PureTones Musical Scale

PureTones Musical Scale is a 12 note digital musical scale with controls for fine tuning each note. It also provides controls for emulating a Gamaka (bending or shaking of a note as per Indian Classical music). PureTones Musical Scale has been developed using Faust, a functional programming language for sound synthesis and audio processing. This enables skilled Indian Classical musicians to fine tune the musical scale to go with the PureTones Drone which they have finely tuned.

Contrary to widely held perceptions, the Tanpura is not only responsible for providing a reference of the fundamental note Sa, but it actually provides a tuning system resulting from string overtones which supports the entire Raga being performed. Skilled artists then employ appropriate shades of each note in the Raga they perform to render each note with utmost accuracy and clarity. To understand this better, read this article which illustrates the role of the Tanpura in Indian Classical music.

PureTones Musical Scale Webapp

To tune a musical scale for a Raga or with respect to a Drone tuning, check out the PureTones Musical Scale Webapp. The webapp has been built using faust2webaudiowasm (see Faust Tools for details). Here is a quick user guide.

  1. Click on New Session under Session Controls. This starts up a music scale in the key of C, as per the Venkatamakhin-Ramamatya Tuning.
  2. Select your pitch using the Key, Octave and Cents.
  3. Use Period to control the playing tempo and Level to control the volume level.
  4. There are two tone settings available, Synth and String. The String setting is more resource intensive and may not work on your computer. If you experience any audio issues, try increasing the Latency.
  5. There are multiple Latency levels, with 1 being the lowest (fastest response) and 5 being the highest (slowest response). Try and play at the lowest Latency level which works on your computer without causing any glitches, echos or other audio issues. You may find that the Synth tone works with a lower latency as compared to the String tone.
  6. Use the Note tabs labelled as Sa, re, Re,... to access each of the 12 notes.
  7. Use the Fine Tune and Ultrafine Tune sliders to finetune the pitch of each note. You can also input a number directly into the input boxes, for precise data entry.
  8. Use the Loop toggle to play the note repeatedly and the Variance controls to adjust the timbre of the note.
  9. Use the Gamaka controls to manipulate and fine tune the gamaka as you desire.
  10. When you are satisfied, you can save your tuning to a file by clicking on Save Session which can be uploaded later using Restore Session.
  11. Also note that a saved keyboard tuning can also be loaded into the PureTones Sequencer Webapp to compose musical works using the saved tuning.

For any suggestions or queries, you can reach us at puretones@sadharani.com.

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