Version 1.8.0 of Decent Sampler offers microtuning support via the Tuning menu. You need to supply it with an scl and kbm file, which can be easily generated with Scale Workshop, Scala, or other tuning creation tool.
Major Feature: Tuning Upgrades
- Surge can act as an OddSound MTS provider (‘master’) allowing the Surge tuning editor to provide tuning to an entire session.
- Remediate yet more edge cases in our internal tuning, including keyboard mapping larger than a scale.
The short explanation is, if you are using synths that support tuning via MTS-ESP, Surge XT can now act as the MTS-ESP master, which means that you specify your tuning within Surge XT and then the other synths will follow the same tuning. This is intended to be more convenient than loading the same tuning data into multiple instances of various synths.
Surge XT is free and available on Linux, Windows and macOS.
With the recent release of Scale Workshop 2, lead developer Lumi Pakkanen has started producing video tutorials to demonstrate what this tuning application can do. Learning some Scale Workshop basics will aid you in your study of musical tunings. The first two videos are below. For the rest, you’ll have to follow Lumi’s youtube channel.
This tutorial demonstrates the on screen keyboards where you can play microtonal scales in your browser.
This tutorial will answer a lot of questions about how you can enter your own scales from numerical values.
Since Bitwig Studio is a pretty good DAW for making microtonal music, you might find yourself working with a musical scale that contains more or less than 12 notes. Particularly if you’re working with a large scale, you will want the piano roll to visually reflect what you’re hearing. You might have thought this was not currently possible in Bitwig Studio but I have found the quick workaround for you. All you need is to watch the tutorial video below and then spend a few minutes setting up your custom piano roll.
The tutorial music is Yeah Groove from my very recent album Morphable, in 26 tone equal temperament.
I just added some more of my fractal artwork to the gallery page. Go check them out!
Scale Workshop has been updated this weekend. Let’s take a look at what this useful microtonal web tool is capable of.
With a web MIDI compatible browser, you can use Scale Workshop to enable microtonality on your hardware synths and sound modules. This is achieved by 16 channel note output with pitch bend on each channel.
Rotate your scale so that a different interval becomes the new 1/1.
When using the mouse cursor, you can now play the virtual keyboard stylophone style, i.e. click and drag across the keyboard to hit a sequence of notes.
REAPER supports custom piano roll layouts. You can now export a txt file from Scale Workshop to import directly into REAPER.
Export your tuning to Korg Librarian format. This can be imported into the Korg Librarian software so you can write it to your synth.
Scale Workshop now has better handling of large numbers and ratios.
Issues with the synth audio dropout are resolved. Various new waveforms are added. The default waveform is changed to semisine which is more ideal for auditioning tunings than the previous triangle.
As this version is a major milestone for the app, we have made sure to update the documentation to cover all the new features.
Early development work has started for Scale Workshop 2. This involves a complete rewrite from scratch and a new UI. The project will remain on the permissive MIT License so that synth developers can re-use parts of Scale Workshop’s code to add microtonal functionality to their own projects. Scale Workshop 2 is intended to be released when it reaches feature parity with Scale Workshop 1.5. Scale URLs will remain backwards-compatible. Scale Workshop 1.x will receive no new features except for bug fixes.
Gleam is perhaps the iconic Sevish track (or so I am told), but have you ever wondered how it was made? Lumi’s recent video analyses Gleam from a music theory perspective, explaining how I used 22-tone equal temperament (22ed2) to make a catchy piece of music.
Here are some of my thoughts on various microtonal scales. These thoughts are my own subjective impressions and there’s no need to take them seriously. Enjoy!
What are your own impressions?
The British Library sound archive seeks to collect sound recordings that can be preserved for generations to come. They are home to one of the largest collections of vinyl recordings in the world. They also curate a library of digital recordings. The collection includes not just music but also drama, literature, field recordings, and oral history.
A representative from the library reached out to ask if I would donate some of my recordings to the sound archive. Of course I was happy to do that. It’s fun to wonder what some futuristic person would think if they discovered early 2000s xenharmonic bangers.