Topic: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)


My Feature request for Pianoteq standard or at least pro: (i´m on pro)

- a (semitone) Tune parameter per Key.
please !!!

( how much ? i´d need usually between one and five semitones but up to 8 semitones would be very welcome, but you could make it up to 27 semitones or so.
yes, per key. yes, thats usefull, .........or funky wink)

why ?
- one situation: detuning for example the 1-2 lowest keys.
example: i play mostly in C#m.
I detune ( on my board, working by using 3 of the 4 slots) the Bb/A# 2 semitines down, giving me a G# = a very low fifth vs. C#m
then i take the "A" which would be the sixth, detune it 5 semitones down to a E, giving me a VERY low third vs. C#m
- also donne the same on a 73 keybed. thtas there vene more usefull/required.
i find this a very winning thing, to extend the soundrange to some lower lying pentatonic tones !
( works that way ofcourse only with Grand Pianos with extended keyrange )

- other situation: ( i really play mostly in one key )
Thats for some tune specific programming:
lets say i´d like to have a second low C#, same tune as my "major" low C#, but in a much more filtered timbre,
to play both C#s repeatedly, one beeing more present, one more filtered ( sorry my lack for the common technical terms wink )

- other situation:
I run several pianoteq instances at once in ableton live, so that they build together one piano.
means each pianoteq instance is playing only one or two notes per octave.
i add different Fx to these different pianoteq instances.
...........there i really could use the capability to de-Tune ( by semitones) some single keys ---> on Pianoteq

my thoughts:
adding this options would take nothing away to nobody. no loss !
would it enhance complexity of making own programmings in the Pro version ? my answer: No, why should it ?
my guess is that this would not be too much work for the Pianoteq crew to implementing this, not ?
it would add up ALOTS for more experimental working people like me !
would be much appreciated to see such a parameter update, at least in the Pro version.

Thanks for reading


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

You can do this already via Scala files, I think.

Hard work and guts!


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

EvilDragon wrote:

You can do this already via Scala files, I think.

i see there a: " i think".
..........and i even don´t know what a scala file is ?

"sounds to me" like doing the "programming work" somewhere else and then loading a file.
sounds not practical for the experimental work i´m doing.

still, my Feature request stands.
...and i would have many more btw.

Pianoteq is not only a outstandingly sounding VSTi, Piano that is,
it "would" also allow "as a Pianosound Platform" for much more than it is right now assoon you think more/also to the experimental and electronic experimental musicians.
a Good Grand Pianosound is such a rewarding thing on its own, yes !
........but also as rewarding to take it further and beyond..............;)


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

"seems" to me that if one is doing "experimental" "work" in this "vein" then one ought to at least take the "time" to "familiarize" oneself with the "programming" involved with "scala files"...

so here, let me help you with that ==>http://www.huygens-fokker.org/scala/scl_format.html



Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

DaveyJones wrote:

"seems" to me that if one is doing "experimental" "work" in this "vein" then one ought to at least take the "time" to "familiarize" oneself with the "programming" involved with "scala files"...

so here, let me help you with that ==>http://www.huygens-fokker.org/scala/scl_format.html


Thank you for the tipp, but thats unfortunately not made for me.
( i just have had a read at that page....with interest.....)
Just that it starts that i have NO clue what i would have to do with that .......

>>one ought to take time to familiarize with programming<< ?
to make experimental music ? No !
why ? cause i´m one of those Guys who have *killed* his health by sitting in front of a computer.
the next thing: "everybody" these days have to spend a certain amount of time in front of computers anyway......
now you tell me i "should" learn "this", ......the next guy will tell me i "should" learn "that"......( for a fact a reality )
, and then do we have allready our own backlog what we wanted to learn to do in the computer anyway...... wink
I have pianoteq pro and ableton "to learn", thats plenty for a No-computer guy.

I dived btw. into electronics and built me my own modularsynthesizer over the course of several years.......( in regards to: >> ...ought....(and) ..Vein...<<)
I´ve put my effort into my things.   Just that i can´t do everything. Not the time, Not the energy.......thats how things are. wink
anything programming is the least i ever would do ( see above)

i gladly take a per note detune if it is added in pianoteq.
My wish and feature request still stands !

thanks for trying


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)


Maybe dials, sliders for this level of control would help on Pianteq's interface - I do like that idea.

Don't want you to miss out on achieving your ambitions tho' Funky40 - it can be done.

