AMS File Utility for Microtonal/Traditional Tunings

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
slicedbread
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AMS File Utility for Microtonal/Traditional Tunings

Post by slicedbread » Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:22 am

Image

yo.

thought i'd share an ams file utility i made. it'll let you create endless harmonic oscillators in simpler and sampler. read more about the ams file on covert ops website http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-1.html

it also lets you export microtonal and traditionally tuned zones with oscillator variations premapped/designated in the filename. it's a little easier in sampler because it gets the key mapping from the files themselves (just drag a bunch onto the zone editor) while simpler makes you work for it with racks, but it's pretty easy becaus ethe keymapping is appended to the filename.

using baseNote with an offset multiplier of 1 will export a sequence of western tuned oscillators. using baseFreq and any offset factor will export a sequence of equally tempered notes. you can experiemnt with basenote + offset values very close to 1 in multiplier mode for creeping notes... or negative valuse for negative scales.

btw, it won't open the ams files that ship with ableton.

more modes will com but i'm not the math whiz so if you have ideas and equations let me know.

get it here: http://esoteric-solutions.com/Documents/amsfactory.zip

let me know if you find it useful and if you have ideas for it.[/img]
Last edited by slicedbread on Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Robert Henke
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Post by Robert Henke » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:14 am

:!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:

Crash
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Post by Crash » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:42 am

Looks like nice stuff. Thanks for sharing! :D

hoffman2k
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Post by hoffman2k » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:59 am

Damn.. Pc only...
Nice work though. I like the export options.
Looks really useful.

- Bjorn

naph
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Post by naph » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:06 am

looks incredibly great.

thanks a lot !

slicedbread
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Post by slicedbread » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:33 pm

word of warning... i kinda threw this together and didn't really trap every bug so don't put words/letters in where it expects numbers... otherwise it's pretty stable. you can keep an instance open and save over an existing ams or ams series, switch back over to live and hear the update in real-time.

i've found the equally tempered offsets using basefreq to be the most musical (aside from the normal western tunings).

you really have to already have an understanding of the ams file format to get the most out this because as is, it's really easy to input values that the ableton engine won't understand, but if you've ever tried to manually create a custom keyzone this will save you a lot of grief.

this started as an experiment to teach myself more about additive synthesis and graphics programming in vb.net so sorry... no mac version.

ze2be
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Post by ze2be » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:49 pm

Nice!

I dont understand how it works though..

You create an Ams file, open it in Live, and there you have a simpler or sampler with spesific tunings?
? ? ? ? ?

slicedbread
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Post by slicedbread » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:04 pm

ze2be wrote:Nice!

I dont understand how it works though..

You create an Ams file, open it in Live, and there you have a simpler or sampler with spesific tunings?
DAMNIT lost my post@!...

anyway i just spent an hour explaining how and why to use it and the forum ated it. it was a post for the ages. i'm angry now so if someone else wants to explain please do. however, i don't think i could explain the background any better than bjorn and crew at covert-ops :

part 1 http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-1.html
part 2 http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-2.html
part 3 http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-3.html
Last edited by slicedbread on Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:17 pm

This is the best thing since slicedbread!
Seriously, thanks!

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:37 pm

nice work! Thanks.
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nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:53 pm

slicedbread wrote:
ze2be wrote:Nice!

I dont understand how it works though..

You create an Ams file, open it in Live, and there you have a simpler or sampler with spesific tunings?
DAMNIT lost my post@!...

anyway i just spent an hour explaining how and why to use it and the forum ated it. it was a post for the ages. i'm angry now so if someone else wants to explain please do. however, i don't think i could explain the background any better than bjorn and crew at covert-ops :

part 1 http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-1.html
part 2 http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-2.html
part 3 http://www.covops.org/index.php/The-Cov ... art-3.html[/url]
Ok, I read the three parts, so now I'm really intrigued, but I wanna make sure I can do this right...

What are optimal settings to create some cool waveforms? And how to create complex multi-oscillator instruments?

If you could please re-write your post in Notepad, and then cut and paste it into a thread, that would be great...

Also, in Firefox, if a post times out, you can hit the back button and your written text will still be there - just need to select it and copy it, then go back to the thread and hit the Reply button and simply paste it back in to repost.
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slicedbread
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Post by slicedbread » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:23 pm

condensed from previous lost post:

okay, according to some french guy any periodic waveform can be described by the sum of several sines of different amplitudes. this tool gives you 24 harmonics to mold together to come up with a custom shape (the ams spec actually gives you a lot more). typically, you'd want a strong (loud) fundamental (harmonic 1). that's a pure sine wave. by adding or subtracting higher order harmonics you can impart differrent timbres on your instrument. move a slider up for a sine addition, down for a cosine addition. in theory you can get very close approximations to square, saw, traingle, ramp and everything in between by tweaking individual oscillators.

there's 2 parts of ams foundry. the top part lets you shape and tune a custom oscillator waveform. the bottom lets you export a series of these oscillators auto offsetting the tuning and auto-incrementing the keymapping. < this was the tedious part i was trying to get rid of. you could always make these files in notepad but it sucked and you had no idea what the shape looked like. a side product of having complete control of each oscillator and keymapping is that you're no longer constricted to the western scale inter-note relationship of Freq = LowestNote * (2 ^ ((Note) / 12))

you can use equal tempered notes, pythagorean harmonies (perfectly integer divisible freqs... all the rage up till the middle ages), or whatever you want.

even if you just want a traditionally tuned instrument, you'd be better off by exporting a sequence and mapping each one. an ams will sound the best at the freq it was created for. if you drop an ams on simpler and let it auto-map all over the keyboard, it sounds weirder the further you get from the defined ams point. i think it has to do with aliasing and key drift... what happens when you loop 1 oscillator faster and faster. < (that may be b.s. call me out if you know better)

i think of live as one giant semi-modular synth and having your own custom waveshapes increases it's worth. most synths lock you into their pre-defined shapes.

re: multi-oscillator instruments.... hmmm.. that's an interesting idea. what you could do is export a sequence, then open each one up indivually, tweak a harmonic and save over intself. having a separate offset factor that can be applied to individual harmonics is something i may add. right now the only thing being auto-incremented in the export sequence is freq(or basenote) and keymapping.

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:28 pm

so based on what you're saying, it's best to export 128 ams files and map them to the keyboard manually? so once there's a good shape, should I be doing an incremental increase in the keymap and export 128 times? Is there a way to automate that?
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slicedbread
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Post by slicedbread » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:34 pm

the export does automate that.

the top part lets you open up and save over the existing ones. when you open an ams, the properties of the current ams should fill in, then all you need to do is tweak an oscillator and hit save to save over it.

in practice i've found 128 to be overkill. the most i ever need is 12 - 24 for my range. also, you'll take a performance hit with simpler if you try that many in a rack... maybe even sampler. my sampler starts sputtering with that many.

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:43 pm

^ cool, will test out tonight - I think it would be most useful to do a generic example...a step by step for newbies who basically want to create a Sampler patch of traditional tuning. How to go about this? What are the best settings? How to map them in Sampler, etc.

Overall, the tool is fabulous!
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