Fathom Development Thread (Fathom vs Other Synths)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
User avatar
Teawhyelleare
KVRist
117 posts since 15 Dec, 2016

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:41 am

FathomSynth wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:39 am
You're right, it's broken, I just tried it myself.
I will fix this Monday and try to get a release out as soon as possible.
After loading a tuning file the notes go dead and won't play.

I'm not sure what other synths are doing with the bass frequency setting in tuning files, but the concept of a root key is very important in tuning, especially for math temperament. If you create a tuning file which specifies ratios for twelve tones and the root key is C then when you play in the key of C it will sound great. The distance between C and G will be a perfect fifth which is a ratio of 3/2. However when you play in the key of A it will sound horrible because the distance between A and E will not be a perfect fifth. However if you change the root key to A then all the perfect ratios will be assigned to the keys starting with A and it will sound right when you play in the key of A.

When I was testing it was working properly just as I would expect when I loaded the tuning file and changed the root key. The problem was that unrelated to the tuning file the notes when silent. Something about loading the tuning file broke it.

I realize some people use tuning files to simply assign absolute frequencies to all the notes but this would not enable you to change the root key so in my opinion it would be useless. The important thing is the ability to create new ratios and use those ratios starting with different bass notes which serve as the root key, and to be able to change the root key depending on the song you want to do, without having to change your entire tuning file, which would take ages.

At least that is how I understand it.

If other synths do not offer this option then they would seem to be in my opinion missing a critical feature. However, I don't use tuning myself, so maybe there is something basic about it that I am not understanding.

That being said, it appears now to be broken, so I will have to fix it and get you a new release.
Thanks again for looking in to this. It's actually oddly reassuring to know that it's not just me, and that I am not crazy or missing something simple ;) Take your time; it's certainly not an emergency. I will be looking forward to the fix!

I believe I'm starting to understand some of your thinking on this topic, and your vision is cool and would certainly allow for deep exploration in the use of abstract mathematics and ratios. The only thing I will object with is that this implementation adds an extra step or two to "standard" micro tuning, and makes very basic tasks (slightly) more challenging. In my opinion, it would be nice to have an additional option to allow this "standard" behavior when one is trying to do more conventional things like tuning their project to a different concert pitch (a=432 or 446 or whatever) with a slightly altered temperament (think just intonation, SoF, Pythagorean). The ability to play with complex math is fun and certainly valuable, but I believe there is also equal merit in being able to just load up your "default" tuning patch and play whatever you want without having to click around multiple synth panels and explorer panels and input text in to boxes, etc. Tuning to exact frequencies also has its uses, but in most cases functional tuning and exact tuning should produce identical results.

As I said, I've never even used the "basefrequency" parameter before, and I am not familiar with the internal architecture of many synths. However, it seems to me that the tuning files themselves can define the "root key" concept based on the synth's inherent behavior, even in "simple" implementations via functional/relative tuning. That's the whole point of defining the functional tuning, right? To be able to play in any key? The most you should need to define is something more like "concert pitch".

Serum, for instance, has a box that defines "A =" with 440 being the default. If you define exact values or a "base frequency" in the tuning file, you don't need to bother with the box. Just load your file and move along. However, if your file is using a simple functional tuning and you want the result, in any key, to be proportional to A = 442, you would want to tell the synth that. Madrona synths work similar to serum, the caveat being that the oscillator's output frequencies are "manually" tuned after loading the file. U-he synths explicitly adhere to the .tun files.

Creating tuning files can be a pain no matter what, but I believe that most of us using these features have already put in the leg work there. There are huge libraries of both musical and heady maths scales openly available all over the internet. So from my viewpoint, it's nice to have the option to just load your file and go without digging back in to the nitty gritty of how the whole system works.

Just some thoughts and feedback.. I really appreciate all of the quick responses and all of your work :) Looking forward to the tuning fix and all of the other amazing updates in the pipeline. Please let me know if I can provide any more information.

FathomSynth
KVRian
1376 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:34 pm

I see your point. Fathom should at the very least load the bass pitch from the tuning file and use that by default and not make the user have to go into settings and set it unless they want it different from the tuning file.

For the next release I will check and make sure it does this and if not then I will make it so.

