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Tutorials:Useful ways to modify a tune you already like

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Intro

This is useful if you have a tune you like already and want to tweak it and make smaller changes in the tune.

Because it is a fractal, you can't just change single notes. Most of the changes you can make will change the whole tune. But they are smaller changes because they keep much of the same flavour or feel to the tune.

You don't need to know anything about music theory to vary the seed and other parameters, it's just like a visual fractal that way. Just have a go varying anything and see what happens.

Sometimes I think composers can be at a slight disadvantage (unless of course they are experienced in use of Algo comp) if they come to Tune Smithy thinking they will be able to get it to play the exact notes they want like creating a score. As a fractal it doesn't work like that. If you want to do a composerly note by note edit, then Tune Smithy isn't set up for that. You need to export the scores and import them into a composing program like Sibelius or Finale (I can give a separate tutorial about that if needed).

An experimental approach, trying lots of different things to see what happens, is likely to work best in Tune Smithy, just as for a visual fractal. You may have some idea eventually about what is likely to happen when you make a change, especially in simpler case. Often though, even when you have used Tune Smithy for a long time, the result can be something you never expected or predicted. Again, taht is very like work with visual fractals.

Window numbers

All the windows have keyboard shortcuts. You can also get to them via the menus, via buttons in the widows, and if you right click on the O icon. But in these descriptions the easiest way to make sure you find the right window quickly is to give the keyboard shortcut.

So for instance Ctrl + 33 means, hold down the Control key. Then with the key still held down, type the window number, here 33. Finally release the Ctrl key and the desired window will appear.

Saving your work

Be sure to save a copy of the original tune first so you can go back to it, from File >> Save As >> Tune Smithy Fractal Tune (*.ts). This only saves the tune and things to do with what it sounds like. You might also want to save all the projects for Tune Smithy (or nearly all of them) as a project from File >> Save As Project

Randomise slightly

First, to randomise the tune slightly, go to Randomise Tune Options (Ctrl + 144) also available as a button in the Tune Transf. window. Choose what you want to randomise. The default is to randomise the tune, and also many other settings as well. So the randomiser chooses a random tune from the list and then randomly transforms many of the other settings as well.

If you have a tune you already like, then you probably want to unselect most of the options in Randomise Tune Options (Ctrl + 144), before you randomise it.

Main window

The main window emphasizes the tuning and arpeggio in the current version of FTS 3, so of especial interest for microtonal music.

If you are happy with the tuning, then you might only want to change the seed in the main window. The easiest way to do that is to use Seed as bar charts (Ctrl + 76). A small change in the seed there just click to adjust one of the numbers, and the entire tune will change.

You can also enter the seed as numbers in the main window or in Main window seed (Ctrl + 77). There are other ways of making a seed too including playing it yourself from the PC keyboard - that is easiest to do in New Seed (Ctrl + 3)

Tune Transformations

Most of the other things you want to tweak to change the tune are in Tune options, drone, && Undo / Backups (Ctrl + 33). For instance the Reflect, or Reverse Seed (Ctrl + 29) and Rearrange seed notes && Add to Seed (Ctrl + 30) can make a big difference while still probably preserving the general character of the tune but with more variety.

Other things there like the Rhythms and Polyrhythms (Ctrl + 89), Chord Progressions for Arpeggios (Ctrl + 151) and Fibonacci rhythm (Ctrl + 32) will completely change the tune. If already selected you can go to the relevant window and have a go at adjusting the parameters there. Otherwise, you probably don't want to adjust any of them if you want to keep what you like about the tune.

Parts window

Another thing that makes quite a difference is the choice of instruments, and also volume for each part, and octave shifts etc, in Parts (Ctrl + 9). All the notes are the same (unless octave shifted, then even so the tune is much the "same tune") so that's a bit like changing the colours in a visual fractal.

Then if you go to the Order of Play drop menu in the Parts (Ctrl + 9), see if your tune has Other... selected there. If it does, then small changes in the formula will make a big difference to the tune. So, you can try randomize formula, or randomize formula slightly in that window.

Some tuns may have the range set in More >> RANGE OF NOTES in Parts (Ctrl + 9). If so, you can make a difference to it by varying the range there. That's also a useful feature if the tune goes too high or too low.

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