Tune smithy

Tune Smithy is a Windows-based shareware application, with freeware features.

It is an algorithmic composition tool to make fractal music.[1] It is now also used frequently as a retuning tool for microtonal composition,[2] and for music therapy in conjunction with Barbara Hero’s Lambdoma keyboard.[3] As a microtuner, it is one of the programs that supports MIDI Tuning Standard sysexes.

The application also contains a polyrhythm metronome, a chord progression player, and an audio pitch tracer which can be used for exact tracing of the pitch of microtonal music and birdsong. Other features include a mouse theremin and a PC keyboard player which can be used to explore alternative keyboard layouts such as the Jankó keyboard, which happens to use the same hexagonal type arrangement of keys as a PC keyboard. Version 3.0 introduces an automated Csound orchestra builder and various other new features.

Sloth Canon

Many of the tunes of Tune Smithy are constructed using self-similar number sequences. They are based on a seed such as 0 1 0. If you take every nth note in the sequence, where n is the number of notes in the seed, you get the original sequence again. So for instance, with the 0 1 0 seed you get the integer sequence 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, [4] where every third number, highlighted in bold, gives the original sequence again, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, ...

Then if you take every n2 note, you get the same sequenced again, and so on. By distributing these to different instruments you get an endless sloth canon as a result.

Fibonacci rhythms

Tune Smithy is also able to play the "Fibonacci gamelan rhythms" of David Canright [5]

Bounce Metronome Pro

The polyrhythm metronome task in Tune Smithy was developed into a separate program Bounce Metronome Pro which uses conducting visuals to help the musician keep time while playing polyrhythms and other rhythms.[6]

Freeware features

The Scales Composer,[7] a tool to make microtonal scales, is free.

Also the chord progression player - a tool to play any chord progression you paste into it in standard chord notation such as C, A7, etc., is free when used as a player (exporting the chord progression to midi and advanced functions are shareware).

Related programs

Tune Smithy (for Windows) is one of the programs used by microtonal composers for software midi retuning. The other main ones are SCALA, alt-tuner and L'il Miss Scale Oven (for Mac). There are other less frequently used ones as well. (See Microtuner.)

External links

  • Tune Smithy Home Page
  • Review in Sound on Sound, October 04
  • Fractal Tunes you can make with Tune Smithy 3.0 sample fractal tunes made with Fractal Tune Smithy
  • Bounce Metronome Home Page
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