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Fractal Tune Smithy 2.4 - User Guide and FAQ

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Tonic shifts

You can use either a pedal or a region of the keyboard to change the tonic of the scale while playing, and FTS will automatically retune all the other notes to accord with your choice of tonic.

Here is why this is regarded as a desirable feature: In just intonation, it is impossible to have all four of the F major, C major, G major, and D major chords in tune. So normally one chooses a tuning with F, C and G in tune, or with C, G and D in tune, either one or the other, and that's it. Once you have chosen your tuning then you are limited to the pure triads that are available in it (for keyboard work anyway - just intonation trained singers and so forth automatically adjust the tunings of the triads as they sung).

If you can change the tonic you can play in all these scales and indeed in any scale, all in just intonation, simply by hitting a pedal or pressing a key when you want to change the tonic. FTS lets one do this.

When using tonic shifts, if you repeatedly change the tonic, then it gradually drifts in pitch - the infamous comma pump.

FTS has a choice of tonic shifts or drift. If you let the tonic drift, you can then move it back to the original pitch for that note of the scale at any time by pressing the tonic key twice in succession. If you use shifts then each choice of tonic uses the note of the original scale as its starting point, so they are all fixed in absolute pitch. Both methods are used by composers.

Midi merge from multiple midi in devices

Play from the midi keyboard at the same time as you retune the output from your sequencer and play a fractal tune in FTS if you want - all in the same tuning or in separate tunings as preferred.

Frequently Asked Questions - Fractal Tune Smithy

  1. Does FTS support 24-bit recording?
    Sorry, no, it doesn't. FTS uses the standard windows media routines for recording and playing and they can only handle 8 and 16 bit recordings.

  2. How do I set things up to play in a particular scale from Midi In?
    If you want to retune to a twelve note scale, enter your scale in the scale box in FTS, and choose diatonic as the arpeggio - the other notes get played as accidentals of the arpeggio.

    If you want to play some other mode of the twelve note scale, say an Indian Raga, on the white notes, just choose it as the Arpeggio, and keep the original twelve note scale. For instance, modern Indian Ragas are probably best played with the Modern Indian Gamut.

    In this case, if the mode you are playing has say six notes, they still play from consecutive white keys so the octaves then play at c, b, a', g'' etc. The black keys will play accidentals if there are any in-between notes to play - otherwise they just play the same note as a neighbouring white key. This is an especially convenient layout if you want to frequently change betweeen various modes and find them instantly because they will always just lie on the white keys of the keyboard. So for that reason it is the standard setting when you run FTS the first time, as it makes it very easy for a newbie to play in any of the modes / arpeggios.

    To play a scale which isn't a subset of any twelve note scale from white notes, just enter the scale and use Follow Scale as the arpeggio. It doesn't matter how many or few notes your scale has - it gets played from consecutive white notes of the keyboard again, ignoring the black ones, rather as if they were successive strings of a harp. In this case the black keys just play the same notes as neighbouring white keys.

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