Is Surge The Ultimate Microtonal Synthesizer?

Synthesist and microtonal composer John Moriarty share this intro to Surge, an open source synthesizer that he describes as the ‘Gold Standard’ for microtuning support.

A Youtube commenter notes that the video “Felt like an early 90’s job training vid, but more entertaining.” Moriarty attributes that to the ‘the terrible green screen key and crap lighting’.

Get beyond the terrible green screen key and crap lighting, though, and the video quickly transitions from being an upbeat retro intro to Surge to digging into Scala files, alternate tunings and non-monotonic controller mapping.

Surge is available as a free download for Linux, macOS & Windows.

9 thoughts on “Is Surge The Ultimate Microtonal Synthesizer?

    1. Haha well I was the first person to refer to it as a “terrible green screen key and crap lighting”, so I hope you’ll cut synthhead some slack here =)

  1. I know it’s free and opensource and does mpe
    But I don’t like the interface
    Somehow it doesn’t invite me to do sounds with it
    I never use it

    1. I feel it’s worth making the effort to get into it. It’s a really flexible synth, but it’s also quite light-weight in terms of CPU usage, which is fantastic.

    1. Thanks for making the video. I learned a ton about what microtonal support means/can mean, surge specifics aside.

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