You began asking if it's possible to give single keys different notes and the answer is yes.

Don't overlook because initially it felt too hard - what could be better than achieving your dream of your own tuning, right now, yeah?

Don't worry, it's really not as hard as programming.

Notepad, drag-drop, solid, whoah wink

They are .scl files. They are tiny text files. Low tech, no-shinyTM but you get perfect result, total control, easy.

Files look like this (Ref. http://www.huygens-fokker.org/scala/scl_format.html ).

Here's a fundamental 12 notes per octave one for you (Ref. https://usermanuals.garritan.com/ARIAPl … tuning.htm ).

Copy from the first ! to the last part "2/1" - likewise for other .scl files. Notice, where it says "12" in the equal temp file, and "88" in the bourdelle file? Keep that in mind when making your own files smile

! equal-midi-basic.scl
12 Tone Equal temperament - midi steps

OR here's the bourdelle1.scl file for giving a number to each key on a 88 key keyboard - you can still use if you have 73:

! bourdelle1.scl
Compromis Cordier, piano tuning by Jean-Pierre Chainais

You can change any of the series of numbers in a note pad, save, drop the file onto the Pianoteq interface to hear your changes.

You'll get the hang of that in minutes.

You'll quickly find which number is your C#Min etc. Just change the numbers to your liking and hear each change in Pianoteq as you go - you can't go wrong to get the result you're after, surely.

Is there a shiny interface in Pianoteq? YES - drag and drop - but this is so simple and frankly, an interface with sliders might help somewhat but it really wouldn't seem ANY easier to me, personally - but then, I grew up before touch screens.

Make your own files, Funky40-CsharpMin-to-low-Gsharp-Whatevs-01.scl

Perhaps it just seems too abstract because it looks too much like programming - or in a pointy-clicky era, it doesn't seem obvious or intuitive.

There can't be anything more intuitive than a number for a note, can there?

Download the archive of scala files:


You can:

See and EDIT the scala file "bourdelle1.scl" in the following file archive, save it as your own and tweak in real time as you get to hear the changes you make. This file is like the one above except that instead of giving a tuning for each 12 keys (your octave of course), it gives a fixed value to each of your keys.. you can open it in notepad and find the number that relates to the exact g# key, for example, and give that key the same number as the existing C#m - if that's what you mean to do. Experiment - up to you - is all possible and not too hard to do.

You could get complex and make a spreadsheet with notes and numbers for reference, you also could learn to program for midi using .kbm files, C and infinitely more - but only if you get that urge?

You really only need a basic notepad and the files mentioned to learn/change = win.

If you want more info, here's official info on the basics of scala files:


Again, no hard programming or learning a whole programming language required.

In a file manager, just extract the archive to a folder you choose, then you can simply drag a file/tuning you'd like to hear directly on to the Pianoteq interface.

For more info (once you're hooked! smile and want to make more accurate numbers check this (may require more time but worth it):

"MIDI Tuning Standard unit: 1/196608 part of an octave

This divides the 12-tET semitone into 214 = 16384 parts which resolution makes sufficiently accurate tuning of electronic instruments possible. See the MIDI Tuning Specification 1.0.

There are other MIDI tuning units which differ per manufacturer, for example Yamaha has models tuned in 1/768 or 1/1024 parts of an octave.

There's also the MIDI Pitch Bend message, which can carry the values -8192 .. 8191, so when the range (which is variable) is the standard range of +/- 200 cents, then the unit is 1/49152 part of an octave or 0.024414 cents."


To wrap it up:

It's as easy as editing a few numbers in an existing tiny text file AND it's as complex as you want to take it from there IF your goal is be more in-depth. That's really not required IF your goal is just experimental tunings for now.

There are tunings which might blow your mind in that collection - and your own tweaks and ideas could be expressed with very little time and effort if you just - have a go.

Who knows, your tuning might be added to the official collection, for posterity one day.

(Edited to fix links)

Last edited by Qexl (18-12-2016 04:14)


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

first: Qexl, that was very gentle to take the time to make all those explanations for me ! Much appreciated !
second: i hope my answer to DaveyJones didn´t came thru anything in a offending way.
( i had a longer readup which had my thanks more pronounced in it, but i cutted it down for Tl:tr sake // btw..... i´m often in  danger that my style how i write has something offending to it )

(sorry, thats a VERY loooong one !!! )
_i see "there is a whole system with those scala files" allready available.
not just one hack more in the wide wide wilderness of the web.
I was not aware when checking the link Davey had posted. my appologies

_i easy can imagine that the Pianoteq crew never had any feel or need to implement what i requested cause "for a pro" it might clearly look or feel that this is allready given, .........just not directly within Pianoteq.

