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Articles on this Page
- 11/16/13--03:32: _Spectropol Records ...
- 11/25/13--15:14: _New Microtonal VSTi...
- 02/15/14--09:12: _The OEIS Movie
- 02/19/14--18:14: _Xen-News | February...
- 02/23/14--05:05: _Out now: Ligon / Se...
- 02/26/14--16:54: _Xen-Arts Virtual In...
- 04/06/14--14:32: _Scale add-ons for X...
- 04/26/14--08:03: _Xen-FMTS 2 | Stats,...
- 04/27/14--06:34: _Ivor | UI Update
- 01/20/13--19:14: _ZynAddSubFX | Mic...
- 01/25/13--16:42: _Sleepwalking
- 02/03/13--05:20: _XenFont | Microtona...
- 02/25/13--18:22: _Sean Archibald • da...
- 04/14/13--17:46: _Album Release | I...
- 04/19/13--18:53: _Jeffrey Plaide | ...
- 07/01/14--16:11: _Xen-Arts.net
- 11/16/13--03:32: Spectropol Records | Possible Worlds Vol. 2
- 11/25/13--15:14: New Microtonal VSTi Released | LinPlug Spectral
- Full controller microtuning functionality using the popular TUN format
- Four Oscillator and Filter modules with powerful yet detailed harmonics and filter band editing and modification functions
- Extensive Oscillator and Filter audio rate cross-modulations.
- Versatile Arpeggiator with in depth editing of every step, including length, transpose, voice number and Glide
- Each Oscillator and Filter with own dedicated envelope to control its volume or frequency respectively
- Additional 3 freely assignable Modulation Envelopes.
- Five LFOs with various waveforms, up to 320 Hz, tempo-sync, poly-, mono- and one-shot-mode, unipolar and bipolar options, integrated delay-attack-envelope, phase, symmetry and smoothing adjustable
- 15 slot Modulation Matrix with 35 sources and more than 100 destinations including all important parameters
- Fully recognizes Velocity, Aftertouch, Pitch Bend , Modulation-Wheel and various other MIDI controllers
- A sophisticated effects section containing 15 Effects including various Delays, Chorus, Phaser, Filter, Reverb, Flanger, Gator, Stereo Enhancer, Parametric EQ and Crusher.
- Glide / Portamento featuring mono/polyphonic operation, constant Time / Rate operation, Auto-Bend Modes and detailed options on where Glide takes place
- 32-voice polyphony (CPU and sound program dependent) and adjustable voice limit.
- Supports AU and VST hosts on Mac OS X and Windows PC.
- Scaleable user interface on PC
- Comes with 850 presets to get you started
- 02/15/14--09:12: The OEIS Movie
- 02/19/14--18:14: Xen-News | February 2014
- 02/23/14--05:05: Out now: Ligon / Sevish / Dubshot ~ 23 (Dubbhism Deluxe)
- 02/26/14--16:54: Xen-Arts Virtual Instrument Announcement | Xen-FMTS 2
- Internally loads and externally receives both MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) Bulk Dump and Single Note Microtuning Files
- Operator ratios can easily be set to values that are coincident with the microtuning being used, thereby producing intonation related sidebands in the timbre of the instrument
- Microtonal pitch-bend ranges may be configured in cents, harmonics and superparticular ratios
- Arbitrary microtonal pitch shifting makes it possible to easily pitch transpose the oscillators in both octave and non-octave increments
- 4 Operator FM Synthesis with Ring-Modulation
- 57 Operator Algorithms
- 11 different Operator Waveforms
- Analog Pitch Drift Emulator
- Transposition by cents offsets
- Partials text files may be used to quantize the frequency ratios of the operators to user specified values
- Velocity-to-Harmonics Modulation enables oscillators to dynamically sound harmonics of the fundamental pitch
- Seven dedicated hybrid modulators for Operators A, B, C, D, Filters, Amplifier and Pitch
- Each modulator includes an ADSR style envelope generator, and an LFO which can be switched to run at audio-rate
- Each ADSR Envelope Generator features Per-Stage Keyboard Tracking
- LFOs can either be synchronized to the host DAW tempo or set in Hertz. They include 24 Waveforms, a Slewer and can be switched to run at audio-rate
- Pre-Filter Saturation Stage with 20 Saturation Types
- Two Independent Filters with Six Filter Types: LP4, LP2, HPF, BPF, BRF, APF
- One and Two Stage Filter Cascade
- Full controller MIDI Pitch Microtuning with MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard)
- MTS Support for both Single Note and Bulk Dump
- Loads MTS Microtuning Format Files Internally and Receives MTS Externally
- Local (Per-Patch) and Global Microtuning (Static Microtuning for All Patches)
- Microtunings can be loaded from any directory on hard drives or storage devices connected to the PC
- 12 Note Polyphonic
- Monophonic Legato Mode
- Monophonic Portamento
- Microtonal Pitch Bend
- Effects include Chorus, Lowpass Filter Cascade (Warm Filter) with 6 dB to 48 dB per-octave filters and Stereo Ensemble
- 04/06/14--14:32: Scale add-ons for Xen-Arts VSTi from Sevish
- 04/26/14--08:03: Xen-FMTS 2 | Stats, thanks and such like...
