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Make scales lists from Folders, & configure show SCALA from FTS

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Make scales lists from Folders, & configure show SCALA from FTS

Make scales lists from Folders, configure show SCALA from FTS

Make list of all scales in folder, SCALA modes lists && configure smithy.cmd...

You can use this window to make a scales list for use in FTS from all your saved SCALA scales in any folder. The obvious one to make is the list of all the scales in the SCALA archive, but if you are into scale construction yourself for instance, or have other collections of SCALA scales you can go on to make more lists of scales for any folder you like.

You can also make arpeggios lists in FTS from the modes list that comes with SCALA - these are very useful if you want to explore the relevant scales in FTS, e.g. the various n-ets.

Finally you can also configure the show_xxx.cmd file to configure how SCALA starts up from FTS. This is used for the Show current scale in SCALA button - see the tool tip help for Edit it... for more details.

How to get here

Ctrl + 88 or from Scale and Explorations (Ctrl + 17) or from the SCALA drop list in the scales menu.

How to use this window

If you just want to make the scales list for the SCALA archive and the arpeggios lists for the SCALA modes, use the lists of scales and arpeggios,

Make Scales list for FTS now from all scales in current folder

Make a folder with SCALA scales files in it into a list of scales for FTS...

You can use this to make a drop list of scales in any folder. The preset is to do it for the SCALA scales archive - to make that you wneed to download the SCALA scales archive which is from the SCALA download page. This is an archive of over 3000 scales.

Once you've downloaded it and unzipped it, use browse to find the folder with the SCALA . scl files in Find SCALA & make all the SCALA related files (Ctrl + 16), and then use this button.

This makes a file called SCALA Scales.lsc . It will be saved in the same folder as the . scl files.

When you make SCALA Scales.lsc . FTS copies all the entries in the .SCL files to the drop list file verbatim - uses the exact text in the .SCL file - except that it adds 1 (i.e. 1/1) for the first note of the scale, and it adds the word cents after all entries which have a decimal point in them.

You will probably want to Select: Add scales drop lists to "More scales..." drop list whenever they are saved or opened.

This makes it easy to navigate to find them in FTS.

You can get to your new list of SCALA scales from the Scales drop list by clicking More Scales... , then SCALA Scales... Now just click on a scale to select it.

You can also open SCALA Scales.lsc using File | Open and select files of type Lists of scales .

You can also open individual SCALA scl files from File | Open and select files of type Scales or copy / paste your scale into the main window scale field, or Scale and Arpeggio as text (Ctrl + 104).

It doesn't matter that the notes are on separate lines - the program will put them all on a single line for you. Also comment lines are ignored.

For Show current scale in SCALA , see previous section SCALA scales.

top , start of section

Add scales drop lists to the More Scales drop list whenever they are saved or opened

Add scale lists, including the list of all the SCALA modes lists..

They are added to the More Scales list which you can get to via Resets | More Scales or following the link at the end of the preset list of scales for the main window.

The list of all the SCALA modes list counts as a list of scales here - because it is a long list of scales, each with an accompanying list of modes.

Make arpeggios lists for FTS from SCALA list of modes

Makes arpeggios lists for FTS from lists of modes in SCALA format.

All the lists of modes that come with FTS, except the short 12 tone list, are from Manuel Op de Coul's modes lists, with his kind permission. For the most up to date versions, visit modename.html , which is updated more frequently than the file in the SCALA installer.

If you want to update to a more recent version, save modename.html file in the same folder you use for the Location of SCALA program field in Find SCALA & make all the SCALA related files (Ctrl + 16), and make sure the file name is set to modename.html here instead of modenam.par.

You will probably want to Select: Add scales drop lists to "More scales..." drop list whenever they are saved or opened.

This makes it easy to navigate to find them in FTS.

This option makes the LMD files for the drop lists of Arpeggios for each scale. It also makes an LSC file of all the scales for the modes called SCALA Modes.lsc . This gets shown in the Scales drop list so that you can get to the modes lists via Scales | More | SCALA Modes...

If you selected Add LSC files to "More scales..." drop list on Save or Open , you can now find the modes via Scales drop list | More Scales | SCALA Modes . Alternatively, use File | Open | Files of type Lists of scales (*.lsc) and open SCALA Modes.lsc , then look in the Scales drop list.

