[linux-audio-dev] Common synthesizer interface -or- microtonal alternative to MIDI?

michael tewner tewner at jct.ac.il
Tue May 3 11:55:34 UTC 2005

> On Mon, 2005-05-02 at 23:01 +0200, Toby wrote:
> > Please correct me if I'm wrong: MIDI doesn't allow for microtonal notes.
> > The best next things MIDI has to offer are Custom Scales and Pitch Bend.
> >
> > Custom Scales is not a feature of MIDI, it'smore like a reinterpreta-
> > tion of the protocol.It happens when both the sequencer and the
> > synthesizer are still talking of C, C#, D, D#... but the synthesizer
> > renders those notes with custom pitches, coming from a custom scale set
> > by the user.This approach is unsuitable to my project, mainly because
> > there could be more than 12 notes (pitches) in an octave.
> Midi generally can't hear the pitches nor see your 12 note keyboard
> layout. The triggers are all numbers and can corespond to any layout
> (like a drumkit.) Having more than 12 notes/octave is mostly an
> inconvenience for the player, learning to navigate on a keyboard build
> for other purposes.
> To my awareness, the hardware synths that do microtuning can be set up
> any twisted imaginable way. You might have to look one page further down
> though, to get past the 12 note/octave convenience setup.

THere was a piece written for the DX-7 (symphonia?) that had ~60
steps/octave. It wasn't diffucult to set up, just time consuming. All you
would have to do is program the multitune on each device - The MIDI note
number is layer of abstraction; it doesn't *need* to map to it's
traditional key.

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