Looking for a microtonal synth...

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
189 posts since 9 Jul, 2004

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:15 pm

The old Virsyn synths (which are on their xmas sale as of today) of Cube and Poseidon are large-scale additive resynthesis systems that support Scala, at least on desktop. Not so much on iPad. The Scala implementation is not exactly intuitive (one has to land properly named target tuning files in a specific directory), but it does have the advantage that once you have it set up, it's just there, and you don't have to do anything else when you come back to things. (It does not change on the fly too easily by that same token). Boatload of partials on those, so the quality is pretty darn acceptable.
I'm a little fuzzy as to whether or not they will re-pitch the harmonic series along a different set of numbers, or allow you to control arbitrary non-harmonic partials. For that, I think you need something like Andy Bridle's Adsyn7 software---to render a file off-line, to import into another synth---which has disappointingly vanished. It's the only thing I have found that could do that outside of csound or PureData. Although, with all those solutions, you do have to do it all the hard way: coding, partial by partial, moment-by-moment. Everything you can control, you must control. No macro-like dynamic control, unless you are a cleverer programmer than I; wouldn't be saying much.
Image Line's Harmor also works with scala files. Sorta. I had to monkey with the default structured scala output file to get it to work correctly (by removing all kinds of extra blank lines, and even the octave marker to make 15-tet work).
If software developers wanted to provide a good update and implement full Scala support to their existing softwares, like Dune, Arturia, Rob Papen, DiscoDSP, etc, that wouldn't hurt my feelings. I'm sure that doing so is harder than I would like it to be.
Oh, uh, let's see, Falcon supports Scala too. Reasonably seamless, just not on top. There's a lot of things already mentioned that will work with Scala, including Chromaphone 2, and even some scriptings in Kontakt, which allow for some interesting possibilities, but overall, it is, unfortunately, not any kind of universal yet.
-Dr. Evil

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29989 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Looking for a microtonal synth...

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:19 pm

The best support for microtuning is Pianoteq as it supports keyboard mapping (KBM files) too (which is left out of most other microtuning implementations but is really essential)

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Michael L
2429 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from the End of the World as we Knowit

Re: Looking for a microtonal synth...

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:34 pm

Aaron Hunt is a microtonal guru. He makes microtonal hardware and software products including Microsynth:
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16101 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Looking for a microtonal synth...

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:41 pm

As long as you determine it in cents, Absynth allows you to create tunings, and you may exceed the octave. It comes with several built in, but they are at fundamental = C, eg., 'Overtone' is from the bottom C.

223 posts since 19 Apr, 2011

Re: Looking for a microtonal synth...

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:37 pm

Probably not what you're looking for but I figured it's worth mentioning that Full Bucket's FB-3200 lets you tune each note of the chromatic scale to the cent, with a range up or down a semitone. You are obviously stuck with 12 notes per octave, but if all you want to do is play alternatively tuned scales and not experiment with extra notes, this might be an easy-to-use option (it sounds pretty good too).

242 posts since 25 Aug, 2015

Re: Looking for a microtonal synth...

Post Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:31 pm

I would like to add to comment of goldenhelix.

Full Bucket's FB-3200 is one of the three soft synths inspired from original Korg hardware. Other two are FB-3100 and FB-3300 (original ones are Korg PS-3100, PS-3200, PS-3300). They feature 12 note microtuning in cents. Easy on CPU, good sounding and free. Best of luck. :tu:

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