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Seeds options

Seeds Options

Fibonacci Rhythms and tonescapes

Bs | Seeds Options

Seeds for Layers , Arpeggios for Layers , Seed Symmetries , Permute / rotate , Seed Pos Increment, Multiple Undo , Drone, Polyrhythms, Make fractal tunes drop list for current folder. , Make musical seeds drop list from fractal tunes drop list.



Seeds for Layers

Bs | Seed Options | Seeds for Layers

This lets you play several seeds at the same time, one in each layer.

Let's try this out with string_quintet.ts

Select Seeds for layers .

Now click on the second seed in the list, which will be blank.

Go to the main window, and make a new seed in the usual way - enter the numbers for a new seed, select it from the musical seeds drop list, play or sing it, or use the Seed window.

Since the second violin plays the second layer in this tune, this will be the seed for the second violin.

To make new seeds for the viola ,'cello and double bass as well, we need more seeds in play - change the number in the Play first ... seeds in list box to 5 .

If some of the tunes have varying note lengths, and you want to hear them all with the proper rhythms, change the number in the Rhythm fractal to layer box to 5 . If you do this, the first violin will play faster to fit its seed into the time available whenever the second violin has a short note, and similarly all the way down to the double bass. Effect is that the tune will alternate between fast and slow passages, depending on how many of the instruments have short notes to play. All the instruments will play their seeds with the exact rhythm needed.

As described so far, the violin plays the same seed all the time. However it would make a nice variation if it were to play the viola seed sometimes, and so on.

To try this out, tick Rotate layer played .

This rotates the seed played for each layer. So the first violin will play its own seed, then second violin seed, then the viola seed, and so on.

You can decide how often to rotate the seed - enter the number of times you want to play each seed in the every ... seeds played box.

So for instance you can play each seed twice before rotating.

This applies to all the layers. So similarly, the second violin plays its seed twice. It changes to the viola seed after it has finished the second seed. Since the second violin plays much more slowly than the first violin, the first violin has probably changed its seed several times by then.

So on for all the other instruments.

The effect of Permute layer played is to go through the seeds in this order for three seeds (last number changing least rapidly):

1 2 3
2 1 3
1 3 2
3 1 2
2 3 1
3 2 1

(has now gone through all permutations, now goes back again another way, with firsst number changing least rapidly)

3 1 2
2 3 1
2 1 3
1 3 2
1 2 3

For five instruments, the numbers start in the same way, with more permutations to go through

1 2 3 4 5
2 1 3 4 5
1 3 2 4 5
3 1 2 4 5
2 3 1 4 5
3 2 1 4 5
1 2 4 3 5
5 4 2 3 1
5 4 3 2 1

(back again another way, with first number changing least rapidly)

5 4 3 1 2
5 4 2 3 1
1 3 2 4 5
1 2 3 4 5

First violin will play first column of numbers: 1 2 1 3 2 3 1...

Second violin will play 2 1 3 1 3 2 2...

Viola will play 3 3 2 2 1 1 4...


However each plays in its own time, so the first violin will get through all the first numbers of the permutations faster than the second violin gets through the second numbers, etc.

Effect is similar to Rotate layer played but less predictable in the sound.

On the way up, the last number changes least rapidly, so the double bass plays the same seed many times.

On the way back, the first number changes least rapidly, so the first violin playes the same seed many times.

With five instruments, there are 120 permutations. If you permute every seed, then on the way up, the violin changes seed every seed played, and on the way back, it changes seed once every 24 seeds played.

The double bass has its first change of seed after 24 seeds played, so will take some time.

Try combining Permute layer played with Rotate layer played



A rpeggios for Layers

Bs | Seed Options | Arpeggios for Layers

Idea is that you can select a new scale into each layer for the fractal tune.

You read the list from the top downwards, so the first scale and mode is for the first layer, which is played by the first part if you have Parts | Order of play | By layer with simultaneous notes selected.

The effect is easiest to hear when you have Parts | Order of play | By layer with simultaneous notes selected, because then you can have one instrument playing each scale / mode.

