Many alternative tuning systems have been proposed that divide the octave unevenly. A common way to define these systems is the Scala file. Schismata can import Scala files making available thousands of tuning systems, modern, historical and non-Western. Having loaded a Scala file, the horizontal lines accurately indicate the pitch of the available tones over 12 octaves. There is virtually no limit to how many tones per octave the Scala file can have.

The Tuning System Designer, which is an integral part of Schismata allows you to rapidly design and implement any tuning system you can dream of. You can create tuning systems with Just Intonation i.e. systems with exact ratios such as 3:2 and 5:4 and hear chords in their purest form. Or add unusual ratios such as 8:7 or 9:7 and experiment with new sounds. You can also create tuning systems by clicking with the mouse and dragging to the pitch you want either to the nearest 'cent' or to freely to any ratio you want. When you click "Apply" the tuning system is immediately set in Schismata ready for you to start composing. When you create a tuning system a "scala" file is created which can be used in other compatible programs.