L’il Miss' Scale Oven
Retuning, Scale Analysis and Editing Tool
- Create, use and play scales that sound good — easily.
- Ethnic tunings, nonoctave scales, natural intonations, experimental and historical scales — all treated uniformly.
- Real-time retuning of wide variety of instruments through MIDI.
- Numerical editing and Graphical display of scale using equal-divisions, cents and ratios.
- See the intervals you are playing as you play them.
- Create and interact with tunings just like with an acoustic instrument, by ear, even tweaking intonation of individual notes during a live performance if desired.
- Analyze consonance and dissonance of a scale using a perceptual model of hearing.
- Iteratively and Interactively Quantize scales to closest matches of just and equal-temperaments within desired degree of match using the intuitive IQ Scale Editing Module.
- Knead & Fold Kitchen Appliance — the easy to use Scale Editing Module for effortlessly creating meantone, MOS, and linear scales.
- Waffle Iron — fun and versatile appliance for making symmetrical just intonation and rational scales, tonality diamonds, and more.
- Tonic Shifter — useful interactive graphical modulation appliance.
- Shaker — when you want to escape from too digital a sound, this appliance adds a touch of organic analog realism to your scales.
- Big library of scales included.
- Imports popular scale file formats like Scala.
- Huge variety of output formats.
- Create new timbres that are spectrally matched to a scale.
- Polyphonic virtual keyboard enables you to play scales and music without needing to turn on an external keyboard.
- Communicates with hardware synths through any MIDI interface and with sequencers and softsynths directly using inter-application MIDI communication.
- Hardware synths with sysex retuning support are retuned
directly using their own protocols through MIDI.
Instruments which were not retunable can now be retuned through
MIDI with LMSO’s powerful Nuscale
real-time tuning module which can tune multiple instruments
at once to the same or different tunings, as well as adding new
expressive musical capabilities.
- Tuning support for Logic 7, Kyma, TimewARP2600, Metasynth™, Pluggo™, Max/MSP™, BitHeadz Unity, NI Reaktor™, NI Absynth 2–5™ and many more.
- Retunes many many softsynths and samplers, even those in Reason™, Ableton Live, and Kontakt™.
- Zone Manager — master
keyboard controller for creating splits and layers, and
changing them in real time with foot pedals.
- Universal Tuning Format
Translator — Never worry about tuning format
compatibility again! Read, write, convert practically
- Cupcake Microtonal Synthesizer
— a 48 part multitimbral, 64 voice synthesizer. Cupcake
accepts sequenced tuning changes, separate scales per part, and
real time tuning and patch changes without glitching. Now included with
What you can do with LMSO
Li’l Miss’ Scale Oven is regarded by musicians the world over as the best tuning software available.
LMSO generates tunings for musical instruments, evaluates their sonance across a given timbre, and much much more. Each tuning is baked in an Oven.
Cook up moods and beats for gamelan instruments, pan pipes, bouzoukis,
ouds, log drums, mbiras, harpsichords, recorders, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdys, kotos,
or any other ethnic instrument using accurate native tunings that really
put the sound together and make it come alive with an authentic taste.
Put that Scale Recipe in the Oven, specify the type of Frosting,
and pow! Your Box is retuned with a
fresh new tuning, ready to be eaten up with funky new riffs as delicious harmonic
aromas waft out of the studio-kitchen and all around your house, barn, warehouse or loft.
The Li’l Miss changes what is possible
You’ll understand the primal energy of tunings
in a new way. You will be working with and applying tunings to your music
productively and easily right away.
The way you think about composition will never be the
same, nor will the way you work as a composer. The power you wield
as an artist to lead the listener to new states of lucidity and levels
of emotional energy will be increased exponentially.
Everything changes now — starting with the unlimited
artistic potential simmering within the Li’l Miss, ready to be
exploded into the world through your work. Stand by for a
conceptual leap in tuning awareness as new powers to change the
world through your art become yours for the taking.
Li’l Miss’ Scale Oven (LMSO) runs on the Mac and tunes
more instruments than any other software in the world
including pro Yamaha, Ensoniq and MIDI Tuning Standard compatible
musical instruments. This includes the Yamaha DX7 w/E!, DX7II, DX11,
TX802, TX81Z, SY77, TG77, SY99, VL1, and VL7; the
Ensoniq EPS, EPS+, ASR-10, ASR-X; Marion Prosynth,
E-mu Proteus/1, Proteus/2, Proteus 1000 & 2000
and relatives, and all instruments that understand the MIDI Tuning
Standard (there are a lot of these out there),
such as many E-mu synthesizers.
A detailed list of instruments supported may be found here
In the soft synth world, LMSO provides unique microtonal support for
a number of synths which were formerly quite difficult to retune,
such as UI Metasynth, Pluggo, Max/MSP, and NI Reaktor.
LMSO also supports all explicitly retunable softsynths
compatible with the Mac that I know about, such as the FM7, Absynth 2–5,
Pro-53, CronoX 2, Albino 2, Cameleon 5000, Cube and Tera 2.