Try harp_bluesy_minor_flute_major.ts

The harp is playing the fractal tune slowly in the bluesy (septimal) minor chord 1/1 7/6 3/2 2/1. Above it, the flute is playing two layers of the fractal tune in the major scale. The flute rejoins the harp for each of its notes.


'Cello plays layer 3, the slowest. It uses seed on notes of 1/1 11/9 3/2 2/1 (11/9 = neutral third, i.e. mid way between minor and major).

Honky tonk piano adds seeds in harmonic minor scale. Each seed of the Honky tonk piano plays in a minor scale from the note the 'cello plays.

Violin then adds seeds on notes of septimal minor chord, with the septimal minor chords starting from each of the viola notes.

So you get septimal minor chords played on top of notes of a harmonic minor scale, and the harmonic minor notes in turn are played on top of the notes of a neutral third chord.

E.g. when each instrument is playing the second note of its seed, the violin is playing (11/9)*(9/8)*(7/6) above the 1/1 for the 'Cello seed.

I don't know if it would be possible for a performer to do this fast constant adjustment in the tuning of the 1/1s for the violin septimal minor chords by a stack of two j.i .intervals - pretty hard I imagine anyway, but in MIDI, it is easy!

To use this option, tick Arpeggios for layers .

Click on one of the layers.

Now select or make the scale and arpeggio you want to use in the main window. This will automatically select it into the highlighted layer in this window. Alternatively if the arpeggio in the main window is already as you want it, click the Select Arpeggio from main window now button.

The arpeggio is played in all the layers that follow it, up to the next one you select - all the ones shown with double quote ditto marks play the same arpeggio as the layer above.

If you select the same arpeggio into several layers, then the seed for each layer starts the arpeggio anew - e.g. if they were all septimal minor chords you'd play a septimal minor chord stacked on top of the notes of another one, stacked on top of the notes of another one, and so on..

To play in the same arpeggio in a continuous fashion, for several layers, select it into first layer you want it for, and leave the others blank (use Erase highlighted entry if they have scales in them already).

You can even erase the arpeggio and scale in the first layer. If you do this, the first layer will use the main window scale and arpeggio, whatever it is, (which will change as you highlight the other layers). Can be useful on occasion, while trying out ideas.

The standard setting is to use the same seed for all the scales. To use seeds for each layer as well, tick Bs | Seed Options | Seeds for Layers | Seeds for Layers . See Seeds for Layers for more details.

You can rotate / permute the layers to paly the seeds in. To rotate / permute the scales in synchrony with the seeds, use Sync with Seeds for layers if you have both of these selected, and have the , and want to play each seed always in the same scale, no matter which layer it is rotated or permuted into.

Try Meeting_of_East_and_West_no_rotation.ts

The viola is playing a seed in the melodic minor scale. This is decorated by custom voice consisting of two tinkle bells tuned at a Slendro interval apart from each other (in attempt to simulate Javanese percussion sound), and using a seed in the Slendro scale.

So with each new viola note, the melodic perc. plays the Slendro seed, starting at that note, and going up in the Slendro scale from it. All the while, the viola melody is played in the j.i. melodic minor scale.

To listen to the two seeds, show Bs | Seed Options| | Multiple Seeds window, and click on each in turn, and play them using play button for the Seed in the main window.

Now try


This time, the seed rotates every 4 seeds played. So the viola starts off in melodic minor scale, but after 4 seeds you will hear it start to play in the Slendro scale, with the Slendro seed. Watch out for the change - do you hear when the viola starts playing the new seed in the Slendro scale? (it is about one minute into it).

The tinkle bells are also alternating seeds + scales, but much faster, as they play the seeds faster.

Some more fractal tunes with arpeggios for layers:

dancing_sprites.ts , partial_reflection.ts , Lament_for_lost_worlds.ts

To explain Join scales together by , notice that in harp_bluesy_minor_flute_major.ts , the flute is playing the same tune each time, transposed up or down depending on what the harp is doing.

