Microtonal Scales

There are many scales available on Hapax, but AKAIK the maximum division of the octave is the 12 of the Chromatic scale.

Hapax has the grid to play 128 notes in Live mode, so there is plenty of room for expansion for 19, 22, 23, 24, 31, 41 and 53 EDO scales. Perhaps it would be possible to take the idea even further and allow users to upload custom scales.


Interesting but how would that work? Aren’t “non-standard” tunings generally dealt with on the synth side rather than the sequencer side?

I don’t know much about synth tuning, I’m really seeking to understand it better.

AFAIK, both sides of the equation need to support microtonal tunings. There are synths that support (i.e. play) microtonal tunings, and sequencers that support (i.e. send) microtonal tunings.

Five12 Vector Sequencer and Eventide Misha, for example, are sequencers can load scala files for alternate tunings.


indeed microtone scales via Scala files could be interesting.

given its ‘niche’, and the fact Hapax clearly wasn’t designed with it in mind at the beginning.
I do wonder how deep this could be…

it would seem like a large undertaking to get the UI dealing with microtonal scales… though I guess the scale mode does means its UI is dealing in 5,7,12 notes per octaves.

Ive seen many vsts that loaded scala files basically just map the standard chromatic scale…
in that sense, it seems a ‘midi fx’ to translate chromatic → microtonal via scala would work well.

however, that would not cover the input side…
I think to do input, you’d need something more akin to MPE tracks/input/output.
though perhaps that doesn’t matter, as its probably even more niche for someone to have a microtonal controller :laughing: (though, Im jealous if you do :slight_smile: )

btw: please do not put ‘feature requests’ on the forum, as stated when signing up
all feature requests should be sent via the contact form.
squarp do actively monitor this forum any requests on this forum may not be considered.

of course, its fine to discuss ideas for possible features, and perhaps clarify your ideas.

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I’ve seen people fake microtonal scales on the RK-002 cable by using MIDI note + Pitch bend settings. But obviously this only works monophonically.

this is how you have to do it over midi…
however, normally, you would do in it multi-channel midi mode to give 16 notes (or mpe gives you 15, due to global channel).

this is also how expressive synths (like mpe) have ‘continuous’ pitch.

alternatively, there are some vsts/synths that support microtonal i.e. they do the translation… but then you don’t need support from Hapax.

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@thetechnobear - Understood about feature requests. I made a topic to see if other users come to the thread and lend their support for the idea.

I know it’s a “niche” feature, but on the other hand, if Squarp were to implement Scala support, it would constitute a forward-thinking move. However modest the microtonal community may be, I think the community would immediately regard Hapax as a must-have product. I see microtonal support in a similar vein to MPE support: by catering to more specialized musical and compositional users, particularly with a view to emerging technological capabilities, Squarp can itself apart from companies that merely focus on meeting run-of-the-mill, conventional standards.

Of course, if over time this topic doesn’t gather much support, then I’d understand if Squarp didn’t see Scala support as much of a priority. I hope that this topic can, however, attract supporters.

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I totally agree with you…

sometimes with products, extending to a small niche is actually a really smart move… there might not be many doing microtonal, but if you are the only hardware sequencer supporting it, that could still be a pretty good boost for your product. (I think same motivation is true to mpe)
so is ‘a big slice of a small pie’ :slight_smile:

indeed, similar to mpe, but in fairness… ( * ) MPE has been getting more ‘mainstream’ support from many quarters. more synths (hardware and software) , daws etc support MPE - so it appears to have gone beyond the ‘expressive controller’ community.
(though even there, I do have to frequently remind myself… its still pretty niche really)

but yeah, Id like to see microtonal support…
Ive dabbled in it a few times, and support on the Hapax I think would encourage me to do more.

on the note of ‘support’ for feature requests…
really, Id just encourage anyone/everyone to just send their ideas (etc) via the contact form…

frankly, getting +1, or yes please on a forum post doesn’t really show very much, or I suspect influence things… whereas ‘tickets’ in the system does.

but the forum is good for discussion like these…either to firm up ideas.
or even to think, how can we do this with what we have already?
I guess, Im saying is about awareness and communication in the community.

and frankly, discussing microtonal on a music forum is always interesting!

( * ) I had expressive controllers for a while (over a decade now :astonished: ) , so pre mpe. its been a long slog to get where we are… and honestly, still the uptake of mpe is pretty limited … to the point its a nice surprise to see a synth with mpe support … rather than an expectation :slight_smile:

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there is also realtime MTS (Midi Tuning Standard) … if you find a synth and a sequencer that supports it that could be a nice solution

but this doesnt exist to my knowledge

what i’m using is ODDSound to send for example the Prophet-10 alt. scales


oh, yeah, I’d forgotten all about MTS…
(probably because nothing I have supports it :slight_smile: )

midi 2.0 has microtonal support, where each note msg can contain a microtonal shift.

of course some of this is also about supporting non-western scales, which I’d guess/hope is a big market (and failing of original midi)