Scala 2 Kontakt Microtuner
Control Setup - Realtime controls for Scale and Key Change
The Microtuner responds to midi cc events to switch among loaded tunings or change keys in a multitimbral setting. The Microtuner has two midi control modes: note channel and cc mode.
In note channel mode, the Microtuner responds to midi notes on reserved channels by using the Note2cc VST to broadcast midi cc events on up to 10 other channels. For instance, if midi channel 15 is reserved for scale changes and channel 16 is reserved for key changes, instances of the Note2cc VST can be configured to duplicate scale and key change cc messages on channels 1 - 10, etc. as notes are played on channel 15 or 16. In cc mode, the Microtuner responds to midi cc events on individual channels.
Midi note channel control mode
Note channel control requires a mechanism to convert midi notes into cc events. This is handled by the S2K_Note2cc VST which is inserted in a VST host between a midi source (live play or sequencer) and Kontakt. The S2K_Note2cc module has a midi through bus, and a monitor showing cc events on the output channels. Here is a setup in a modular host, EnergyXT v1.4:
The S2K_Note2cc VST is configured to
- listen on a selected channel
- output the played midi note number as a cc value on a selected midi cc
- output midi cc events on up to 10 selected channels as notes are played on the note control channel
The selected cc and midi start note are chosen in the Microtuner for scale change or key change control in the Microtuner scale change and key change menus.
Midi cc control mode
The basic idea for this mode is to insert midi cc events at points in a music score where scale or key changes are desired. The note control mode mode is simpler and more suited to live performance, but the cc mode gives more granular control if musical lines in simultaneous, bitonal keys or scales are involved. This example shows a suggested setup for a piano-roll style sequencer. Key change cc events can be embedded in a recorded or step sequenced track or entered in a separate control track on the same channel. This example covers use of control tracks.
Modulation commands are issued to the Scala 2 Kontakt Microtuner by sending a scale degree number on either the modulate up or modulate down channel of the Microtuner. These channels are set under the + and - scale degree sub menus of the degree change menu of the Microtuner. Default values are channel 61 for cc up and channel 62 for cc dn. Since modulation commands are the same for all scales, you may want to prepare template tracks with parts on these channels covering a reasonable range of modulation steps. (Screenprints from EnergyXT v1.4)
Here's the event listing for an example part of the template:
If you plan to be working with a particular scale for a while, you might want to consider making a copy of the template with scale degree names, etc on each part for compositional reference. For example, here are a set of modulation parts for the Erv Wilson eikosany scale.
Example SequenceLastly, here is a screen print of an arrangement for piano and flute(click here to listen ).
Each of the four instrument tracks has a control track on the same midi channel. A feature of this particular sequencer is that part names are visible in track view so it is clear what key modulation is being applied where. Changing keys is a matter of swapping out control parts from the scale control template.
Points to note:
- There is no need to provide a lead time in a sequence for key change - modulation cc events can be timed to coincide exactly with the notes they modify.
- The templates shown have single degree change events at the beginning of a measure (time 001:000). The Microtuner can also handle a stream of degree change events, only responding when the degree value changes in the stream.
- The same modulation scheme applies to both the home key and current key modulation modes of the Microtuner.
This application runs on Windows 98 through XP, but requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. When you run the Microtuner setup.exe, it will detect if components are missing, and you will be guided through the necessary .NET upgrade courtesy of Microsoft. If you'd rather install the upgrade beforehand, please navigate to the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) or (x64) webpages for the free download. The Microtuner is completely contained in its installation directory and does not write to the Windows registry.
This application requires Kontakt, version 2.1.1.001 or later (including version 3). The Microtuner doesn't add any appreciable load to Kontakt's CPU performance.
The Microtuner passes tuning info to downstream scripts for further effects. Following are details of a script that generates microtonal harmonic effects.
Please click on the image below to step through a slideshow of the Harmonic Crossfader. Right click for player controls. If you have flash player problems, please click here for a .pdf.