Each scale starts anew = standard setting: when a new scale comes into play. The tune starts at first note of scale.

Scales join up : each scale is played as it would if selected into first layer, but then result is transposed to join onto the previous scale.

So for instance, the flute tune starts from the first note of the scale first time the tune is played. Next time, it starts from its major third, playing third, fifth , octave,..., with the third transposed down to fit position of the bluesy minor third played on the harp. Next time, starts from its fifth, and so on.

Reverse calc : This time, the transposition is worked out in reverse, from top downwards.

Suppose by way of example that there are three scales, and the fractal tune has reached 6 for layers with the first scale selected, 9 for the second scale, and 11 for the third scale.

With Each scale starts anew , the transposition for the first scale (fastest moving fractal tune) is worked out as the interval from degree 0 to 6 in the scale's arpeggio. For the second scale, as the interval from degree 0 to 3, and for the third, from 0 to 2. Then all three transpositions are combined to give the actual note to play.

With Scales join up , the transposition for third scale (slowest moving fractal tune) is worked out as 0 to 2 in its arpeggio. Then the one for the second scale is worked out as the interval from degrees 2 to 5 in that scale's arpeggio. Finally the one for the first(fastest moving fractal tune) is worked out as the interval from degrees 5 to 11. Suppose the fractal tune then changes to 12 at next note (following the seed in one of the layers for the first scale), then the only interval affected is the one for the first scale.

With both these methods, the tune for each scale simply plays in that scale, either starting anew at the first note of the arpeggio + scale each time, or for Scales join up , starting at a point in the arpeggio + scale depending on the number reached in the fractal tune so far.

For Reverse calc : the transpositions are worked out in reverse order. In the example, the transposition for first scale will be worked out first as 0 to 6. Then for the second scale as 6 to 9, and for the last scale as 9 to 11. If the fastest moving seed moves forward one note, changing the total to 12, then all the transpositions are affected. First scale will be 0 to 7, second will be 7 to 10 (instead of 6 to 9) and last scale will be 10 to 12 (instead of 9 to 11).

Effect is that the tune moves about in a way that doesn't really fit any of the scales. For each scale + mode, it can drift by amount by which an interval spanning the same number of degrees can vary depending on its position in the arpeggio, and all the drifts are added together.

For instance, major chord 1/1 5/4 3/2 2/1, then the interval class 1 (spanning one degree) has intervals 6/5 5/4 and 4/3, so tune can shift by 25/24 = (5/4)/(6/5), or 16/15, or 10/9 because of these.

This option is included because it gives some interesting results.

See: transforming_major_chord.ts



Reverse / Invert (Seed Symmetries)

Bs | Seed Options | Reverse / invert

A good one to try this out with is ascending_above_the_clouds.ts

Try selecting Invert seed numbers

Let's leave the other values at the standard setting:

If when dividing layer updated by 2 , remainder is any of 0

This means that seed numbers will be inverted whenever the layer updated is an even number, 2, 4, 6,...

When you have Parts | Order of play | Layers, with simultaneous notes selected, then the layer updated is the same as the track.

So you will hear the flute play normally, the English horn plays the tune inverted, the second flute plays normally, and the marimba plays it inverted.

If you need to see the layers updated for a tune, select Bs | Tune | Options | Notes as | Layers

Similarly, if you tick Reverse seed numbers . the English horn, and marimba play the tune reversed.

Or try ticking both, and setting Invert seed numbers to

If when dividing Layer updated by 3 , remainder is any of 0

Now only the second flute will play the tune inverted, first flute plays normally, and English horn and marimba reversed.

The other entries in the drop list are

Seeds so far , Seeds ^ Layers

Seeds so far is clear enough I hope.

Seeds ^ Layers means, when the number of seeds is even, or the number of layers, but not both (exclusive or).

Reverse Seed Rhythm

When the tune has notes of varying length, you can choose whether to reverse the rhythm independently of the seed numbers - if you want them synchronised, then set this field to the same values as you have for the Reverse Seed Numbers .



