The Arithmophone Is A New Keyboard For Exploring Alternate Tunings

The Arithmophone is a new kind of musical keyboard, designed to make it easy to explore different types of tuning schemes, both just and tempered.

It currently exists in two forms:

  • The Arithmophone web app is a self-contained instrument that you can play from your computer, tablet or phone. It works best on touchscreen devices in landscape orientation (try an iPad or something of similar size if possible: the bigger the screen, the easier it is to play the keyboards).
  • The Arithmophone MIDI is a keyboard interface for controlling synthesizers. If you work with a DAW and software instruments, or if you have a hardware synthesizer you’d like to control through your (touchscreen) computer, this might be interesting for you.

Future plans for the Arithmophone project include a native iPad app, with MIDI output, as well as a hardware prototype.

See the Arithmophone site for more information.

11 thoughts on “The Arithmophone Is A New Keyboard For Exploring Alternate Tunings

  1. I’d like to point out that this is a) kinda sweet and b) free. I don’t have the time to play with it at the moment, but I’ll be back. It appears to be a labor of love by the developer, who seems to have devoted a significant amount of effort to it. If you’re into this kind of thing – have you ever looked longingly at a Buchla Thunder?? this is definitely worth checking out. BTW, it’s a web app that the developer dreams of making into an iOS app or possibly a hardware device.

  2. Hi, Chiel Zwinkels here, I am the developer of the Arithmophone. Thank you for your attention to my project. This is indeed just a personal passion project at the moment. The 3D render is from a design I made for a prototype I’m currently working on. I do hope to build a hardware version pretty soon, but for now at least, this will just be a single instrument for my own use, there are no plans for a commercial product at this time. Sorry if I gave off the wrong impression in that regard. The software version is available for all to play around with though, I hope it will bring some joy!

    1. When I saw the hardware render, I immediately decided to buy it. I hope you turn this into a product at some point. It looks fabulous, and the app is fun to play around with.

  3. is it possible that anytime someone does something with janko / isomorphic / harmonic tables that creators and journos pretend like its some new future concept might be why it just never catches on? I would add, non-chromatic versions greatly diminishing any performance value.

  4. I don’t know, these “alternative tunings” things never really catch on and there’s been so many of them over the last 15 or so years. There’s some nice resonances to be found in just intonation but mostly all these microtonal apps/controllers/modules etc. basically sound out of tune and unpleasant.

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