Thanks for alerting me to the problem, it's a very important bug to fix since a lot of our users relay on Fathom's microtuning.

User avatar
Teawhyelleare
KVRist
117 posts since 15 Dec, 2016

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:06 pm

FathomSynth wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:34 pm
I see your point. Fathom should at the very least load the bass pitch from the tuning file and use that by default and not make the user have to go into settings and set it unless they want it different from the tuning file.

For the next release I will check and make sure it does this and if not then I will make it so.

Thanks for alerting me to the problem, it's a very important bug to fix since a lot of our users relay on Fathom's microtuning.
That sounds really great, and beneficial (or at least neutral) for all :)

I am looking forward to your fix, and am hoping that Fathom Vector/extreme/3.0/whatever else is close behind!

Thanks for listening, and for providing such quick replies. Really appreciate your work and dedication :hug:

Kalamata Kid
KVRAF
4582 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:36 pm

Teawhyelleare wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:06 pm
am hoping that Fathom Vector/extreme/3.0/whatever else is close behind!

Really appreciate your work and dedication :hug:
+100 :tu:

FathomSynth
KVRian
1376 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Post Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:58 pm

The bug I found had nothing to do with Microtuning. It was my ASIO driver. I spent today testing microtune and it seems to be working exactly as designed for all microtune file formats.
Could you tell me exactly what you are doing and what you expect to see step by step?

User avatar
Teawhyelleare
KVRist
117 posts since 15 Dec, 2016

Post Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:10 pm

FathomSynth wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:58 pm
The bug I found had nothing to do with Microtuning. It was my ASIO driver. I spent today testing microtune and it seems to be working exactly as designed for all microtune file formats.
Could you tell me exactly what you are doing and what you expect to see step by step?
Interesting. I guess we're back to square one with me wondering what this implementation is specifically designed for then. Honestly, I have a bunch on my plate, and I don't currently have the time or the will to try to fully explain myself again. I made a quick video with a very simple (and elegant) tuning file loaded in to a handful of my other favorites, comparing it with the behavior of fathom, and I should have some free time to discuss further later this week, if necessary.

The thing that I understand the least is the erratic, unpredictable behavior that fathom produces while trying to tack down my challenges with the "Microtune" mode. For this filming, it unusually sort of behaved itself, though no expected results were produced.

In this example, my reference is C4(MIDI 48)=256 Hz. A4 should = 432Hz. The other note pitches happen to be mathematically neat as well. I hope that this helps to illustrate a basic use case, and demonstrates some of my challenges. https://vimeo.com/412560215

FathomSynth
KVRian
1376 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:03 am

OK, Thanks for making the video.

Listen, I'm sorry, but you can't just drop any tuning file into Fathom. It is not designed to do that.

Fathom only contains a partial implementation of tuning files. It can read specific note frequencies and ratios and assign them to the notes in a scale. However it can not process some of the more complex tokens in tuning files. The implementation was done specifically for users here on KVR who wanted to set the relative note frequencies in a scale. Because of the limited implementation you really need to read the user guide microtuning to use it correctly.

I really appreciate you making the video but it looks to me like you are randomly choosing tuning files and dropping them into Fathom as an experiment and expecting it to work, and if you do that it definitely will not work.

Please pick one of your tuning files which is most important to you and which does not work correctly and send it to me and I will load it myself and see exactly what is failing. Send it to our support email please.

User avatar
Teawhyelleare
KVRist
117 posts since 15 Dec, 2016

Post Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:47 am

FathomSynth wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:03 am
OK, Thanks for making the video.

Listen, I'm sorry, but you can't just drop any tuning file into Fathom. It is not designed to do that.

Fathom only contains a partial implementation of tuning files. It can read specific note frequencies and ratios and assign them to the notes in a scale. However it can not process some of the more complex tokens in tuning files. The implementation was done specifically for users here on KVR who wanted to set the relative note frequencies in a scale. Because of the limited implementation you really need to read the user guide microtuning to use it correctly.

I really appreciate you making the video but it looks to me like you are randomly choosing tuning files and dropping them into Fathom as an experiment and expecting it to work, and if you do that it definitely will not work.