_ i had a look and try and see: when i (double) click on one of those .scl files the scale is directly uploaded into my Pianoteq, which was by coincidence open (on my macbook on which i surf)
Ok, that it opens directly into Pianoteq5 makes it look much easier than thougt it would be wink

so i´d like to start here :
first: how can i get rid of that file that i have loaded now in pianoteq ? haha
.........i mean in a controlled way, loading back a regular file, which one ?

whats the relation of the .scl files with Pianoteq ?
is the tuning within pianoteq allready based on .scl files ?
Or if not, to where within pianoteq has the .scl file (that was loaded by doubleclicking on it) been loaded ?

..........ok, you got me in, i´m positiv and willing to do some work in this direction, just that my guess right now is that it will take me 1-2 years, or at least months to get to that state where i also think: "hey, its easy, it just takes a few minutes" wink

unfortunately some of the links above have not opened, respectivly have i gotten a 404, so i could not see all what was linked above.

ok, beside the fact that i still wish me a semitone-detune option in pianoteq (pro), i much think or guess, that beeing able to deal with .scl files, would also pay out using other VSTs, not only pianoteq.........which is my main soundsource.

Thats a good thing, yes ! wink

Qexl: the links that i can´t view:
_the first one: >>Files look like this (Ref. http://www.huygens-fokker.org/scala/scl … ).<<
_the second one, i get something like:  >><Error><Code>AccessDenied</Code> <<

_quote Qexl: >> You'll get the hang of that in minutes. <<
unfortunately is there more to it. thats for me right now a whole package to understand upfront.........when a beginner is stepping onto something new, there are usually many open questions, even some that might not make sense, but the beginner does not know that aslong he has no oversight wink

_quote Qexl: >>Perhaps it just seems too abstract because it looks too much like programming<<
haha, i meant with "programming" that level of work where-in you are steering me here wink that feels for me allreday very much like programming.
even just moving sliders within pianoteq for 88 keys (i´m on 88 ) IS programming work for me/my head. wink

_>>Download the archive of scala files:>>
success ! donne. ok, found the >>bourdelle1.scl << file at seocnd try ( bou......written with ou , not u........

_quote Qexl: >>You really only need a basic notepad and the files mentioned to learn/change = win.<<
hmm, i´m on OSX wink when i doubleclick the file it opens pianoteq ( even afer closing pianoteq )
So: i *need* a Win PC ?
I much likely will get me a Win10 PC within the next 6months or so........

quote Qexl: >>There can't be anything more intuitive than a number for a note, can there?<<
I agree ! ...but it apllys only if you are In with your mind.
funnily was i the math genius at my scool time, ..........while i have changed *totally*  to be a "off-mind" person wink
but as i sayed: you have convinced me that it will be worth it to dive into that !
just that i´m afraid that it will take me years to be totally at home wink

Qexl, if you´d be willing to give me some babysitting here that would be very welcome !
but i might try also in a german based forum to see if there´s somebody familiar with .scl files that could give a hand.
and please note: i do not "expect" any further hand from you, me not beeing setup in any way if you don´t fell like doing so wink
any further is a plus............but a welcome one wink



Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

You are most welcome, it's great to know you are having some success with Scala files Funky40! smile

_quote Funky40: >> first: how can i get rid of that file that i have loaded now in pianoteq ? <<

A couple of ways:

First might be easiest, just undo, by clicking on the menu item "edit/undo" or press "Control z" on keyboard.

Or you can click on a different piano setting on the list in Pianoteq, then click again on the one you're editing. Look for the small arrows on either side of the name of the piano setting on the bar - click either arrow to move to a fresh piano model, then the other arrow to return to your first sound without your changes.

Or for more than just that, in the tuning box (near top left of main Pianoteq interface), find and click on the backwards "u" shaped icon and then click on the drop-down on the left (which should display the filename loaded), and choose to load a different tuning. There's "equal" tuning on the list, as well as a couple dozen built in tunings OR you could load a scala file from that menu which goes through a familiar "open" file type dialog.. Also, your recent files loaded are listed here for ease. Exploring, you'll find Pianoteq has plenty of great little tricks which may not be highly visible.

