Jul 222014

Composer, performer, video artist, sound poet, writer, instrument maker and educator, Warren Burt, has written an excellent review of Xen-FMTS 2 in the current issue of SoundBytes magazine.

Review – Xen_FMTS2, a FREE Softsynth that Opens the Way to Wild Explorations of Tunings and Timbres


His in-depth knowledge and decades-long experience of working with alternative intonation systems and music technology, here illuminates the topic of working with tuning and timbre relationships and is rich with background information related to microtonality, the ultra-high-resolution MIDI Tuning Standard and matching of tuning and timbre, including notes about explorations specifically done with FMTS2.


A very public word of thanks goes out to Warren for this article.

 Posted by at 10:20 am

  2 Responses to “Xen-FMTS 2 Review In SoundBytes Magazine by Warren Burt”

  1. Nice article.

    I had a question about the tuning and timbre. Do some tunings sound better with certain timbres? Or is it just important to get the harmonics tuned properly?

  2. Hi Thuselem,

    Apologies for the delay in reply.

    In many ways, whether it sounds better or not can be highly subjective. Often non-correllated timbres and intonation systems can have great musical utility, and be perfectly acceptable to the ears of listeners, musicians and composers, as evinced by tunings such as ED2-12 (aka 12-tone-equal-temperament), where there is the common use of timbres that do not necessarily align to this tuning, and ED2-12 itself has many malaligned intervals relative to the harmonic series, which is typically the category of timbres that are used with this tuning system. I’ve long felt that one of the interesting potential applications of Bill Sethares’ theory is adjusting timbres to fit the grid of ED2-12, which also happens to be a dimension of all this that I’ve extensively explored in my own study of tuning and timbre. The difference is quite striking and non-trivial too FWIW.

    On the other hand, in musical scenarios where the timbres and tunings are designed to match, a whole new universe of musical possibilities become accessible to musicians and composers, and here one can tap into the myriad wonder-worlds of eerily beautiful sounds that become available with this type of practice. This practice is what I often privately refer to as The Other Just.

    I will endeavor to design some kind of demonstration soon for you and other visitors to hear. It’s among of my favorite kinds of microtuning demonstrations.

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