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Window 9

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Set which instruments play in the various parts, and volume etc

Highli. Part Properties...

Things that affect the notes played in (first) highlighted part in Parts window


Select the part you want to highlight

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).

This is why: To play a chord, e.g. a justly tuned major chord 1/1 5/4 3/2, using midi pitch bends, the only way to tune it correctly is 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 in midi, (normally anyway) the pitch bend is set for a channel as a whole. The software does this channel swapping automatically - the notes change channel frequently to let them be retuned correctly and smoothly. So it is normal for the notes of a single chord or melodic phrase to 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.

However, if you are interested to see where the notes did get relayed to, just show the Out | More | Notes Currently Playing (Ctrl + 47)) window and you will see them all listed there, 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.

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.

Part number - enter number of the part to change

This is the part that gets changed using the Voice menu....

It also plays the tune if the number of parts to play is 1.

With the standard settings, it plays the Seed, Scale and Arpeggio too - you can change that from Bs | Arpeggio and Scale play buttons.

Also it's the part for the PC keyboard and mouse - you change that from Bs | PC Keyboard Notes to play.

You can select more than one part in the Parts window, if so this is the first highlighted part.

If you want to change all the parts in one go, higlight them all in the Parts window or use Voices | Change All


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 window (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 | Opts (Ctrl + 92)) and Out | Options | Device 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.

Currently selected Instr. - you can type any instrument name here as a shortcut instead of going via the menu - recognises fragmentary names

Enter the name of the instrument for highlighted part(s)...

You can type any of the names here. Recognises fragmentary names. You will see the selection for the part change to show the matching instrument if any is found with your text as part of its name.

Tip: if you want to try out lots of instruments in the menu to hear what they sound like - hold the shift key down while you change the selection here - or when you select an instrument in the voices menu. Then the first highlighted part is set to the instrument you chose, and following parts are set to the instruments that follow it in the menu in order.

Currently selected Instr. - you can type any instrument name here as a shortcut instead of going via the menu - recognises fragmentary names - SPIN

Change to next or previous instrument in the menus for highlighted part(s)


Choose the type of pitch shift for the parts...

Octave shift always shifts by the desired number of octaves 2/1

Arpeggio shift shifts by the interval from the 1/1 to the last note in the arpeggio (so often is 2/1 but depends on choice of scale and arpeggio).

Arpeggio degree shift moves each note for the part up or down a number of notes in the current main window arpeggio.

Scale degree shift moves it by the number of notes in the current main window scale.

So - both arpeggio and scale degree shifts continue to play in the same tuning, just shift the notes up / down.

The modulate by arpeggio degree or scale degree shifts the entire tune by the pitch interval associated with that scale or arpeggio degree. So e.g. modulate by one scale degree shifts the entire tune by the first interval in the scale, modulate by two shifts it by the second scale interval and so on.

Modulate by interval or by cents shift the entire tune by the specified interval. The only difference between them is that the cents shift always gets displayed in cents (but will accept any scale value for data entry).

Octave, scale or arpeggio shift

Use this to shift the notes of the part up or down by octaves

This is particularly relevant for the fractal tune as it means that you can have a single pitch for the 1/1 but the various parts of the tune can be shifted up / down in pitch as appropriate.

You can also shift them by intervals, or by arpeggio degrees etc - see the drop list above the list for these options.

Octave, scale or arpeggio shift

Octave shift etc for highlighted part(s)...

Shift the pitch for the part by octaves, or intervals etc depending on the selection in the drop list above the list

Octave, scale or arpeggio shift - SPIN

Increase or decrease octave shift etc for highlighted part(s)


The volume set individually for each part


Volume for highlighted part

Show volumes as

How to show volumes - choose which range is most useful...

The 0 to 127 is useful if you want to compare it with midi data as midi velocities use this range.


Show this window to see what Bank controller messages FTS will send for each part


Use this to select a bank for the instrument, e.g. for a GS or XG synth.

With some synths, the 128 preset midi voices list is extended using banks. So - each for each of the instrument numbers, you can select up to 128 banks, each of which can have a different set of instruments in principle - in practice usually only a few of them are used.

Sometimes you can load the extra banks yourself manually. Or sometimes they are preset as for the GS and XG systems.

You can customise the Voice menu so that when you select an instrument, the approppriate bank number is also selected for it automatically. See Voices | Voice Menu Opts and other Voice Menus (Ctrl + 157)) which also includes presets for GS and XG synths in the drop list - you can also make your own customised voice menus following the same pattern, to match your synth.


Bank to use for highlighted part

Bank - SPIN

Increase or decrease bank number for highlighted part(s)

MSB type

Select this if your synth uses Most Significant Byte method...

Don't worry if that doesn't mean much to you.

Maybe the manual for the synth will explain which type of midi message it expects.

If not, just try both possiblities, until you find the one that works.

Technically - it decides which of two possible numbers in the midi spec is used to send the instrument bank. In principle, both could be used together, giving a total of 128*128 sepearate banks of instruments each with 128 midi instruments. In practice, nothing like that number of instrument banks is needed - even 128 is far more than you usually need - so only one of the numbers is used, and some synths use one, whle others use the other.

So - rather than have two lists of numbers here for the two types of bank numbers, only one list has been shown. This check box configures how the number you enter is to be used.

All to first

Set all parts to play the same instrument as the first part...

Shift + click on this button to set them all to play the same octave shift, volume and bank as the first part as well.

Ctrl + click to play same instrument as highlighted part, Ctrl + shift + click to play same octave shift, volume and bank as highlighted part as well.

Mute or enable

Mute or enable all the highlighted parts, Ctrl + press to erase...

You can use this for instance to mute some of the parts so that you can listen to other ones to hear more clearly exactly what they are doing.

Hold Ctrl key down while you press this button to erase the part. Any notes for an erased part are played on the next available part. This feature is not likely to be used much except for backwards compatibility

You may need to erase part 10 for backwards compatibility when you play an old 2.4 tune in FTS 3.0 - though this should be done automatically when the tune is opened.

If you want part 10 to play a miscellany of percussion, as would happen in FTS 2.4 if it wasn't erased, then select the drum set into it from the non melodic percussion menu.


In FTS 2.4 and early FTS 3.0 betas, part 10 was used only for non melodic percussion instruments. So tunes that needed a melodic tenth part had part 10 erased, so that the notes would be played on part 11 instead.

In FTS 3.0, part 10 (or whatever you choose as the non melodic input part) is non melodic percussion for midi input only.This means that when you play notes on part 10 from midi in then they select non melodic percussion instruments according to the note number played, as is usual in General Midi non melodic percussion.

Within FTS itself, for FTS 3.0, any instrument can now be selected into part 10.

It doesn't matter if on the output side of things, the midi output channel 10 is set aside to play non melodic percussion. The notes for part 10 will automatically be remapped to melodic channels as necessary.

Fractal tune plays:

How many parts to set or number of parts to play in fractal tune

Fractal tune plays: - SPIN

Adjust the the number of parts up / down

Presets for them...

Useful or interesting presets - tonality shifts, diesis shifts, CPS sets,...

C-sound ...

Set the instruments to use for CSound save and play in CSound AV


Pause playback, or continue play


Play midi clip, chord progression, fractal tune or metronome..

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


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 overall volume. Check also Bs | Play control - Volume, && Parts window...

The volume is also affected by the volume for individual parts in the Parts window. Also in the case of midi instruments you can configure the volume for windows as a whole using Bs | Play Control - Volume.

For the Waveform player (triangle wave etc), go to the Waveform Player Audio Properties window (Ctrl + 188))

For CSound instruments, you can set the overall volume in the CSound Options window (Ctrl + 168))

You can also vary the volume in Out | Options | More | Volume Remapping (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

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.

You can also right click on this icon as a quick way to get the floating drop menu of all the Tune Smithy windows organised by category

Other Dialog Star

Tip of the day - For All 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

Help For Tool Tip - Shift + F1 (Ctrl + 141)

New Scale (Ctrl + 5)

Choose parts by other (Ctrl + 52)

Instruments (Ctrl + 8 or Ctrl + N)

Custom Multi Instrument Voices Menu (Ctrl + 37)

C Sound Instruments for Parts (Ctrl + 169)

Non Melodic Percussion (Ctrl + 21)

Pitch of 1/1 of Scale (Ctrl + 10)

Organise windows (Ctrl + 51)

N.B. This list of neighbours may change when these pages are updated - based on the ones I use myself. Prob. will show something else here in future.

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