Permute / rotate etc

Bs | Seed Options | Permute / rotate etc

Rotate seed moves all the numbers round by the specified number of notes.

So for instance, if you rotate by 1 note, this moves the seed

0 1 2 1 -6 -4 0


1 2 1 -6 -4 0 0

then to

2 1 -6 -4 0 0 1

and so on.

Permute seed permutes the order of the seed numbers.

for a three note seed, permutations are

1 2 3
2 1 3
1 3 2
3 1 2
2 3 1
3 2 1

This means, play

1st, 2nd, 3rd numbers of first seed

then for next seed, play

2nd, 1st, 3rd numbers,

and so on.

For instance if seed is 0 4 7, permutations of the seed are

0 4 7
4 0 7
0 7 4
7 0 4

Select Shift first number of perm. to 0 to move the seed numbers up or down so that all the permuted seeds start at 0.

So the one just shown has all its seeds shifted up or down to:

0  4  7
0 -4  3
0  7  4
0 -7  3

You can use the Add option to add some numbers to the tune every so many notes played. Has the effect that now and again the tune gets varied up or down by a note or two, which can add to the interest.

You can also lengthen or shorten the lengths of individual notes from time to time using Add to times - use negative numbers to reduce the length of a note.



Seed Pos Increment

Buttons... | Seeds Options | Seed Pos Increment .

Move forward an extra note in next (slower) layer at: - Idea is that the seed for a slower layer can move forward in the middle of a faster seed. Usually each seed for each layer moves forward only at the start of a faster seed.

Usually the accompanying slower moving parts get many more notes to them - and the tune also changes because of the way the parts interact. Try some of the example fractal tunes with and without this option selected, and hear how they get transformed :-).

The numbers are the positions from the start of the seed.

The preset value of 3 means to go forward to the next note when you finish the third note in the faster seed. You also go forward to the next note at the start of the faster seed because you always do that.

See the worked Example to see how the numbers work in deatail. I've put below as it is rather long.

It is sometimes useful to use numbers from the end of the seed - use negative numbers for this: -3 to move the next layer forward three notes before the end of each seed. The two methods can be combined: e.g. 2 -3 to move foward in the next layer two notes after the start of each seed, and three before the end.

Cycle at pos in seed - this is useful for long seeds. E.g. if you wanted to move forward on every other note of a long seed, you could just enter

2 4 6 8 ... (long list of even numbers)

However, as a short cut, use Cycle at pos in seed 2 , and set 0 as the position to increment at. The first 0 at the start of the seed has no effect as the first note of the seed gets played anyway, and then because you have set the cycle interval to 2, the melody i this layer will move forward one note on every even number of the faster layer, like this:

0 1 2 4 3 5 | 0 1 2  4  3  5 | 0 1 2  4 3
0   1   2     4   3     5      0   1    2
0       1         2            4        3
0                 1                     2
0                                       1

or after adding the numbers up:

0 1 3 5 6 8 | 5 6 8 10 11 13 | 5 6 8 10 11
0   1   3     5   6     8      5   6     8
0       1         3            5         6
0                 1                      3
0                                        1

To increment at every odd number instead, you'd increment at 1, and set the cycle to 2 again. And so on. The position count starts at 0 at the start of the seed.

Cycle at - this time the position to move forward is measured from the start of the tune rather than the start of the seed. Actually I'm not quite sure what this one is doing exactly - but it gives a nice effect. Involves some combination of the number of seeds so far and the number of notes in the melody for each part, and is basically included as one of those "nice bug" type things - was result of adding a couple of lines of code in a sensitive place where it affects the calculations (I could probably figure out what it does if really needed).

You can hear it in Pos increment nice_bug, There, I've also varied the volumes of the seed. I also set the time of the last note of the seed to 0.4 which is what causes the fast riffs from time to time. Here it is in it's original form: Pos increment bug orig

To see details of notes played, show the Bs | Tune window - it has options to show the numbers of seeds so far in the melody, tune numbers, and so forth from Options | Notes As .

