May 112016

Xen-Arts proudly presents:



Xen-Arts is very excited to present IVOR2, a significant evolution and refinement of the original Ivor microtonal virtual analog synthesizer design.

Introduced in this iteration are a new set of standard features that will be implemented in future updates to the other Xen-Arts instruments, as well as some new ones that are unique to this instrument and its particular type of oscillators:


A MOD-GEN is essentially a generalized hybrid Modulation Source Generator, which includes an envelope generator that can be switched between an ADSR or a Graphic Envelope Generator, and an LFO that can be switched to run at audio-rate: the ARO. The IVOR2 VSTi features eight total MOD-GEN of this type, which are used for modulating the Phase or Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) of each oscillator waveform, the range of Phase & PWM, Crossfade Modulation (XFM), Filters, VCA and Pitch.


A powerful synthesis feature of the IVOR2 VSTi, is that when the MOD-GEN LFOs are switched to the ARO mode, they are capable of generating additional sideband spectra in the signal, resulting in complex, expressive and evolving timbres. Additionally, the frequency ratios of each ARO may be configured by loading a Partials File (TXT), which enables basic tuning and timbre correlations of the generated sideband spectra, especially where sine-waves are being used as the modulating waveform.

Oscillator A & B Pitch Modulation Polarity

All pitch-modulation sources may be configured so that the pitch of each oscillator can be modulated in a common direction and polarity, or the signals inverted for modulation in opposite directions, as well as switched to a static setting without modulation when, for example, using the MIDI Pitch Wheel Controller. When the modulation control signals are inverted, the phase of the modulation sources routed to each oscillator’s pitch is effectively at 180°.

Each of the below pitch modulation sources may be configured to modulate the pitch of the two oscillators in either a common direction and polarity (0° phase), or otherwise, in opposite (phase inverted 180°) directions:

  • Pitch Bend Controller
  • Mod-Wheel Vibrato
  • Pitch Mod-Gen
  • Harmonic Mod-Gen

Crossfade Modulation (XFM)

Crossfade Modulation itself is a common feature of contemporary synthesizers, however, this instrument enables a unique variant of the technique: partials-file controlled audio-rate modulation between two oscillator sources using a dedicated MOD-GEN, which is capable of generating intonation-related sideband spectra, thereby creating interesting sonic relationships between the microtuning and timbre of the instrument, and especially in the most simple XFM case scenario of using sinewaves with different pitch transposition offsets.

Phase & Pulse-Width Modulation with MOD-GEN

Unique to IVOR2 are the new and extremely versatile Phase & PWM Sliders and MOD-GEN routing options that replace the single control in the original version. Each oscillator has a pair of these range sliders, which can be set to fixed values, and MOD-GEN source routing selectors that can optionally override the sliders and their targets modulated with dedicated MOD-GEN.


In more typical synthesizer Phase and PWM modulation scenarios, the range of the modulation is set to fixed values. With IVOR2 the range can be fixed, or alternatively modulated by a MOD-GEN to create a huge variety of real-time timbral variations, sweeping notching effects, as well as FM timbres when running the LFO in a partials-file controlled audio-rate modulation (ARO) mode.

With these new phase and pulse-width modulation features, the IVOR2 VSTi opens myriad new and exciting realms of microtonal and xenharmonic sound-design possibility.

Jacky Ligon • Xen-Arts • 2016

IVOR2 • The Microtonal Virtual Analog Synthesizer by Xen-Arts

IVOR2 is a freeware 32-bit VSTi plugin for Windows. The instrument may be used in Bitwig Studio on Ubuntu Linux 15.04 (bridged with Airwave VST-bridge).

IVOR2 is a two-oscillator subtractive, FM, XFM and RM synthesizer that features full-controller MIDI Pitch Microtuning using MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard), where any MIDI Note Number can be freely microtuned to any desired pitch across the MIDI range, thereby enabling musicians and composers to explore the vast expressive possibilities of composing music with alternative intonation systems.

