi2cv/gate interface, 10 octaves
- microtonal quantizer, CV in 1V/oct converted to any scale
- Upload scales via Scala or use scl. files directly from a SD card
- Includes a scale editor: Create your own custom scales without needing an external computer.



Sounds quite interesting!
mmelnick
Yes, please
krm
I've developed a MIDI-CV-Arpeggiator module that allows arbitrary microtonal scales (in addition to the standard 12TET).

The basic idea is that you individually tune each of the 'semitones' in the 5 octave range, and the module will interpolate between each of the notes using either a linear or exponential curve (you can choose which one).

Normally you would keep the module in 1v/oct or Hz/volt mode (12TET), but you can switch between the 'normal' tuning curves and the custom one via the front panel of the module.

http://www.krmmusicsystems.com

-Keith
Phil999
tubbutec wrote:

- High resolution microtonal midi2cv/gate interface, 10 octaves
- microtonal quantizer, CV in 1V/oct converted to any scale
- Upload scales via Scala or use scl. files directly from a SD card
- Includes a scale editor: Create your own custom scales without needing an external computer.

I'm very much interested in such a module.
tubbutec
Thanks a lot for your opinions and suggestions.

One further question: How many CV channels would you need? 1,2,4?
You could always chain multiple modules for more channels.
Obviously the price would increase the more channels are included..

thx
Phil999
for me, only one channel.
drehleierguy
sounds very interesting indeed! have a look at what Jeff Snyder is doing with his upcoming MantaMate module. it's focussed on the Manta, but will (i think) work as a usb host for all kinds of controllers and will have extensive microtonal functions.

he sent me some more details in a private message - i'll check to see if it's OK if i post here.

www.snyderphonics.com has very little info, but i think there's a bit more on his fb page.

please keep us in the loop!

cheers.
Mood Organ
tubbutec wrote:

One further question: How many CV channels would you need? 1,2,4?


I'd suggest 1 or at most 2 channels. I second the recommendation of making a format-agnostic design.
calaveras
since my brain thinks in intervals, not chords, I'm most interested in a 2 channel device.
I certainly hear the skepticism regarding OSC accuracy.
But I'd love to find out for myself how 'bad' my oscs are.

It'd be nice if such a module came with a few default scales to start off.
Say TTET, Just, Pythagorean etc just as plain vanilla benchmarks and maybe a few non-twelve tone scales to give entry into microtonalism.
I'm thinking if they were based on Harry Partch or Wendy Carlos' work that could help generate interest.
Mood Organ
Re-reading the original post reminded me that the module has its own scale editing built in. I'm curious how that will be implemented. If the module is big or complex enough (in terms of buttons and screen), it might be worth thinking about more than 2 channels of output.

Alternatively, I can imagine a simple version that just reads Scala files from SD card and does 1 or perhaps 2 channels of CV.
slow_riot
calaveras wrote:

I'm thinking if they were based on Harry Partch or Wendy Carlos' work that could help generate interest.


Partch and Carlos are the biggest nutters out there for tuning! They developed their own tuning systems after lifetimes of research, and anything short of mastery is not enough to find the beauty in the beast.

e.g.

http://www.wendycarlos.com/resources/pitch.html

But, I agree with the sentiment. A good bank would be a necessity for those of us just getting started. Although, putting in some presets will be by far the easiest task in the design process. Again to the OP, congrats! I've been waiting for something like this for a long time.
calaveras
slow_riot wrote:
calaveras wrote:

I'm thinking if they were based on Harry Partch or Wendy Carlos' work that could help generate interest.


Partch and Carlos are the biggest nutters out there for tuning! They developed their own tuning systems after lifetimes of research, and anything short of mastery is not enough to find the beauty in the beast.

e.g.

http://www.wendycarlos.com/resources/pitch.html

But, I agree with the sentiment. A good bank would be a necessity for those of us just getting started. Although, putting in some presets will be by far the easiest task in the design process. Again to the OP, congrats! I've been waiting for something like this for a long time.

Of course they were, but for a lot of folks that are just getting into alternate tuning/microtonic scales those are recognizable names.
I was actually going to go look up something more reasonable, like a Balinese metalophone microtonal scale, or something from the East Indian quarter tone musical tradition. But in modular circles Partch and Carlos probably have more name recognition.
Besides, there are thousands of East Indian quarter tone scales, and the same I believe can be said for gamelans, with scales being similar, but differing from village to village. So again you might end up with dozens or hundreds of scales just to be definitive.
Those two could probably be micro SD cards unto themselves!
I gotta say after experimenting with some look up tables I calculated and a voltmeter, nah I'm all for a quantizer that does the heavy lifting.
tubbutec
Hi!

thank you all!

Now working on this module, it will have two channels and be chainable to add more channels if needed.

Quote:
Re-reading the original post reminded me that the module has its own scale editing built in. I'm curious how that will be implemented.


There will be a small screen, a rotary encoder and button.

At the moment, there is only a very rough sketch of how it will look like, but will keep you updated as I am developing..
Phil999
great! I think two channels are a wise decision so we can - as calaveras pointed out - have instant intervals.

I look forward for next year to have a good tuning solution in a module. The other approaches with MIDI/pitchbend or VCO sync are too limiting.
calaveras
Cool!
I realy do think this is a piece of the modular puzzle that has been missing.
Down with TTET! you kids get off my lawn
loydb
Also interested.
tubbutec
calaveras wrote:
Cool!
Down with TTET! you kids get off my lawn


lol lol
Liddlepud
Erv Wilson please
Phil999
with the Scala application and this future module you should theoretically be able to have any tuning you want with as many notes per octave you want.

For those who don't know, there's an app for iOS called 'Wilsonic'.
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