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MIDI tuning techniques
Old 18th June 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
memedesigner's Avatar
 

MIDI tuning techniques

Tuning, or lack of it, is a big handicap with MIDI imo. The mathematically even frequency spread of adjacent halftones being 1.059463 x Hz of each other is ...hmm... not musical. There's the pitchbend workaround for this, a bit unyieldy, and there's the MIDI Tuning Standard, but dunno if anything generates/understands that. MPC doesn't at least with the Akai sw.

What I'd like to be able to do is basically two things: use differently tempered tunings in 12 note scales, ie the octaves being pure 2xHz from each other but the intervals tempered eg thirds. And secondly, possibly, try out piano/electric piano like stretch tunings, ie where the octaves are slightly more than 2xHz from each other.

I use MPC2500 for MIDI sequencing, have DP on my laptop but haven't used it for sequencing at least this far and don't know what tuning capabilities it might have...should look into that. I've got two synths that have native MIDI: Prophet VS and Wavestation, others have MIDI retrofit (808, Minimoog) or are controlled via CV, using Kenton Pro-2000 mkII for that. And then there are couple of synths that have neither MIDI nor CV but they are hopeless in any case

How do you guys handle the tunings with MIDI? Is this even a concern for anyone else, or am I just alienated from real world music making concerns? (Well, yeah, I am but that's ok heh)
Old 18th June 2009
  #2
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I think you'll find that all squencers and controllers give out standardized chromatic scale data. Its the sound sources that have or don't have the ability to do the micro tuning stuff. EMU Proteus had user tuning and a few preset alternative tunigs like 16 tone, Gamelan, Equal temp, etc.

Not many synth offer this as a feature tho. The new EastWest ' Silk' has a load of unusual worlt scale temprements but not a user scale.
Old 18th June 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 
memedesigner's Avatar
 

Yeah, there's even a nifty catalogue of the synths with microtonal capabilities:
Microtonal Synthesizers A-F

but certainly would be nice to do the tuning in the source (sequencer) and have protocol&interface to carry the information over to target (synth).

MOTU Volta could do the CV control, it has the oscillator calibration functionality, but it's unclear to what tuning Volta calibrates the oscillators to? If someone with Volta User Guide (can't find it from the internets) could check whether Volta supports tuning maps of some sorts that would be great.
Old 30th June 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memedesigner View Post
Tuning, or lack of it, is a big handicap with MIDI imo. The mathematically even frequency spread of adjacent halftones being 1.059463 x Hz of each other is ...hmm... not musical. There's the pitchbend workaround for this, a bit unyieldy, and there's the MIDI Tuning Standard, but dunno if anything generates/understands that.
Tobybear Productions

Midi Micro Tunning.

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Old 11th August 2009
  #5
Old 12th August 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by space2012 View Post
What does it have to do with MIDI tuning?
Old 12th August 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farshad View Post
What does it have to do with MIDI tuning?
digital synths with midi have DAcs and DAcs need a crystal oscillator to know when is 1 or 0.
and crystal oscillators change the pitch if not AES Grade1 = clock drift.

midi microtuning would not solve the clock drift completly in digital synths with no digital outs.

also recording...
theres no point having midi microtuning or a flawless tuning, if recording AD with a verry bad clock.
clock drift & clock jitter accumulate.
the DA drift + AD drift + DA drift.

would be easier to use Melodyne & Antares Auto-Tune in each track, if the goal is to have a pitch accurate recording.
or open the synths and replace the old crystal oscillator with same value but newer high quality brand like the ones behringer use in ada8000 or src2496 ultramatch to reduce the DAc clock pitch drift in the synths if mixing in analog for example.

if you have PC, you can download Ap Tuner 3 and use a pure Sine 440Hz tone in DA-->AD loop, to test your soundcard clock drift.
Sine-440Hz-60sec-.wav.zip 4.71 MB
AP Tuner for Windows

for example: same ride cym, recorded at 44.1khz and 48khz, with same soundcard has diferent pitch.
Sample Rate Conversion Shootout

or 2x diferent original non-modified LinnDrum LM-2 recorded with diferent converters, most of the samples have diferent pitch, in drum sounds with exactly eprom chips that are pitch fixed "that have no tunning."
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