In addition to this, LMSO is even so powerful it can retune many many
software synths that theoretically cannot be retuned, such as
the NI Kontakt sampler, as well as all the synths and samplers included
with the very popular Propellerhead Reason. Imagine what you can do, for
example, by using LMSO to tune Reason’s samplers to authentic ethnic tunings!
LMSO can also retune many hardware synths not listed here that were never designed to be retunable.
This really opens up new possibilities.
Because LMSO uses the industry standard Mac MIDI drivers CoreMIDI for
OS X, instruments are selected by the names you have given them. LMSO knows
what kind of tuning format each instrument needs and so there is no need
to select that separately.
Specifying and manipulating scales
Toss out your calendar...
...and return to primal scales that resonate with your inner
spirit and bring into consciousness your hidden emotional energies
and experience. Use your music to activate chakras and unstop those
energy blockages in the meridians.
Scales are editable in cents, ratios or equal divisions (called srutis
in LMSO) units in either absolute or differential format. A graphical
display is provided that is capable of indicating the deviation from
another scale by the use of a gradient blur. Conversions are provided
between any two types of representations and also quantizations can be
performed from one space to another. For example, it is possible to
quantize an equal temperament 73% of the way towards 21-limit ratio
space, or whatever. No specialized theoretical or mathematical knowledge
is necessary. This is done interactively with a slider and the graphical
display and is quite intuitive.
LMSO can read Scala tuning files (most I believe, though I have not
tested all that exist!).
LMSO also uses its own format tuning files normally. These include
information about the author of a scale, its date of creation, any scale
it might be derived from, keywords, anchor frequency and key, and type
of keyboard mapping. All of these things are easily edited and viewed
from within the program.
One nice feature is that anywhere you can enter numbers, you can
enter expressions — including many trigonometric and other
functions built in. I hate having to grab a calculator to figure out
numbers for programs and so I include built in calculators in my
applications (Pressing CMD-= visibly reduces any selected mathematical
expression). Has nice usability features such as click on any number and
press the up and down arrows to increment and decrement the number; do
this with shift to move in larger steps, or control to move in smaller
Transmitting and saving scales
Make your audience’s ears twitch from the excitement and anticipation of a tasty treat
Start with well-known scales if you want, analyze them, tweak
them, make them just right and different enough to give your music
that spicy edge.
Tunings can be sent out to external instruments using your MIDI
interface, or to other MIDI programs using LMSO’s virtual MIDI ports.
They can be saved as a sysex message embedded in a Standard MIDI File
(SMF). This file can read into most sequencers, provided that the
sequencer can read Standard MIDI Files and supports system exclusive
messages, and then you can include tunings in your sequences and change
them as part of a composition if you like.
Most formats can be saved as raw MIDI in case you want to use any of
the freeware sysex dump programs available instead of LMSO. This can be
useful if sharing a tuning with a Mac user who does not have any tuning
Also can save scales to a wide and ever-increasing number of
specialized and obscure tuning file formats used by various soft synths
and analysis programs. This means you only need one program to manage
all your scales and all your scales are tuned in a compatible manner.
Most instruments that do not have sysex tuning table support
or some other form of tuning support can be retuned via
LMSO’s dynamic retuning system Nuscale. Nuscale can
simultaneously retune multiple instruments at once to any desired
tuning, permits the use of multiple simultaneous tuning layers,
allows dynamic modulation for extended just intonation, enables
tuning scales by ear while playing, and adds expressive
performance features to each instrument.
LMSO X is an OS X application and runs great in Tiger (10.4),
Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9).
As a Universal Binary, LMSO X runs well on both PPC and Intel Macs.
Some other Features and notes
Travel to other universes of mood and intonational expression
As you conjure up tunings of alien civilizations, creating otherworldly
dream music that entrances your listeners and awakens previously
The program is not limited to twelve tones per repeat, nor to a repeat
of an octave.
Nor is it limited to a small fixed set of tunings — you can
make up your own scales, download scales off the internet, type tunings
in from books, and trade scales with friends.
The program is written in C using an object oriented architecture
yielding stable code that will continue to be maintained, and is quite
fast and responsive.
The graphical displays can be copied to the clipboard then pasted
into graphics programs — that’s how I made the scale
diagrams in my article on scale stretching in Jacky Ligon’s last
‘Microtonal Activist’ ezine. This can be very helpful in
explaining to others about tunings one is using.
Price and Materials
Whatever you choose, it’s up to you
Li’l Miss’ Scale Oven gives you the power and control to
be the master of your artistic and expressive domain.
Version 3.5 of LMSO is released and shipping. The retail price
is $235 which is a tremendous value as it represents several thousand
hours of skilled engineering development time. To make it easy, the cost
of postage and handling is included
. (When shipped to addresses
within the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain,
Greece, Finland, Norway, Japan; other locations I might have to check first.)
LMSO is quite robust and usable as I have been developing her over a
period of thirteen years now and use her all the time myself in my own compositional work and research.
Distributed in a nice box on a CD with the program, video tutorials,
current manuals, and a large library of ethnic, experimental and
historical tunings to get started with.
My customers so far have been extremely satisfied, finding the
program to be fun, easy to use, versatile, and the best Mac tuning software.
