• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Topic: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

  1. #1

    Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    I was curious about Equal Temperament and Stretch tuning. I am ignorant on the usefulness and importance of these approaches for creating realistic instruments. My limited understanding is that stretch provides a more vibrant sound than equal (which I understand to be more flat and dull)

    Do piano sample libraries come sampled with one or the other generally speaking? Secondly, if the libraries come tuned with Equal Temperament does it make sense to retune each region (where there is a 1-to-1 correlation of sample and note) by the appropriate cents to create stretch tuning? Does it make sense to apply this philosophy to other instruments beyond piano as well?

    Thanks in advance for any input on the matter.


  2. #2

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    Hi Scott,
    tuning effects always the sound. The sound of your mix can be very different by using the right tuning. It doesn\'t mean, that not >good tuned< instruments sounds not >realistic<. But sometimes the sampled sounds can sound very badly, and the reason is just the >wrong tune<.


  3. #3

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    As I understand it, stretch tuning is the method used for acoustic pianos because the harmonics are slightly sharp from what would be exact frequency doublings. The octaves are tuned to be sonorus with the slightly sharp harmonics.

    So, it is a method for resonating stringed instruments.


  4. #4

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    If a professional tunes your piano, you will get an Equal Temperament and Stretch tuning, that is just normal. The curve of stretching depends on the taste.
    I think a sampler is more than just a machine that plays recorded sounds. One example are tunes. It is much more easy to try tunes in a sampler than with real instruments. We programmed in our library (Xsample) a lot of different tunes.


  5. #5

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    Sorry for the wrong spelling. I meant temperated instead of temperament.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sgarsson:
    I was curious about Equal Temperament and Stretch tuning. I am ignorant on the usefulness and importance of these approaches for creating realistic instruments. My limited understanding is that stretch provides a more vibrant sound than equal (which I understand to be more flat and dull)

    The actual reason for equally tempered tuning is simple: modulation. In a naturally tuned scale, which takes its tuning from the overtone series, you can play chords only in the \"tuned\" key. As soon as you modulate to another key, it all falls apart.

    Bach wrote his famous collection of children\'s pieces to demonstrate this concept.

    We\'re only talking about western tuning concepts here. Many cultures have different tuning standards. Some are infinitely more complex and detailed, others are simpler but almost other-worldly to our ears.

    In terms of \"quality,\" there\'s not any sort of rule that says, just-tempered = dull and lifeless, or equal (stretched) = lively. Those aren\'t the issues at hand. The only reason equal temperament exists is to facilitate modulation on keyboard-driven instruments.

    This, by the way, is one of the key limiting factors in producing realistic orchestral parts from samplers. By necessity, the instruments are conformed to equal temperament simply so they can be played. However, orchestral players are constantly shifting tuning, according to what chord is being played and their own position within that chord.

    Take a trumpet secion, for instance, playing a C major chord in root position. The players instantly adjust their tuning so that the fifth has no \"beats\" with the root, and the player with the third LOWERS his pitch (to conform to the \"flat\" 5th partial) in order to achieve a stable chord. When the chord actually locks in with no beats, new tones, which are called difference tones (or Tartini tones, after the man who called attention to the phenomenon) appear. With a Major triad, the Tartini tone will be the tonic, two ocatves below the root. Not conincidentally, this note corresponds with the first partial of that chord\'s tonic overtone series.

    Clear as mud?

    In short, if you want to program the most realistic sounding sections from solo sample libraries, you\'ll need to do some tuning after the fact on individual chord components, in order to achieve this \"ever shifting\" temperament.

    I guess that\'s way more information than anyone needed. <g>

    Best regards,

    Bruce A. Richardson
    Senior Editor, ProRec Webzine

  7. #7

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    Hello Bruce,

    would you vote for no other tunings, because it is difficult to get the >right< intension?

    We (Xsample) tried to realize some other tunings and give you some stuff for experiments.

    This is no general solution for every case and composition! But sometimes you might be glad to fill in the right chords. And I bet, if you compare a >pefect tuned< and a >equal temperated< chord, most time you will decide for the >perfect tuned<. (This doesn\'t mean the whole arragement have to work with perfect tunes.)

    We have worked out a special pattern for the tunings. So you can change the roots of the tunes by switching the keydimensions:
    C1 (c as root), E1 flat (e flat as root), F#1 (f# as root), A1 (a as root). The tune position of the roots are referring to equal tuning.

    So for example the >perfect tune< allows the following >good< major chords:
    C1: C, E flat, E, F, G, A
    E1 flat: E flat, G flat, G, A flat, B flat, C
    F#: F#, A, A#, B, C#, D#
    A: A, C, C#, D, E, F#

    ...and the following minor chords:
    C1: c, c#, e, f#, g, a
    E1 flat: e flat, e, g, a, b flat, c
    F#: f#, g, a#, c, c#, d#
    A: a, b flat, c#, d#, e, f#

    If you are very unhappy with the tune of very high or low notes you can also use our >extended tunes<. On this presets we stretched the tunes with 3 different values.
    For modern, experimental or just other scales we also programmed >quarter tone< presets.

    I think, it is very helpful to have a chance using different tunes. Sometimes it is really the kick.


  8. #8

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    It would seem to me that one could use the pitch bend channel to fine tune midi performances. It might be tough to get the level of tuning quality from a pro brass ensemble( for example ), but a little touch up here and there might go a long way. Has anyone tried this? Of course the pitch bend controller is generally not responsive and subtle enough to use this way live. Something that would make a cool cakewalk pluging would be a program that automatically adjusts the pitchbend channels to fine tune a midi performance.

  9. #9

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning

    Thank you all for the replies - great stuff.

    Bruce, I think you nailed it when you said \"Clear as Mud?\" :-)

    I believe I will stick to composing and arranging and leave the complexities of tuning to real musicians when needed.

    Thanks again all,


  10. #10

    Re: Equal Temperament and Stretch Tuning


    Thanks for the great reply.

Go Back to forum

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts