Jul 222017
 

Former Korg engineer, Tatsuya Takahashi’s Monologue, featuring full-keyboard microtuning (Scala SCL/MTS formats)

Of potential interest to microtonal music and technology enthusiasts, is a recent discussion, in the form of an interview published on the Warp Records’, Item, section of their site, between Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) and Tatsuya Takahashi (former Korg engineer of the microtunable Monologue, now advisor).

ITEM • Richard D. James speaks to Tatsuya Takahashi

In many ways, this is the Aphex Twin interview I’ve been hoping to read for some time, because one of the central topics discussed here are music technologies that feature full-keyboard microtuning and his approach to the topic. It was also very interesting to learn from this article the influence that RDJ had on the microtuning implementation of the Korg Monologue.

Like lots of colleagues involved in the field of xenharmonic and microtonal music, I first became aware of Aphex Twin’s use of microtunings on his seminal record, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II (1994), so it’s extremely fascinating to get some deeper details about his methods, and in particular his use of Manuel Op de Coul’s excellent Scala, the freeware microtuning application we all know and love, and which happens to be a topic of frequent focus on the pages of Xen-Arts. Clearly microtuning is a central feature of his work, as its use is evident as well on the recent record, AFX ‎– London 03.06.17, also on Warp Records (WAP400).

I thought the comment in the article about hardware FM synths lacking filters was very interesting (although some astute readers will be aware that the Yamaha SY series had them), and having owned a couple of Yamaha TX81Zs and a TX802 back in the day, it’s something I have long ago found deep resonance with, and have only been able to address the issue on a personal level with the custom-built microtonal FM VSTi on offer here at Xen-Arts, that not only feature filters, but which importantly, can also be audio-rate modulated with high-precision partials-file controlled oscillator sources, an application which can be used for generating microtuning related sideband spectra were needed. It’s a synthesis technique of great utility really.

The likelihood of seeing this type of spectral-microtuning audio-rate modulated filters design on a modern hardware FM synth would seem highly improbable in our 12-locked technological times, although on the other hand, it’s extremely exciting to see any kind of hardware based full-keyboard microtuning implementation taking shape these days, such as in the case of the great Dave Smith Instruments line (MTS), and the above discussed Korg Monologue (also MTS capable).

From Synthtopia:

Korg Monologue Intro, With Chief Engineer Tatsuya Takahashi

Aphex Twin Site:

Aphex Twin

Scala by Manuel Op de Coul:

Scala

 Posted by at 12:44 pm
Dec 062011
 
 Xenharmonic FMTS VSTi
An FM Synthesis VSTi for the Creation of Microtonal and Xenharmonic Music
Has been updated to Version 1.1
Enhancements and bug fixes:
  • Added exponential response to the Filter 1 Cutoff Frequency control slider.
  • Added 60 total automation targets for host DAW automation. Automation targets are included for: ADSR, FM-RM Oscilllator Algorithm, Effects Section, Filter Section, Global and Local Microtuning, Operator Waveforms and Oscillator Section.
  • Added Phase Center slider for the Phase/Pulse Width Oscillator LFO.
  • Added more presets.
  • Added more microtunings.
  • Added more partials files.
  • Update to manual.
  • Improvement to FM-RM oscillator quality, especially in the bass range.
  • Changed name of Detune effect to Ensemble.
  • Enhancement to UI graphics to make visually crisper.
  • New Plugin ID. Due to the number of internal enhancements, patches created with v.1.0 are not compatible with 1.1
  • Fixed Operator Keyboard Tracking Slider bug.
  • Fixed Frequency Limit bug that could cause clipping under certain circumstances.
Enjoy!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT XEN-ARTS SOFTWARE

Please note that Xen-Arts software never has been, and never will be, infected with computer viruses – this we promise. If your virus software ever indicates that our microtonal music software has a virus, this is what is known as a False Positive. Contacting the developer of your virus software to make them aware of the false positive is the best solution.

