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

Garriton Offers Personal Orchestra 4 For $149

garritan-personal-orchestra-4Garritan has released Personal Orchestra 4, a state-of-the-art virtual orchestra.

Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 is now powered by the ARIA Instrument Engine and adds new features, new instrument sounds, updated programming and a lower price.

Details below.

Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 is available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) as a download for $149.95 USD.

Existing users of previous versions of Personal Orchestra can download the upgrade for $49.95 USD. Continue reading

Intelligent Gadgets’ Mandala Music

mandala-musicInspired by instruments like the Hang drum and other idiophones, Intelligent Gadget’s Mandala Music is a virtual percussion instrument for the iPhone.

The instrument consists of eight notes arranged in a circle or Mandala around a central note (called the ding on a Hang).

The sound, which is generated by an FM synthesizer, is varied by four controls: octave, frequency, modulation, and decay.

The notes are based on the scale selected in the settings window. Thirty-three different scales from around the world used in first-generation Hang drums are provided.

A tuning setting allows the player to change the key of the instrument.

Mandala Music is $.99 in the iTunes App Store.

If you’ve used Mandala Music, leave a comment with your thoughts.

Classical Organ Music Performed On The Bizarre Tonal Plexus Keyboard

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This video captures Lassus’ Ave Regina Coelorum, performed on the Hi-Pi Tonal Plexus keyboard.

This excerpt by Lassus (16th century composer) presents a puzzle for tuning with pure intervals, where the closing chord should be the same as the opening chord, but if strict theoretical rules are followed the closing chord will fall about a quartertone lower than the opening chord. The passage is played twice here on a 2 octave Tonal Plexus keyboard, showing how this pitch shifting occurs.

Details on the two performances below. Continue reading

Microtonal Music On a Gameboy

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This is a quick demo of microtonal Gameboy synthesis – 18-TET Tuning with NanoLoop (Hacked ROM).

via littlescale:

18-TET = 18 divisions of the octave instead of 12 (which is standard for western tuning). Special, special thanks to Abrasive for his help and his idea with this – all of the credit goes to him of course. On left, the original ROM with its frequency lookup table intact, and on the right the edited ROM with the 18-TET lookup table.

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Astralis Microtonal VSTi Released for PC

Astralis Microtonal VSTi

Homegrown Sounds, best known for producing unique pads/textures through its range of sample CDs, has released Astralis, a VSTi designed for making complex sounds easy to produce.


If interplanetary excursions are your thing, you will love Astralis, a synth to loose yourself in. Astralis is packed with soundscaping features, and is an intuitive. hands-on sound design environment. Ideal for any style of music, though particularly suited to ambient, psy, and styles requiring atmosphere. It is a tweakers synth, though be warned whole nights can vanish very easily!

Aside from having 2 independent synths with dual and spectral oscillators, 2 cascadable filters (8x), 2 Modulation Sequencers, a Gate Sequencer (TranceGate), and a comprehensive FX section, Astralis also includes an impressive Microtonal Scale System. This system uses patches created using the included Microtonal Bank/patch manager. Custom scales of up to 24 notes can be created, and scale entry is designed with scala files in mind using either ratio or cent values. 160 patches are included as default including a wide selection of eastern tunings. Unlike many other microtonal systems Astralis does not rely on the pitch bend which remains fully functional.

The Astralis pack also includes Astralis B which is a single synth version with reduced CPU. Additionally a sample based version Astralis C as well as a standalone FX VST are to be added over the coming weeks. This upgrade will be free to existing license holders. The pack is shareware and fully functional for 30 days. The retail price of the pack is 30 GBP but is available for a an introductory price of just 15 GBP for a limited period.

Demos and downloads are available at the HG Sounds site.

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Victor Cerullo Releases Max Magic Microtuner Version 1.6

Max Magic MicrotunerVictor Cerullo has released version 1.6.0 of Max Magic Microtuner, the first Universal Binary version of the software.

Max Magic Microtuner is a Mac application for creating and editing microtonal scales and tuning keyboard mappings, and allows you to send and receive MIDI Tuning Standard bulk tuning dump system exclusive messages.

With Max Magic Microtuner you can create, import, edit and export 128-note MIDI Tuning Standard keymap files (.syx, .mid) compatible with the Native Instruments FM7 softsynth and with all hardware and software synthesizers offering support for MTS microtuning features. You can also import and export Scala (.scl) microtuning text files, and export your tuning files in a variety of different other formats. It also allows Max/MSP users to generate alternate tuning MIDI-to-frequency external objects automatically. Continue reading