Setting up Wilsonic based pitch tables in Dorico

I am interested in setting up Wilsonc created scales in Dorico.

I will include an example I hope to set up here.

Scala file
BRUN3_G1_0.5059_G0_0.6596_O_1_A
19
170.06
184.431
198.802
368.862
383.234
397.605
567.665
582.036
592.814
607.186
777.245
791.617
805.988
976.048
990.419
1001.2
1015.57
1185.63
2/1

Many thanks for dialogue.

Welcome to the forum, @burningcicada. I would suggest you use a VST plug-in that’s compatible with Scala files. HALion Sonic SE, the sampler player included with Dorico, does not itself support Scala files, but “big” HALion does, and I believe several other of the major VST plug-ins support them too.

Thank you. Let me clarify my question though. Playing scala files is not my issue, I would like to be able to notate accurately in Dorico these various pitch systems. I gave this one just as an example for a piece I’m working on presently. Entering these values in the way Dorico asks for them is what I am finding challenging. I’m not sure if the trick is more in the arrangement of the accidentals but that is what I’m going after. Thank you for your time and suggestions.

It looks like you might need to create 120,000 divisions of the octave in the Edit Tonality System dialog if you really need to get down to the resolution of tenths of a cent. If you need only cents, then 12,000 divisions of the octave will do, but if you really need tenths of a cent, you’ll need 120,000 divisions. Then you’ll need to define an appropriate accidental for each pitch delta, and assign the right pitch delta in the Edit Accidental dialog.

I need to ask for clarification on how to achieve this. I think this might Illustrate my misunderstanding on calculating and imputing these values.
A-B 184.431
B-C 14.372
C-D 184.431
D-E 25.152
E-F 14.372
F-G 184.431
G-A 25.149

I presumed that by simply subtracting the cent values I would arrive at what I was looking for, but I must be fundamentally missing what you are suggesting. Given the above pitch table could you tell me what the value of A-B would correctly be as Dorico expects. I think I can then use that to calculate the rest. Thank you again for your experience and willingness to help.

I notice the cents above add up to only 632. Dorico does not support non-octave tuning natively.

Hello, yes I posted the previous as I recognize this is not correct and wanted to illustrate my misconception. I think you helped me recognize something though. Thank you for your thought. This particular scale has 19 divisions. Given the table that is shown on the first post could you offer a suggestion on how to proceed. Thank you!

I’ve had a closer look at the scale, and I am at a loss to work out a sensible notation system for it. I see it has 3 sizes of interval, none of which are familiar to me. It has a large step (nearly 1/7 of an octave) and 2 different very small steps. So you would need more than 2 accidentals, and it would be easy to write pitches that are not in this scale by misusing the accidentals.

Does this scale have a name? I wonder if others have already worked out a notation system for it.

1/1
170.06
184.431
198.802
368.862
383.234
397.605
567.665
582.036
592.814
607.186
777.245
791.617
805.988
976.048
990.419
1001.2
1015.57
1185.63
2/1

This was derived from “Wilsonic” which is software that explores some of the late Erv Wilson’s theoretical music concepts in a graphical form. I can use the pitch table fine in VST’s or rescripting my Kontakt Libraries, but have found only one alternative to see what the cue looks like in notation. I recognize Dorico has great Microtonal support and was hoping to further explore within the context of this software. What is interesting is I can import an XML file as a cue and it sounds correct in Dorico. I am just as of yet unable to correctly set it up. I might try the chat option today. Thanks for your response.

I tried the chat but they directed me back to the forum. If the answer is we do not support non 12 tone systems natively, I would ask is there a way to do it non-natively?

Dorico can play any pitches we want, but we have to choose a way to notate it first. After your previous post I read about Erv Wilson’s linear notations at the Xenharmoic Wiki, but I haven’t so far understood how this particular scale is derived, or found any suggestions for how to notate such scales. If you can explain the intervals in the scale, preferably in ratios, and say for example why the first step is 170 cents (where do we place that on the keyboard or the staff?) – I might be more help.

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Great, thanks. So here’s what I can deduce from these three screenshots:

  • Post #12: An octave starting on C with 19 steps, with a couple of pitches duplicated in the notation. This could probably be reproduced with some modification in Dorico. I note there is no F♮, G♮, A♮, or B♮, so those pitches would have to be calculated from the notes that are present, assuming consistent pitch delta for the accidentals (which is necessary, btw).
  • #13: Starting on C, with different accidentals, ascending 24 steps across 2 octaves of notation, but covering only about an octave and a third in pitch – with very approximate ratios rounded to 2 digits (i.e. no additional information about the intervals). Not useful, IMO.
  • #14: Starting on A, ascending 19 chromatic steps on the keyboard. This is not practicable in Dorico because of the octave constraint, but the fact that 1/1 is on A might be considered in the interval layout.

