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  • Dynamic Tuning (Hermode Tuning)

    I refered already in earlier messages that neither equal temperament nor any other fixed tuning is conforming with the tuning behavior of a real orchestra. In a real orchestra the musicians modify the pitch of their instruments according to the actual existing harmonies in order to achieve fifth and third intervals near to just intonation.Therefore imitations of orchestral music with virtual instruments in equal temerament sound rough and phony.

    Paul Henry Smith has published on its website a instructive and drastic musical example by comparising dynamic tuning and fixed equal temperament by the beginning of Beethoven Symphony No. 9, 3rd movement (Adagio). See the following link:

    Logic user can already use this feature by selecting (in German):"Projekteinstellungen/ Stimmung/ Hermode Tuning", in English it is perhaps "project settings/ tuning/ Hermode Tuning".  The best setting for orchestral music is "classic" by a depth of 100 %.

    Cubase users have still to wait for this feature until the next Cubase version will be published.

    Users of other sequencers will not be able to use this feature.  

    Any comments?

  • Wow I wasn't aware of this feature in Logic. The more you know...

  • Wow, this is amazing. Never heard of it before. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  • As said before:This hermode tuning should be included in VI pro!

    But how do you know that this feature will be included in the next version of Cubase (C7?)  ???

  • As said before:This hermode tuning should be included in VI pro!

    ... your words in gods ear

    But how do you know that this feature will be included in the next version of Cubase (C7?)  ???

    ... by trustworthy sources.

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    @veetguitar said:

    As said before:This hermode tuning should be included in VI pro!

    It is already included!...

    But it isn't called Hermode Tuning.

    ...Select "Advanced" within VIPro

    Then "Matrix" - "Matrix Scale" "Root Key" - Select your Key here ... D for example

    Select also the Matrix itself. Instead of "12 tone" you can select a lot of possiblities. Choose "Just Intonation". Now you have the pure sound!

    Remark: For getting the pure intonation you need to switch off the Humanizer - it will destroy the pur sound... [;)]



    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra":
  • Beat,

    What an error!

    With tuning tables you cannot reach just intonation.  In the table, directed on C (C-major) you will pay the better tuned tonica C-E-G, subdominant  F-A-C and dominant G-H(B)-D by a completely detuned fifth D-A. And what shall happen when the composition will show chords, distant related to this key? - Or when modulating or jumping to other keys?

    These "just intonation" tuning tables don't keep their promises. They are  worthless playthings. You substitute 128 poor tuned Midi frequencies by still more problematic other 128 frequencies.

    Hermode Tuning against this controls by until 60 different frequencies per tone (this means more than7,000 Midi frequencies), generated automatically and in real time.

    In case you will understand the fundamental problems of tuning, please read this:

    or -in German:

  • Werner,

    First of all, I hate a bit to answer you because the only thing you want is advertising your product.

    And every post here helps to do this a bit more... So this is my last post here.

    Neither you nor I know, what VIPro does, when we choose "just intonation".

    Listen to this example: More tuning isn't possible by a true choir. (Just Intonation with VIPro)

    All your theories are OK and I'm sure they are correct implemented in your software.

    And also if VI does what you say then it's not really tuned correct... But...

    When I listen to the "correct" tuned examples of your homepage then I must say: I will never use your system. 

    It sounds too clean and this with every chord and within every second... in short:

    It sounds completely cold, sterile and it sounds about "clinical computermusic".

    I'm not using samples since yesterday. So I know this world very well. But I'm also making "Live-Recordings".

    So I'm around 20 times in a year in concert halls, churches and other rooms.

    Even if there are very good orchestras, ensembles and soloists all of them are playing "wrong" (not well tuned).

    So I only can recommend to listen to live performances from time to time for keeping the true reality in mind.

    Nevertheless, I agree that good orchestras can produce pure chords when they go on for 1 or 2 seconds (final chords for example) but the tunings of the whole rest are around the point where they should be.

