Battle of the Tuning Softwares: LMSO vs. Scala

For those interested in what tuning software will make microtonality most convenient for them (assuming you can be seduced down the primrose path, my pretty), microtonal programming expert Bill Sethares has offered an authoritative comparison, over at the tuning list, between Li’l Miss’ Scale Oven (LMSO) and Scala:

[W]hile they do overlap in some functions, they
do differ. The similarities: both will generate scales, both will save
to a variety of formats, both are written by dedicated people who have
done a lot to make it easier to explore microtonality. Strengths of
Scala: many analysis features, huge library, available on all
platforms. Strengths of LMSO: easy to use with a large variety of
synths and softsynths, great manual (clearly written and easy to
follow). For my personal taste, I think of Scala as better for
analysis and LMSO as better for performance. With specific reference
to Kontakt support, both work by writing a Kontakt script file that
can be added into any instrument. Scala’s implementation is limited to
a single scale at a time (I know — I helped Manuel debug the Kontakt
scripts). LMSO can have many tunings available instantly in a single
script, and you can switch between them slickly and easily. It’s
biggest liability is that it is Mac-only.


  1. kevin parks says

    Seems nasty to bitch about free software and i have always rooted eagerly for Scala. But, I have an annual ritual where i download it, fussy with it for a whole day, throw my arms up in the air and say, maybe if i get a PC/linux box or when the mac support comes up to speed … who knows maybe next year? I shake my head, delete it from my hardrive and go back to lamely trying to roll my own kludgy junk from whatever language i am currently using.
    It’s about that time a year again. If only! Do i dare!?
    but how bout some props for on the old NeXT! hehe… okay, you don’t remember that one huh? Great program. I miss it so much. It actually honked at you in Just Intonation when you pressed the keys. It didn’t need no stinking MIDI. hehe…
    Thanks for the heads up Kyle might give the LOIUWLGSJT or whatever it is called a try. If i can get it to hoot at me from inside o Max it just might be the ticket.
    kevin “i still hate MIDI” parks

  2. lee says

    I’d like to tune my Roland JV super soundset harpsichord as though it were a real instrument. Temperament theory is OK, but I’m a practicing musician.
    I’m getting too old to program in Scala or JAVA, and unwilling to pay 165 dollars + the price of a Mac for LMSO.