The melody for a layer moves forward at the start of every faster seed here - but if you don't want all the layers synchronised at the starts of the seeds in this way, you can also investigate creative use of the polyrhythms window.

Try polyrhythms such as 25 5 or 16 4 or 9 3 which aren't really polyrhythms as the numbers are multiples of each other - but put another structure onto the tune over the one for the layers so that they can go in and out of sync with each other in waves.

Increment without incrementing the faster moving seed - if you leave the number for this option at 0 it has same effect as if it is unselected. Set it to 1, and the faster moving tune is unaffected by any of the wanderings of the slower parts - it plays its original melody line, just as it would if the slower parts were moving forward at the beginning of each seed as usual. Set it between those values and it is somewhat affected - by the larger leaps of the slower parts.

Set it to more than 1 and it is over affected, so a small leap in the slower part changes it greatly. Set it to less than 0 and it will be affected in the opposite direction - when the next layer moves up in the middle of a seed, the higher layer moves down and vice versa.

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Seed 0 1 2 4 3 5 , . Increment at the third note. Three layers to the tune.

The melodies move forward like this:

0 1 2 4 3 5 | 0 1 2 4 3 5 | 0 1 2 4 3 5 0 ...
0     1       2     4       3     5     0
0                   1                   2

where I have shown the original seed numbers as they are before you add them up to get the fractal tune.

After adding them together you get:

0 1 2 5 4 6 | 2 3 4 9 8 10 | 4 5 6 10 9 11 2 ...
0     1       2     5        4     6       2
0                   1                      2

where for instance in the 9 5 1 column,

9 = 4 incremented by the 5 of the next seed (after its increment by 1)
5 = 4 incremented by the 1 of the next seed
1 = original seed number because the next slower seed is still playing its first 0 note.

The top line is the melody actually played.

If you have chosen Parts | Choose parts by | Layers . , then each part plays one of the layers - but they all play the top notes. It's just that if a part is playing the second layer, say, then it plays a note whenever the second layer has contributed to the melody.

So the parts join in at unison or octaves etc (depending on the settings in the Parts window for them) whenever one of their seed notes has contributed to the structure of the melody.

Each number is the sum of its original value and the most recent number in layer below - so the 9 here is the sum of its original value 4 and the new value below it 5. The 8 for the next note of the top line is the sum of the original 3 of that line and the 5 of the second line. And so on. You make this diagram from the previous one by working from bottom to top and left to right changing the numbers as you go.

Notice how the seed is transformed because of the step in the middle - from 0 1 2 4 3 5 to 0 1 2 5 4 6 .

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Multiple Undo

Use this to switch on / off, and customise multiple undos.

When switched on, you can use Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y undo / redo with multiple layers of undo. These undo / redo any changes that will affect the .TS file when saved - i.e. basically, anything that affects the fractal tune and its instrumentation.

Record undo info on exit when auto save config is selected . Idea is that when selected, the multiple undos remain available when you exit and start a new session, provided you have File | Auto Save Config selected. So if you are called away mid edit, you can exit the program and indeed, turn off the computer, and later go back and still redo / undo changes from the point you last reached.

Keep updated to disk . If this is selected, maintains the undo info on disk rather than in memory, so even if Windows crashes, you can still go back into FTS and redo / undo your fractal tune from wherever you last left off.

The way it works is that it makes a new record of the fractal tune whenever you do anything that changes. When saved to disk, these are kept as a series of files with extension .TSU. Going backwards or forwards any number of changes navigates back and forwards through this list of files (or their equivalent in memory).




This is an option to add a drone to the fractal tune, as in Indian music: Vina / Sitar, and Hurdy Gurdy, Bagpipe, Musette, etc.

Later in this section: Preset drones, and adding drones to several parts.

Parts to play drone - this is the instrument that is actually used to play it. If you are using the drone with a fractal tune, it's okay to use one of the parts you already have in the tune here

The drone can be set to any note of the arpeggio, or to a specirfic interval in cents / ratios etc.

