31 Tones Per Octave


I make music in 31-tone equal temperament. Currently, when I try to record, I use Ableton Live, and it’s a horrible mess. The notes appear against a piano roll that repeats every 12 tones, which makes it basically impossible to recognize even simple intervals (e.g. an octave – a spread of 31 tones – looks like two octaves and a fifth, because 12*2 + 7 = 31).

I don’t currently use Renoise, but if it were possible to code into it some sort of utility that allowed me to view, using a more natural structure, a 31-tone melody, I might consider switching.

I read on another thread that someone has coded a “Ticky Roll”, which resembles a piano roll:

This leads me to suspect maybe what I want can be done.

How much software would I have to learn before I could do something like that? Just Renoise and Lua? I already know a bunch of programming languages, but I don’t take the task of learning another one particularly lightly. I’m trying to get a sense of what the learning curve would be like. It took me a few months, for instance, to become comfortable with the Ableton API, at least a year to feel comfortable in Java, etc …)

My other question is what kind of data a Renoise “clip” (or whatever the term is for a unit of melodic information) contains. Is it just MIDI? Midi and OSC? Could it be purely OSC?


All the extension tools for Renoise are written in Lua. There’s an API for making simple graphic interfaces with the pre-defined elements like checkboxes and sliders, which the Tricky Roll seems to be using. I’m not sure about using other graphics, but it should be possible somehow (I haven’t tried to develop any tools myself).

What do you mean by “clip”? A pattern? The note data in Renoise is stored as XML inside the .XRNS file, which itself is just a zip archive containing song and sample data. Open up a song and take a peek. There’s no MIDI or OSC in normal song data.

Go Go Gadget Microtonal! Nice to see more of that around here.

read this:

Oh wow … XML … it’s beautiful. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to piggy-back very much on the Scala work, although I do think that’s great. I come from a jazz background, and the sort of transposition that equal temperament allows is very important to me.

(Also, yes, by “clip” what I meant was “pattern”.)

… and … I bought it.