Configs

Helio uses several configuration files, such as: scales, in-scale chords, temperaments, hotkeys, color schemes and translations.

For each of those configs, there can be up to three versions, which are loaded and merged in this order:

  • ones that a built-in into executable,
  • latest updates fetched from helio.fm - they extend and override the built-in ones,
    • for example, translations, which is now the only resource updated in the runtime,
  • user’s configs - they extend and override the previous step.
    • for example, arpeggiators that you create in the app,
    • or any other configuration you might add and fill by hand.

Built-in configs

Chords

This config lists all chords displayed in the chord tool:

{
  /*
    A number of chords that are easy to define with in-scale keys.
    Sharp or flat near the number simply works as a halftone up/down.
  */
  "chords": {
    "chord": [
      { "name": "3", "keys": "1 3 5" },
      { "name": "sus2", "keys": "1 2 5" },
      { "name": "sus4", "keys": "1 4 5" },
      //{ "name": "aug", "keys": "1 3 5#" },
      //{ "name": "dim", "keys": "1 3 5b" },
      { "name": "6", "keys": "1 3 5 6" },
      { "name": "7", "keys": "1 3 5 7" },
      { "name": "7 sus2", "keys": "1 2 5 7" },
      { "name": "7 sus4", "keys": "1 4 5 7" },
      { "name": "9", "keys": "1 3 5 7 9" },
      { "name": "add9", "keys": "1 3 5 9" },
      { "name": "add9 sus4", "keys": "1 4 5 9" },
      { "name": "add11", "keys": "1 3 5 11" }
    ]
  }
}

Temperaments

This file lists all available temperaments, to which you can switch your project:

{
  "temperaments": {
    "temperament": [
      {
        "id": "12edo",
        "name": "12 equal temperament",
        "period": "C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B",
        "highlighting": "2 2 1 2 2 2 1",
        "chromaticMap": "1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1"
      },
      {
        "id": "22edo",
        "name": "22 equal temperament",
        "period": "C ^C vC# C# D Eb ^Eb vE E F Gb ^Gb vG G Ab ^Ab vA A Bb ^Bb vB B",
        "highlighting": "3 1 3 1 3 1 1 3 1 3 1 1",
        "chromaticMap": "3 1 3 1 3 1 1 3 1 3 1 1"
      },
      {
        "id": "31edo",
        "name": "31 equal temperament",
        "period": "C Dbb C# Db C## D Ebb D# Eb D## E Fb E# F Gbb F# Gb F## G Abb G# Ab G## A Bbb A# Bb A## B Cb B#",
        "highlighting": "2 3 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 3 2 3",
        "chromaticMap": "2 3 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 3 2 3"
      }
    ]
  }
}

Temperaments define how highlighting works in the piano roll, including octave size and key names, and which scales are available to choose from. Temperament description also provides a chromatic approximation, which is used as the “least common denominator” to be able to convert a piece from one temperament to another.

Scales

Scales listed here are available to pick up in the key signature dialog, and in the rescale tool. Scales with octave size mismatching the current temperament’s octave size are ignored.

