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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
in the cracks of chromaticism
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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:31 pm    Post subject: in the cracks of chromaticism Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I really don't know whether I should be posting this in the How-To's, the Nord Discussion, or here. I chose here because even though my problem needs to be worked out with a G2, it relates to every synth using MIDI and also raises composition issues.

I've been kicking around a few ways to build scales based off of specific frequencies outside of the chromatic system. Implementing this with a specific peice of hardware/software usually gets a bit taxing on the device. This has turned me to MIDI...sending the typical note/number and an accompanying pitch bend value to get the desired frequency. Many methods I'm devising seem very tedious, and restrictively monophonic (using the pitch-bend for example). Electronics open a door to get inbetween chromatic notes, but so much of the technology has been centered around the western music idea anyway. Any pointers to alternative methods of getting specific frequencies with MIDI and retaining polophony would be appreciated, as would similar overall experiences in regard to composing pitches this way.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Excelent question, should be asked more often and way louder because it´s not realy getting solved. One of the ways to quickly get by is to take your velocity parameter which (contrary to pitchbend) is polyphonic and remap that to some form of pitch modulation. You are then left without dynamics so I susgest you take some cc, sample & hold that for each note and use it like you´d use velocity. This works quite intuitively, selecting all "E"´s, then offseting their velocity is easy in many midi sequencers and you get to draw the flow of your piece´s dynamics in a easy way too. The one downside is that all notes within a chord will have the same velocity. Practically speaking that´s not a huge deal.

There are more solutions, many are nicer on some level, they are also more time consuming to set up and cost cpu time. This one works right now and it´s what I do. If you want to record your piece by playing live keyboard you might need to get the G2 to "translate" velocity to your chosen cc, then send that to your sequencer and record it. That way you can later edit your velocity. The one problem there is that you´d need to record your piece in a tuning different fromt he final one which might throw off your timing if note beatings are a important thing to you compositionally (and they might well be if you are concerned about tuning!).

The nice bit about this method, compared to others that are cleaner if more involved is that it will also work with samplers like the emu´s that let you route velocity to pitch. You can also use one midi channel per voice and use pitchbend on some synths. That means headaches but it *will* work everywhere that´s meant as a polytimbral setup (where of cource all timbres would need to be identical in that case).

We need polyphonic aftertouch as a recognised parameter for amongst others this reason. Actually I think we need lots of parameters that can adress specific voices if we are going to keep using voices but nobody believes me.

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I might be wrong about this... but I think I have read something aout some guy who have been making all sorts of instruments with weird scales in reaktor? ..And Reaktor is supposed to be good at this sort of thing??
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen, those are very good suggestions about overloading the velosity parameter for pitch offset. That should be quite workable under certain conditions.

There are other techniques you can use on analog synths. One is streching or shrinking the octaves. For example, double the range to 24 notes per octave by dividing the keyboard voltage by 2 and you get the quarter tone scale. These tricks are great, but you always end up with equal tempered scales. If you are looking to make wierd sounding music, that is OK. If you are trying to create some alternative tuning based on integer ratios of the harmonic series, then this won't be of much value.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On the G2 you could also use SeqCtr modules as tables to get alternate tunings. For an example of how to do this you could have a look at Chet Singer's physical modeling patches. See http://chet.getchwood.com/G2-Tutorial/Pipe-Tuned.htm for instance.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good point. That will work on G2s - polyphonically too.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

With my Korg 05R/W (RIP) and my MS200R, I used the user tuning tables.

In Feb. I bought FM7. It has some preset tuning tables, but also a few user defined tuning tables. In Sonar, I can have a few versions of FM7 open with each one using a different user tuning.

It really opens up the octave.
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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am liking chet's approach to tunings on the G2. this can be very flexible considering the G2's variations.

In other alternatives, I have found a VST tool that processes MIDI based on files created with Scala. The VST plug-in "MicroTuner" (along with a lot of others) is located at ToyBear Productions:

http://www.tobybear.de/p_midibag.html

MicroTuner does not offer any editing capabilities. It is a GUI that loads files created with the Scala program/DK available at:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/

This is a neat app with a lot of flexibility. The scale editing process is done via a command line in the program, but you can open GUI windows to test out and hear what you have made.

As yet another alternative, there is substantial MIDI classes to work with in Java SDK. Coding little apps that receive, note transpose, and send could work too, but might take some work to provide flexibility and making new scales on the fly. This also ties in with that whole monophonic/polyphonic pitchbend issue too.
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