Give me some time to examine #12 some more and I’ll post again.

Okay, I’ve cobbled together a system that plays these pitches starting on C.
Wilsonic.dorico (548.0 KB)
(Now that I’ve gone through this process, I could have done it from the bare list of cents values in the first post; but seeing the staff examples helped me think.)

I noticed some of the cents values are close to multiples of 100, so I started by seeing how many of the white notes could be close to their ET pitches. I used small up & down arrows for the 14-cent interval and decided to move some white notes so that most of them would take 1 up and 1 down in addition to natural.

For a 10-cent-up interval I used a little diagonal slash. And there was one more interval needed between F and G so I decided to use a sharp for 25.15 cents (total of the 2 smaller intervals). The symbols can easily be changed to whatever you want, including complex designs with multiple glyphs.

Since this scale is based on C = 0 cents and therefore A is 90.419 cents off, I sharpened the tuning of A to 463.591 Hz in the playback settings of this file to make C sound at standard pitch.

(Beware that only the 19 pitches as written belong to this scale. With the tonality system as designed, it is perfectly easy to write notes with “wrong” accidentals that are not part of this set.)

This could be notated any number of ways; I just designed this system ad hoc. I used a resolution of 1200 EDO for the spaces between white notes and accidental deltas, rounding the cents values to integers – surely close enough for this scale to sound correct enough.

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Mark thank you for the excellent thought process here. I will download the file and wrap my head around it. The support here is exactly what I expected, thank you kindly for the time! I will endeavor to learn from what you did here so that I am able to attempt other pitch systems in a similar manner. I think soon enough or perhaps already there are users who will utilize this way of creating pitch systems in the near future. Again the pitch system was made with Wilsonic which essentially allows anyone to explore Erv Wilson’s creative musical theory ideas. My best to you and your team and thank you for allowing me to pose this question!

Hello @burningcicada. Putting on my hat as a lifelong student of tuning and temperament, may I politely enquire what this is actually for? My understanding is that Wilson’s explorations are for Bosanquet keyboards, of which there are not many examples around, I think.

Is this for music you intend to have played? How many musicians are prepared to learn a newly devised 19 note to the octave accidental system? Perhaps if only for yourself I could understand.

People devising solutions here may well look at:

https://en.xen.wiki/w/Erv_Wilson’s_Linear_Notations

And I suppose the modern application of this could be with a Lumatone keyboard?

I’m curious as to what you are up to, musically.

2 Likes

Hi Andro, thank you for posing such beautiful questions, and for your Curiosity. As to the why, I love exploring musical narrative that is emotive. I think what Microtonality has given me is a deep poetic feral landscape that while being abstract it’s still personally affecting.

Do I expect people to ever play this music? Yes, but only if they feel moved to do so. I feel a responsibility to create, perhaps open up a space and then get out of the way of the music. Practically at this time It could be played in the same way as I am creating it, with a number of expressive physical controllers. I have not tried the one you listed, but cannot speak highly enough of the Haken Continuum Fingerboard, and the Linnstrument.

I began initially by following a guide by Warren Burt in retuning Kontakt libraries, and later discovered the MTS-MSP Suite by ODDSOUND, then Entonal Studio, and also Infinitone DMT.

My workflow at this time is Creating a pitch table or series of them in Wilsonic. This is currently available as an app but will be released later this Summer as software. Discovering a way to emotionally and playfully explore Erv Wilson’s ideas had been an inspiration and awakening to me. I approach the pitch design as what moves me emotionally. I typically use the Linnstrument to write and explore. Entonal Studio works well as a plug-in that hosts vst libraries and re tunes them to my pitch tables. Infinitone does the same but with a different flavor. I use Bitwig to capture the idea from the Linnstrument and further explore. As I want to refine I will export into reaper where I use Reaticulate for my Spitfire Libraries. Also in Reaper I will do tempo mapping and further expression to the libraries.

I recently discovered MaxScore. This allows me to re pitch cues to any pitch system in the Scala archive or any I devise. As another process I have been experimenting with cues I originally composed in standard 12-TET and approximating Them to new systems. This has been very exiting.

What I am hoping for in Dorico is further exploration and refinement. I am most grateful for the opportunity to trial this excellent software. Beyond this, principally a place to grow, learn and communicate my music to others.

I would enjoy sharing, and am glad for new creative friendships. Thank you for the opportunity to express my process. My best in music!

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