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TOPIC: soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF

soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 2 months ago #25694

  • dugdigit
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Hi there,
I've been working on a track with a couple different soft synths, massive and operator in particular. Everything seemed cool yesterday but now I've noticed that my midi notes are not being played accurately, some are a semitone flat, some are a whole tone sharp and basically none of them are correct. I've tried playing notes with the push and with a midi keyboard as well as drawing in notes in a midi clip. Massive plays correctly sometimes depending on the preset but mostly it's a half tone sharp. Operator plays correctly with some presets but a single sine wave plays a whole tone sharp. Sometimes the notes wander around up to a half tone sharp or flat. I'm getting a bit frustrated here. Help Please...?
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 2 months ago #25695

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After further testing it seems there's definitely something not right here. If I make a midi track and insert a group of 4 different operators with 4 different factory preset lead sounds and play the same A220 on all of them, none of them play an A. Most of them have a B as the fundamental, some have a A sharp and some wander around almost a half tone between the two. Am I missing something obvious here?
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 2 months ago #25696

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I should add there are no pitch bend automations in my midi clips.
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 2 months ago #25701

  • MOutcast
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hi, that is interesting.i will have to check that out. i am in to tunings these days. they say within 5 cents there is no difference audible. but i dont believe that.
if you take a fith interval that comes out of the usual equally tempered system and finetune 2 operators to play a perfect fith the differnce is uge, in fact our usual fith sounds horrible and the difference is within the 5 cent.
how did you test it?
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 2 months ago #25702

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but one or two semitones is just to strange.
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 2 months ago #25704

  • dugdigit
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I used the spectrum tool to check the fundamental frequencies of various synths all playing the same A220 midi clip. Some like operator are in tune if loaded as the default but certain presets are sharp by a half step. Massive is the same, the default plays correctly but some presets are a half step sharp. I have a couple of Max synths as well, one of them is correct but the other is a whole tone sharp. I'm dealing with it by using a midi pitch tool set to -1 or -2 for each instrument. There are quite a few others with this issue on the ableton help forum but no one seems to have an answer. Tech support has not responded to my request as of yet.
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 1 month ago #25724

  • Feyra Bass
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Yup, I have this problem too whenever I'm playing a single sine wave at very low frequencies. Move the sine up an octave and it's in tune.
I tried to do some research on this and all I found was it is "perceived" hearing. It could be modulation from another osc but you said you set up Operator with only one sine playing. This happens in all my synth just like you.

What I have to do is "dirty up my note a little and then EQ out the higher freq's until it starts to sound out of tune and then back off. Not a perfect fix but if you tweak it enough it kind of works. The other fix is bring up your note a few semitones but sometimes that isn't possible.

If you find the answer please post it for us!
FB
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soft synths playing 1 or 2 semitones off. WTF 1 year 1 month ago #25729

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I've found that by deleting unused midi pitch control plugins and scale plugins the problem is resolved. Apparently even though the plugins were turned off they were still affecting the pitch. I did find some pitch bend automation envelopes, although I never intentionally put them there, and it still doesn't explain why 2 instances of the same synth on the same chain playing the same midi clip would play two different tones. Clearing the envelopes only fixed the issue after I deleted all the midi pitch control plugins. I haven't had time to experiment with adding new ones to my chains to see if they still continue to affect the pitch while turned off, but I'm happy that the issue seems to be resolved for now. Happy Abletoning.
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