is a as-simple-as-can-be device for re-tuning a pitch CV that has been quantized to standard tuning. It has knobs for re-tuning all 12 pitch classes, a menu with some presets covering important historical as well as some modern tuning schemes and - very important - a control for transposing the root key of the tuning itself. The latter is the reason this module is published at all. There is already a module in the store that can do most of these things. But it cannot transpose the root key and being able to do this is essential when working with tunings that are not "well-tempered". "Well-temperaments" work equally well in all 24 major and minor keys - that is what their "wellness" consists in. But tunings from earlier periods only work with a limited set of keys and just-intonation tunings are even more restrictive - their root key has to be identical with the key in which the music is set, otherwise everything will just sound discordant and meaningless.

The Early Tunings

comprise two groups:

  • the Pythagorean tunings and
  • the Meantone tunings.

In a Pythagorean tuning the fifths are perfectly pure, i.e. tuned as they are tuned in the series of overtones. The major thirds, on the other hand, sound a little harsh - a price paid to mathematics for the purity of all fifths. In a Meantone tuning it is the other way round. While the fifths are lowered a little, the major thirds are natural overtone thirds, making them sound round and smooth and there is no better way to make major chords shine beautifully than to tune them in Meantone.

The Early Tunings implemented here are D-based versions. D was considered the standard starting key in medieval times, as it is today C. That means, that the root key has to be set to D to get these tunings historically accurate. Now the following notes will appear:

  • D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, Bb, B, C and C#.

Not contained are the following notes:

  • D#, Gb, Ab, A# and Db.

For the ancients this was not a problem. The medieval system of modes never called for the use of these notes. When applying these tunings to modern music, the case is of course different. A D Major chord can be rendered, but not a B Major chord - the D# is missing. To get a B Major chord right, the tuning must be transposed - e.g. to B. In case of doubt, turn the Root Key knob until it stops sounding out-of-tune.