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MIDI and Microtunings…?

January 21, 2010 | 3:16 am

I’ve been working on a project in which I’m using 16 notes within an octave range, all detuned from equaled tempered pitches in varying degrees. I am trying to recreate these pitches in Max/MSP using MIDI, but I run into the problem that when I detune one standard, equal-tempered note to create one of my 16 distinct pitches, it detunes the rest of the equal-tempered reference notes, and so I would need to compensate for that in the creation of each new note. I have considered doing different detunings on different MIDI channels, but I don’t have enough channels to do that for every note.

When running Finale’s music notation software, I’ve been able to create the pitches by creating expression objects that perform pitch-wheel alterations on the given notes, and so I know it is possible to get MIDI to play these notes, I’m just struggling with getting Max to do this.

Any helpful tips and suggestions, as well as resources for further reading and education about this process, would be very much appreciated.


January 21, 2010 | 4:35 am

I just bag the MIDI synth entirely and handle things using a coll that holds the tuning in place of an mtof object. The rest of the synth stuff is whatever MSP thing I’d like to use (synth, sample playback, etc.).

The other easy option would be to use some kind of soft or hard synth that supports !12tET – off the top of my head, Pianoteq, Lounge Lizard, Qube and Absynth all do that flawlessly.


January 21, 2010 | 2:47 pm

If Finale is letting you micro-deviate each note individually, either it’s not really representing the notes in MIDI, or it’s using a different instantiation of a MIDI synth for each voice.


January 21, 2010 | 8:56 pm

I am also trying to recreate this idea of micro tunings…

I am currently trying to send midi information from a pre recorded piece of music to Max/MSP. I am also running into problems. I have been told that soundflower is a good host to slave application to use for this so if you can get it to work it might be a good way to go.

If you have any luck or anyone else can get this transfer of midi information to max/MSP in any way or some help with soundflower would be much appreciated.


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