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Next Saturday (March 13th, 5pm UTC) I’ll stream from my home studio via Twitch. It’s a chance for me to demonstrate electronic music production and working with microtonal scales. If there’s something in particular you’d like to see then send your requests in Twitch chat – it’s an unscripted event where we hang out and nerd out over music.
From time to time I’ll also live stream impromptu sessions of me just working on tracks. These will be unscheduled as I make music whenever I feel like it. Those sessions will be less interactive but potentially of interest to folks who are following my music and want to see how I work.
Until then, check the below vod of last Saturday’s stream. It starts out with me refining a work in progress and then viewers suggest topics for the rest of the session:
I learned a few things from chat last Saturday, for example x.iso encouraged me to try MPE polyphonic pitch bend in Bitwig on VST instruments that already have microtunings active. Turns out that it works! If you’re working in any equal tuning, you can set the pitch bend amount so that everything lines up perfectly. My mind was blown. I’ll definitely use that trick in the future.
Two new tools have just appeared that will interest folks working with microtonal scales and tunings: Leimma and Apotome. These tools were launched as part of CTM Festival 2021 and were created by Khyam Allami and Counterpoint.
Leimma is a browser-based tool for exploring, creating, hearing, and playing microtonal tuning systems.
Apotome is a browser-based generative music environment based on octave-repeating microtonal tuning systems and their subsets (scales/modes).
Eight mostly loop-based compositions for a Yamaha DX7ii FD synthesizer that was re-tuned to a microtonal scale. Released February 5, 2021.
Marcus Satellite’s new album uses tunings based on Erv Wilson’s work.
Terra Octava is a collaboration album from the collective at STAFFcirc.
Sounds of digital fusion, chiptune, jazz and electronic music in a variety of equal tempered tunings.
Featuring Cryptovolans, Reuben Gingrich, Jaq, Chimeratio, petet, manfish, STC_1001, STC_1002, STC_1003, STC_1004, Vince Kaichan, Hunter Van Brocklin, Tancla, Emelia K., Abd al-Mahdi, Themnotyou, Sintel, 0x70457465, limeboiler, clown core, b-knox, amimifafa, ordinate and Sevish.
The microtonal tunings include 34edo, 22edo, 19edo, 16edo, 10edo and others – but also the tiny ones like 6edo, 4edo, 3edo, 2edo, 1edo, 0edo!
My track Fuschiamarine in 7edo is on there.
I’m actually blown away by what everybody was able to achieve here. They’re all deep into their musical craft – and some of them are pros at tuning already – some are trying microtones for the first time. Hope you’ll enjoy the listen!
Here is some new microtonal music I heard recently.
I’ve added some presets you can use to make microtonal music in Bitwig Studio. The zip includes all edo tunings up to 55edo and a selection of other microtonal scales that might inspire your next melody.
Instructions: unzip the files in your
"~/Bitwig Studio/Library/Presets/" directory. Launch Bitwig. Load a preset into the Micro-Pitch device.
For Bitwig Studio 3.1 and up
If you would like to own a vinyl record featuring songs from both Sevish and Brendan Byrnes, here’s your chance.
We need your help to decide what tracks to include on the record. To find out, we set up two polls. Go ahead and make your selections!
Later we will kick off a crowdfunding campaign to manufacture the records.
All tracks will be specially mastered for vinyl.
Stay tuned as the campaign hasn’t yet started.
By choosing your fave tracks, you’re helping us take the first steps. Thank you! :)
If you are looking for a quick introduction to microtonal scales in computer music, then I invite you to watch my latest tutorial video.
Using Microtones in Electronic Music explains how to tune software synths to microtonal scales, for composition and production using a DAW-based workflow.
Microtonal music is a deep topic, and this tutorial video is just one possible starting point. If you know of alternative approaches then please do share your knowledge with others!
0:30 What software
2:00 Tuning up
4:37 Messing around with 19edo
14:40 19edo semaphore
18:19 A golden ratio inspired tuning
27:00 Some chords of 22edo
32:07 How a song like Gleam looks on piano roll