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Scales and Arpeggios for Parts

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Scales and Arpeggios for Parts

Scales and Arpeggios for Parts

Set the scale and arpeggio separately for each part


Select the part you want to highlight

The part number can be used in many places in Tune Smithy, and is the equivalent of a Midi Out channel in FTS. You can't use Midi channels directly as the notes for a single part often have to be relayed to many different channels for retuning purposes.

To make sure that FTS does the channel mapping optimally for your current out device(s), run the Out Devices Capabilities Wizard in the Out menu. If you want to customise which channels are used in detail, use Midi Output Channels for Parts and Polyphony (Ctrl + 60)

What is a part

In a program without instant pitch bend retuning, this window would just show the midi out channels. However when you use pitch bends to change the tuning of the scale, it is the software that deals with the midi out channels rather than the user. The user doesn't work at that level at all (normally). So we need another way of working with instruments, volumes etc, so we need the Parts to take the place of channels.

Why are parts needed

This is why: To play a chord, say the just intonation major chord 1/1 5/4 3/2, using midi pitch bends, you have to play the notes on different output channels - for instance the 1/1 may be played on channel 1, the 5/4 on channel 2 and the 3/2 on channel 3. That's because the pitch bend is set for a channel as a whole in MIDI (normally anyway). This happens automatically in FTS, notes change channel frequently to let them be retuned correctly and smoothly. So notes of a single chord or melodic phrase will often be spread out over several midi channels. This sort of thing is something software can be programmed to keep track of in a routine (though complicated) fashion, but is mind boggling for a user of the software.

So as a user of the software, you need something else to work with rather than Midi out channels, and that's where the Parts come in. You just set up a part much as you would do for a channel in twelve equal type Midi work. You set it up with a midi instrument, controllers, pan position etc. You don't need to worry about the techy details of which midi out channels to send all the pitch bends and other messages to. FTS keeps track of all those details for you. The software will send the notes on whatever channel is appropriate, depending on its records of which notes have been sent on them previously - and it will also set the pitch bends accordingly for each channel, and also send any controllers and other messages to the correct channels as well.

What if I want to see which midi channels are used by the parts

However, if you are interested to see where the notes did get relayed to, just show the Out | Notes in Play - Midi Out (Ctrl + 47) window. In the More version of that window, you will see the notes currently in play for the part listed by output channel, with the pitch bends in cents for each channel.

You will find that notes that need the same pitch bend often share channels, for instance all the 5/4s may play on one channel, or notes a quarter tone sharp or flat or whatever may all get played on the same channel - as long as they have the same requirements in terms of other controllers such as pan position etc.

So for instance, notes in twenty four equal (quarter tone) only need two channels, one for the "standard" 12-et notes and one for all the notes a quarter tone sharp (or flat). Notes in any pentatonic scale only need five channels at most for the pitch bends, a seven note scale only needs seven channels at most, and a twelve note octave repeating scale needs only twelve channels to play all the notes (if the controllers and pan positions are the same) - less if there are any 12-et intervals in the scale.


Presets for scales for parts - by fixed intervals, tonic shifts, CPS sets etc.

Play Arpeggio With

Set which notes from Midi In play the current arpeggio (alternatively scale)...

Any in between midi notes will play any scale pitches between the arpeggio degrees. To take an example, you can set the white notes to play the notes of the diatonic (major) mode in any larger scale, and then the black keys will play whatever sharps or flats are available between them, if any. There are various options to configure whether e.g. the sharp of the note below or the flat of the note above is played in scales where they differ.

For details, see Help | Midi In | Play in arpeggio (etc) drop list, and Help | Midi In | Playing fine shades of accidentals from the music keyboard

Scales for parts

Switch on scales and arpeggios set individually for each part


Pause playback, or continue play


Click here to play it...

What this plays depends on the task selected from the Tasks menu.

It can play a retuned midi clip, chord progression, fractal tune or metronome


You can use Shift + click to fast forward...

Also Ctrl to fast forward even more. Shift multiplies the tempo by 10 and Ctrl multiplies it by 100, so the two together would play a fractal tune at for instance, 60,000 instead of 60 as the tempo. This is useful sometimes for fast forwarding through fractal tunes.


Set master volume for FTS. Other controls also affect the volume...

Bs | Play control brings up the master volume control for Windows as a whole.

The volume is also affected by the volume for individual parts in the Parts (Ctrl + 9) window.

For the Wave shape player, go to the Wave Shape Player Audio Format (Ctrl + 188)

For CSound instruments, you can set the overall volume in the C Sound Save Opts (Ctrl + 168)

You can also vary the volume in Out | Options | More | Volume remapping, note on / off volumes etc. (Ctrl + 158) and if playing from Midi In there's another setting at In | Options | Keyboard Options | Touch. (Ctrl + 91)

See also Help | FAQ - trouble shooting | Why is everything so quiet

Help = F1

Click for help for this window. Or F1. Other opts: Shift , Alt, Ctrl + click...

F1 or click shows the help for the current window in your web browser.

Some windows may have no help yet in which case the help icon is shown crossed out with a red line.

Shift + F1 or Shift + Click brings up the tool tips extra help window (this window) to show any extra help for a tool tip.

You can tell if a tool tip has extra help if it ends ... like this one.

Ctrl + F1 or Ctrl + click takes you to the list of keyboard shortcuts for Tune Smithy.

Alt + F1 or Alt + click (alternatively Caps lock physically held down + F1 or Click) takes you to the on-line page at the web site about the current main window task - which gives a short introduction to it for newbies to the program. If there is no on-line page specific to a task, takes you to the main tune smithy page on the web site.

Since the help for Tune Smithy is currently a bit out of date and needs to be redone completely for the new 3.0 release, then you may find the on-line page for some of the newer tasks particularly useful.

Organise Windows = F2

Reset, or Save settings for this window. RIGHT CLICK for all windows menu...

Shows the Organise windows window - which you can use to reset all the parameters for the current window.

You can also use it to save the settings for just this window, or open previously saved parameters for just this window.

Also has a drop list of all the windows and their shortcuts, and related options - some to do with the menu listing, and some to do with window resizing and minimising.

Midi In Dialog Star

Tip of the day - Relaying category - right click for neighbouring windows...

Left click for a tip of the day in this category.

Right click to see a menu of neighbouring windows.

The neighbours are the ones you most often move to after this one or within a minute of this one, arranged by popularity.

So as you continue to use FTS, it will learn your habits, and the neighbouring windows listed here, should be the ones you most often visit after this one.

Neighbours, and Previous - Up - Next

Parts (Ctrl + 9)

PC Keyboard Player (Ctrl + 112 or Ctrl + K)

Midi out options (Ctrl + 48)

N.B. This list of neighbours may change when these pages are updated.

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