Gamelan Tuning

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tdm
KVRist
104 posts since 3 Dec, 2013 from United States

Post Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:14 am

Howdy,

Like many of you, I really like the sound of a Gamelan. I recently came across and purchased the Soniccouture Composers set, and I'm really enjoying it. However, the choice between the traditional and equally tempered (ET) tunings didn't do the trick for me; the "sound" was lost using ET, but Pelog removed the possibility of using it in more "western" ways.

So, I set about trying to find a way to solve this problem and have found a solution that seems to work. I used Kontakt's Microtuning script to create a tuning scheme that is somewhere in the middle; just out of tune enough to retain the sound of the Gamelan, but all 12 tones are available.

To do this, I first had to see what Pelog was doing to its nearest ET notes. The scale uses notes closest to C, D, Eb, F, G, A, and Bb. What I found was the following, in cents:

C = -19
D = 0
Eb = +17
F = -30
G = +30
A = -16
Bb = 0

The thing I noticed was that the notes more or less alternate tuning sharp and flat. The other thing I noticed was that the F and the G are VERY detuned. So, I started experimenting and came up with the following 12 tone tuning scheme:

C = 0
Db = –20
D = 0
Eb = +20
E = 0
F = -20
Gb = 0
G = +20
Ab = 0
A = -20
Bb = 0
B = +20

As you can see, with the exception of C, the same notes are sharp and flat. However, F and G have been reduced to 20 cents, while the others have been slightly increased.

If you stick with the notes corresponding to the Pelog scale, it sounds very much the same, but you now have the option to throw in western intervals and modulations.

A few words of caution: Make sure you use the Concert Pitch versions of these instruments. Also make sure that this tuning script is loaded into an empty slot to the right of the Panel script; if you don't, it won't work.

Play with it and see what you think.

Tom

present
KVRist
204 posts since 10 Oct, 2003 from London

Re: Gamelan Tuning

Post Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:33 am

Hey Tom - this is really interesting. I'm curious to know how you figured out that original tuning - by ear or something more fancy?

I'm likewise trying to figure out how to use conventional instruments alongside gamelan. Would love to hear your results!

tdm
KVRist
104 posts since 3 Dec, 2013 from United States

Re: Gamelan Tuning

Post Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:16 am

present wrote:Hey Tom - this is really interesting. I'm curious to know how you figured out that original tuning - by ear or something more fancy?

I'm likewise trying to figure out how to use conventional instruments alongside gamelan. Would love to hear your results!
Hi present,

I found a paper by a fellow named Martin Braun at the following website: http://www.neuroscience-of-music.se/pelog_main.htm. I also looked at info I found on Wikipedia and the informative manual that came with Soniccouture's library. Armed with this information, my "compromise" tuning was derived by ear.

This was all done on the original version of Soniccouture's Gamalan library. The newer version of this library makes this a lot easier as there is a page on the interface to adjust the pitch of each note.

As for hearing my results, I'm still working on it. As music is my hobby, I have the luxury of getting things exactly as I want them . . . the result being that I don't get a whole lot of it finished. :?

Give my tuning scheme a try. I'd like to know how it works for you. And, if you come up with any improvements, let me know.

Tom

present
KVRist
204 posts since 10 Oct, 2003 from London

Re: Gamelan Tuning

Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:12 pm

Many thanks Tom - upgraded my gamelan library, that's a vast improvement! Going to be experimenting with this for a while now - should be far easier to tune other instruments to it now

tdm
KVRist
104 posts since 3 Dec, 2013 from United States

Re: Gamelan Tuning

Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:20 pm

present wrote:Many thanks Tom - upgraded my gamelan library, that's a vast improvement! Going to be experimenting with this for a while now - should be far easier to tune other instruments to it now
Happy to have been of help, and the best of luck to you. :party:

present
KVRist
204 posts since 10 Oct, 2003 from London

Re: Gamelan Tuning

Post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:12 am

Cheers Tom! By the way - quick sketch from this evening:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BbzGVG6le50 ... y.for.real
:)

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