IVOR2 is a microtonal sound-designer’s virtual analog synthesizer with a carefully designed ergonomic workflow for quickly creating powerful sounding and musically useful timbres.

IVOR2 excels at making categories of timbres that include bass, distortion, keys, pads, broken, weird, leads and other analog synthesis types of sounds.

IVOR2 is an educational tool for learning about subtractive sound synthesis and musical instrument intonation (microtuning and xenharmonics).

IVOR2 embodies a design philosophy of simplicity for microtonal music sound-design:

  • A knob-less design primarily featuring slider controls, which enables intuitive direct control with a computer mouse
  • A dedicated control signal system mapped to the most important synthesis functions
  • Settings are made by typing values into fields, dropdown lists, left-and-right arrows, switches and sliders
  • Enables musicians to specify precise microtonal pitch-bend settings
  • Features arbitrary microtonal oscillator transposition settings
  • MIDI-CC modulation of harmonics enables dynamically playing harmonics of the fundamental pitch


Oscillator Section

  • Two Oscillators with 22 Waveforms
  • Microtonal, Cents-Based Oscillator Transposition
  • Per-Oscillator Analog Pitch Drift Emulator
  • Phase & Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) Range Sliders

Mod-Gen Section

  • Nine dedicated Modulation Generators (MOD-GEN), featuring an ADSR and Graphic Envelope Generator, and an LFO that can be switched to run at Audio-Rate, which are for modulating Phase (FM), Pulse-Width, XFM, Pitch, Filters and Amplitude (VCA)
  • MIDI-CC-to-Harmonics Modulation enables oscillators to dynamically sound harmonics of the fundamental pitch


Oscillator Mixer Section

  • Oscillator Mixer for setting relative oscillator volumes, Cross-Fade Modulation (XFM) and Ring Modulator (RM)
  • Cross-Fade Modulation (XFM) Mode with six directional options for cross-fading between the two oscillators, including Sum (XFM bypass)

Filter Section

  • Pre-Filter Saturation Stage with 20 Saturation Types
  • Two Independent Filters with Six Filter Types: LP4, LP2, HPF, BPF, BRF, APF
  • One and Two Stage Filter Cascade
  • Parallel and serial order routing
  • Unipolar and Bipolar Filter Modulation Modes

Performance Control

  • Full controller MIDI Pitch Microtuning with MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard)
  • MTS support for both Single Note and Bulk Dump: Loads MTS microtuning format files internally and receives MTS externally
  • Patch (per-patch) and Global Microtuning (static microtuning for all patches)
  • Microtunings can be loaded from any directory on hard drives or storage devices connected to the PC
  • Partials file loader for patch-level partial retuning of MOD-GEN Audio-Rate Oscillators
  • Modulation Effects include Chorus and two Phaser types
  • MIDI: 12 Note Polyphonic, Monophonic Legato Mode, Monophonic Portamento, Microtonal Pitch Bend, Vibrato
  • Ensemble: Tone Filters, Stereo Ensemble
  • Delay: Stereo Delay effect



  • 118 Factory Patches by Xen-Arts and Sevish
  • 148 MTS Microtunings
  • 91 Partials TXT Files for Audio-Rate Oscillator Modulation
  • Instruction Manual

IVOR2 Demos:

Atmospherics • Xen-Arts

Cinematic • Hardy Slicer

Sketch • Justin Curfman

J.S. Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor • Brian Ginsburg

Xenomic • Xen-Arts

IVOR2 (2016) Video OST • Xen-Arts


Download the IVOR2 ZIP archive installer:


Installation Notes:

Extract the entire contents of the archive into your VST plugin directory. This will place the VST DLL and all of the dependent files for the plugin in the required place, which will ensure the correct operation of all the synthesis features.