Intervals from 1/1 - e.g. set this to 3/4 to add a drone a fourth below the 1/1, or 1/2 for an octave below. You can have up to 100 drone notes, (so effectively no limit for most users - however if you do want more for some project or other, let me know - it will be easy to code for it).

So, 3/4 1/2 for the Intervals box adds two drones at 3/4 and at 1/2, i.e. a fourth below the 1/1 and an octave below it. L:eave the degrees at 0 .

To add a drone at degrees 0 and 7, say, set the Intervals to 1/1 and the Degrees to 0 7 . Use negative numbers for drones below the 1/1, e.g. -2 for a drone at two degrees below the 1/1.

The two boxes work together. So if you set the Intervals to 4/3 and the Degrees to 2 . this will add a drone at a 4/3 below the 2nd degree of the scale.

The notes on plucked or struck instruments such as harp, or Sitar etc fade away after a while. In this case, you may want to play the drone notes again every so often - while with other continously sounding instruments such as Church Organ say, one may just want to leave it on.

To resound the drone notes, select Resound at start of seed , and set the layers to resound to whatever you wish. Layer 1 will play the drone for every seed. Layer 2, every seed of Layer 2, and so on.

If you set a range of values for the layers to resound , e.g. 3 - 18, then you get an extra loud drone note whenever a new seed starts in a slower (higher numbered) layer - because as all the seeds for the faster (lower numbered) layers also start at the same time. This gives a drone that continually changes in volume fractal fashion, with louder and softer beats.

You can use the drone when you play from the PC or midi keyboard too. In this case, the repeating drone then gets played every so many notes played.


Preset drones

You can also open one of the preset drones, or save your current settings as a preset for the drop list of drones.

The ones that come with the program are:

Hurdy Gurdy - the tunings from the Hurdy Gurdy Player's FAQ.

Hurdy Gurdy - Auvernait Tuning with g' , or c' - resets 1/1 to c, and drone intervals to 3/2 (or 2/1), 2/3, 1/2 and 1/3. As letter names, the drone notes are g' or c', g, c, and G.

Hurdy Gurdy - Bourbonnais - resets 1/1 to g and drone intervals to 3/2, 1/1, 2/3 and 1/2

Both of these reset main window scale to the Just Intonation twelve tone , and the arpeggio to the diatonic mode.

Highland Bagpipe with 7/4 and detuned octave : - resets the scale to this scale from the SCALA archive:

1 7/8 1/1 9/8 5/4 4/3 3/2 5/3 7/4 1190.0 cents Highland Bagpipe, Ewan Macpherson in 'NZ Pipeband', Winter 1998.

Pitch of 1/1 set to 475 Hertz - Scottish Bagpipe players call this note low A for historical reasons, though the actual note played, in terms of concert pitch, is a little above Bb.

See The Pitch and Scale of the Great Highland Bagpipe for more information

The arpeggios drop list is set to a list of the Scottish Bagpipes arpeggios, using the information from David Keenan's post to the tuning list

Highland Bagpipe with 2/1 and 9/5 : same idea but uses

1 9/10 1/1 9/8 5/4 4/3 3/2 5/3 9/5 2/1 Highland Bagpipe, Allan Chatto, 1991. From Australian Pipe Band College

Here are some Indian drones (not included as presets)

See Sound of India | Articles | Notes on Ragas and Tanpura tunings

Tanpura with Pa

Drone 3/4 1/1 2/1, or in the Indian Note Names Pa (mandara saptak), Sa (madhya saptak) Sa (tar saptak),

Tanpura with Ma

Drone 2/3 1/1 2/1, or Ma (mandara saptak), Sa (madhya saptak) Sa (tar saptak),

Tanpura with Na

Drone 9/8 1/1 2/1, or Na (mandara saptak), Sa (madhya saptak) Sa (tar saptak),

The Indian note names are:

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa 
C  D  E  F  G  A   B  C 

Octave names:

The octave running up from 1/1 madhya saptak, from 2/1 tar saptak, from 1/2 mandara saptak, and from 1/4 ati mandara saptak

One might use the Sitar as ones choice of Midi instrument for the drone, and for the tuning one might use the Modern Indian Gamut scale in the main window.

