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Feb 26th, 2018, 12:37am 
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   SCALA file format import
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   Author  Topic: SCALA file format import  (Read 2845 times)
Question: Do you support the proposal below?

Yes     10 (100%)
No     0 (0%)

Total votes: 10

Please read this before voting


Olivier Guillion

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SCALA file format import  
« on: Nov 9th, 2005, 10:58am »
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SCALA file format import (microtonally-adjusted scales). Probably the Scala file would be converted into a set of rules.
More info at
If somebody can explain clearly how the Scala data have to be taken into account into a rule set, this should be a childplay.


Olivier Guillion
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Re: SCALA file format import  
« Reply #1 on: Mar 10th, 2006, 2:12am »
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No, it wouldn't be child's play. Scala supports much, much more than just twelve-tone-per-octave scales (one of the more popular ET scales is 53-tone ET! Fifty-three distinct equally tempered notes per octave!). People would expect non-12tone scales to be supported as well, or else you'd have to specify that only twelve-tone scales are supported.
You could get a few more than twelve by activating the "Enharmonics" feature of Staff Rules, but that's dependent on key signatures and wouldn't transpose well.
Other than that, you'd either have to use Note Head Shapes or Colors to distinguish notes of the same written pitch but different Scala notes.
Another matter to consider is that Scala users are even more perfectionist than we Barbershoppers are when it comes to precision of tuning (and you remember the discussions we had on that subject a few years ago?). +/- 1 12tET cent resolution (the current limit of Turkish Commas and Guitar Pulls, the usual ways to do microtuning in HA / MA) is nowhere near good enough for them. At the very least, it should equal the default MIDI Pitch Bend resolution of 4,096 steps per semitone, or 40.96 per "cent." But many Scala users use CSound as their soft synth precisely because it has effectively infinite tuning resolution.
Remember awhile back when I suggested that the pitch of a note is a fundamental property of the note, and should not be considered as an "effect" to add on? That is true, of course, for the "coarse" pitch of the note itself (A above Middle C being 440Hz, for instance). Other fundamental properties (from a performance PoV, not notation) of notes in MA / HA include Duration, Velocity, Pressure Time, and Start Delay.
Just as Start Delay is actually a "fine control" of the note's start time (normally at the time its written position would imply), so to should there be a "Fine Tuning" parameter that is a "fine control" of the "coarse tuning" derived from the scale degree and octave. This should be a real (floating point) number value, expressed in 12tET cents (centavos). It could be directly entered in the Note Editing dialog, set by Staff Rules, or altered through a MyrScript by way of a "Symbol.FineTune" Property.
The range could be +/-100.0 cents to limit to a 12tET semitone, but I see no reason to have such a limit, except maybe to facilitate converting to MIDI for export to .MID or playback over MIDI ports. In that vein, the range should probably be +/- 200.0 cents to limit to a 12tET whole tone (two semitones), the default range of the MIDI Pitch Bend.
Since it's floating point, the resolution would be very great indeed, though of course the actual resolution acted upon would depend on the playback engine. If MIDI, it would be the lesser of 40.96 units per cent, or the physical resolution of the oscillators. Myriad Digital SoftSynth (SoundBases) and Virtual Singer would have their own resolution limits. But, the point is that the limitation would reside where it should: with the playback engine itself, not with artificial limits imposed by the resolution of the pitch shifting instructions themselves.
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Re: SCALA file format import  
« Reply #2 on: Aug 19th, 2009, 2:00pm »
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The previous poster has raised some good points, but I feel that this feature would be a very useful one, even if it proves more difficult than the current one-star rating.  I have been looking at using HA for compositions in the Bohlen-Pierce scale, and setting up a rule set and microtonal adjustments for doing so is proving to be a major project, since I must calculate a separate adjustment and rule for every single note.
Were this feature to be implemented with restrictions, as suggested by the previous poster, I would want to change my vote to 'not voted', as the feature would then have no impact on my use of HA.
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