- 04/27/14--06:34: Ivor | UI Update
- 01/20/13--19:14: ZynAddSubFX | Microtuning Features Updated
- MIDI Note 60.C, at a frequency of 261.626 Hz.
- MIDI Note 69.A, at a frequency of 440 Hz.
- 01/25/13--16:42: Sleepwalking
- 02/03/13--05:20: XenFont | Microtonal SoundFont & Subtractive Synthesis VSTi
- Enables computer musicians and composers to freely load their own SF2 SoundFonts into a fully microtonal, hybrid sampling & subtractive synthesis based VSTi.
- A ‘knob-less’ design featuring slider controls only, which enables intuitive direct control with a computer mouse.
- A dedicated control signal system mapped to the most important synthesis functions.
- Settings are made by typing values into fields, dropdown lists, left-and-right arrows, switches and sliders.
- Enables musicians to specify precise microtonal pitch-bend settings.
- Features arbitrary microtonal oscillator transposition settings.
- Velocity modulation of harmonics enables dynamically playing harmonics of the fundamental pitch.
- Envelope generators with per-stage ADSR keyboard tracking.
- Two Soundfont Oscillators that enable users to load their own SF2 files.
- Microtonal, Harmonic Series and Subharmonic Series Oscillator Transposition.
- Pitch Envelope Generator with Per-Stage ADSR Keyboard Tracking and Polarity Switching.
- Host Synchronized LFO (with Rate Sequencer) for Cross-Fade Modulation between Oscillators.
- Analog Pitch Drift Emulator with both Unipolar and Bipolar Modulation
- Velocity-to-Harmonics Modulation enables oscillators to dynamically sound harmonics of the fundamental pitch
- Ring Modulation
- Oscillator and Ring Modulator Mixer with Six Cross-Fade Modes.
- Pre-Filter Saturation Stage with 20 Saturation Types.
- Two Independent Filters with Six Filter Types: LP4, LP2, HPF, BPF, BRF, APF.
- One and Two Stage Filter Cascade.
- Host Synchronized LFO (with Rate Sequencer) and Envelope Generator for Filter Cutoff Frequency Modulation.
- Filter Envelope Generator with Per-Stage ADSR Keyboard Tracking and Polarity Switching.
- LFO and Envelope Generator enables both Unipolar and Bipolar Filter Modulation.
- Dedicated Envelope Generator.
- VCA Envelope Generator with Per-Stage ADSR Keyboard Tracking.
- Switchable Velocity Sensitivity and Fixed Volume Control.
- MIDI Pitch Microtuning with MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard).
- MTS Support for both Single Note and Bulk Dump.
- Loads MTS Microtuning Format Files Internally and Receives MTS Externally.
- Local (Per-Patch) and Global Microtuning (Static Microtuning for All Patches).
- Microtunings can be loaded from any directory on hard drives or storage devices connected to the computer.
- Ten Note Polyphonic.
- Monophonic Legato Mode.
- Polyphonic Portamento with Three Glide Modes.
- Microtonal Pitch Bend.
- Effects include Chorus, Flanger, Phasers, Warm Filter and Stereo Ensemble.
- 02/25/13--18:22: Sean Archibald • day:dot EP
- 04/14/13--17:46: Album Release | Iquaxaphaezi: Passage (2003)
- 04/19/13--18:53: Jeffrey Plaide | Two New Videos Featuring Xen-Arts Xenharmonic FMTS
- 07/01/14--16:11: Xen-Arts.net
With music by Jacky Ligon, Mirjam Tally, Lewis Krauthamer, Lois Lancaster, Karen Keyhani, Christian Molenaar, Todd Harrop, Scott A. Moore, D. Edward Davis, Claudi Meneghin, Michael Vick and Kraig Grady.
As with the other releases on Spectropol Records, it is thrilling to get to hear the music of so many new composers and sound artists from around the world, and as in the case of Possible Worlds Vol. 2, all exploring the vast realms of sonic possibility found in alternative intonation systems (aka microtonal and xenharmonic music) and bringing the creative process full circle through sharing their compositions with adventurous listeners.