    So the humanizer of VIPro simulates this human faults very good - the tones are sometimes a bit above, then a bit too low then a bit too early or too late - and this with every new note a bit the other way round.

    Here are some examples which shall show that being in tune isn't a matter of everytime.

    Even if they all try to sing correct it is always an attempt which ends sometimes happy but most time not as good as it could be:

      King`s College Choir, Cambridge

    Tallis Scholars Choire  Great Voices of Bulgaria

    So: Your idea is a good one for some chords of a piece but not for all of them.

    What we Sample Users need to have are possibilities which vary the samples even more so that we get an even more humanized play.

    Your system can be compared with the function "Quantize" within a DAWs but this time for the tuning of the tones.

    That's a step back  in my opinion.


    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra":
  • Beat,

    "advertising a little more"... actually we don't more need to advertise. My posts are more or less caused by the fact that the referring VSL applications now support the dynamic tuning of Logic, (and later of Cubase, I hope so) but VSL (and you) don't tell it to the users. And you will have awared that some users like it very much after having listened to the musical example of Paul Henry Smith. I ask myself whether you have listed to it. I suppose "no", in other case yor statement would be more cagy.

    "It sounds completely cold"... sorry, even the more or less modest examples of our website (they are created with VSL Opus 1, as at that time it was the only possibility to control VSL samples by Hermode Tuning) show the reverse. But I put the decision to the listeners.

    May I add that now a real pipe organ is in construction, induced by some important organ professors who have listened to our system at an electronic church organ. It don't believe that these professors and the leading managers of Apple-Emagic and Steinberg are fools.

    "I am also making Live Recordings" - And I made music as a member of symphonic orchestras and of chamber music ensembles. Indeed, the tuning result was not in every moment optimal, but we tried to get a near attempt. It is your personal error if you believe that only at final chords the tuning will be corrected. Well educated musicians control  and adjust the tuning in every moment. 

    "So the humanizer of VIP simulates..." Indeed, for starting the notes a humanizer is a useful tool and even an old hat. But for changing the pitch on the basing tuning of equal temperament??? - I image, I am the leading techician of a motor car company. You visit me and say "I have a new technology for you, weighting the actual encumbrance of your motor, the air temperature, the air pressure and the position of the accelerator pedal - and my system calculates in real time the optimal ignition point." - And I would answer "Sorry, we don't need this, we calculate the ignition point by changing hazard numbers".

    "Never you nor I know, what VIPro does when choose "just intonation" - As you recommend to select a just intonation table directed to D for music created in D major you possess at least a vague idea that this table will produce chords in just intonation for this key. I want to add: You are right.

    But the problem that every "just intonation table" will even produce detuned chords for this specific key is well known since the 14th century, since the upcoming of major and minor chords in the european music. I add the tuning values for such a just intonation tuning table. I name it for "C", you can transpose it to other keys. The values name the deviation in Cents to equal temperament:

    C=0, C#=-8, D=4, Eb=16, E=-14, F=-2, F#=-10, G=2, G#=-28, A=-16, B(Bb)=18, H(B)=-12

    The values for the "white keys" will be in every case in consistency with the VIPro values, the others may differ as one can substitute C# by Db and so on by different tuning values. In case, the "A" will be set to "0", all values will be set 16 Cents higher. The fifth D-A comprises only 680 Cents instead of the 700 Cents of equal temperament or 702 Cents of just intonation. Therefore and even by the hard deviations to equal temperament such tuning tables are problematic and you should'nt recommend the use of such tables as long as there exist better tuning means.

    BTW: For Logic users working with VIPro and Hermode Tuning: Be sure that the internal tuning tabel of VIPro will be set to "equal temperament". In other case the calculated tuning values will be added to the internal tuning table and this will cause tuning nonsense. It would be helpful if VIPro at the incoming external tuning values the internal tuning table would  reset to equal temperament, butactually one has to live with this complication.

    "Your system can be compared with the function Quantize". - Sorry, you compare fixed tuning with "Humanize" and the living correction of Hermode Tuning with "Quantize" ??? - this is a nice  converse of the reality. I don't know whether musicians can follow this statement.