A few sitar links (on-line pages): Tuning the Sitar, Tanpura,

See Sitar Tuning

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Adding drones to several parts

Suppose you want to add drones to two parts, say 1 and 2. Then set the Parts 1 2.

If you want to add two drones to each part, say at 1/2 and 4/3, with the 1/2 louder at volume 64, and the 4/3 at volume 32, you'd do it like this:

Parts      1   1    2    2
Intervals 1/1  4/3 1/1 4/3
Degrees    0    0   0    0
Volumes   64   32  64    32

Each column in this table adds one note to the drone.

Rather than enter all these values by hand, one can use this shortcut:

Parts      1   1    2    2
Intervals 1/1  4/3
Degrees    0 
Volumes   64   32

Since the degrees are all set to 0, then we only need to give the first one. Since the intervals are 1/1 4/3, then repeat that again as 1/1 4/3 again, we just need to give the first two.

So to add drones in the same way to the first six parts, one would do it as:

Parts      1    1   2   2   3   3   4   4   5   5   6   6
Intervals 1/1  4/3
Degrees    0 
Volumes   64   32

Each of the other rows is understood to repeat until you get to the total number of entries in the Parts row.

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Bs | Seed Options | Polyrhythms

To use the polyrhythm in your fractal tune, select Play polyrhythm .

Enter your polyrhythm into the Polyrhythm beats per bar box. Here, 7 5 3 means play 7 beats ( in part 1) for every 5 beats (in part 2) and 3 beats (in part 3).

Auto adjust to keep slowest rhythm at the same tempo keeps your polyrhythm at the same speed as you add new numbers of beats to it.

If you want to hear one beat every bar to mark out the bars, add a 1 at the end: 7 5 3 1 .

You can also select from a drop list of polythythms.

Make Polyrhythm metronome - sets everything up so that when you click the play button in the main window you will hear a polyrhythm metronome.

To change the instruments playing the metronome, use the Parts window.

To adjust the tempo of the metronome use the time for one note box in the main window.

This button has the same effect as File | New , select to play a polyrhythm, set the seed to 0 0 0 , set the number of parts in the fractal tune to the number needed for the metronome, and select Parts | Order of play | By layer with simultaneous notes . It leaves the time for one note value unchanged, and also keeps whatever layout of volumes per part, voices, and octave shifts. you have for the Parts window.

Make slow metronome, with preset non melodic percussion instruments - same idea, but also sets the time for one note to one second, so the slowest polyrhythm is running at one beat per second. Also sets the Parts window to show a preset selection of various non melodic percussion instruments chosen to be fairly distinctive sounding to make it easier to hear the separate parts of the metronome when it has many parts.

Note that you can use File | Save as | Files of type | Midi clip for fractal tune to make a midi clip of your metronome.

Make Web Page - makes a web page of all the polyrhythms in the comma separated list below it. To set the length of each clip, use the Gallery Options window. For instance if you want each clip to be four minutes, then in this window edit the Times in mins for the clips field to show 4 only.

Now click the Make Web Page button. Wait for the clips to be constructed. Then click Show now to show it.

If new to polyrhythms, try clapping in time to one of the parts. You may find it a little easier than you would expect. Now try clapping one part with one hand and one part with another - that isn't so easy :-).

Polyrhythms are particularly characterstic of African music, with the performers each playing one of the rhythms, making a complex resultant rhythm that would be very hard for a single performer to play. A commonly used African polyrhythm is 3 4, i.e four against three. This is rather rare in Western classical music, though three against two is common.

This site goes into the philosophy / spirituality behind the African polyrhythms

John Starret has a web page at of 1950s field recordings of african music.

