Recent developments in synth technology are driving an explosion of experimentation with microtonal electronic music – and many of these experiments are showing up on YouTube.
Non-standard tunings may initially sound strange or out of tune. But moving beyond equal-tempered tuning opens up infinite tuning possibilities and alternate music traditions for musicians to explore.
Recently, we reported that Moog was making Microtuning Mainstream, by introducing the Phatty Tuner Alternate Scales Editor. The Alternate Scales Editor is a free download that lets owners of the Slim Phatty and Little Phatty retune individual notes of the scale. While microtonal support in synths is nothing new, it’s rare and a welcome feature.
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.