{
  "scales": {
    "scale": [

      // 12 edo scales; source: "The Scale Omnibus"
      { "period": 12, "name": "Ionian", "intervals": "2 2 1 2 2 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Aeolian", "intervals": "2 1 2 2 1 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Lydian", "intervals": "2 2 2 1 2 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Mixolydian", "intervals": "2 2 1 2 2 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Dorian", "intervals": "2 1 2 2 2 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Phrygian", "intervals": "1 2 2 2 1 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Locrian", "intervals": "1 2 2 1 2 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Melodic Major", "intervals": "2 2 1 2 1 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Melodic Minor", "intervals": "2 1 2 2 2 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Harmonic Major", "intervals": "2 2 1 2 1 3 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Harmonic Minor", "intervals": "2 1 2 2 1 3 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Hungarian Major", "intervals": "3 1 2 1 2 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Hungarian Minor", "intervals": "2 1 1 3 1 3 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Neapolitan Major", "intervals": "1 2 2 2 2 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Neapolitan Minor", "intervals": "1 2 2 2 1 3 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Romanian Major", "intervals": "1 3 2 1 2 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Romanian Minor", "intervals": "2 1 3 1 2 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Enigmatic", "intervals": "1 3 2 2 2 1 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Enigmatic Minor", "intervals": "1 2 3 2 2 1 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Ionian Augmented", "intervals": "2 2 1 3 1 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Lydian Augmented", "intervals": "2 2 2 2 1 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Lydian Diminished", "intervals": "2 1 3 1 2 2 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Lydian Dominant", "intervals": "2 2 2 1 2 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Mixolydian Augmented", "intervals": "2 2 1 3 1 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Phrygian Dominant", "intervals": "1 3 1 2 1 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Ultraphrygian", "intervals": "1 2 1 3 1 1 3" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Locrian Dominant", "intervals": "1 3 1 1 2 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Superlocrian", "intervals": "1 1 2 2 2 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Ultralocrian", "intervals": "1 2 1 2 2 1 3" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Major Locrian", "intervals": "2 2 1 1 2 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Leading Whole-Tone", "intervals": "2 2 2 2 2 1 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Double Harmonic", "intervals": "1 3 1 2 1 3 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Half Diminished", "intervals": "2 1 2 1 2 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Altered Dominant", "intervals": "1 2 1 2 2 2 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Blues Heptatonic", "intervals": "2 1 2 1 3 1 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Blues Phrygian", "intervals": "1 2 2 1 1 3 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Blues Modified", "intervals": "2 1 2 1 1 3 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Blues Mixed", "intervals": "3 1 1 1 1 3 2" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Blues Leading Tone", "intervals": "3 2 1 1 3 1 1" },
      { "period": 12, "name": "Rock'n'Roll", "intervals": "3 1 1 2 2 1 2" },

      // 22 edo scales; source: https://en.xen.wiki/w/22edo
      { "period": 22, "name": "Harmonic Minor", "intervals": "4 2 3 4 2 5 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Superpyth, diatonic ", "intervals": "4 1 4 4 4 1 4" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Just major", "intervals": "4 3 2 4 3 4 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Natural minor", "intervals": "4 2 3 4 2 4 3" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Tetrachordal major", "intervals": "4 3 2 4 4 3 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Tetrachordal minor", "intervals": "4 2 3 4 2 3 4" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Just harmonic minor", "intervals": "4 2 3 4 2 5 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Just harmonic major", "intervals": "4 3 2 4 2 5 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Just melodic minor", "intervals": "4 2 3 4 3 4 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Superpyth harmonic minor", "intervals": "4 1 4 4 1 7 1" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Superpyth harmonic major", "intervals": "4 4 1 4 1 7 1" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Superpyth melodic minor", "intervals": "4 1 4 4 4 4 1" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Superpyth double harmonic", "intervals": "1 7 1 4 1 7 1" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Porcupine bright major", "intervals": "4 3 3 3 3 4 2" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Porcupine bright minor", "intervals": "4 2 4 3 3 3 3" },
      { "period": 22, "name": "Porcupine dark minor", "intervals": "4 2 3 4 3 3 3" },

