Ableton Intros Free Microtuner For Live

Ableton today introduced Microtuner, a free MIDI device for Live that lets you import, edit, and generate microtonal scales.

With Microtuner, you can load scale files, create custom scales, and morph between tunings in real time – all with polyphony, MPE, and Lead/Follow modes to sync scales across instruments.


  • Tap into a broad range of scales and tuning systems with Microtuner’s import function, or build your own from scratch with a customizable scale generator.
  • Import and sync tuning files – Microtuner supports Scala tuning files, which you can download for free from the Scala archive. Just drag and drop a scale or folder of scales into the device to get started. If using multiple instances of Microtuner, you can sync tunings across instruments with the device’s Lead and Follow modes, or by connecting it to an MTS-ESP client plugin.
  • Edit scales and notes – Any tuning file you import can be customized. Tweak individual notes, transpose entire scales, or modify base frequencies as needed. The Scale Editor’s Follow button allows for incoming MIDI notes to set the pitch you’re working on, so you can play sounds out as you edit them. Finally, a Revert button reloads scales back to their original state.
  • Create new scales – The device’s Generator panel features three parameters for crafting scales: number of pitches, octave frequency ratio, and pitch distribution randomization. Use up to 128 pitches to build nuanced microtonal systems, or play with octave frequency ratios to explore some of the many scales that aren’t tuned to equal temperament.
  • Blend scales and add expression – Two separate scale decks mean you can blend two scales in real time using the device’s dedicated slider knob. Create shapeshifting arpeggios, recasted chords, and morphing melodies as you move between tunings. Combine this with a polyphonic synth that supports MPE to add even more expressive depth to your sound.

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability:

Microtuner is available now as a free download. Live 11 Standard (version 11.1 or higher) & Max for Live required.

11 thoughts on “Ableton Intros Free Microtuner For Live

  1. Those demos are sweet. I hope they help some artists to realize how much new scales/tunings can add an amazing flavor to music that is not only “valid” but just pure fun.

    For those of us not in the Ableton ecosystem, there are other synths that permit use of tuning tables. Also, Fluid Pitch (from pitch innovations) gives other synths this capability (as well is scale constrained pitch bending).

    1. seriously most of the exotic scales are meant to be played one note after the other …
      if you think that is musical or not is really debatable.

        1. Being able to play polyphonic without sounding like the milk got sour is kind of essential to me.
          That reduces the choice of possible scales drastically.

  2. Just wondering… how does this work in MIDI? As MIDI only tells the instrument to play “note 36” for example, but it’s completely up to the instrument to “decide” which frequency said note will output… i am just wondering about the “protocol” used to tell the instruments what note is which frequency.
    Could someone shed some light on this?

    1. I am fairly certain that programs like MTS-ESP use pitch bend as a solution. Perhaps Ableton’s version has the same approach? On their website it actually says you can connect to MTS-ESP

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