Auto adjust to keep slowest polyrhythm at a steady tempo - adjusts the speed of the polyrhythm to keep the slowest beats the same tempo. You can adjust the resulting tempo using the time for one note box in the main window whether this is selected or not, but if unselected, when you change the polyrhythm, the speed of it will vary greatly and you will need to adjust it to compensate.

The metronome is made by dividing the bar into tiny constituent ticks. So to play 7 with 5 and 3 you need 105 ticks - then the metronome can play one note every 15 ticks for the 7, every 35 ticks for the 3, and every 21 ticks for the 5 beats, with all of them coming together again at the 105th tick.

When you unselect the Auto adjust option, then the time for one note is used for the time of the constituent ticks. Normally these will be tiny - in this case, 105 ticks per bar.

For a complex polyrhythm, ticks will be very small indeed. It is okay to make it very small, e.g. a thousandth of a microsecond or whatever since FTS doesn't need to play each tick, instead, it just calculates the time for the next note in the metronome and skips forwards however many ticks are needed to get to it.

You can even play 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23. I.e. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19 and 23 beats to a bar played simultaneously, making 223092870 ticks to a bar - that one is used in the african style complex polyrh fractal tune

You can select Play polyrhythm with a tune with the notes not all the same length as well. If you do this, it works the same way as the polyrhythm metronome, using the seed notes as the ticks of the metronome, but this time the ticks are of varying length, so instead of a steady polyrhythm you get a kind of texture or something - I'm not sure what to call it - try it and see what you think of it.

Increment without incrementing the faster moving notes - this is the same option as is used in the seed position increment - the same code. I'm not sure what effect it will have here exactly, as the basic idea that motivated it originally doesn't apply in this context, but it could be interesting, so I decided to keep it in. Just try selecting it and see what happens to the fractal tune.


Old way of making polyrhythms:

You can still use this method too (even combine both).

Voice | Edit Custom melod. voices | Edit Instr... | Beats to play (and Repeat every [...])

Then one makes a custom voice with say 3 instruments playing first tick out of, say, 3, 5 and 7 respectively. That would play 15 against 35 against 21.

To play 3 against 5 against 7, do 3 instruments playing every 15, 35 and 21 beats

Then go back to the Edit Custom melod. voices window and choose Select into Highl. Parts , (or select that custom voice from the drop list).

Works best for percussion / pizzicato. When you use this way of making a polyrhythm, the instruments only play for the duration of its single tick. They are silent for all the in between beats.


Make Fractal Tunes drop list for current folder

Bs | Seed Options | Make fractal tunes drop list for current folder .

Move your saved tunes to single folder, as the New Tunes folder (or save them there in the first place).

Then use: Bs | Seed Options | Make fractal tunes drop list for current folder .

Seed Options | Link to it from all the existing drop lists - This is the standard setting - means that you can get to your new list from the other ones (and back again).

If it is a sub folder of the fractal tune smithy folder, you can also see them using Bs | Seed Options | Add sub folders to the drop list of fractal tunes .

That way of doing it is special because it simply shows a listing of the folder, so will always be up to date, and you don't need to remake it when you add new tunes.

You can also see your tunes in Organise Windows (F2) | All Windows , which has a drop list of fractal tunes for the current folder, and again is automatically up to date.


Make Musical seeds drop list from fractal tunes drop list.

Bs | Seed Options | Make musical seeds drop-list from fractal tunes drop-list . This makes a .lms (list of musical seeds) file of all the seeds in all the tune smithy files in the current Fractal tunes drop list.

It's a list like the lists of the seeds which you get to from the links at the top of the Musical seed drop list. You can use this to re-do those lists if you add new fractal tunes to them yourself, or to use it for any new lists you make.

It converts the one currently showing in the main window.

It converts any . lft links to . lms links of the same name, which means the drop lists of seeds link together in the same way as the drop lists of fractal tunes. It saves the list of seeds as a file with the same name as the drop list of tunes, but with extension .lms instead of . lft .