Microtuning

Please forgive me if I missed this somewhere else. I’m new to Drambo, but totally loving it. Im looking for a way to implement or use microtuning in Drambo. If there’s .tun or scala file support that would be awesome. If it needs to be built with modules - I coukdn’t get that going - probably misunderstanding something there. Any advice is appreciated.oh, Would like to keep drambo standalone if possible for simplicity. If there’s a host or additional app that would help fire away. Ive searched around some but my health is not the best at the moment so Its a very good chance I missed something obvious. Thanks again!

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Comments

  • edited November 18

    No .tun or scala file support but you can create your own custom tunings in several ways.

    For a start, the simplest way to do it is to use the Scale+Offset module to change the pitch scale between the MIDI to CV pitch output and the pitch input of an oscillator.

    This will compress or expand the scale of notes coming into the track. The offset knob (move horizontally to fine tune) will help you re-tune the pitch of the whole scale.


    Finer adjustments for each note could be done using the Graphic Shaper module.

    Someone who knows how to code could develop a converter that will convert .tun or scala files into Graphic Shaper presets as it works with plain text XML files.

  • @rs2000 Your suggestion of using the Graphic Shaper has me thinking. If the required adjustment off equal-tempered is the same in each octave (logarithmically, of course), I could reduce the CV to its note in the octave, relative to a reference key. Use Graphic Shaper to look up the required offset, and add it to the original CV to detune the notes as needed. This doesn't apply to tunings with more notes, like quarter tones, etc., but could create "natural" tunings.

  • if you’ve got miRack you can host that in drambo and use the Scala tuning module in there

  • true, but as far as I can tell no way to microtune polyphonically using mirack. I've heard that scala or tun file import is coming at some point, but there are a million feature requests and additions on the list :)

  • edited November 21

    im not sure if chords and microtuning work well together.

    everything starts to sound like sour milk pretty quick.

    (try a diminished "d" or "e" and plopp your western harmonic music theory just flew more or less out of the window).

  • edited November 21

    @uncleDave The Graphic Shaper also works for polyphonic signals and although its finest drawing grid has only 64 divisions, nothing stops you from creating presets with a few hundred pitch steps, either for detuning or for completely re-mapping incoming pitch to whatever frequency you like.

    More and more people know how to write Python programs and converting a .tun or .scl file to a Graphic Shaper preset file would be a nice Winter Sunday task 😊

  • edited November 21

    use sunriser au (also by beepstreet) in drambo.

    that reads those files and gives you a keyboard that fits the purpose ...

    microtuning on black and white keys doesn't make much sense, at least to me ;)

  • Well considering that the vast majority of musical history has been microtonal - including music by western composers such as Bach, which is certainly chordal music, not to mention nearly all nonwestern music that use chords that are not tuned to 12tet - I’d beg to differ.

    12tet is still a very recent system in the grand scheme of things. It was only born out of convenience and to sell pianos. Not because it sounds best. Keyboards prior to the romantic period were not tuned equally. Yes, they were microtonal by definition.

  • edited November 21

    the well tempered piano isn't far away from what we use now

    calling these little detunings in a chord microtonal is a little absurd on a synthesizer, as we constanley detune things, imho

    we just don't call that microtonal , but it is.


    play a chord with some microtuning and play the same chord in standard tuning with a faster or slower chorus. now tell me what is what. I can't tell. ^^

  • edited November 21

    Could not disagree more. Anything that deviates from 12tet is indeed microtonal. It is literally what the term means.

    But we’ve already flogged this dead horse enough don’t you think? I make chordal microtonal music using just intonation. Chords in JI sound significantly better than in 12tet imo and there are colors and harmonies that do not exist in equal temperament

    yes it’s entirely subjective and yes I’m excited for scala or tun support :)

  • edited November 21

    hm, I think the piano is microtonal anyway because the upper octave keys hammer hit more than one string ..., looking closely its a layered sound with interaction between the layers.

    its just not the usual way we think of a piano note ...

  • yes. And octaves are stretched. But that is more due to the enharmonic nature of wound metal strings. Point is microtuning is very cool and can be however subtle or drastic as one wants.

  • edited November 21

    hm, I like microtuning

    but apart from playing hirajoshi (world music scales) ...

