Disquiet Junto Project 0440: Tuning In

Disquiet Junto Project 0440: Tuning In
The Assignment: Dismantle the institution known as A440.

Major thanks to rbxbx and to Łukasz Langa (RPLKTR) for inspiring this project.

There is just one step: Throw off the shackles of A440 and make a piece of music in your favorite alternate tuning.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0440” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0440” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your tracks with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, June 8, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0440” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 440th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Disquiet Junto Project 0440: Tuning In — The Assignment: Dismantle the institution known as A440 — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this track is from zen Sutherland, used thanks to a Creative Commons license and Flickr. The image has been cropped, colors shifted, and text added.




The project is now live. Thanks, everyone.

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Hey I’m definitely gonna submit an item later this weekend but just wanted to drop onto the thread, since this is a microtonal thread, with a quick plug for some free and opensource synths that lets you work with scales if you want to design your own tuning:

https://surge-synth-team.org/tuning-workbench-synth/ lets you edit scales in realtime as you play and has some built in edit and transform options. Press the advanced key. It’s also a reasonable toy synth to hear tunings, but setting up a tuning by ear like a guitar is a pretty fun feature we think.

And if you want a FM-y sound https://surge-synth-team.org/dexed/ our branch of dexed works with scl/kbm mappings. (This has been merged into the main dexed branch but not binary released yet - you can get a binary from the surge synth team website above). And of course surge has full scl/kbm support too at https://surge-synthesizer.github.io/


Awesome - I came to this thread as a total newbie hoping that some thoughtful souls had shared resources - thank you! :slight_smile:


Researching this myself, I ended up being intrigued by the following:

  • fretless picked instruments allow for a lot of freedom
  • eurorack 1v/oct without quantization, for example through ribbon controllers
  • eurorack through unquantized sequencers, with a Subharmonicon you can use just-intonation or downright disable quantization and find something that sounds good (tip: you can fine-tune the entire instrument to fit your other sounds)

For more conscious scale operation, I’m inspired by:

Here’s a nice video about the Wendy Carlos scales:


I assign my music theory students to create a piece of music using some tuning system other than 12-tone equal temperament. Last semester, one student created a lovely melody using the Wilsonic app’s mandala tuning. With her permission, I remixed it using the Apache break and samples of “Stompin’ at the Savoy” by Clifford Brown and Max Roach.


The trombones are layered above each other in fourths and fifths in varying configurations. Through different accentuations of individual pitches, removal and addition of tones, the sound begins to move inside, swells up and down. The sound is developing in a room with 3-5 seconds of reverberation time. Throughout the piece, the boundaries between the layers are blurred. The trombones are played in just intonation and tuned to 432 Hz.


I used a frequency tuning and shifting frequency from the Roland DJ 808, MIDI Fighter and Push2. I used a frequency shifter at 317 Hz and a Tuner set to 410 Hz. I enjoy mixing various frequencies and tunings to individual instruments and thru loopers but I wanted to have a very simple Tuned beat to add to. I added an audio clip from George Floyd protest in Denver 5/31/2020 audio captured from Theta camera 360 sound Not sure who is speaking. The crowd cheers as the alarm for curfew goes off.


Three Surges (including some tricks only in the nightlies), a pianotec, ED2-19 (one longer than the ED2-18 I used in disquiet0423), Valhalla Delay, Logic effects. Process was a mix of improvisation and solving for the “triads”.

I hope you enjoy “Untitled, with Resolution (disquiet0440)”

Stay safe.


I don’t often play with different tunings, and wanted to find out what all the fuss about 432 hertz was all about. I used a mixture of tuning my Korg Wavestate and a sine wave at that frequency.

If you are reading this, and you like my work, could i interest you in my new album on the Courier sounds micro-label?, you can find it at https://forelight.bandcamp.com/album/various-erosions


A short melancholy track. Made with six distorted sine wave oscillators that aren’t tuned at all except for relevance to the track. A short sequence made with unquantised notes plus bleeps and boops from another untuned oscillator.

Intro played by adjusting the levels of the sine waves allowing sound to come through or not. Then later a not so harmonic beating can be heard as the oscillators go in and out of phase.

I think I finally got the soundcloud post right this time. Apologies for not including these details previously. I will amend the previous ones to include the details.


Make a piece of music from your favorite alternate tuning.

DADGAD has been a favorite guitar tuning for a while–this is a small variation (DAGGAD). I love playing slide too because there are lots of opportunities for small tonal shadings (sometimes on purpose!). I like the rain in the background. I think at one point I may have lifted something from a Ghazal tune.