For example, using either of the popular WinRAR or 7-Zip archive utilities, Right-Click on the archive, drag it onto your VSTi directory, then from the pop-up menu, choose Extract Here. This will extract all of the content into a folder directory that will be labeled IVOR2. Within this main directory, one will find the following:

  • IVOR2 sub-folder directory containing all of the microtunings (MID) and partials files (TXT), as well as the factory patch bank (FXB).
  • IVOR2 Manual.pdf
  • IVOR2 Patch List.txt
  • IVOR2.dll
  • Xen-Arts VSTi Microtuning & Partials Library Documentation.txt



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.




 Posted by at 4:06 am

  44 Responses to “IVOR2”

  1. […] IVOR is a free software synthesizer that allows you to compose and perform microtonal music. It has just seen a major update to version 2, making it more versatile and powerful than ever. It is a virtual analog synth that includes frequency modulation, ring modulation, pulse-width modulation, saturation, filters and various features specific to microtonal and spectral music. […]

  2. Many, many thanks for having released this plug-in free of charge.

    • Hi Ugo,

      Thanks for dropping by and it’s my pleasure. If you make some music with it, please feel free to make me aware of it.

      Would you perchance be the developer Ugo?

  3. […] has released IVOR2, a free microtonal synthesizer instrument for […]

  4. Awesome! Thank you for sharing. Regards.

  5. Wow.. Sounds freaking great…

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for bringing such a great synth to us..much appreciated..and for free, too! Most generous of you. I am really looking forward to jumping in at the deep end with this and seeing where it takes me.

    Kind regards

    Dan (A.M)

  7. Welcome everyone and thanks for your comments. It’s good to have you drop by and it’s my pleasure to share these tools.

    When you make some music with these instruments, feel free to make me aware of it through the contact form. I’m certain that everyone in our group would be very interested to hear it.

    Check back occasionally. There will be more to come.

  8. How does one get this?

  9. Found it. Not as obvious as it should be (IMHO).

  10. Hi Glenn,

    On your suggestion I’ve made it easier to identify the installer download link, and have included some notes about how to install the plugin as well.

  11. Such a cool instrument. Thank you. One problem so far. I’ve used it in one of my compositions and when I close down my DAW and reopen it the patch I was using doesn’t reload. It resets to initial first patch every time. Any ideas?

  12. Mixcraft 7 pro is 64 bit. I do run both 32 and 64 bit vst without issue on a regular basis.

  13. I’ll give the alternative version a shot and let you know how it goes. Gosh, thanks so much for all the work your doing trying to figure this out.

  14. This is an absolutely phenomenal vst. This is incredibly well put together and whatever black magic you have behind the hood, It’s a true killer. Keep up the good work!

  15. Welcome Mugluck. Thanks for dropping by.

    The black magic moment came when I was working on updating the phase and PWM control from the last version of Ivor, which evolved into the four sliders and their MOD-GEN routers found in the oscillator section.

    I realized I was getting some amazing sounds by moving those range sliders with my mouse while the phase (FM) and PWM were being modulated – essentially widening or narrowing the range of the modulations – and it was one of those ‘light-bulb’ moments when I knew that I had to add the ability to modulate the range with the MOD-GEN as well.

    As it turns out, doing this at audio-rate, produces a huge variety of new timbres that have taken the original Ivor concept from a more typical virtual-analog, to an instrument that can sideband to-beat-the-band at practically every stage of its sound-generation, and it’s one of those happy accidental discoveries that come along every so often.

    Let’s hear your music sometime. Would love to check it out.

    • Oh my music is a looong way from evolving into something listenable haha. I have noticed, however, in the various different industries that reaching a point where something becomes organic is about not just having a precise information base, but also about how you layer on top of that information set and modulate those layers. The more ‘messy’ the signal becomes and the more nuanced that is, the closer to a soul it has.

      That struck me immediately when I heard Ivor, you’ve really handled the extra layers of effects well, so they come out beautifully. It’ll be interesting to see how far you can take that. 🙂

  16. very nice synth, will test now on upcoming production , sounds very good. thanks for making this free:)

    • Welcome Psychasm.