    I struggle to find use cases.


    and if I use these world music scales I have to make much simpler music

    like drone + melody

    cause its impossible to play chords. (or I am not skilled enough to figure it out)


    "microtonal" is always seen as an academic step forwards, but its a step backwards. imho its back to world music scales

  • Not really interested in getting into a huge discussion about microtuning with someone who doesn’t intend to use microtuning and doesn’t seem to care to understand what it is or how to use it. If you don’t use it that’s totally fine. Leave it at that.

    it’s about as interesting as saying “I don’t like cheese. Therefore I can’t think of any use cases for cheese” and then commencing to tell other people why cheese isn’t interesting or tasty. 😋

    microtuning is not just “world scales” unless you literally mean all the scales of the world other than 12tet. There are an infinite number of microtonal scales. They can a few pitches or millions of pitches if you so choose. They don’t even need to repeat at the octave. They can be flexible and retune to a new tonic as you modulate. Microtonality is more than just the 7 presets on your 90’s Korg synth.

    if you can’t hear the difference between tunings that’s fine. It’s simply not the case for me. It would be like me commenting on the threads where you talk about the huge need for different noise colors and poopooing it by saying “all noise sounds exactly the same! Slap some chorus on it and call it a day! Nobody can hear the difference anyway!”

    You like noise colors. I like microtuning. We’re nerds and it’s all great. 🤓

  • Wish there was something like infinitone or Oddsound on ios


  • edited November 21

    Picked up the Oddsound mts-esp suite for desktop and it’s absolutely fantastic.

    The ability to retune hardware and software synths and keep all tge scales in sync is a dream. And it can morph between scales, which is quite fun!

    https://oddsound.com/mtsespsuite.php

  • edited November 21

    @palms I'm using this one:

    https://apps.apple.com/en/app/scalegen/id908056629

    Is that what you mean?

  • I bought that years ago, but not useful for my purposes tbh. It is restricted to whole cents and is in desperate need of a reboot. Buggy and rarely worked well for me. Can’t send mts and doesn’t exactly retune multiple instruments intuitively imo.

  • That mts-esp suite totally depends on the instruments you'te trying to re-tune. Most hardware doesn't support tuning of individual voices differently over each octave, at least not that "morph" feature...

    Sounds like a Drambo native patch could be the way to go.

    I just did the first step, just for fun: Scale the on-screen keyboard pitch range to the full scale of the Graphic Shaper and convert back to original pitch range.

    What I like is that both the Graphic Shaper and the X-Fader work polyphonically so realtime polyphonic scale morphing is possible! 😇

  • recrec
    edited November 21

    Just made this little guy... poor mans microtuner... :)

    You can detune each note and it will be respected/shared across all (8) octaves.

    With ‘Morph’ for quick comparison etc (from detuned to equal temperament).

    Not sure how ‘real-time’ safe, but seems to be working fine with poly.

    Give it a try @palms and let me know what you think :)


    Edit: it’s scaled so neighbouring notes can’t overlap, but you can increase the detune range by double tapping knobs and increasing value.

    Also it seems that due to rounding (?) even at all 0 setting (default) there is some detuning, may look into that later...

    Edit2: It’s a processor rack - just send in pitch signal and send its output to pitch CV input.

    Edit3: hm, Poly needs to be rechecked... so forget about that for now :D

    poly gets broken once it gets racked :(

    @giku is there any workaround?

  • recrec
    edited November 21

    it handles poly fine when not racked, but it looks way less sexy :D

    @giku @rs2000 is there any workaround?

  • edited November 21

    Haha, cool @rec, I did my version here too, bit different and you have to adjust pitches using Graphic Shaper (I've used one of the iOS tuner apps that show precise cents) but way less modules required and I've created a C Just intonation scale "Just" for the fun of it:

    Edit: Removed another 2 redundant modules. Sorry I can't delete the above image on iOS.


  • @rs2000 nice!

    This is another thing that needs to be improved imo. There is always something that gets in the way of providing user friendly layout for foolproof operation.

  • This is in part a consequence of Drambo's rather atomic concept to modular synthesis.

    In contrast to miRack for example, we have more freedom to build anything efficiently but then it's the UI that suffers. My hope is that with future UI related addons, more user friendly and visually appealing racks can be built.

    In this case, modifying my patch to use your knob panel isn't too difficult though.

  • @rs2000 . Here's my version, using the Graphic Shaper to strip the octave. You enter the key note in semitones relative to C, and the adjustments are in cents, scaled so 1 corresponds to 20 cents. The adjustments are just some I had in my notes.

    I've attached the project file, so anyone can see the details. One disadvantage of the current Drambo is how it hides (or loses) small numerical values. So I used a divide by 480 instead of the simpler scaling by an invisible number.

  • edited November 21

    @rec


    Edit: Oops - Just found that it only works monophonically. Well - That N-1 switch destroys poly. Gotta bug fix my brain logic 😅

  • Thanks @rec! 😊

    Maybe one day I'll have a better idea how to fix polyphony...

  • Here's my version using the CV Quantizer. This is a neat trick, but you need to be sure to enable only ONE note.


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