Incommunicable microtuning

Not many DAWs, notation programs, players, virtual synths and sound libraries allow for alternative tuning and microtonal accidentals. Some allow them, but then are unable to communicate to other software the altered notes.

For example, a DAW or music program may allow for microtonal accidentals, but then send out a message that most sound players can't understand (like VST Note Expression vs MIDI Tuning Standard).

Alternative tuning is useful for music in non-Western standards (Post-Minimalism meets Ancient India). Or for ancient music (for example, tuning a harpsichord to match a lute). Or for experimental music (Harry Partch-inspired microtuning scales, or the mystical Pythagorean tuning).

Microtonal accidentals are used in much contemporary music or hybrid music, but also to transcribe as finely as possible folk music. Some experimental rock/EDM is using clusters, and going over the walls of the Equal tempered system.

Yet, not all the DAWs, notation programs, and sound generators can communicate their alternative tuning and exoteric accidentals. A world open to the world in theory, but less in practice.

A missing standard for keyswitching

The lack of an universal and advanced standard for keyswitching makes me crazy. I’m one of those who prefer not to insert keyswitches in the score, nor use separate tracks for playing techniques. I want a meta-code to drive my technique changes.

What I did, in making my articulation sets for Logic, was to first create my own personal articulations/techniques map, starting from a Spitfire Audio UACC map repeated two times (UACC s 1-128, Logic 1-256). This means that all my maps will have the same articulation types at the same ID. Selection messages will start from those fixed positions.

Unfortunately, not all libraries are coherent in how they map their articulations/techniques, so I'm still using too many articulation sets and expression maps. With VSL VI libraries I built my own presets, all organized in the same way. But this is not possible with all libraries.