      It’s my pleasure and I’ll look forward to hearing your music.

      Get in touch through the contact form if you like.


  17. Very Nice. Thank you !

  18. Hi there,
    Have just taken your excellent IVOR2 for a spin.
    I notice that you can lock the chosen microtuning while changing presets, lovely!
    Is it also possible to lock the master tune so I could play at say, 432 rather than 440, and keep the offset as I change patches?
    I tried to automate the osc cents controls but they don’t seem to be exposed to the host.
    Thank you for making this synth and keeping the microtonal flag flying.

  19. Welcome Mr Pouch,

    Good to have you here.

    Yes – The ability to load both a patch level microtuning, as well as a global one that remains fixed while exploring the patch bank, was something that we realized was important in these instruments early on. Thanks very much for the feedback on this kind of feature.

    It is very easy to change the base-frequency of your microtunings to any values required of the music at hand. I’ve detailed how to do this in a series of Xen-Articles called, Microtuning Virtual Instruments, the links for which, are visible on the navigation tabs at the top of the site.

    Read those articles, and if it’s not intuitive, let me know and I’ll help you.

    There were some controls I didn’t expose to host modulation, but this could be exposed it in a future update. Some people use synths like this with patch generators and having this parameter exposed might produce unusable and unpredictable results.

    • Hi Jacky,

      Thanks for the info, the articles are very useful.
      Reckon I will convert the scales with a different base freq as you suggested.

  20. If you need my help Mr Pouch, feel free to write me through the contact form, and I’ll help you get it sorted.

  21. Why only 32-bit? … 🙁

  22. […] is a free download from the Xen-Arts site. Audio demos are available at the […]

  23. Can I Use your Ivor2 for making commercial music? And presets i can use too?

  24. Jackie,

    I have been using Ivor2 for a while now as a plugin in the Bitwig 8-Track program, the “freebie” version that came with my Linnstrument Midi instrument. I just recently upgraded to full version Bitwig Studio 2.1. Your other plugins, Xenfont2 and Xen Fmts 2 were automatically recognized and are functioning well, but Ivor2, for some reason, is not recognized, even though it is located in the same Vsti folder as your other programs. Any thoughts on how I can make it visible to Bitwig Studio? Should I try to uninstall Ivor2 and then reinstall? Other thoughts? Thanks for your help, and especially thank you for these absolutely wonderful tools for xenharmonic music-making!

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for dropping by and you’re welcome.

      That’s very curious about the behavior in the full Bitwig 2.1 DAW. Very sorry for the hassles. I’m not sure what to suggest.

      I don’t use Bitwig, although I very nearly bought into it recently, yet was a little apprehensive about their new subscription model, and chose to invest in some other tools and developers instead. There are certainly some things about it that are really enticing, such as built-in bit-bridging of x86 plugins, and the ability to transmit SYSEX to plugins as well, which are features that Ableton failed to implement in Live.

      Occasionally I see flaky behavior in Live, but there I’m bridging to 64-bit with jBridge. Mostly I notice weird behaviors – such as Live’s inability to fully restore saved settings – when I try to load too many SynthEdit based x86 plugins, so I try to only load some single instances of the Xen-Arts instruments here and there in my ensembles, and I’m learning more about the advantages of freezing and flattening to audio and am working on embracing this in my workflow.

      It sounds like to me that Bitwig has failed to load IVOR2 and now won’t load it at all; perhaps blacklisted it as a bad plugin. Maybe try removing it entirely from your VSTi directory, open Bitwig and rescan plugins, then reinstall IVOR2 to see if it will then see it.

      FYI/FWIW: The version of SynthEdit that these instruments were created with, as well as many of the 3rd party modules used in them, are no longer supported by the developer(s), so it makes it impossible to ask for their help when critical bugs occur.