_quote Funky40: >> whats the relation of the .scl files with Pianoteq ? <<

Too much programming for me aha smile Pianoteq would have proprietary blobs dealing with tunings - eg. they have inbuilt tunings you can access via the tuning interface. Some things might only relate to the Pro version. If you need to know this, you might end up programming your own tuning app someday smile

RE links not working: edited the post and FIXED

_quote Funky40: >> i hope my answer to DaveyJones didn´t came thru anything in a offending way <<

Don't worry, I'm sure DaveyJones is not offended personally. He might take offense at the thought that someone might turn their nose up at a way to achieve something suggested. I cannot speak for anyone but I'm sure he'd be more thinking about how you might miss out on a way to achieve your goal, than to be worried about if you are offensive. But there's more fun at heart here on the forum I think. I know that sometimes my writing sounds too harsh/formal too. It's a pain sometimes because it's hard to say efficiently what I need to, whilst also deleting anything human in my words :. Posting in English can make many non-English speakers sound maybe aggressive, drunk or just angry you insensitive clods wink

BTW, you should really not require Windows if you're happy with Ableton and Pianoteq. Great way to create - if you're happy and more concerned about saving time, stick with what you have for now - IMHO.

Good to know double clicking works for you smile

I'm very pleased to have steered you to dive in - I know that you will find how to make the tunings you mention and maybe without having to run two separate plug-ins in Ableton.

Once you nearly get the tuning right, give a little more tweaking and then get it just how you imagined might take a few attempts.

Funny thing with Pianoteq, once you begin tweaking you could theoretically never end, it really is very boundless in options.

But keep in mind that, after some years tweaking it, I often come back to default settings with some more basic tweaks - it's up to us each and sometimes you need weeks and months to sensibly "feel" deeply the differences you make.

Music will take the rest of our years, speaking for most of us who enjoy it. It never ends, there's no finished state smile

Yes sure - I am happy and also think many here on the forum would be very glad to help with any other questions you have here. If you find good German info maybe post a link here - could be useful to others.

Very cool of you to jump in! - I really mean that - you surely won't be dissapoint.


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

You can detune notes by the degrees that you want in the Pro version:

1. Double-click on any slider for a parameter that opens up a Note Edit pane, such as the Unison Detune slider.
2. In the upper left corner of the Note Edit pane, click on the name of the parameter, so that the list of parameters appears, and click on Detune.
3. Right-click on the bar that represents the note\key that you want to detune and then click on Edit.
4. Near the top of the Note Edit pane, the current pitch setting for the note will be highlighted in orange. Click there and over-write the number with the number that you want, using a plus or minus sign before the number. You do not have to type the word "cents." 100 cents, of course, up or down, will shift the pitch a half step to match the pitch of the neighboring note. (EDIT You don't have to use a + sign for a  positive  number.)
5. Remember to save the preset to save the tuning.

(You can simply drag the bar, but that only moves the pitch 1/2 of a semitone if you drag to the bottom or top.)

Last edited by Jake Johnson (19-12-2016 03:20)


Re: Feature request (4 pro): "Tune" per key ( semitones)

Thank you Jake!

I thought the limit was 1/2 semitones because of the sliders.

The thing I've noticed about radical de-tunings, is that the de-tuning you do remains relevant to the actual modelled string which you are tuning.

Explanation: so if you make some -1200 cent (down one octave) note edits, where for example Funky40 might want a bass note, that newly tuned down bass note will have totally different timbre compared to the sound of a thicker string down to the left of the keyboard.

People who string guitars will understand immediately, that if you put a nickel-wound bass string on, it won't stretch to make a high pitch before bending the neck and snapping as you try tightenning it.

I haven't played with limits - but the first -1200 and -2400 cent notes I tried sounded quite realistic, like a very loose string. But the realism was crazy good.

So, I'm really glad to see Pianoteq include that modelling. It's brilliant for those who like "treated" instruments for particular purposes to know they can tune strings up and down on the interface.

However, that might still pose a problem for those seeking to emulate placing "sampled" (any viable string sound from anywhere on the board) sounds per key.

Would the idea of mapping actual strings to actual keys be useful in future models - and would that be possible I wonder.

Learning something new about Pianoteq since day one - thanks again Jake!