Last year, Tony Dubshot, owner of the Dubbhism label, published a great five part video series on modular synthesis called Advanced Modular Research...
The entire series is worth taking the time to watch, as the incredible sounds of the Doepfer Eurorack modules and synthesis techniques are inherently microtonal in nature and exude general cosmic aural goodness. See them all here:
Advanced Modular Research #2 ~ Analog thru-zero linear FM
Advanced Modular Research #3 ~ Moog-flavored analog FM
Advanced Modular Research #4 ~ Harmony is actually a really fast rhythm
Advanced Modular Research #5 ~ Introducing the Karplus Strong String Trio
In the meanwhile, mystery and rumor continue to swirl around an alleged upcoming release of the next xen-bass record collab between Tony Dubshot, Sevish and j:l, as well as the next tone-bending Xen-Arts microtonal virtual instrument.
All pieces are written using the same tuning, and once again the FMTS synthesizer, a VSTi developed by Jacky Ligon of Xen-Arts, was used to design many of the sounds on this EP. Watch out for the release of the FMTS 2. A major update of this synth is imminent.
A common comment about version 1 was that the user interface was too large for small monitors and laptop screens. In response to this user feedback, the interface was completely redesigned making it much smaller than before, which is now at 943 x 652 pixels.
Among the many new features are the Modulators, which include an ADSR-style envelope generator, and an LFO which can be switched to run at audio-rate. There are seven of these dedicated hybrid modulators for Operators A, B, C, D, Filters, Amplifier and Pitch. With the LFOs running at audio-rate, the pitch is controlled by the MIDI-to-CV and the loaded MTS Microtuning file; transforming the LFO into a pitch-accurate microtonal-controlled oscillator, which is in turn capable of introducing microtuning related sideband spectra into the composite synthesizer signal.
In the FM-RM Oscillator section of the synthesizer, randomization and reset features have been added to two of the partials selection pages, as well as the ability to either multiply or divide the pitch of an operator by the selected frequency ratio. The completely redesigned Iso-Index page now includes an Op Rotate feature for rerouting the frequency ratios to other operators.
The Pitch page of the FM-RM Oscillator now features Velocity-to-Harmonics Modulation, where playing force through MIDI velocity is able to break out harmonics of the fundamental pitch. Another very important enhancement in the Pitch section is the inclusion of a full-featured Pitch EG that shares many common features of the other Modulators.
This version of the instrument also features the same versatile filter section that is found in two of our other instruments: Ivor and XenFont.
Thanks to Aleksey Vaneev at Voxengo for his free Span frequency analyzer, which was featured in the above video demonstration.
A member of our xenharmonic bass underground and microtonal virtual instrument design group - Sevish - has started producing a collection of MTS microtuning add-on packs which are compatible with the Xen-Arts VSTi line.
So far available are the No Octaves and Eikosany Packs, but in the works are also a World Scales and Regular Temperaments Pack.
It's easy to infer from these figures that there is a very robust and ever growing interest in the exploration and compositional use of alternative musical instrument intonation systems (aka microtonality, just-intonation, xenharmonics, temperaments, microtuning, non-octave tunings, etc.) in computer music, which has been a most thrilling development to see unfolding over the past decade or so.
Very special thanks goes out to the following music technology sites (as well as others not mentioned) for featuring news about the release of this new Xen-Arts instrument:
For Windows and Linux based computer musicians who may be new to exploring alternative intonation systems (aka microtuning, xenharmonics) and composing microtonal music with virtual instruments, an important development along the way has been, and what we may now consider to be one of the great cult classic VSTi, ZynAddSubFX, first introduced in 2002 by visionary developer Paul Nasca (also the developer of the amazing Paulstretch); a fully microtonal and multitimbral virtual instrument plugin, which, in its current iteration is comprised of three unique and powerful synthesis engines, and especially noteworthy among them, the PadSynth, being capable of making some truly exquisite and expressive timbres for microtonal and xenharmonic music composition. At some point in recent years, Paul Nasca appears to have stepped away from the ZynAddSubFX project, and current development of this open-source microtonal synthesizer has been assumed by other programmers.
7. The Shift selector enables modal rotation - or interval matrix rotation - of the loaded microtuning. This is very useful, because musicians can load one microtuning, and shift to any of the other modes of that scale with ease, which is important for microtunings having two or more interval sizes.
8. By clicking the Import KBM File button on the bottom right of the Scales dialog, it is also possible to load a linear keyboard mapping file (KBM) with simple instructions such as that MIDI Note C.60 will be at a frequency of 261.626 Hz. And when such a file is loaded, it actually changes the values in the "A" Freq. field, and the "A" Note selector at the top of the Scales dialog. This and the other KBM files I checked seemed to work. The KBM files are a complex topic about this microtuning format, and it's largely undocumented how every facet of this works.
