Microtonal synthesizer help page

Harmony Central

Features news and user reviews of keyboards, both past and present.

Hermode Tuning

A dynamic retuning method that has been applied to some instruments such as the Access Virus.

Just Intonation Primer

The Just Intonation Primer, available for ordering from this site, is the single best resource for understanding and using Just Intonation and is highly recommended.

Kurzweil K2000/K2/K2500

In addition to the Kurzweil octave based intonation tables, you can achieve equal tempered scales of any degree, octave repeating or not, by some simple editing at the programming level. Here's how.

Kurzweil files from Wendy Carlos

The Wendy Carlos web site contains K2000 SysEx Tuning Table document, K2000 SysEx buttons document, Alternate Tuning Guide to the Kurzweil K1000, K2000, K2500 and FS150, Tuning Table file and even SysEx files for retuning the Yamaha TX802 and SY77 and Kurzweil K2000/K2500 with Wendy Carlos' favorite microtonal scales. Unfortunately, most of the these files are in Macintosh specific hqx compressed files and pict graphic file formats.

Making Microtonal Music mailing list

A mailing list supporting the practice and composition of microtonal music. Emphasis is on the means necessary to accomplish microtonal musical compositions, acoustic, electric or electronic, with links to music files posted frequently.

The MIDI Tuning Standard

Here are the codes to write your own MIDI Tuning Standard messages. These are used by some Emu and Ensoniq equipment. Also, check the official MIDI site for more information on the MIDI Tuning Standard.

Recommended Architectures for Microtonal Synthesizers

There are many questions about how to best implement microtuning on synthesizers and similar instruments. This page gives a compilation of recommendations for various classes of instruments from the simplest to the most complex. It is based upon my own experiences and with input from members of the Tuning List. Synthesizer manufacturers and programmers in particular should pay attention to this page as it will help achieve a microtonal implementation that is most beneficial to end users of microtonal scales.

Roland GS and Yamaha XG

Roland GS instruments contain 1 microtunable octave per part. There are 16 or 32 parts depending on the instrument polyphony. Yamaha has defined one global microtunable octave in the XG specification. Unfortunately, in many cases these scales are only available by sending MIDI System Exclusive messages on each MIDI channel. This page shows how to download microtunings to your GS or XG synth and includes many example scales.

Synth Zone

Manufacturers and MIDI synthesizer/sample support sites are listed at this valuable site.

Tuning mailing list

A continuation of the tuning@eartha.mills.edu mailing list, this list focuses a bit more on the theoretical aspects of microtonal scales, but all discussions are fair game.