Prime Ratio Scala files for NYSTHI Scala & VCV Scalar

This zip file includes a bunch of SCALA files for microtuning. You can load them into VCV Scalar or @synthi (A Tuzzi) NYSTHI Scala Quantizer. It also contains the C++ program used to generate them. You use it like this:

primeratiogen scalename #primes > scalafile.scl

(for the non-command-line inclined that means you’re capturing the output of the program to scalafile.scl)

I can’t claim that these scales are unique to me but I did generate them in a way I thought up, and haven’t seen the idea elsewhere. These are generated thusly:

For some number N, make a list of all the ratios of the first N Primes, such that the ratios are greater than 1 and less than 2. In terms of the Scala file standard that means they all fit in a single octave. Sort them in increasing order and the represent the notes of a scale.

As an example for N = 4, you get a scale of 1/1, 7/5, 3/2, 5/3, 2/1 Which gives you a Tritone, a Perfect 5th, and a Major 6th, in addition to the root note.

For N = 5, it’s 1/1, 7/5, 3/2, 11/7, 5/3, and 2/1 – a single note is added – 11/7 which is a slightly flat minor 6th.

For N > 8 you get into intervals less than a standard half step. Things start sounding wierd, but they also seem to have an internal harmonic coherence – to my ears anyway – that derives from the numeric perfection of the ratio of primes.

VCV Scalar only allows scales up to 24 notes, which means kwPrimeRatio11.scl is the largest scale you can load, with 23 notes, kwPrimeRatio12 has 27 notes per octave.

You can actually unpack this file into your plugins/NYSTHI/res/microtuning/scala_scales/ directory and they’ll all be available in the Scala Quantizer context menu.