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Australian Computer Music Conference Articles

Vol. 39 No. 2 (2023): ElectroMUSE

A new ecosystem for microtonal computer music exploration and composition

  • Warren Burt
October 8, 2023


Over the past year or so, a number of new programs have emerged which make the composing and exploring of microtonal music much more easy and efficient. In the interaction of these programs, a new eco-system to support microtonal music has come together, and these, with the tools and abilities they imply have greatly expanded the possibilities for microtonal performance, especially in real-time. This paper looks at several of these programs, and how they interact to create a new, more powerful composing environment. The principal programs that allow this program to flourish are MTS-ESP by Oddmusic, Wilsonic by Marcus Hobbs, and VCV-Rack Pro by Andrew Belt and associates. As more developers have come on board supporting the MTS-ESP standard, the number of instruments that are now microtonally capable has expanded greatly. Also, “framework” programs, such as Ableton Live, Bitwig Studio, and Reaper, make the implementation of this ecosystem quite easy.