Microtuning in Max for Live


    Dec 10 2009 | 8:40 pm
    Does anyone in the forum use Max for Live for microtuning? How about using Magic Max Microtuner with Live? I'm interested in having microtonal capbilities within Live, and would like to know what others are doing, if anything, in that regard.
    Thanks for any help!
    Brock Holmes

    • Dec 10 2009 | 9:32 pm
      While the magic microtuner is just fine and all that, it's also true that there's certainly nothing stopping you from taking any patch you've got that has an mtof object in it and replacing it with a coll that holds the pitches you want. Similarly, for things like the play~ object, you'd use the same kind of logic you use to calculate relative multipliers you use to modify the "0, " message you send to the play~ object to get it to play a sample.
    • Dec 15 2009 | 1:40 am
      I use 31 tone equal temeprament. My three approaches are (1) make an oscillator in Max, (2) send to a VST that can remap pitches (e.g. Absynth), or (3) send to a synth written in Reaktor loaded as a VST, which I've mangled to respond to pitch information differently.
      It's a pain using MIDI, because there are only 4 and a bit octaves available if you use 31 tones per octave. I get around that by controlling "octave" with a separate knob. But there's a lot to be said for using a synth made by someone else.
      Reaktor patches are nice because they're open-source, once you've got Reaktor (just like Max), and there are a lot of Reaktor synths out there.
      My holy grail would be to find a good, open-source synth that uses OSC. Rewiring a synth to treat the pitches differently is not hard; the hard part is getting a useful variety of timbres out of it.
    • Dec 15 2009 | 4:04 am
      I use LMSO by Jeff Scott (www.nonoctave.com) to manage and create microtunings. (it's payware & mac only)
      It can create frequency files that can be put directly into coll, or reaktor and basically any soft or hard synth that can accept these kinds of files. It can also runs independently and can retune any synth via converting midi messages. (well, more skilled patchers could probably do this themselves).
      Anyways, probably not worth the investment for everyone but for me it's a very deep and exceptionally well crafted tool.
    • Dec 15 2009 | 7:08 am
      I actually bought a whole 256-button monome for the sole purpose of making microtonal music. I had previously written apps for normal western MIDI keyboard controllers, to change the scales they use. But I'm trained as a jazz musician, and wen I'm improvising, I can't stay in any one scale very long. The beauty of an equal-tempered scale is that the whacked-out intervals you learn to love are available anywhere. But the price is you need special hardware, and there's no good visual software for representing higher-ET music.
      So far, at least. I think this may have been one of the motivating reasons for the development of the Pd language. I have yet to take the plunge ...
    • Jan 05 2010 | 5:41 pm
      PD is a publicly licensed version of Max/Msp: it was intended to address some assumptions in data structure and use that Max made, and provide a quite open development field for users. Microtuning was just one of the many reasons for PD...and to this date, microtuning is still more difficult in PD than in Max, mainly because of all the work already done in Max/MSP on tuning (Magic Microtuner, specifically). If you really want microtuning in PD, you can make it work. It will be much easier in Max/Msp, but nowhere are you going to find a finished product ready for your use..With all these languages, you gotta make it yourself, especially if you chose to try and make it in the less developed PD.
      just my tuppence, ymmv, l&k, charlieb
    • Jan 05 2010 | 9:04 pm
      I just composed 2 compositions for the microtonal Fokker organ based in Amsterdam:
      It has a 31 tone mid tone tuning and has midi build in. The midi protocol I designed last year which is as follows: The normal mid-tone tones are midi channel 1 (12 tones in 1 octave) The first 12 raised tones of the normal mid-tone tones have midi channel 2 The rest has midi channel 3.
      There are 2 other ways of controlling the 31 tones of the organ but are difficult to control with composition software. The second one is based on pitch and polyphonic aftertouch. The third is based on the standard microtonal instrument protocol by which all tones are NOT connected to there original pitch but a combination of pitch and midi channel.
      This way it's easy for a composer to write something for the organ with Finale or Sibelius.
      I build a simple plug-in (pluggo) so I could hear my composition in my studio. You can obtain the plug-in from my website:
      The composition itself was made with max/msp incl the electronic part. All the data was arranged and mixed in Logic Pro.
    • Jan 07 2010 | 7:38 am
      has anyone used this box? http://www.h-pi.com/TBX1buy.html
      tuning box tbx1
    • Jan 07 2010 | 12:20 pm
      Aaron's stuff is top-notch!
    • Aug 03 2015 | 4:43 pm
      Hey Brock, Thought you might be interested in the device Retune for Live that I just released last week. It has microtuning capabilities and runs directly within Live.
      Check out a demo vid here https://youtu.be/DLxzQpODVJg
      Download (free, donations excepted) at https://gumroad.com/ursine
      Hope this does what you need it to! Let me know how it goes.
    • Aug 06 2015 | 3:33 pm
      I have been doing micro tuning and scales in ableton since a while (Those twelve regular interval are lame). I'm using the MICROTUNER. It's a nice and easy tool but if you tune to the ten toushandth (0,0001) the synths are phasing. So i tune them to the toushandth.
      I'm quite sure some professional musician are using it. Deadmau5, skrillex, etc.. That's what my ears are telling me.
      @Rawore, about the h-pi instrument box It's probably been used by professional as well. Listen Boards of canada new album (GREAT). it may be that right? The box looks great and it can tune your synth with higher precision then the MICROTUNER no?
      Personally, I'm looking to buy one when money comes. But currently, I'm doing my tuning training with MICROTUNER it's easy and fast not like the CSE box where you need to encode first, export the patch to the box then play.
      Cheers, Damien.