Suggestion: Custom intonation (pitch)

A suggestion: in the “Common” or “Notes and Rests” panel, provide a toggle for “Custom pitch” or “Custom intonation.”

Upon ticking the toggle with a note selected, the user would be provide with something similar to the “Custom scale” toggle in the “Common” panel.

As the user enters positive numbers the note is played back that many cents high; negative yields playback cents low.

I realize this can be accomplished with custom tonalities and custom accidentals, but one might have to create 96 divisions of the scale or more to achieve the needed potential adjustments.

The purpose here is to provide a means of playback that accounts for ensembles judiciously using principles of just intonation on individual chords to achieve the desired sonorous effect. (Bands are often told to play 3rds and 5ths of chords slightly out of (equal temperament) tune to make the chords more pure.) The composer can then experiment with the performance of individual notes and pass their desired intentions along to the players. (In that respect, possibly an additional toggle could be provided to actually print the change in cents over the note!)

Might it be correct to assume much of the programming for this already exists in Dorico through the custom tonality and custom accidentals interface? Could the new “Custom pitch” setting simply be a different way of interfacing with that programming?

I have to say that would be great!

If there would be a ”custom volume” - button right next to it that would be the perfect combination! Sometimes you would want to hear the third also a bit softer - but not so much that it would be written in a different dynamic marking.

I guess you can adjust the volume from play -mode, but I have never used it, since (at least in my computer) it takes some time to switch to play mode. Having it in the properties (like the muted -button) would be perfect for experimenting with the section balance

My feeling is that you should use the tools in Play mode for all those things — you should be able to unpitch an instrument from the vsti window as you wish. I know I can use any temperament I want with pianoteq simply by selecting one in the correct window, and I do not think that this is up to Dorico, it would not be really consistent. For the volume, it’s exactly the same.

The properties should remain for stuff controlled by Dorico (how the music is displayed, the tempo handled… not the behavior of vsti).

The Aria Player also allows for scala files to alter the tonal system of its player.

It is perhaps (in some sense) consistent to edit the playback from the play mode, but it’s not very convenient. There are already options to mute the note and change it’s playback positions in the properties panel - so adding volume and pitch control there would be in line with these.

Imagine, that you would like to edit just one note: Lower the pitch by 14 cent and volume by 2 dB.

With play mode, you would need to find the right instrument, open up the automation panel and make the needed automation curve with four points inserted with the mouse. (I tried that, but with noteperformer I don’t have a clue what channel I should edit to adjust the volume…) For the intonation, I guess you could somehow automate the pitch bend? (I don’t think that’s possible with noteperformer) And all of these adjustments would disappear if you decide to change your playback template…

With the properties panel, you just write in the two numbers and that’s it. It would always work, no matter what playback configuration is in use.

I think it’s fantastic to have the play mode and to be able to use whatever playback you like. But what is being played (the pitch and the dynamic level) is still controlled by the music you have in write mode. Therefore it would make sense that the fine tuning of these (raw) values would also be there.

At least for note performer, this kind of functionality would be (I think) a BIG reason to switch to Dorico. That would help the composer to write the correct dynamics - but easily fix the playback where note performer is “wrong” in his opinion.

Inconsistent was used in this context to show that many VST instrument would disregard the microtunings entirely. It is not reliable to do so in an easy manner — it is something that seems easy but it is not. Some instruments would need to be detuned with pitch bend, other support aria files, others can not be detuned at all. Why having Dorico interfere here is lost on me. If you want to make the tuning change in a piece I would advise using two instances of the same instrument, with two instruments held by one player. Each section has different tunings, but each is governed by respective VST. Convenience in your request should encompass reliability as well — and that cannot be easily solved as I showed

Wait, doesn’t dorico already have the ability to create custom tonalities? It’s hard for me to see how this differs from using that. It’s just a question wheter it’s a custom accidental (for example a quarter tone) or a number in the properties panel. The idea here was just to do it faster, without the need of creating a custom tonality system.

With the volume parameter, there’s no way of fine tuning it (with noteperformer), but that would be great to have as well (if it’s possible?)

This is actually a nice idea and would allow a range of JI systems as long as the accidentals and pitch change were cumulative.