Kelfar Technologies has released a new software synthesizer for the iPad, WorldScales, that lets you break out of the limitation of equal-tempered tuning and play in whatever tuning you like:
Have you ever wondered why we tune our instruments the way we do?
They are usually tuned to an “equal-tempered scale”, which divides the octave into equally spaced tones and semitones. This has become the most prevalent way of tuning the instruments in the west since the 18th Century. Today, musicians use this tuning system, and the scales based on it, without ever considering other ways.
For example, in the Middle Ages European musicians generally used Pythagorean tuning, and today many traditional instruments in the Middle East and Asia are tuned according to regional systems and standards.
- Ability to tune each key in the octave individually (+- 100 cents).
- 18 High quality sampled instruments: From grand piano, violin and organ to oriental oud and kanun, to voices of a choir singing Ison voices. Many samples are polyphonic and have multiple velocity layers.
- MIDI In. Connect your External MIDI keyboard and play microtonal music.
- Many presets, introducing lesser known western, byzantine and oriental scales.
- Ability to save your own scales and tunings.
- Entering directly frequency ratios, frequencies or cents.
- Shows on the piano keys where the scale starts and what keys are included in the scale.
- Changing the root key of a scale: all tuned keys are shifted correctly.
- Audio effects: reverb and compressor.
I’d like to see microtonal tuning support become standard on software synthesizers. But if you’re interested in exploring alternate tunings, Kelfar’s WorldScales will let you do it for $4.99. It’s available now in the App Store.