      There is however an x64 alpha version of SynthEdit in the works, and I’ve built some simple debug synths to try to help beta-test the new builds, but there is a very long way to go before this will be mature enough to build anything I would want to share with people, or try to upgrade or offer alternatives to the existing x86 synths.

      A large part of the struggle with the new x64 SE, is that it’s built upon the new VST3 standard, so lots of critical MIDI and patch functionality is completely lost (the reception of MTS SYSEX works wonderfully though). I will hold out hope that SE will reach a more mature and bug-free beta state in times ahead, so that I can experiment with creating more microtonal VSTi that are 64-bit, but for transparency, if and when it reaches a stable beta-state, the plugins I will be able to create with it will be very different than the ones on offer here now; probably radically simplified, although still capable of full-controller microtuning. I can see the potential to build something like Xen-FMTS with the new version and when it’s stable, this would likely be among my first serious microtonal synthesis projects.

      I’m very excited to learn that you have had some degree of success using these VSTi – which do not feature MPE – with the Linnstrument. I’ve seriously considered getting one too, but among the things that have held me back are wondering how it would behave with non-MPE plugins.

      Write me sometime if you like through the contact form for more in depth discourse.

  25. Thank you Jacky,

    I tried your suggestions to no avail, so have contacted Bitwig Tech support. IVOR2 was working fine in their limited 8-Track version, so not sure why it’s not recognized by Studio 2.1. I’ll keep you posted on how this works out.

    The LinnStrument is a fantastic piece of equipment for microtonal work. I am particularly interested in very accurate pitch creation working in harmonic overtones with specific fundamental frequencies. So I have disabled the pitch sliding and envelop adjustment (xy) variables of the MPE and use only pressure (volume). Works great. The fact that the rows can be mapped with different offsets lets me map not only the horizontal rows based on the scale, but also the vertical rows…as different offsets allow different pitch relationships as you work vertically…very exciting when learning about different harmonic structures possible within the tunings.

    Your VSTi, plugins, along with Scala, makes working in these alternative tunings an absolute joy, and not the arduous and almost insurmountable task it was in the past. The LinnStrument as a midi input device now makes working in any scale other than 12 tones per octave easy and exciting as well.

  26. Jacky, just a quick update on issues with Bitwig Studio 2.1.3. In a word, it’s fixed. It was flagged on the plugin error page, which I discovered thanks to Bitwig support…clicked on the rescan button and it magically appeared as a recognized plugin. I’m good to go and really excited to be learning the ins and outs of this really impressive synth! Thanks for your wonderful work and contribution to the microtonal community!

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for the update. This is really great news!

      IVOR2 is able to do some things with PWM that I’ve not seen or heard on any other virtual instruments: being able to independently modulate the PW itself, as well as the range of PWM, the latter which is typically a static setting on most synths that feature PWM. High precision audio rate modulation of these parameters, with just ratio oscillator offsets for example, is able to generate a range of really interesting new timbres, which is something I kind of accidentally discovered – truly a thrilling moment – when updating the synth to the current version. Would love to see this implemented in some other instruments.

      Again, it’s my pleasure to be able to contribute to this music and community, which I have loved being involved with since the 1980s. Some of the most interesting, creative and friendly people I’ve met are musicians and composers involved in microtonal and xenharmonic music composition, as well as software and hardware developers. It’s my ongoing hope that I’ll be able to offer some x64 instruments in the future.

      You’ve got me thinking again about the LinnStrument and I’m extremely encouraged about your report using them with the non-MPE synths. I’m also hugely into just-intonation and have thought quite a lot about how some of my custom just microtunings would map onto this controller; without even having one, I can see that it would be an amazing tool for this particular application.

      I also dream of the Starr Labs Microzone U-648. Would love to learn more about how well the velocity and polyphonic aftertouch works on this instrument from someone with extended and intimate years of playing experience on the board.

      How about the LinnStrument? What can you say about how the velocity, and or, polyphonic AT behaves for your playing style and in the context of using it with microtonal tunings?

