Mar 132016
Microtuning Virtual Instruments – Part 6 | Converting Large SCL Archives

A frequently asked question from Xen-Arts visitors is how to convert large archives of Scala SCL files to particular formats, such as the Scala SCL archive found here:

Xen-Arts generally tries to discourage such conversions of the Scala SCL archive, due to the feeling that it encourages the potential use of microtunings as presets, without users making the effort to understand the underlying pitch structures and reasons for changing the intonation of musical instruments.

All the same, the question gets asked a lot, so a simple text based tutorial will follow for musicians and composers who need to get this done quickly:

1. Create a directory where you will batch convert your SCL files, such as the one discussed in this series of articles:

D:\Scala Batch

2. Download and extract the Scala SCL archive into this same directory.

3. Run Scala and set the Synth Tuning Model (under Options) to the number you require. For example 107 for MTS, or 112 for TUN.

IMPORTANT: At this stage you can also optionally set the 1/1 and reference frequency for the converted files using a KBM file (see part 5 of this series), or otherwise just type in the values desired. Skipping this step will output all of the files at the Scala default, with the 1/1 on MIDI Note C.60, and the Reference Pitch at 261.626 Hz. In other words, all of the files in your Scala SCL archive conversion will have their base pitches on Middle C.

4. Under the Scala File menu, select Change Directory, and change the directory to: D:\Scala Batch

5. Under the Scala File menu, select Execute CMD File, navigate to the CMD directory and the file labeled:


6. The instant you execute this CMD file, Scala will start batch converting all of the SCL files you extracted to D:\Scala Batch, into the Synth Model number you selected in step 3. It will convert them all which might take a little while depending on how fast your PC is, since there are thousands of them.

As you will see, this completely obviates any need to drag-n-drop SCL files onto the Scala UI. It just mechanically converts them all without intervention.

This also completely eliminates the need to use any of the other available SCL converters floating around the web. Just follow the above steps to convert your SCL files with Scala. It’s the easiest, fastest and best way.

 Posted by at 4:50 pm

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