Jun 192017

LinPlug’s Spectral virtual instrument, featuring full-keyboard microtuning (TUN).

Back on June 02, 2017, long-time softsynth developer, LinPlug, announced they will cease future development of their microtonal virtual instrument line. It was kind of sad to learn about this having beta-tested for them down through the years, but I fully empathize with their stated reasons. A somber event indeed, especially considering how rare it is in these 12-locked technological times for developers to support full-keyboard microtuning.

Xen-Arts visitors will likely already be aware, as well myriad other xen-microtonal computer musicians and composers around the world, that LinPlug has been a huge supporter of microtonal computer music by being among the early visionary vanguard of a small group of developers to add full-keyboard microtuning features to their virtual instruments line (TUN format), starting with their CronoX 3 in 2005, and ending with their amazing Spectral additive synthesis VSTi released in 2013. Other of their full-keyboard microtuning virtual instruments included the legendary Albino, Alpha, CrX4, MorphoX, Octopus and SaxLab.

I want to personally, publicly and profusely thank LinPlug CEO, Peter Linsener, as well as co-developer Pavol, for all of the amazing things they have achieved over the past 15 years as true innovators in this field, and I know that many others who have used LinPlug’s softsynths in their microtonal virtual instrument ensembles will also echo this sentiment.

LinPlug, Peter and Pavol have always and in every way been a class act as both developers and good people, and they will be sorely missed. Xen-Arts wishes to extend the very best wishes to them as they move towards other creative endeavors.

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 Posted by at 12:32 am
Jun 162017

Exciting news this week for Eurorack modular-synthesists and alternative-intonation enthusiasts from the visionary engineers of the Ornament & Crime Eurorack synth module, Tim Churches, Patrick Dowling and mxmxmx, which now, with their 1.3.0 firmware update, includes some very impressive microtuning features:

  • Predefined microtonal scales. See the full list at: http://ornament-and-cri.me/predefined_scales/
  • Support for user-defined microtonal scales with up to 16 arbitrary notes per octave (and can thus be subsets of scales with far more than 16 notes per octave).
  • Support for non-octaval scales/microtunings, specifically the Wendy Carlos alpha, beta and gamma microtonal tunings, and the tritaval microtonal tuning, including support for Bohlen-Pierce scales as well as several other tritaval scales.
  • A closed-loop “auto-tune” system which can automatically derive compensation curves for specific VCOs connected to specific pitch CV outputs of O&C, which can dramatically improve the pitch tracking performance of many VCOs, which is an important consideration when working with microtonal tunings and scales.

More Information:

ornament & crime

Explore the impressive and seemingly infinite possibilities for timbre, rhythm and music creation with o_C at the below video and music pages on the ornament & crime site:

o_C video

o_C tracks

Sponsor: payday express

 Posted by at 11:11 pm
Jun 142017

Below is an excellent 2014 TEDx talk from trans-culturalist musician, Ross Daly, on the topic of modal music.

For what it may be worth, I personally regard the collective effort of Western microtonality and xenharmonic music, as well as the general ongoing practice and research into alternative intonation systems (just intonation, temperaments, non-octave microtunings, etc.) to be a living manifestation of these sensibilities.

Ross Daly


 Posted by at 12:23 am
Jun 092017

I have long loved the joyous music of the great Malian singer, Oumou Sangaré, and had been wondering when she would release another record.

Above is a new video featuring the song Kamelemba from her album, Mogoya (2017). As usual, a class act, and for those inclined to explore the exquisite auditory sensations of alternative intonations, there’s plenty to relish here, as well as on her amazing back catalog.

Oumou Sangaré – Mogoya (2017)

Out on Format

Oumou Sangare – Seya (2009)

 Posted by at 7:14 am