[sdiy] Mikado: call for suggestion

Jim Johnson jamos at technotoys.com
Thu Aug 1 07:06:04 CEST 2002

Jim P is just getting ready to burn some ROMs for the prototype Mikado's
quantizers [http://www.technotoys.com/mikado], so it's time to nail down
the details of the quantizer options. I've never been 100% happy with the
original scheme, since it does not take advantage of all the available
slots (4 switches = 4 bits, or 16 possible quantization tables).

I've come up with a better idea for the quantization tables, but I'd like
some ideas for fine-tuning. 

First of all, the four bits are broken into two groups of two. The first
group, named "type", selects the .. damn, this terminology sucks.. "type"
of scale or chord. The four options formed by these 2 bits are All, Scale,
Chord, and 7th Chord. (The All option generates a chromatic scale.. the
Scale outputs all members of a traditional 8-note scale; Chord is I, II, V,
and 7th chord is I, III, V, VII.)

But what scale or chord is used? That is selected by the other two
switches, which are labeled "tonality". These do not affect the output when
the Chromatic output is selected, but when Scale, Chord, or 7th Chord are
selected, these determine the available notes. Options here are Major,
Harmonic Minor, Diminished, and .... what? I'm having a tough time deciding
what should go in the last slot. This could be an Augmented scale.. this is
complementary to the Diminished, in theory - but I'm having a tough time
finding out how to construct an augmented scale, and I'm not sure how
useful it would be. I'm partial to Pentatonic scales.. but I'm not sure
what to put in the slot that corresponds to a "7th pentatonic chord", let
alone the three note chord. A whole tone scale is another possibility, but
it has the same ambiguities as the pentatonic.

Just in case the above is unclear, this graphic is worth 2^10 words:

http://www.technotoys.com/mikado/images/QuantizerOptions.gif. (Those big
circles are toggle switches. The pair labeled "Distribution" is what I
earlier called "type".)

Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully accepted.
<insert irrelevant quote from obscure source here>

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