Please pick one of your tuning files which is most important to you and which does not work correctly and send it to me and I will load it myself and see exactly what is failing. Send it to our support email please.
Thanks for your continued support! I have sent you one of my most used tuning files in an email to the support address.

I can appreciate all of this, however I would like to state once again that I am quite familiar with the user guide at this point. The information you are sharing here is not indicated in the literature. The manual seems to indicate a more sophisticated and robust implementation, and does not give any warnings about any given tuning file wrecking havoc. Unless I am blindly missing something here, I would also like to reaffirm that some of the information that you have shared with me here contradicts small portions of the manual (for instance, the "BaseFreq=" function is shown in the user guide's examples, however you have told me that reference pitches are ignored by fathom, rendering that line useless. I have confirmed this behavior in my testing, and you have validated it here). I am all but certain continuing to reference the user guide is not going to help me to achieve my goals.

I only mean to get this resolved in the long run. I am in no way looking for a "gotcha" or anything, and as stated, this is ultimately not mission critical. I just simply don't understand what is going on, and would love to have the ability to employ some of the functions that we have discussed. I also hope that our exchange may help to iron out potential issues with this feature for current or potential new users moving forward.

Please take your time. I really do appreciate your continued efforts, and will be around as much as possible closing out this week. Please do let me know if there is anything else I can do on my end, or if this problem is tied to my ignorance in some area (:

FathomSynth
KVRian
1376 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Post Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:16 am

OK, I got the files, thanks so much. I'll run them today and tomorrow and see what I find.

No worries, I realize you are just trying to get it to work, which is the right thing to do.
Also, a lot of people use Fathom's microtune feature so it is important to get it right.

I think you are right also that the user manual should be more clear that it is a partial implementation, but it does include examples of the tokens which Fathom does process. Fathom can load Scala format and Anamark Tuning and Exact Tuning formats. the one it can't do is Anamark Functional Tuning.

I found the bug. It was not loading Anamark format if all 128 notes are defined. That is fixed now in version 2.36 and I sent you a download link.

User avatar
] Peter:H [
KVRian
1124 posts since 22 Sep, 2016

Post Fri May 22, 2020 12:09 am

Long time no see ...
@FathomSynth how are things going? Everything fine, healthy and development on track?
I'm really curious and looking forward to get my hands on the new release.

glokraw
KVRAF
7585 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Post Fri May 22, 2020 10:24 am

It will be a different type of holiday weekend
for many of us, in some locales,
there is much social juggling and
and personal prioritizing taking place.
Hope everyone can communicate
with friends and family, and find something fun to do.

To quote Dilbert's little buddy, 'Ratbert',
"Will there be snacks?" :hyper:

FathomSynth
KVRian
1376 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Post Sun May 24, 2020 8:47 pm

Been a few days since I checked the thread.

Despite the lack of news our development is still very intense especially being trapped in doors.
I just finished unit testing the new release Friday.
I will be starting builds Monday and Tuesday.
So we will be starting the Fathom 3.0 Beta Release this coming weak.

Sorry this has all taken so much longer than expected but I basically rewrote the entire sound engine
which is why it took so long to test.

As you all know features will include:

The new metamorphic oscillator.
16 channel modulating digital delay.
Intel AVX Parallel Processing.
And the new one button press installer.

It is indeed a very strange time we live in now.
I'm not sure how much time everyone is spending on their music anymore but perhaps
it is even more important than ever to try to bring some love back into the world.
Myself and all our sound designers have managed to stay safe.
Hope everyone else is doing the same.

sbmongoose
KVRist
33 posts since 26 Apr, 2018

Post Wed May 27, 2020 6:14 am

Hi Everett,

Looking forward to testing this. With Scaler 2, Melodyne 5 and Fathom AVX it's looking to be a brilliant week for creative inspiration.

User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
9711 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Wed May 27, 2020 6:49 am

sbmongoose wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:14 am
Hi Everett,

Looking forward to testing this. With Scaler 2, Melodyne 5 and Fathom AVX it's looking to be a brilliant week for creative inspiration.
Is there a Fathom AVX already? :o
Fernando (FMR)

sbmongoose
KVRist
33 posts since 26 Apr, 2018

Post Wed May 27, 2020 7:07 am

Not yet, but Everett said a couple of posts up that he's hoping to get a beta build this week.

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