Scala Microtuners for Kontakt and SynthEdit
Hi and thanks for stopping by to check out the Scala 2 Kontakt and Scala 2 SynthEdit Microtuners. These are software add-ins that bring polyphonic microtuning in thousands of scales to their hosts at no performance cost. These Microtuners have a unique design that enables the intervals from one tuning to be a source of keys to another tuning.
Further, these Microtuners enable real-time scale or key change for an ensemble of soft synths by means of note events on designated midi channels. Both Microtuners use the same midi setup for scale and key change. So for example, a single midi track can change key for any number of VST instruments using either or both of the Microtuners. Both Microtuners store tunings and performance parameters in VST patch memory for automatic recall of complex instrumental setups.
The Scala 2 Kontakt Microtuner is a small stand-alone Windows app that assembles tuning scripts for Kontakt 2 through 4 from a selection of up to 10 scales per script. The Scala 2 SynthEdit Microtuner is a module that is easily inserted into the SynthEdit signal path, and adds microtonality to just about any SynthEdit project in a matter of minutes.
Microtonality, of course, has been a mainstay of all cultures since the time of Paleolithic bone flutes. In Western culture, it was forced to the fringe by the rise of industrial mass production technology in the eighteenth century. The machine tooling of the era required restriction of the musical palette to just a few tones (imagine telling artists they could only paint with 12 colors).
For about the last 25 years, computers have been capable of reversing eighteenth century limitations and moving music tunings to a new paradigm (information vs. industrial age). However, computer-based Microtonal music generally continues to be hampered by technical limitations that tend to limit it to modal rather than tonal structures. Microtonal ensemble key change is a pretty exciting innovation because it bridges to conventional Western musical forms, and offers the possibility to explore new modulations.
Using the Scala 2 Kontakt microtuner, Kontakt 4 plus professional sample libraries can produce convincing realizations in any genre. For example, here are a pair of beautiful classical pieces, 'Microtonal moments' by Shaahin Mohajeri in nonoctave scales. You'll find a few more demo tracks on this website, but it probably takes some first hand experience to know if it's an area you want to explore. I hope you'll download a demo and give it a try.
Robert Strauss6 April 2011