FretFind2D

FretFind2D is a two dimensional fretboard design tool. FretFind2D doesn't just calculate fret spacing. It models the entire fretboard, strings and frets, as a system of line segments on a two dimensional plane. Because of this approach, it can design fretboards for instruments with multiple scale lengths and non-parallel frets as well as fretboards for instruments that play just or meantone scales.

units
scale length
single
fundamental scale length
The scale length is the playing/speaking length of the string measured from the nut to the bridge. It is perhaps more properly twice the distance from the nut to the octave fret. The fundamental scale length is the length of a line drawn from the middle of the nut to the middle of the bridge. For single scale length instruments that line is the perpendicular bisector of both the nut and the bridge. I call this length "fundamental" because on a standard instrument with a narrow nut and a wide bridge the outer strings actually have a slightly longer scale length.
multiple
first string scale length
The scale length is the playing/speaking length of the string measured from the nut to the bridge. It is perhaps more properly twice the distance from the nut to the octave fret. Enter the actual scale length of the first (traditional high E) string.
last string scale length
The scale length is the playing/speaking length of the string measured from the nut to the bridge. It is perhaps more properly twice the distance from the nut to the octave fret. Enter the actual scale length of the last (traditional low E) string.
perpendicular fret distance

The perpendicular fret distance is the ratio of distances along the first and last string that fall on a line perpendicular to the midline of the neck. This is used to control the angle of the nut, frets and bridge.

Traditionally this property of non-parallel-ly fretted fretboards is measured by assigning a "perpendicular fret". "Perpendicular distance" avoids two problems with the "perpendicular fret" method. First, it is possible that no fret falls into this perpendicular position. With "perpendicular distance" we avoid fractional frets. Second, it is possible and even likely with non-equal temperament fretboards that as a fret crosses the fretboard it will fall at different ratios along the strings. With "perpendicular distance" we avoid complex calculations and have more predictable results.

A value of 0 results in a perpendicular nut. A value of 1 results in a perpendicular bridge. The default 0.5 results in a perpendicular octave fret. To calculate an appropriate value for any fret, simply divide the distance of the fret from the nut by the total length of the string. In twelve tone equal temperament the values look like this:

Fret	P.D.		Fret	P.D.
1	0.05613		13	0.52806
2	0.10910		14	0.55455
3	0.15910		15	0.57955
4	0.20630		16	0.60315
5	0.25085		17	0.62542
6	0.29289		18	0.64645
7	0.33258		19	0.66629
8	0.37004		20	0.68502
9	0.40540		21	0.70270
10	0.43877		22	0.71938
11	0.47027		23	0.73513
12	0.50000		24	0.75000
                            
string width at the nut
The string width at the nut is the distance along the nut from the center of the first string to the center of the last string. I'm using delta x distance (distance measured along a line drawn perpendicular to the neck's midline) because I think that is what you would feel as the width if you were playing an instrument with multiple scale lengths. It also makes the calculation easier. (Please note, FretFind will space the remaining strings equally between these two points.)
string width at the bridge
The string width at the bridge is the distance along the bridge from the center of the first string to the center of the last string. I'm using delta x distance (distance measured along a line drawn perpendicular to the neck's midline) because I think that is what you would feel as the width if you were playing an instrument with multiple scale lengths. It also makes the calculation easier. (Please note, FretFind will space the remaining strings equally between these two points.)
fretboard overhang
equal
nut & bridge
nut
bridge
first & last
lastfirst
all
lastfirst
nut
bridge
The fretboard overhang is the distance from the center of outer strings to edge of nut or bridge. For fretboards with multiple scale lengths this is calculated as delta x distance, distance measured along a line drawn perpendicular to the neck's midline. There are four input modes for overhang.
Equal:
you enter a single value and the overhang will be constant.
Nut & Bridge:
allows you to specify one overhang at the nut and another overhang at the bridge.
First & Last:
allows you to specify one overhang for the first string and another for the last string.
All:
you specify an overhang for all four locations separately.
(Please note, in FretFind the first string is shown on the far right where the high E string would be on a typical right-handed guitar. The last string is on the far left, where the low E would be found.)
calculation method
equal (root 2)
just (scala)
The calculation method determines how FretFind calculates fret placement. There are two input modes.
Equal:
uses the Xth root of two, a standard method for calculating equal temperaments. You enter the number of tones per octave.
Scala:
uses a Scala SCL file which allows you to specify each scale step exactly in either ratios or cents. If you are interested in creating your own scale, please read this description of the Scala scale file format. Otherwise try a scale from the Scala scale archive, found at the very bottom of the Scala download page. You can learn more about Scala at the Scala home page.
number of frets
This is the number of frets you would like FretFind to calculate. The number of frets must be an integer.
number of strings
The number of strings must be an integer. If you change the number of strings be sure to update the tuning section below (only useful with non-equal temperament scales).
tuning
Enter the scale step (of the scale defined above) to which each string will be tuned. For example a standard guitar in the key of E would be tuned 0, 7, 3, 10, 5, 0. The first string is the string to the far right on the fretboard. This step is not important for the Equal calculation method. Entering a tuning for the Scala calculation method will very likely result in partial frets.
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