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Window 22

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Range (compass) for parts

Screen Shot

Range (compass) for parts


Set range of notes to play for each part, && what to do with out of range notes


Set which instruments play in the Tune Smithy parts, and the volumes for parts etc...

You can set up any part with an instrument, volume, controllers and other parameters here. You can also set a different tuning for each part too using the Scales for Parts window.

This part then can be used in many places in Tune Smithy using the part number, 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.


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.


Shows which instruments play which parts.

To change the instrument for a part, use the PARTS window. Then highlight the part to change, and select a new instrument from the Instruments menu, the Wave shape player, non melodic percussion, or the custom voices.

You can highlight more than one part - click on the first part in the Parts (Ctrl + 9), and then drag with the mouse to seelct more than one part. Or use Shift + click on the last part or Ctrl + click to add just one part to the highlight.

Then you will be able to change the instrument for all the highlighted parts at once. If you hold the SHIFT key down when you select an instrument, then you can select it, and the instruments that follow it in the menu into all the highlighted parts in the parts window - that's useful if you want to try out several instruments at once.

You can select non melodic percussion into any part. The non melodic percussion needs to be played on a General Midi synth or sound card - most sound cards are GM, but many specialist musicians synths are not. The non melodic percussion notes all get played on the Midi output channel 10 (normally).

You can select melodic instruments into part 10 as well, they will be relayed to other channels instead of channel 10 for a GM synth.

When you play notes from Midi IN, you would expect notes sent to FTS from channel 10 to play non melodic percussion. That's what happens if you have In | Options | Select Parts by Input Channel - then FTS will treat all notes from channel 10 as non melodic percussion instrument selections.

You can customise the way FTS deals with non melodic percussion using In | Options | More Midi In Options. (Ctrl + 92) and Out | Options | Out Devices Capabilities (Ctrl + 106).

A quick way to set up your Midi Out settings appropriately for your current midi Out device is to run the Out | Out Device Capabilities wizard.

Midi note

Enter midi note number for lower note for highlighted part

Midi note - SPIN

Change lower note for highlighted part by octaves


Enter midi note number for upper note for highlighted part

to - SPIN

Change upper note for highlighted part by octaves

Outside range action

Choose what happens when notes are played outside desired range...

Rebound - notes outside the range are "bounced" back into range. The higher (or lower) the note, the further back it is bounced. So a note two octaves above the desired top note would be bounced back two octaves and so on.

Hover - the notes bounce back only to the top (or bottom) octave of the range.

Hover and rebound - as you go out of range then it hovers for the first octave, then rebounds after that (so as a rising scale goes up and up beyond the desired range, you will hear the top octave of the desired range repeat twice before the notes played start to come back down in a rebound.

Silent - notes outside the desired range don't sound at all

Wrap around - notes above the desired range wrap around to the bottom of the range and notes below the desired range wrap around to the top of the range.

The more exotic options here are of most interest for fractal tunes probably.

These effects are applied after retuning. The idea is to keep all the notes played in that part within the desired range.

Sync. to 1/1 pitch

When selected, range for part moves up / down as you vary pitch of 1/1...

The entire range changes. So if you had the range set to say two octaves above / below middle C with middle C as the 1/1 then change the 1/1 to A then the range in this window will alter to two octaves above and below A.


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

Permitted range of notes for each part - SPIN

Change lower note for highlighted part to next or previous white note

Permitted range of notes for each part - SPIN

Change lower note for highlighted part by semitones

b - SPIN

Change upper note for highlighted part to next or previous white note

b - SPIN

Change upper note for highlighted part by semitones


Shows the lower note - choose how the notes are displayed from drop list


Shows the upper note - choose how the notes are displayed from drop list

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

Or F2 - Reset / save / open for individual windows, right click for cat. list...

Shows the Organise windows window - which you can use to reset all the parameters for the current window - or save them all, or open previously saved parameters for just this window. Also has a drop list of all the windows and their shortcuts.

Midi Out Dialog Star

Tip of the day - Midi 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

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

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