Difficulties with custom scales

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tanders's picture
tanders
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Difficulties with custom scales

I am using custom catalogs (with custom scales and chords*), and I am using palettes based on these. Being able to do this is perhaps the main Synfire feature for me. Thanks a lot for that!

Ideally, the palettes would show the user-defined labels of the custom chords and scales. Currently, the custom scale and chord labels are shown initially when the palette is created, but then later (after some restart?) the palette instead switches to automatically derived labels. It switches to labels derived of scales that are not even part of the catalogs, but seemingly defined internally.

My actual problem is less the renaming. While pretty inconvenient, I might wrap my head around that. My actual problem is that these automatically derived labels cannot even be read, because they are truncated due to lack of space.

To be a bit more specific: I am facing automatically derived scale names like Genus-diatonicum-addb2-addb5 or spanish-locrian-add#7-add5 (you might see why I would prefer custom scale names here, instead of having custom scales expressed as derived from arbitrary other scales). The scale palette, however, only shows genus-diatonicum-. I can only guess the full names above are actually meant in the scale palette, because these are the horizonal scales later shown in progressions derived from that custom palette.

Note that this goes beyond just an inconvenience: the problem is that there are multiple scales that Synfire things are derived from the same smaller scale, and therefore the palette shows these scales with the same truncated label, while instead these scales are different.

Also, in case I would later want to edit, say, the horizonal scale of chords in my chord progression, I cannot even select my custom scales in the progression editor. The relevant menus only show standard scales (limited to 7 tones), and I currently see now way to instead manually set custom chords to use custom scales as, e.g., their horizontal or vertical scale.

Summary:

  • Any way to show full long scale names in custom palettes (or ideally have a way to force the user-defined custom scale names, which happen to be much shorter)?
  • Any way to use custom scales when editing chords in the progression editor?

BTW: Is there any way to delete a scale from a palette based on a scale set? I see only how to add further scales, not how to remove them.

Thanks a lot!

* For completeness, I am currently using Paul Erlich's 10-tone decatonic scales (https://sethares.engr.wisc.edu/paperspdf/Erlich-22.pdf) incl. a suitable tuning, but that is not really important for the point here.

 

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 4 days 5 hours ago

Thanks for the interesting link. Are there any audio examples?

Did you save the customized Catalog? It should save automatically, but possibly that's not happening because of a bug.

Make sure you check the Persistent (Save) box for any catalog items you add.

Deleting scales is easy: Click on them end press Delete, or use the right-click menu.

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 4 days 5 hours ago

If you can send a customized catalog to support at cognitone dot com, that would help speed things up. 

tanders's picture
tanders
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Last seen 2 days 19 hours ago

Will send you the custom catalog and palette. Thanks a lot for your quick response!

tanders's picture
tanders
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Last seen 2 days 19 hours ago

> Deleting scales is easy: Click on them end press Delete, or use the right-click menu.

The problem is that for reasons I do not know (anymore) there is the same scale added twice to the palette. Removing one of them is seemingly not possible.

tanders's picture
tanders
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> Thanks for the interesting link.

If you are interested in this kind of thing, there are actually multiple papers related to these scales. Here are more.

http://lumma.org/tuning/erlich/erlich-tFoT.pdf

http://www.lumma.org/tuning/erlich/MiddlePath2015.pdf

The idea of these papers in a nutshell (with my own words and view): Meantone tuning offers a highly pragmatic way for 5-limit harmony (few notes, good approximation of just intonation, allows for scales like major and minor). As such, it forms the bedrock of Western harmony evolution. Even Jazz harmony today is based on this foundation (12-EDO is also a tuning of the meantone family, as it tempers out the syntonic comma).

The paper argues that major and minor scales in a meantone tuning generalise and reinterpret pentatonic scales. Major and minor generalise pentatonic scales in the sense that they contain them, and add more pitches. However, they also reinterpret pentatonic scales: pentatonic scales are originally 3-limit (Pythagorean tuning), but in meantone they are retuned as 5-limit scales.

These papers propose a family of scales and temperament family for 7-limit harmony, which generalise and reinterpret diatonic scales. These new 10-tone 7-limit  scales contain the diatonic scales (like diatonic scales contain pentatonic scales), but they also reinterpret them for 7-limit (like diatonic scales reinterpret pentatonic scales in 5-limit).

 

> Are there any audio examples?

At a later stage I may share some music I created with Synfire with such scales, if you are interested.

Anyway, here is a video on this tuning family with some short audio examples.

However, the video pace is pretty fast if this is your entry to this topic. This guy actually created a whole video series introducing the relevant concepts step by step. Visit this video directly at YouTube to find all 6 videos of its playlist.

 

tanders's picture
tanders
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