Now click on a scale in the drop list and so long as you have Sync Arp. selected, you will then find the appropriate list of modes for it in the Arpeggio drop list.

This option will also update all the modes lists that come with FTS, except the twelve note modes (also except the Japanese koto modes which ascend and descend in different ways and don't come from SCALA).

Updating the twelve tone modes

To update the twelve tone mode drop lists to the most recent ones from SCALA, look for the new file for them that you have just made, probably called _12_tone_modes.lmd . (File name is the same as the title for the relevant section in modename.html , with spaces changed to underlines. File names that begin with numbers are then prefixed with enough underlines to right align the numbers in the first three characters).

Open it in a text editor.

Remove the line:

0 (comment) G = Greek, M = Medieval (ecclesiastical)

Do search and replace and replace G. by Gr., and M. by Med.

(this is because in FTS, when you re-order the lists, there is no easy way to keep the comment in a suitable place to explain the abbreviations, indeed, the lines that need them could end up anywhere in the list. So instead, I use the less abbreviated version of these, as was used in earlier versions of the SCALA modename.html file.)

Open the file 12_tone.lmd in a text editor (no underline at the beginning).

If you used Auto sort modes by . with n~-i then at this stage, you can compare the two files to see if there are any changes

One way to do that is to use:

fc 12_tone.lmd _12_tone_modes.lmd

from the MSDOS prompt.

Or use a diff utility such as ExamDiff etc.

If there have been changes, you will need to update 12_tone.lmd .

Paste the entire contents of _12_tone_modes.lmd to replace all the lines between

1 100 cents !Equal Temperament (M)


Prefix the first entry with a + to make it the one to select when the file is opened (or prefix whichever entry for this if you prefer).

Now you need to edit the files listed at the end of 12_tone_modes.lmd in the same way.

For instance, open 12_tone_-_2_to_4_notes.lmd in a text editor. Paste into this file all the lines with 2 to 4 note modes from _12_tone_modes.lmd

Then save it.

Repeat with all the others, each time pasting the appropriate modes.

An easy way to open these files for editing is to navigate to them in the Arpeggios drop list, and use the Ed buttons, and then Edit List - see Edit lists as text, .

I could progam FTS to do update all the 12-tone LMD files automatically, but it only takes a few minutes with this method, so there seems little point!

If not sure how to do all this, you can just wait for the next update of the twelve tone modes lists in FTS, or else, use the complete list of modes via Scales drop list | More Scales | SCALA Modes .

The modes lists can be edited by hand - each line in the file corresponds to an entry in the drop list.

For details of the format:

File formats used by Fractal Tune Smithy#List of Arpeggios (*.LMD)

You can add tags to the modenames.html file to specify preset scales for the modes lists. These also work in the .par files. For details see

File formats used by Fractal Tune Smithy#LMD tags for Modename.htm

Auto sort modes by:

Choose how to sort the modes in the new mode lists...

If you want to order the new modes lists exactly as they are for the preset lists that come with FTS, set this to:

n~-i (least notes first, smallest steps first, most of the smallest steps 1st).

This order is a useful one for exploration of the modes for the first time, and experimentation, as it puts the modes with least notes at the top of the lists - these are often the ones that are easiest to improvise in.

For other sort methods, see Sort Scales or Arpeggios (Ctrl + 15) .

Search progress:

shows the file names as they are made

SCALA list of modes

The file to get the modes lists from - usually modenam.par or modenames.html...

You can also make your own lists of modes following the same format as a quick way to enter them into FTS. Just enter the name for your own custom list.

The modenam.par is the easiest one to use as an example to make your own lists. modenames.html is similar but with html tags as well which FTS ignores.

Name for modes lists overview drop list to make

File name to save the modes lists overview as...

This file will show up in FTS as a drop list listing all the modes lists for all the types of scale. Click on one of those to take you to the modes themselves, and set the scale in FTS to the preset scale for those modes.

Show current scale in SCALA

Launch SCALA with the current scale for FTS.

It launches SCALA with the scale from FTS already loaded - this is the scale shown in Scales Drop List (Ctrl + 110) or Template:Ww104 etc..

It also shows the scale in SCALA.