For this week’s challenge I drew inspiration from a work of mine that I developed back in 2009, which has since been exhibited several times in various configurations. Infuser is an installation work for teapots and resonance and is essentially an homage to two Alvin Lucier works: the seminal ‘I am sitting in a room’ (1970) for voice and spoken text, and the lesser known ‘Nothing Is Real’ (1990)for piano and teapot.


Over the years I’ve presented Infuser using various combinations of teapots, coaxing their respective resonances using the process of resonance reinforcement (or constructive interference) that Lucier employs during performances of ‘I am sitting in a room’. With the resonances established, for installation I broadcast a recording of a teapot’s own resonance through a loudspeaker positioned where the teapot lid would usually go.

I’ve done enough installations of Infuser over the last 11 years that I’ve now got a fairly comprehensive catalogue of teapot resonances. These resonances are incredibly rich and especially beautiful when harmonised together. They all have distinctive fundamental tones, but possess very unique overtones - ranging from a clear harmonic order, to peculiar whines and whistles.

I thought it would be interesting the create an unconventional scale using these resonances.

For this piece, I’ve selected six resonances from the following teapots. The fundamental frequency and approximate pitch are listed alongside their nicknames:

‘Big Red’ ~340 Hz (~F4)
‘Royal Blue’ ~365 Hz (~F#4)
‘Sunset’ ~450 Hz (~A4)
‘Silver Girth’ ~465 Hz (~Bb4)
‘White Duke’ ~470 Hz (~Bb4)
‘Lovesexy’ ~505 Hz (~C5)

I built a quick little Max patch to sequence sample triggers and applied amplitude envelopes and spatialisation. Lastly, a bit of reverb was applied in Logic to give the mix some atmosphere.


Haven’t Disquiet-ed in awhile.

I’ve been playing with boxes these past few months.

A Neutron synth, an Empress pedal, and two stereo tracks of improvised… something.


Used a cosmic frequency table because it seemed interesting and chose 432hz. The title reflects what I’d like to do in these increasingly troubled times.

This track also demonstrates I’m not joking to people if I say I’ll replace them with a machine :slight_smile:

Guitars - algorthmically generated using Ableton’s Random option, tuned to 432hz with M4L Microtuner.
Drums - Borella Kit from Ableton’s Drum Essentials pack.
Bass - me.


Unfortunately, I’ve been away for quite a while due to work. The first disquiet track I’ve checked out in what seems like months is @NorthWoods playing dobro on the porch. Just wanted to say “thank you” for one of the best things I’ve ever heard here!!


I’ve been busy for a while - but decided to get my mind of other things, by playing around with this weeks challenge :slight_smile:

The track has been created through a rough patch on untuned oscillators and simple sequencers, run through some random mixing (a Turing Machine with a Vactrol Mix add on)- and then recorded in Ableton. Here, the resulting sounds have been mixed in with echoes of waves and converted to midi-data, fed to Spitfire Audio’s BBC Symphony VST and some midi-drumming. This has created the resulting - and, I’m afraid, somewhat disturbing - 60 seconds of noise…


Super cool! And very beautiful too.

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I’ve been reading about Alvin Lucier and had already bought a cheap SDR because of his interest in radio so this seemed the direction to take.

The piece when I played it turned into being a drone

The code for the Norns instrument is here https://github.com/junklight/swv and you can find the Crow script here https://github.com/junklight/swv - the code was all written for this piece and is a bit “how’re you doing” to pinch an Australian phrase…

and you can see me play it here


My initial idea for the A440 Junto project was different but the more I studied Wendy Carlos’ scales, the more I was sure I would go and do something based on one of those. I used Pianoteq’s fantastic scale editor to use the Gamma scale which produces nearly perfect triads.

From there, I made a lullaby in three quarters featuring the low-error major thirds and perfect fifths. It was like learning an entire new instrument since the octave is 20 keys now. It’s not a very practical tuning, in fact Wendy hasn’t used it on “Beauty in the Beast” either. Regardless, I hope I was able to show that it can be used to achieve rather pleasant melodies.

Unlike my other Junto submissions, this one is a YouTube video so you can see the atypical key combinations I had to use to achieve the consonants:

The composition took a long while to figure out but it was recorded in one take. I added a Spectravox drone (with two Dixie sines as sub-oscillators) and a subtle Subharmonicon for some movement. Raum reverb. That’s pretty much it.

edit: Oh, almost forgot. I used 433Hz for the base pitch. It’s neither the Austrian 435, nor the new-age healing 432, and definitely not 440. But what it is, is a prime number :sunglasses: