The ID700 is a modern interpretation of the Buchla 700, and it comes with 4000 tunings pre-installed, one of which is the Partch 43-tone scale. The overlay I created for the SenselMorph has C as its root note but the scales in the 700 have A as their starting point 1, which means that I have to shift the incoming MIDI notes either up by 9 steps, or down by 34 in order to have them work with the overlay.

I’ve done that using Bram Bos’ Mozaic MIDI filter, and I’ve set up quite a few instances so that I can quickly shift between octaves or play them simultaneously.

One interesting thing about working with a 43-note scale and only having 128 MIDI notes to work with, is that one is just one MIDI note short of having a full three octave range.

So in this case this (21/16) is the lowest note, and if I go to the top register, that’s the highest (27/20), and after that, I run out of MIDI notes.

If I come back to a middle register, one of the nice things about the ID700 is that it offers MPE support, which means that I can shape each note independently of the others. And in this case I’ve mapped pressure to index number 2, so what sounds a little bit like opening up a filter is actually frequency modulation.

One of the joys of just intonation is rediscovering the beauty of these pure, simple triads, and then with the synth one can add a little bit of character.

As I mentioned in a previous video the symmetry of both the scale and the layout are useful to keep in mind when navigating it. So for example a major triad, when mirrored, gives a minor. So there are these music-theoretical aspects that are mirrored in the visual layout.

If one wants a little more fun one could add an arpeggiator… and so on…

  1. Update: This has since been changed to ‘C’ eliminating the need for shifting the incoming notes, unless one wants to change octave.  


I’ve recently experimented with the Partch 43-tone scale, here in the Wilsonic app, sending it over to the Audiokit SynthOne in order to play it with those sounds using the overlay I created for the Sensel Morph, and I was curious to try something similar with the Audio Damage Continua synth. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to send the tuning directly from Wilsonic to Continua but it is possible to go over to, to the scale workshop there, where the Partch scale is available as one of the presets that can be loaded.

I’ve set the base MIDI note to 60 and the base frequency to 261.626 Hz, which corresponds to an equally tempered Middle C. That can then be exported as a .tun file which can in turn be imported into Continua. And voila, the Partch scale in Continua.

The nice thing about Continua is that it offers MIDI MPE which means that you can alter the pitch the timbre of each note independently of the others. So, for example, I can alter the waveform of the 5th, or its pitch, or the root.

And so suddenly, in addition to the scale, you have a whole range of expressive possibilities at your fingertips.