      Among the reasons I’m asking, is that I own and have extensively played an Axis 64 from C-Thru music (sadly now discontinued), and the performance of velocity control on this board is not what I would regard as perfect; it’s not possible to do the kinds of very nuanced velocity performance on the Axis that I can get out of a typical Halberstadt-style MIDI controller. Please share your impressions. Would really love to know about this detail from someone using it for microtonal and xenharmonic music composition and performance.

      I’ll check back in here tomorrow.

      Kind Regards…

      • Hi Jacky,

        I am just at the beginning of my adventures into “my music”, as I believe that all the elements are now in place: Bitwig Studio, Xen-Arts tools, Linnstrument, Scala and various hardware items: great laptop, audio interface, audio hardware, etc. It’s been a long path, since the early 70’s, much study, playing horn professionally for a few years, pipe organ building, repair and tuning, dawn of the computer age, Ensoniq EPS sampler with pitchbend scale tuning, experimenting with PD, several microtonal keyboards, all unsatisfactory in some ways, etc. But it’s been really difficult to get what I was imagining in my head into my ears! Until now.
        I’m working with a very simple scale: harmonics 16-32, a 16-tone scale. Each tone of the scale is naturally generated from a precisely defined fundamental reference pitch. Every chord and melodic line generated by it, as unusual as it may sound at first, is in harmony with itself, the fundamental, and all the other pitches. The Linnstrument’s 20 note rows make it very simple to map the 16-tone scale (you can control the lighting system as well), and the vertical row overlap-control allows wonderful and interesting exploration opportunities of the harmonic structures contained within. Being able to easily and accurately establish the reference frequency is absolutely essential. For me it has always been about the “fundamentals”. The notion of a pitch standard (whether it be A415, A432, A440, whatever), and the “thrill of modulation” through EDO’s or approximations thereof, IMHO has dulled many musician’s palette of harmonic expression, so much so that much contemporary music merely pounds our aural senses into a hypnotic stupor.

        It is relatively easy to calculate reference frequencies, Do, C60, from any number of things: spectral frequencies of color (which I’m working on now), the rotation or revolution of the earth, or moon, brain waves, Pythagoras’ Music of the Spheres, etc. The possibilities are endless. And then generate scales based on that fundamental, where each pitch reflects and reinforces the base frequency. So, although the fundamental lies, for example, in the “green” frequency range, the generated tones of the scale will fall in the ranges of other colors, and create a spectral rainbow of sound, that is, however, related to, or generated from “green”. Does this make sense? Couple this with tempo settings “tuned” to the frequency, or harmonics of it, and I believe we have the basis of a really interesting auditory exploration of the world around us. It will also be interesting to generate timbres spectrally related to the fundamental, or base frequency, as you suggested possible with IVOR2.

        Regarding your question about the responsiveness of the Linnstrument, it’s hard for me to be definitive at this point. I’ve noticed using your patches in IVOR2 it’s hard to differentiate between the pressure sensitivity and the design of the notes. I’ve even turned off pressure and some patches are just very mushy. Some decay relatively quickly while others continue to play as long as I press a tab. Some patches play polyphonics wonderfully, as many notes I can press down seem to respond, while others, for example: I hold one key down and then tap on others and they replace the held note, but as soon as they are released, the held note sounds again and sustains indefinitely. I’m at the very beginning of exploring your sounds, and have not even yet attempted to experiment with adjusting things or creating my own sounds.

        Unfortunately, I’m also trying to wrap my mind around Bitwig well enough to begin recording some of my experimentations. As I become more adept and learn things that seem to work well, I’ll be happy to share with you my discoveries.

        Best wishes my friend.

  27. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for the deeper information and it’s fascinating to learn that you are working with the harmonic series fragment 16-32, which is actually among the many just intonation microtunings of this nature included in the default Xen-Arts VSTi Microtuning Library (available for download on the VSTi page of the site). For precision, the archive includes HD2 4-8, up through HD2-16-32 (HD2: Harmonic Division of 2/1), as well as their SD2 inversions (Subharmonic Division of 2/1). Also a selection of the less rarely discussed HD3/SD3 and HD4/SD4 sections of the harmonic and subharmonic series. It’s long been my feeling that it’s useful for musicians new to microtuning to become familiar with these intonations and intervals at the beginning of their journey into microtonal and xenharmonic music composition and theory, as these are essentially the building-blocks of harmony and melody (at least for tuning and timbre correlations relative to the harmonic and subharmonic series are concerned).

    On the topic of sound-design relative to input gestures from MIDI controllers, it’s probably worth stating that synth patch libraries are often created in general categories outside of a particular musical or gestural control context, and the ones featured in the Xen-Arts synths, which endeavor to showcase the timbre-design capabilities of the instruments, should be regarded as starting points from which new sounds can be sculpted.

    Among the best ways to approach tweaking synth sounds to better fit the gestural input from a given controller, is to visit their modulators, and in particular the envelope generators that control the amplitude, such as the ADSR. Most all of the Xen-Arts synths enable fine control over the attack, decay, sustain and release, as well as settings that enable deeply finessing how they respond to velocity. Also included in their banks are some INIT patches that can be used as blank-slate starting points for creating custom patches that can be tailored to the controller’s behavior.

    I wish I had a LinnStrument to study how it behaves with velocity and polyphonic AT, and I expect that I would have to either create entirely new patches for it, or tweak the envelopes and velocity settings to accommodate it’s unique kind of input.

    Most all of the patches for the Xen-Arts instruments were created with Halberstadt-style MIDI keyboard controllers, which feature deeper key-travel distances than I’m used to on the AXis-64 for instance. The deeper key-travel on a Halberstadt-style MIDI keyboard controller – generally speaking – enables much more nuanced performance control gestures over the MIDI velocity than the AXis, where one can more directly and physically control and modulate amplitude levels of the sound with playing force from the controller. I expect though that the LinnStrument is far superior in about every way than the AXis in terms of its velocity response and ability to directly configure its velocity curves for controlling softsynths.

    On the EGs in IVOR2, I would setup patches for MIDI input from the LinnStrument, so that the amplitude modulation is using the full range of MIDI velocity. FYI: The ADSR EGs can be set to Velocity or Level, the latter which disables velocity control, making the instrument behave like an organ; both of which are useful for given musical and performance contexts. Set some custom patch EGs to Velocity, with the velocity sliders at a full value of 100 percent. Lower the Release stage of EGs on patches such that it fits with the style of the performance: lower release values for faster playing, and perhaps longer release values for pads, where sustaining after releasing the keys is desirable.

    For what it may be worth, I have bought quite a nice range of virtual instruments that feature full-controller microtuning from lots of incredibly visionary developers, and while I explore their default patch banks at first to learn about the capabilities of the a particular instrument, inevitably, I like to start with the INIT patch included in most all of them, because I am often designing custom microtonal patches for a particular MIDI controller input and musical context. Working this way helps me to learn how to program the instruments and to get my sound from them. I’m actively learning u-he Bazille now for instance, the 4th of their microtonal virtual instruments I’ve purchased licenses for. They are all, uniformly, amazing sounding.


  28. Hi Jacky,

    Thank you again for your in-depth responses! Always very helpful. My background is in classical instrumental music, so this electronic world of music is often a bit overwhelming, with its highly technical language–you did give a disclaimer in one of your manuals I think, suggesting at least a rudimentary background in electronic music was presumed.

    Yes, HD2-16-32 (I like your concise labeling) is my point of departure, and it may describe the entire scope of my endeavors at this time. But this comes from my roots as a horn player. All brass instruments, but especially the horn, reside naturally in the harmonic overtone series, with much effort expended into coaxing them to play in 12TET. Some notes, like the 7th partial or the 11th, are described as “bad” notes, and most of the others as “out of tune”. So I am interested in creating music in which every tone produced by the horn is “in tune”…apparently a novel idea. But I’ve come to discover over the years that the pitches of the overtone series have interesting relationships each other, which I hope to explore. For example pitch 3, a perfect fifth from the fundamental, generates it’s own overtone series, which is a subset of the prime overtone series. Likewise 5 and 7 and in fact all prime overtones, reflecting unique pitches from the fundamental, generate overtone rows that are subsets to the prime, but demonstrate interesting relationships. 9 is a unique pitch, but the perfect 5th above 3, 15 is the major 3rd above 3 and also the major 5th above 5, etc. I won’t rattle on about this any more until I have time to actually work out in music some of these ideas.

    Regarding the LinnStrument, the sensors respond to 5 gestures: velocity of the attack, velocity of the release, pressure, x axis (pitch bend) and y axis (timbre). High, medium and low sensitivity levels available for velocity and pressure. Smooth glissandi can occur along rows by touching a pad and sliding up or down to another pad (as many as 24 away). This allows authentic reproduction of the nuances created in acoustic instruments. This doesn’t occur in the y-axis. The pads themselves are quite firm and do not really give much, not like a key or button on other controllers.

    It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, and thank you for being so forthcoming and helpful…

  29. Hi Guys!

    Ivor is one of my favourite VSTs, first microtonal instrument i’ve tried. It works perfectly in my old Windows XP.
    But i can’t load it in my new Win10 x64, Ableton 9.7.6… Any suggestions? My VST folder is custom, but other VSTs has no problems with locations.
    Appreciate for any help.

    • Welcome Alexandr, it’s good to hear from you.

      It’s probably a combination of issues:

      The Xen-Arts VSTi, are unfortunately, for the moment 32-bit only. It’s long been the hope of many developers that SynthEdit will eventually evolve into a stable 64-bit version, but the development progress has been extremely slow. In the process of helping beta-test the new x64 SynthEdit version, I’ve created some very simple debug-synths, and while the MTS microtuning functionality works relatively well, there is much to do before I would feel comfortable releasing anything made with it publicly.

      There are a couple of things I would suggest to install to see if you can get the 32-bit VSTi working on Windows 10:

      Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015

      .NET Framework

      I’m also a licensed Ableton Live 9 Suite user, and actively use the x64 version of Live 9. In order to use x86 VSTi within the x64 version of Live 9, I’ve used:


      I’ve used both jBridge1.74 and 1.75, which I actually purchased for using with Live, and the latter has been the most stable of the two in my experience. jBridge is not what I would regard as a perfect solution for running x86 VST plugins in Live, and using these types of bit-bridging software strategies can cause some instability in the Live 9 host I’ve found.

      The most stable solution I’ve found of all though, has been using the x86 Plogue Bidule standalone as a ReWire slave with Ableton. I’m actually working on a 4-track record now, in which all of the Xen-Arts instruments are loaded into an x86 Bidule project, such that MIDI is routed to them from Ableton Live 9, then the audio from the ReWired Bidule is routed back into Live via some customized External Instrument racks I’ve built for this purpose. This has proven to be – by far – superior in every way to jBridge, and so much more stable, that this year I’ve made this the standard method for working with the Xen-Arts VSTi in this host.

      As we know, Ableton recently announced Live 10, which eliminates the x86 of Live version altogether. All users of the upcoming Live 10 will be forced to either drop using any 32-bit plugins, or otherwise explore bit-bridging software solutions, and alternatively ReWire.

      FYI/FWIW: I’ve deep-tested this Bidule ReWire solution on my system and it has proven to be the most stable and reliable of anything I’ve tried. It’s been my intention to write about this on the blog here, and or, create some videos about it, but now that the x64-only Ableton Live 10 will be released in the first quarter of 2018, I may wait until v.10 is out to use that new version as the context for the tutorials.

      Please feel free to let me know how it goes for you, either in this post, or through private email.

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