The MicroTone – A Microtonal Polyphonic Synthesizer For The iPad

microtone-ipad-synthesizerDeveloper Olivier Zurkirchen has introduced The Microtone – a microtonal polyphonic synthesizer and OSC controller for the iPad.

He has also released OSynth – a free microtonal synth for Mac & WIndows. The Microtone can be used as a tablet controller interface for playing OSynth.

Here’s a demo of The Microtone in action: Continue reading

Free XenFont Microtonal Hybrid Synth VSTi For Windows

XenFont

Xen-Arts has released XenFont – a two oscillator, hybrid SF2 SoundFont & Subtractive Synthesis VST for Windows.

It features full-controller MIDI Pitch Microtuning, using the MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) format, where any MIDI Note Number can be freely microtuned to any desired pitch across the MIDI range, enabling computer musicians and composers to explore the expressive possibilities of composing music with alternative intonation systems. Continue reading

The Dewanatron Hymnotron Demo, With Leon Dewan

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In this video, Leon Dewan demonstrates the Dewanatron Hymnotron at Big City Music.

The Hymnotron is an interesting boutique keyboard that explores ideas ignored by most manufactures, including just intonation, unique approaches to sound generation and alternate keyboard layouts.

The Dewanatron Hymnatron Synthesizer

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At the 2012 NAMM Show, Leon Dewan was showing the Dewanatron Hymnatron Synthesizer. The Hymnotron is a just intonation tone organ that uses a binary key arrangement.

The Dewans create unique handcrafted ‘folk synthesizers’ that explore areas ignored by the mainstream music industry.

via SoundsAndGear

Geo Synthesizer For iOS – Demo & Details

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Wizdom Music has introduced Geo Synthesizer – a new software synthesizer and MIDI controller for iOS, available now in the App Store for $10.49.

Geo Synthesizer is a collaboration between Wizdom Music’s Jordan Rudess,  Kevin Chartier (MorphWiz, SampleWiz) and Rob Fielding (Mugician). Geo Synthesizer is intended to be an ‘expressive musical instrument specifically created for a multitouch surface’.

Some of the more unique features of Geo Synthesizer are microtonal support, ‘snap speed control’ – which allows for accurate pitch control on a continuously pitched instrument and a unique key layout.

See the demo video above by mvpadrini for a preview of Geo Synthesizer’s patches and potential.  Details on Geo Synthesizer are available below.

Geo Synthesizer is a serious & ambitious software synth – but it’s also one that doesn’t fit neatly into the ‘software synth module’ category, with its alternative keyboard and emphasis on microtonal playing.

If you’ve tried Geo Synthesizer, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on it!

Continue reading

Pythagorean Tuning On An iPad

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Deverloper Rob Fielding demonstrates his implementation of Pythagorean Tuning on his Pythagoras synthesizer, now in development for the iPad.

Pythagorean tuning is based on the idea of going around the circle of fifths, tuning intervals in perfect fifths. While this creates pleasing fifths, things get interesting as you go all the way around the circle of perfect fifths and octaves aren’t in tune. This has traditionally been accommodated by including one interval, the “wolf interval” that is left out of tune.

Here’s what Fielding has to say about Pythagorean Tuning in Pythagoras:

When I first drew out the just circle of fifths, I noticed that this was extremely close to a 53 equal note per octave tuning. This allows the strings to be tuned in exact Just fourths to each other and have the tuning be close (to the pixel) with the harmonic series.

The point of tuning systems is to closely match harmonic series, of which Pythagorean tunings (circle of Just 5ths) is the simplest and most ancient. This allows you to play fretlessly without a lot of inharmonic slop, because the fret width is about the same size as the inaccuracy of the touch itself. In Mugician, fretlessness was to the pixel which has inaccuracies of its own. In Pythagoras, the tuning is sub-pixel so that each spot is some reasonable ratio with fifths and octaves as prime factors (ie: 2^n * 3^m).

Using the iPad as a multi-touch software instrument allows for dynamic pitch assignment, which introduces both dynamic scale and dynamic tuning possibilities, not possible on traditional instruments.

via rrr00bb

Synthanola, A Punch-Tape Synthesizer, Plays Bach

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The Synthanola punch-tape sequencer & synthesizer – an entry in the 555 contest – does its own version of Bach’s Inventions # 8 & 13.

The Synthanola is a three channel music synthesizer, not so well-tempered, capable of four octaves per chanel.

555′s are used to generate each octave for each voice (or channel). There are twelve 555 timer IC’s used for the synthesizer section and two more for tempo control and paper speed. It is sequenced by a Heathkit H-10 paper tape unit and programmed with a 486 PC running QBasic.

Details at retroarchive.

Microtonal Synth Jam – Autumnal Modulations

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This set of videos, via Carlos Serafini, capture a laid-back micronal synth jam on a hexagonal control keyboard, Autumnal Modulations.

Here’s what Serafini has to say about the piece:

This song is both the first one I compose employing extensive modulations (with Carlos Gamma tuning system) and the first one completely transnotated.

Transnotation allows me to analyze my own compositions. To demonstrate that, I have recorded 2 short movies where I perform the “lead guitar” part of portions of the original tune while listening to the pre-recorded “bass” and drums parts and reading my transnotated score.

This guitar sound by Spectrasonics Omnisphere has already been featured on many songs of mine. I love it!

See Serafini’s site for details on the piece and his setup. Continue reading