    Frankly, I am astonished whether you hate Hermode Tuning and I would be happy if you would take the oppurtinity to listen to actual demos, especially to this of P.H. Smith and - maybe - to our own demos. Substantiated criticism  always will be welcome.


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    @Beat Kaufmann said:


    First of all, I hate a bit to answer you because the only thing you want is advertising your product.

    And every post here helps to do this a bit more... So this is my last post here...

    ...with this little addition.

    Hello Werner

    Take it easy. Accept that just one person wouldn't use your tuning-system. That's all.

    All the best


    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra":
  • just a little addon:

    i like the idea of a plugin tuning the orchestra for me. right now i do it manually, which is really exhausting. yet iĀ“d like to have two main features added:

    a) why stop at 7-limit? i understand that 7-limit is more than enough for most users, yet if you write contemporary music and like to tune your instruments even more (i just wrote an orchestra-piece utilizing 29-limit tuning. but not just "art"-music could need that. right now i am writing a fiilm-score in which i use 13-limit-tuning, to be able to get a specific sound) or if you are into spectral music, then tuning your orchestra even further is essential. at least 11-limit  or 13-limit should be implemented.

    yet point a) i guess requires point

    b) finally iĀ“d like an option, for example within an enhanced expression map of cubase, to individually assign tunings to specific notes (that individual "correction" overrides hermode tuningĀ“s calculation for that specific pitch), using preferrably helmholtz-ellis accidentals, which very precisely show, how a note is to be tuned within a chord.

    a good way of achieving that would be to have hermode analyse the whole piece and create a "tuning file" for each instrument. that tuning file then can be edited using the helmholtz-ellis-accidentals. the whole thing would be sort of an addon to the expression maps, like the dynamic maps are now in cubase 6.



  • Is there an example of what this tuning sounds like? I followed the link at the start of this thread, but all it took me to was a web page. I have no opinion until I hear it.


  • Hello Aural:

    To point a): 7-limit is caused as Hermode Tuning is a self-detecting and automatically tuning correcting programme. Fifths (3), thirds (5) and natural sevenths (7) can be detected automatically. But even the 7ths sometimes can cause errors, for instance if in a major seventh chord, for example D-F#-A-C the first two notes would be the A-C, detected firstly as a minor third, where the C has to be retuned as soon as the A will be added. More problematic is this natural seventh when a chord sequence in traditional music will be step from Subdominant (G-major) C-E-G to D-F#-A-C where the C will jump down by about 30 Cents. Therefore the natural seventh has to be handled carefully.

    As soon, as one adds frequency ratios basing in higher prime numbers, an automatic detection is no more possible. For such aims I  personally use so-called "user controlled tuning tables". I create octave-repeating tuning tables with a sequence of Integers, for instance 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31.

    The gaps are (22, 25, 27, 30) caused as one has only 12 tones per octave instead of 16. Therefore I have created different tables

    Now I assign this table to a certain root, e.g. the C, which will hold its normal frequency, whereas th other notes will be tuned according the named frequency ratios. For changing the root I send congruous key switch messages by a seperate midi channel.

    I possess a corresponding programme, originally created for the Mozarteum Salzburg. But the problem is: No sequencer actually supports such keyswitch controlled tuning tables. And regarding hardware  the VIRUS is (as far as I know) the only synth which could be controlled by this programme.

    To point b): I don't know, but it could happen that such a feature would be in the future expressions map of Cubase. But I will not ask them, as if ever I would get a precise answer, I would be bound to keep this information for me and not to publish it. So please, wait for the next Cubase version.


  • To DG:

    The best orchestral simulation and tuning comparison you will find there:

    Others you will find there:

    There you will find also an example of a tuning mix (orchestra with Hermode Tuning, piano in fixed equal temperament (Mozart KV 488, 2nd movement.

    The most drastic difference you will hear at "Vom Himmel hoch", but this example is created by a note editing programme, therefore it is a little stiff.