For visitors who may be new to Xen-FMTS, below are the features of the VSTi that were published back in January 2011.

Xenharmonic FMTS is a 4 Operator FM Synthesis VSTi with a specialized set of features for musicians interested in exploring the expressive possibilities of microtonal and xenharmonic music making.

Microtuning Features

  • Internally loads and externally receives both MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) Bulk Dump and Single Note Microtuning Files.
  • Operator ratios can easily be set to values that are coincident with the microtuning being used, thereby producing tuning related FM sidebands in the timbre of the instrument.
  • Isoharmonic spacing of the operator ratios.
  • Precise values may be set for microtonal pitch-bends.
  • Arbitrary microtonal period shifting makes it possible to pitch transpose in both octave and non-octave increments.

FM-RM Oscillator

  • 4 Operator FM Synthesis with Ring-Modulation.
  • 57 Operator Algorithms.
  • 11 different Operator Waveforms.

Phase & Pulse-Width Oscillator

  • 22 Waveforms.
  • Phase & Pulse-Width LFO Modulation.
  • Envelope Generators
  • 6 independent Envelope Generators dedicated to modulating Operators A-D, Filters and VCA.
  • Velocity sensitive.
  • Keyboard tracking.

Filters

  • 2 State Variable Filters with 12 and 24 dB response.
  • Cutoff frequencies modulated by Velocity, Envelope Generator, LFO and Keyboard Tracking.
  • Low Frequency Oscillators can be set to modulate the cutoff frequencies of the filters at audio rates, thereby producing sidebands in the signal.

Effects

  • Saturator for subtle to extreme distortion.
  • 6 dB LPF Warm Filter.
  • 4-Voice Stereo Ensemble Detuner.

This VSTi is a gift to the xenharmonic and microtonal community, as well as to musicians and composers who are interested in exploring the exciting possibilities of microtuning in their music. It is being offered as freeware.

j:l

 Posted by at 1:57 am
Jan 022011
 
Xen-Arts
presents
Xenharmonic FMTS 
An FM Synthesis VSTi For The Creation Of Microtonal and Xenharmonic Music
Xenharmonic FMTS is a 4 Operator FM Synthesis VSTi with a specialized set of features for musicians interested in exploring the expressive possibilities of microtonal and xenharmonic music making.

Microtuning Features

  • Internally loads and externally receives both MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) Bulk Dump and Single Note Microtuning Files.
  • Operator ratios can easily be set to values that are coincident with the microtuning being used, thereby producing tuning related FM sidebands in the timbre of the instrument.
  • Isoharmonic spacing of the operator ratios.
  • Precise values may be set for microtonal pitch-bends.
  • Arbitrary microtonal period shifting makes it possible to pitch transpose in both octave and non-octave increments.

FM-RM Oscillator

  • 4 Operator FM Synthesis with Ring-Modulation.
  • 57 Operator Algorithms.
  • 11 different Operator Waveforms.

Phase & Pulse-Width Oscillator

  • 22 Waveforms.
  • Phase & Pulse-Width LFO Modulation.

Envelope Generators

  • 6 independent Envelope Generators dedicated to modulating Operators A-D, Filters and VCA.
  • Velocity sensitive.
  • Keyboard tracking.

Filters

  • 2 State Variable Filters with 12 and 24 dB response.
  • Cutoff frequencies modulated by Velocity, Envelope Generator, LFO and Keyboard Tracking.
  • Low Frequency Oscillators can be set to modulate the cutoff frequencies of the filters at audio rates, thereby producing sidebands in the signal.

Effects

  • Saturator for subtle to extreme distortion.

  • 6 dB LPF Warm Filter.
  • 4-Voice Stereo Ensemble Detuner. 

This VSTi is a gift to the xenharmonic and microtonal community, as well as to musicians and composers who are interested in exploring the exciting possibilities of microtuning in their music. It is being offered as freeware and can be downloaded here:


 Posted by at 5:16 pm