      // 31 edo scales; source: https://en.xen.wiki/w/31edo
      { "period": 31, "name": "Major", "intervals": "5 5 3 5 5 5 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Natural Minor", "intervals": "5 3 5 5 3 5 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Melodic Minor", "intervals": "5 3 5 5 5 5 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Harmonic Major", "intervals": "5 5 3 5 3 7 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Harmonic Minor", "intervals": "5 3 5 5 3 7 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Major-Minor", "intervals": "5 5 3 5 3 5 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Septimal Natural Minor", "intervals": "5 2 6 5 2 5 6" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Mixolydian", "intervals": "4 4 5 4 4 5 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Lydian", "intervals": "4 5 4 4 5 5 4" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Phrygian", "intervals": "5 4 4 5 5 4 4" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Dorian", "intervals": "4 4 5 5 4 4 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Hypolydian", "intervals": "4 5 5 4 4 5 4" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Hypophrygian", "intervals": "5 5 4 4 5 4 4" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Neutral Diatonic Hypodorian", "intervals": "5 4 4 5 4 4 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Mixolydian", "intervals": "2 2 9 2 2 9 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Lydian", "intervals": "2 9 2 2 9 5 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Phrygian", "intervals": "9 2 2 9 5 2 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Dorian", "intervals": "2 2 9 5 2 2 9" },  
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Hypolydian", "intervals": "2 9 5 2 2 9 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Hypophrygian", "intervals": "9 5 2 2 9 2 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Hemiolic Chromatic Hypodorian", "intervals": "5 2 2 9 2 2 9" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Mixolydian", "intervals": "2 3 8 2 3 8 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Lydian", "intervals": "3 8 2 3 8 5 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Phrygian", "intervals": "8 2 3 8 5 2 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Dorian", "intervals": "2 3 8 5 2 3 8" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Hypolydian", "intervals": "3 8 5 2 3 8 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Hypophrygian", "intervals": "8 5 2 3 8 2 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Ratio 2:3 Chromatic Hypodorian", "intervals": "5 2 3 8 2 3 8" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Intense Diatonic Mixolydian", "intervals": "3 5 5 3 5 5 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Intense Diatonic Phrygian", "intervals": "5 3 5 5 5 3 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Intense Diatonic Dorian", "intervals": "3 5 5 5 3 5 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Intense Diatonic Hypolydian", "intervals": "5 5 5 3 5 5 3" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Intense Diatonic Hypophrygian", "intervals": "5 5 3 5 5 3 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Mixolydian", "intervals": "2 5 6 2 5 6 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Lydian", "intervals": "5 6 2 5 6 5 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Phrygian", "intervals": "6 2 5 6 5 2 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Dorian", "intervals": "2 5 6 5 2 5 6" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Hypolydian", "intervals": "5 6 5 2 5 6 2" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Hypophrygian", "intervals": "6 5 2 5 6 2 5" },
      { "period": 31, "name": "Soft Diatonic Hypodorian", "intervals": "5 2 5 6 2 5 6" }
    ]
  }
}

Arpeggiators

// TODO add some nice default arps someday

{
  // TODO
  "arpeggiators": {
    "arpeggiator": [
    ]
  }
}

Hotkeys

See the hotkeys page.

Translations

The translations file is too big to be included here; if you want to help proofreading and improving the translation for your native language, please follow this link.

The translations are updated in the runtime, if there are any changes: the latest translations are saved in the translations.helio file in the app’s config directory.

User configs

To override or extend the built-in data, you can create a file with one of these names in your documents directory:

  • chords.json
  • scales.json
  • temperaments.json
  • etc.

Custom scales

Let’s say, you want to add a scale - here’s the example content for scales.json:

{
  "scales": {
    "scale": [
      { "period": 12, "name": "Oriental", "intervals": "1 3 1 1 3 1 2" }
    ]
  }
}

What it means:

  • "period": 12 - this scale will be available only in twelve-tone projects,
  • "name": "Oriental" - scales are merged by name; if the built-in list contained a scale with such name, it would be replaced,
  • "intervals": "1 3 1 1 3 1 2" - this one is a heptatonic scale, i.e. it contains 7 intervals.

Custom temperaments

Or, if you want to add a temperament, create temperaments.json; for example, let’s add 24-EDO:

{
  "temperaments": {
    "temperament": [
      {
        "id": "24edo",
        "name": "24 equal temperament",
        "period": "C ^C C# vD D ^D Eb vE E ^E F ^F F# vG G ^G Ab vA A ^A Bb vB B ^B",
        "highlighting": "3 4 3 4 3 4 3",
        "chromaticMap": "2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2"
      }
    ]
  }
}

What it means:

  • id - if the built-in list contained a temperament with such id, it would be replaced,
  • name - this is displayed in the menus,
  • period - key names separated by whitespace; the number of keys defines the octave size,
  • highlighting - the default highlighting scheme in the piano roll, i.e. which rows are highlighted as “white keys” by default,
  • chromaticMap - this is used to convert temperaments; here, since 24-EDO just divides the 12-tone semitone in two, the chromatic map just jumps over quarter-tones. ...

You might want to add some scales for it, for example:

{
  "scales": {
    "scale": [
      // append this list to your scales:
      { "period": 24, "name": "Maqam Nahfat", "intervals": "3 3 4 4 4 2 4" },
      { "period": 24, "name": "Maqam Saba", "intervals": "3 3 2 6 2 4 4" },
      { "period": 24, "name": "Maqam Sabr Jadid", "intervals": "3 3 2 6 2 6 2" }
      // etc, etc.
      // (source: https://en.xen.wiki/w/24edo)
    ]
  }
}

Custom arpeggiators

Arpeggiators are created in the app, you will find them saved in arpeggiators.json. You can edit this file by hand, but you probably won’t need to.

Synchronizing across devices

// TODO