Microscale that uses Midi Tuning Standard messages

Hi all!

I was wondering if it would be possible to create a version of the microscale modifier that uses Midi Tuning Standard (MTS) messages. Specifically, it would send a single note real-time tuning message ahead of each note instead of a pitch bend message.

The big advantages of MTS is that it’s more accurate than pitch bends, and it doesn’t require channelizing the midi notes into one note per channel to work, so it will work on devices without multitimbral or MPE support.

The disadvantage is that the receiving device has to be able to respond to the message. However, the Novation Peak / Summit, Korg minilogue / micrologue / prologue, and DSI’s recent synths all do. The Tooro is also slated to have this.

I can help with details of the implementation if needed, but the needed info is here: http://www.microtonal-synthesis.com/MIDItuning.html (realtime messages).


Hey, the Micro Scale pipe is about adding microtuning feature to synths that don’t normally support it, but can react to pitch bend messages in different channels.

It looks like the MTS is more suitable to first load the microtuning information into the target device, and then play with it as normal. For example, if the tuning data is sent in real time as soon as it’s needed, playing a triad would require 45 bytes of data to be sent, it’d take around 14.4 milliseconds - that’s quite long! :slight_smile: If entire MTS was sent beforehand, it’d be 9 bytes (or even 7, if status byte is reused), which would take roughly 2.5ms. I think the realtime changes of MTS is more meant to be made at deliberately chosen moments by the user in their composition to achieve the desired effects.

So it seems like MTS is better used using dedicated tools on host computer to program the compatible synths, Midihub can easily route the required messages to/from the destination.

I’ve used this proposed facility (the Tubbutec uTune has it) and the latency is acceptable for my uses.

Also please consider that for tuning changes at “deliberately chosen moments” it is possible to only send the MTS messages when a change in tuning is desired - just bypass the MTS Microscale when not needed. Note message filtering could be an option as well, to just send the MTS message and not the corresponding note to the target synth.

As far as “dedicated tools on host computer” goes, I use an MPC to sequence so that isn’t an option for on-the-fly retuning. That’s why I bought the Midihub :slight_smile:

Do you have any suggestions on how on the fly tuning adjustments could work on Midihub? (like how would it be tweaked from something like MPC?)

The MPC can send any midi message, and has q-link knobs that can be mapped to a CC. Currently this would involve using the DIN midi out to send the CC to a midihub DIN port, since there’s no way to map a CC from the USB port on the MPC and have the programming interface connected at the same time. Being able to hardcode the CC / Channel / Interface instead of having to map would alleviate this.

That said, the easy way to do tuning changes would be to map a CC to the tuning preset on the midihub. This is already possible with the pitch bend version of microscale.