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Author Topic: Microtuning  (Read 70 times)

Markus Krause

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Microtuning
« on: July 27, 2020, 05:36:21 PM »
Micro-tuning

Icarus probably comes with the most advanced micro-tuning section currently
available on the market.
Micro-tuning is a subtle effect which enhances chords. It does not have an effect
on mono or legato sounds. When micro-tuning is active, certain notes are slightly
pitched up or down to achieve a more harmonic sounding chord.
Piano tuners and organists did experiments for more than one hundred years to
find good settings, we have analyzed and enhanced their results further.
With classic instruments like organs it is not possible to change the tuning of the
voices during playback, however this is possible in Icarus. The 'Dynamic' modes
analyze your chords in real-time and detune the voices in a subtle way.

Is this difference audible?

The most easy way to hear the difference is to initialize a patch which uses a
single sawtooth. Select 'INIT > Init patch' from Icarus’ main section menu. The
default patch is already initialized with 'Dynamic Silky' as micro-tuning mode.
Press two keys on the keyboard and play a minor third (3 halftones) and mayor
third (4 halftones) as chord. You will hear a beating with slow modulation. Now
press two keys on the keyboard and play an octave (12 halftones). Again you will
hear a beating with a very slow modulation.
Now switch of the micro-tuning by selecting 'Standard tuning', which is used by
conventional synthesizers. Press two keys on the keyboard and play a minor third (3 halftones) and
mayor third (4 halftones) as chord. You will hear a more disharmonic sound with a very fast beating.
Now press two keys on the keyboard and play an octave (12 halftones) and you will hear a static and
thin sound with no modulation at all.

The following Micro-tuning modes are available (You can select them below the help button on the top-left section of the GUI):

◦ Standard Tuning – No micro-tuning is used. This mode is used by most conventional
synthesizers. Use this mode for monophonic and legato sounds.

◦ Dynamic Thirds – A subtle improvement of the standard tuning. Minor thirds (3 halftones)
and mayor thirds (4 halftones) are slightly enhanced.

◦ Dynamic Thirds+ – An improvement of the standard tuning. Minor thirds (3 halfones) and
mayor thirds (4 halfones) are moderately enhanced.

◦ Dynamic Just – Minor thirds (3 halftones), mayor thirds (4 halftones) and 5ths (7
halftones) are heavily processed. The frequency of the beating is minimized. This mode is
extreme and can sound 'out of tune', but it can be useful for organs.
ICARUS 2 Manual - 12 -◦ Dynamic Silky – Minor thirds (3 halftones), mayor thirds (4 halftones) and octaves (12
halftones) are moderately enhanced. This mode has a warm and silky sound with a slower
beating and is a great choice for chords and sounds with slightly detuned oscillators. This
innovative mode is exclusive and not available in other synthesizers.

◦ Dynamic Valotti – We extended the famous Valotti tuning with dynamic octave spreading.
This mode has a very lively sound. The beating speed of chords varies. It is a good choice
for sounds with moderately detuned oscillators and for analog emulation. This mode is
exclusive and not available in other synthesizers.

◦ Dynamic Subtle – Like 'Dynamic Silky' but with less extreme settings.

◦ Dynamic Octaves – Standard tuning with dynamic octave spreading. Thirds and Fifths are
not affected.

◦ Valotti – The classic Valotti tuning one of the most popular modes for classic music and
organs. This mode has a lively sound. The beating speed of chords varies.

◦ Valotti Fat – We extended classic Valotti tuning with a subtle octave spreading. Maybe
someone else already did this before.

◦ Young – The Young tuning is quite popular.

◦ Werkmeister 3 – Many Organists prefer Werkmeister 3. It is popular for classic music.

◦ Young-Sorge, Kirnberger 3,Neidhardt & Hammer – These historical modes are well
known. We think that Valotti and Werkmeister 3 sound better, but feel free to use them if
you like them. There are a lot more microtuning modes and variations out there, but we
think that quality is more important than quantity.

◦ Sinus 7ient, 5ient– These modes are not well known, but we think that they sound good
and really deserve to get some attention. They sound similar to Valotti.

◦ Stretch Light – Standard tuning with subtle octave stretching. Some pianos are tuned this
way.

◦ Stretch Medium – Standard tuning with octave stretching. Many pianos are tuned this
way.

◦ Stretch Heavy – Standard tuning with heavy octave stretching.

◦ Stretch Valotti – Valotti tuning with octave spreading