Here are some comments:
“It’s a brilliant piece of software!”
“I am astonished. You can define scales as
cents, ratios, hertz, srutis, as scales that repeat at the octave,
that don’t repeat, and that repeat within any other interval.
It’s software conceived by a microtonalist, anticipating
anything a microtonalist may want to try out. Conlon Nancarrow used to
muse regretfully about how much easier his player piano studies would
have been to write if he had had today’s sequencing software,
and I feel like I just gained a similar advantage in mid-career. Never
again will I have to perform that tedious task between conception and
audition. Microtonal music just got easier to make than it probably
ought to be.”
, Composer, Teacher, Writer, New York
“I love it. Thank you, thank you for your beautiful
“I used LMSO on a short film called “Spilt Milk”,
this was a comedy martial arts movie. It was shot on a shoe-string
budget, but the director told me that he felt the music and sound
effects were so good they could have been from any cinema release
film. LMSO allowed me to dial up traditional Japanese scales that gave
my music the traditional and authentic feel I was looking for. In the
past I had access to the sounds of traditional instruments, but now
with LMSO I have access to the scales those instruments use. LMSO is a
fantastic tool for any artist serious about pushing the boundaries in
that most neglected of musical domains, PITCH! I would recommend LMSO
Justin White, Sydney, Australia
“I've owned LMSO for a little less than a year now, so I've only scratched the surface of what is possible, but it is superb! The intelligence and care you put into the software is beyond amazing. The manual is very well written and easy to use. Thank you for making such a great product.”
David DiFilippo, Pennsylvania
“LMSO is my first choice of software. I use it uniquely to
audition tunings for my work.”
“Your software is fantastic, a completely worthwhile investment
for me, and I have been using it or its results practically every day
since receiving it. LMSO is a perfect example of what computers ought
to be used for. In a corporate dominated world, such freak examples of
creativity shouldn’t statistically exist at all — they
only exist on the fringes. Your program is that most precious kind of
thing — something done as a labor of love, by a genuinely
creative person deeply immersed in a multi-disciplinary art/craft.
Even the simplest things I have done with LMSO have spared me
countless hours of misery and physical/mental wear. These simple
functions, which LMSO performed perfectly the minute I installed it,
along with the much more complex things it does that I haven’t
gotten around to yet, must have taken many years of study and creative
energy and troubleshooting and fatigue. Your program is far beyond a
mere “product” — for those of us who are swallowed
up by fascination with tunings, LMSO is more like an act of long term
public service, stretching beyond the short term future.”
“I am absolutely loving LMSO! I am trying out scales I would have never previously imagined.”
“Nuscale has been working very well with my softsynths, and
the Kontakt scripting function is incredibly easy and useful.
Thanks again for your fantastic software!”
“Before I was using LMSO, the only grammatical tool I felt
I had available to me to create musical phrases was the full stop, but
now I feel completely unrestricted in terms of the grammar that I can
use, and my potential for expression has increased almost infinitely.”
“LMSO is great. Thanks once again for your product and helping me so much last year. I am actually producing my first piece with it, a commission for a German festival called Sinus-tone to be premiered next October. I am doing a lot of non octave tunings... in funk, world, contemporary etc. Great stuff.”
“I’m so happy with this software it’s better than I imagined.”
Mario J, Toronto
“I can’t express enough how happy I am with the software.
It feels great to know that whatever synth I want to use, I don’t have
that nagging feeling about wasting my time because of the tuning
issue. Nuscale works great, and is more solid than I ever thought
that it could be!”
Tom Jordan, Lake George, New York
I offer a 30 day total satisfaction guarantee which I think is a good thing to have for any software!
I include product support and assistance with getting things up and
running or even in setting up scales if desired. I want to provide a
completely satisfactory experience for all composers, musicians, and
theorists who license LMSO.
I use LMSO myself in my own work as a
musician all the time, which means that I continue to add features and
capabilities to LMSO and support for new instruments. The Li’l Miss
is not going away nor is she stuck in the mud. She is part of the future.
Li’l Miss’ Scale Oven is an indispensable compositional and
performance tool without equal. Patrons supporting LMSO do so knowing that
their support is not just appreciated but is an investment that helps them
play a part in the future of music, a thrilling future we all have a chance
to be a part in forming through works of astonishing music created and
performed using the incredible power of pitch.
Ordering and Inquiries
If interested in ordering a copy, you may do so by purchasing from the
Red Barn Goat Farm storefront at the Kagi store.
These purchases are then drop shipped from Tennessee, normally within 3
business days. International shipments can take few more days to process.
Thanks for checking it out!
Where do I go next?
Absynth, Reaktor, Kontakt, Pro-53 and FM7 are trademarks of Native
Instruments. TimewARP2600 is a trademark of Way Out Ware. Kyma is a
trademark of Symbolic Sound. Metasynth is a trademark of UI. Max/MSP and
Pluggo are a trademarks of Cycling74. Unity is a trademark of Bitheadz.
Reason is a trademark of Propellerhead Software. Logic is a trademark of
Emagic. CronoX, Alpha, Albino and SaxLab are trademarks of LinPlug.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective