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Microtonal adjustment
Alternate tuning
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Alternate tuning


In an earlier chapter (microtonal adjustment) we saw that it is possible to change the pitch for a given note to make it match a frequency other than the 12-step equally tempered (12ET) tuning.
Please refer to that chapter to see how microtonal adjustment values can be calculated in order to match the required frequencies.
By combining this feature with a rules set, it becomes possible to build a staff that automatically plays in another tuning system besides 12ET.

Using a predefined template in an alternate tuning

Some document templates in alternate tunings are provided in the software.
When starting a new document with File>New, open the Alternate tuning template folder and select a template.
Notes inserted in the score will play in the alternate tuning system you selected.

Using a predefined rule set for alternate tuning

If you wish to apply an alternate tuning system to a staff that already exists, you can load the rule set that defines this tuning. To do this, select "Edit rules" from the staff menu, then the staff you want the alternate tuning to be applied to.
Note: If you want several staves in a same document to use an alternate tuning, you will have to repeat this procedure for each of those staves.
Then, click "Load set" and open the "Alternate tunings" folder located in the Melody/Harmony folder on your hard disk.
Select the rule set file (.lex) you want to apply and OK.

From now on, all notes in this staff will be played according to the new scale.  

Note: Some demo files are provided in "Demos" subfolder of the "Alternate tunings" folder.
You can load them with File>Open.

Building a custom rule set for alternate tuning

Suppose you want all thirds in a staff to be pitch-shifted by 16 hundredths of a semitone from the 12ET scale.
Here is what you need to do:

  • Select Staff>Edit rules
  • Click "Add"
  • Type in a name for this rule (for example "third")
  • If you do not want the word "Third" to be written under notes on score, also select "Display name: never"
  • Select "All shapes" and "All colors"
  • Deselect "All pitches"
  • In the Pitch area, insert an E (or type in E in the edit box). E is the third for a C major key signature.
  • Select "For all octaves" (so that all E will be affected, whatever their octave may be)
  • Select "Follow key signature" (so that it applies to thirds -- not E -- if the key signature is not C major)
  • Select "Default instrument" (so that this note is played using the same instrument as other notes in the staff)
  • Click "Special" and specify a microtonal adjustment of 16, just as explained in the microtonal adjustment chapter
  • You can save the rule set here by clicking "Save set" (but this rule set will be saved anyway along with your document)
This simple rule set -- only one rule -- will change pitches for any third note (E in C major scale).
If you want other notes in the scale to be altered, you just have to add another rule. If the note to be altered can be accidented, the "Differentiate enharmonics" option in the rule set panel lets you tell the program to apply a different rule to enharmonics (several ways to write the same note using accidental symbols).
Using this feature, you can build a rule set that applies a different rule to C sharp and D flat, for example, and therefore build a scale of up to 21 different notes.

Playing an alternate tuned staff

The same restrictions we saw in microtonal adjustment also apply to alternate tuning: when using Midi output, only write alternate-tuned "solo" staves (no chords), and be careful that no other staff uses the same Midi channel.

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