    In other examples the effect is more subtile. See Mozarts KV 497, 2nd movement. Nevertheless, you will feel the difference.



  • Hi, all,

    Listen to two things in these examples:

  • I think this hermode system is great and is an important step for making samples do what is done all the time in live music.   Also, the tempered scale has always been a very questionable compromise.  I wish this could be used in the system I have, which is Sonar on one machine and a slave with Vienna Ensemble/Vienna Instruments.   That is not possible, correct?

  • Sorry, with Sonar it isn't possible. I tried to contact them but didn't get any answer.

    You could try to convince them. The suggestions of users could be helpful.

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    @paulhenrysmith said: far more realistic and powerful than randomly detuning notes, and it is even more realistic than applying any other non-dynamic tuning system

    Hello all

    Earlier in this thread I promised to be quiet - but I can't... sorry.

    Maybe you all will hate me after reading my thread here. But sometimes I think lots of you have lost what "real reality" is.

    Listen to this example :

    It sounds just as my "ROLAND String Ensemble M-SE1" did - in 1990. Of course it didn't sound as tuned as with the upper example.

    But please don't speak with your excerpt here to be even closer to a "Live-Example".

    Listen now please to this really real  Liveperformance what these professional musicians do while the play.

    Yes, they try to play well tuned - t h e y   t r y  it the whole sequnce !  But unfortunately they get the supertuned situation not very often.

    Nevertheless, one can't say: It's bad played...

    Everybody who plays a wind- or a string instrument knows that you can press the key or set the finger on a string.

    But then you need first to play befor you can do the fine tuning for the certain tone.

    If you take this fine-tuning-process for an ensemble you will get a sort of a random tuning...

    You can make objects on pictures nicer than they are in the reality - more pleasing:

    Enhance the contrast, enhance the gamma, increase the sharpness... is it more realistic?

    It seems that some of you become a slave of "nice tuned" music (that's OK!) ...and think that's closer to the reality (that's not correct).

    Putting my message together:

    Nothing against nicer and completely clean tuned music - but this isn't at the same time closer to the reality - especially when we are using samples.

    It is a step (back) closer to a technical solution than to a human one. That's my opinion



    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra":
  • I think I'll leave this argument.

  • Hi, Beat and William!  (Long time.)

    Beat, I agree with you that using Hermode tuning does not necesarily bring a more realistic result.  And, of course we agree that equal tempered tuning is even farther from "realistic."  I would say (again) that realism is not an artistic end.  Realism for digital orchestra is starting to lose its appeal.  What we're starting to see is that the distracting artifacts (mistakes?) of using digital instruments should be removed so that the musical expression is not thwarted.  VSL's legato invention was one of the first such solutions, as was the solution to handling repetition.  

    Now we have a solution for tuning.  If it's too good, you don't have to use it.  And, like all of these tools, successive version of them will only be better.  The point is that we are going in the right direction:  Hermode tuning takes knowledge about harmonic context, coupled with knowledge about how musicians tune on the fly for purer thirds and fifths, and takes advantage of the computer's ability to process that information insanely quickly to render better-tuned results than the 400-year-old compromise known as equal temperament.  Using the default equal temperament simply guarantees that your music will be less realistic, and will certainly be less in-tune.  And the few milliseconds of "finding the pitch" is already built into the samples, as well as Hermode tuning's process.  It's not "instantly" in tune, as you can hear.

    Of course the question of whether you, or anyone else prefers the sound of orchestral music played with equal temperament (which does not occur in nature) is not what we're talking about, since we have the choice to use it (or any of dozens of other tunings, including our own fabrications).  

    All I am saying is that it's great to have software that uses intelligence to make the sound better (i.e., more actually, measurably in-tune).  This is the polar opposite the "auto-tune" approach, which knows nothing about what pitches are sounding at the moment, and then shoe-horns those notes into a fixed (and therefore incorrect) tuning system.  Though, even that has it's place in the world of musical expression.