This is the output for the pygmie scale

Pygmie scale

 0:          1/1               0.000 unison, perfect prime
 1:          8/7             231.174 septimal whole tone
 2:         21/16            470.781 narrow fourth
 3:          3/2             701.955 perfect fifth
 4:          7/4             968.826 harmonic seventh
 5:          2/1            1200.000 octave

The third column can show various things. The preset for this button is to set it to show cents. If you want to change this, edit the SCALA .cmd file using the Edit button in Make scales drop lists from Folders, & Opts for FTS <-> SCALA (Ctrl + 88). See the tool tip help for that button for more details.

Now that you have the scale in SCALA, you can use any SCALA command - see the SCALA help for details. I will just mention a couple often used by FTS users. (NB while exploring SCALA, be sure to explore some of the fun midi instruments in SCALA in its Analyse menu :-)).

For instance, try SHOW INTERVALS to show all intervals between pairs of notes in the scale.

As a shortcut you only need to type SH I (first few letters of each word)

This is the result:

Interval class, Number of incidences, Size:

 1:  3  8/7               231.174 cents  septimal whole tone
 1:  1  147/128           239.607 cents
 1:  1  7/6               266.871 cents  septimal minor third
 2:  1  64/49             462.348 cents
 2:  2  21/16             470.781 cents  narrow fourth

2: 2 4/3 498.045 cents perfect fourth

 3:  2  3/2               701.955 cents  perfect fifth
 3:  2  32/21             729.219 cents  wide fifth
 3:  1  49/32             737.652 cents
 4:  1  12/7              933.129 cents  septimal major sixth
 4:  1  256/147           960.393 cents
 4:  3  7/4               968.826 cents  harmonic seventh

The interval class is the number of notes that make up the interval.

You can copy / paste information from the SCALA output window to the clipboard in the usual way. You can also log all output from SCALA to a text file using SCALA | File | Save Window Text to... - then use File | Close text file when finished.

To show the intervals ordered according to size rather than interval class, use the /TOTAL switch:


Maybe now you wonder where some of these intervals are located in the scale. You use SHOW LOCATIONS for this.:

Let's find out where the other perfect fifth is:


Locations of 3/2:

3: 0 - 3
3: 1 - 4  diff. -35.697
3: 2 - 5  diff. -27.264
3: 3 - 6  diff. -27.264
3: 4 - 7

Total of 5 ...

(various details about the search)

It's found the two exact ones, and also the three approximate ones.

0 - 3 means the 3/2 is between degrees 0 and 3, i.e. the first and fouth notes of the scale. So this is the obvious one, from the first note of the scale up to 3/2.

Where is the other one? It's between the fourth and the seventh degrees, but the scale only has five notes. So, this interval straddles the octave division. In fact, it's between 7/4 and 21/8.

You can play your scale in Scala from Analyse | Chromatic Clavier, and play using the mouse, or using letter keys, with various options - see the SCALA help for details.

In FTS, you can play it from the PC Keyboard using PC Keyboard Player (Ctrl + 112) or Template:W113

You can see what the degree is because it gets shown on the keyboard as you play, and also the ratio.

In the same way, we can now look for any other intervals in this scale which interest us, the septimal minor third say:

Septimal minor third:

Locations of 7/6:

1: 0 - 1  diff.  35.697
1: 1 - 2  diff.  27.264
1: 2 - 3  diff.  35.697
1: 3 - 4
1: 4 - 5  diff.  35.697

Total of 5...

And so on...

Edit it...

Edit the selected SCALA .cmd file to run for Show Current Scale in SCALA...

This is what Show_xxx.cmd is like when first saved:

! show_xxx.cmd

! Load and show scale xxx.scl

load xxx.scl

set attribute cents

! exclude channel 10 for playing midi = Non Melodic percusion channel in GM synths / soundcards

set exclude 10


So, it loads the file xxx.scl, and shows it with the third row set to cents. The lines beginning with an ! are SCALA comments - they don't do anything, but are just there to tell the reader what the file does..

You can edit it and change these commands, and add any other commands you like to it.

For instance, if you want to show something else in the third column, replace the word "cents" by one of the other SCALA attributes in the line:

set attributes cents

For the other options use, see the SCALA help for


To reset your editing and get back to the standard version of the file, delete the old version, or use the Reset button.

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.

Scales Dialog Star

Tip of the day - Scales 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

Scales Drop List (Ctrl + 110)

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

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