But the most important thing of all is that now ZynAddSubFX will save and restore the Scale settings within the host DAW, which essentially means that this classic synthesizer is ready for serious microtonal and xenharmonic music composition tasks. It's thrilling to see this working now and many thanks to VDX for making this possible.
A highly microtonal inflected classic...
Santo & Johnny - Sleep Walk 1959
The definitive original.
The Ventures - Sleepwalk
One of my personal favorite renditions; perfection.
Amazing bass, snare and guitar sound.
Santo & Johnny
This turned out to be not entirely accurate, and it appears rather that the SF2 format is alive and well, and is used in quite a number of popular music software applications; in particular on the Mac OS, where there is a full featured microtonal SoundFont instrument available. But on the Windows side of the OS universe, there have been far less options for serious microtonal and xenharmonic composition using SF2 SoundFonts.
With the ability to freely load any ‘historical’ SoundFont files one may have in their sample archive, or tapping into the vast numbers of free ones available around the web, this VSTi provides a way to dust off those old SF2 and give them a new sonic life, in a no-compromise, fully microtonal, hybrid sampler-synthesizer instrument.
We hope that you will enjoy this fun new microtonal instrument. Let us know what you think.
From page 5 of the XenFont manual:
Xenharmonic composer and Split Notes label owner, Sean Archibald, has released a fantastic sounding new record on Faturenet Recordings, entitled, day:dot EP.
Excellent compositions, sound-designs and engineering all around, and in particular I've been very impressed by the track created in collaboration with Bristletone, Solid Smoke.
For visitors and musicians interested in the technical details, the music is composed within the Ableton Live DAW, the bass and lead on track 2, Asha, features the Xen-Arts Ivor VSTi, and track 3, Longer Than String, features several instances of Ivor, one of Xenharmonic-FMTS, and also prominently features the u-he ACE VSTi, while the timbres on Solid Smoke showcase the popular NI Massive VSTi.
Check out these great tracks from one of the most talented audio artists working in the field of xenharmonic and microtonal music composition.
This is a piece written during May 2003 (re-mastered on 4/14/2013) and is dedicated to the memory of Gianluigi Gasparetti (1958–2013), who tragically passed away this week; far too early in his quite young creative life. He was also widely known around the world as the Italian Ambient/Soundcape artist Oöphoi.
Oöphoi was among my favorite artists from any genre or style and one who has created a vast discography of some of the most beautiful and organic minimalist soundscape and drone music of anyone working in this field of artistic endeavor. Although it was never explicitly stated that he systematically worked with alternative intonation systems, even a cursory listen to his output will reveal that the music is often working with textures, drones and melodic materials that are far from the pitch-grid of the familiar Western 12-tone-equal-temperament. It is clear by inference and association that he was aware of just intonation, from both his interaction with Robert Rich (just intonation composer and co-inventor of the MIDI Tuning Standard) and that he published a widely distributed Ambient music journal called Deep Listenings, from a phrase coined by American New Music and just intonation composer Pauline Oliveros.
Although this amazing artist was taken from us far to early in his creative life, we are fortunate that he leaves us with a vast catalog of records to explore in the future; a worthy pursuit for anyone curious about one of the seminal figures in the field of drone-based minimalism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
This composition; a small gesture of remembrance and thanks to an artist who has been an occasional inspiration to my own work since I first learned of his amazing artistry in the early 2000s, is an excerpt from the longer version of the piece that is, in its entirety, 23:26 long, and is created using a heptatonic 23 limit just intonation microtuning.
Download the full length composition using the below links:
MP3 (320 kps stereo)
Many kind thanks for taking the time to listen,
Visitors may recall a past post about about video artist/composer Jeffrey Plaide, who has been featured twice on one of my personal favorite new-media sites, Triangulation Blog.
Access these articles here:
Jeffrey Plaide | 07 February 2012
Jeffrey Plaide | 26 November 2012
As previously mentioned, the artist occasionally uses the Xen-Arts, Xenharmonic FMTS VSTi in his work, as is the case with the below two recent video works:
The Fear of Webs and Other Faceless Anomalies
Haunted Moon Ancient Humana
Very impressive video art. Check it out!
[For those interested in such matters, at some point, hopefully before this year is out, an update to Xen-FMTS, will become available. When completed and tested, this new iteration to version 2 will take the instrument to completely new levels of possibility for microtonal and xenharmonic sound-design and spectral-microtuning. In the meanwhile, I'm actively focused on both solo and collaborative recording projects which will also be available in upcoming months. Stay microtuned to Xen-Arts for all of these potentially exciting developments.]