Meister - Software Function and Capabilities
Please read through this
tutorial and use it to
learn the inner workings of the software. It may take a bit of time but
as the entire concept is not very common, it will be hard to understand
the graphs just by monkeying around through the software without this
guidance. The videos of the program in action will be most useful.
The main function of Tuning Meister is pitch tracking in
real time - it gives a running
graph of the pitch of a single musical
line. That line can be from any
source you can put into your computer -
recordings of various types, and of course live microphone input. [See Recording Control for a
complete discussion of how to work with the various kinds of input you
want to explore - microphone, CDs, any sound file, and so on. Anything
you can listen to through the computer can be the source of the input
to Tuning Meister by proper selection in the Recording Control].
Since experimenting with the software on a few recordings is a good
introduction to the menus etc. before you move on to analyze your own
singing or playing
through the microphone, it helps to have an idea about what sort of
music can be analyzed.
The most crucial point
about the tuning abilities of this
software is that it works only with a monophonic
line of music; one note at a time only. For, say, double stops,
or several instruments
playing at once, it will hear the difference tone, or perhaps one of
the notes if it is much louder, or perhaps be confused completely.
There is no scientific way to separate a mix of sounds into its
different components and get great accuracy about the musical
frequencies. If you have trouble getting a good solid tuning trace,
it is most likely because of interference from other sounds. However,
good results can be obtained
with an accompanied solo if the solo is
dominating in volume. Hence it can be pretty successful with many
recordings of Indian music if the drones and accompaniment are not
prominent. For Western music, a recording of something like lute songs
or a violin sonata
will can be analyzed pretty well if there is no separate bass
instrument - just lute and
voice is a good subject for familiarizing yourself with the program.
Other basically monophonic music would be appropriate as well. For live
situations of singing or playing into a microphone and getting
real-time pitch feedback from Tuning Meister, very close placement of
the microphone will help overwhelm the sound from any accompanying
Nevertheless, even with a good signal, pitch
tracking is not an easy business, and you may often find spots where
the trace of the tune has odd lines and blips, where Tuning Meister is
momentarily confused. But I believe you can easily look beyond that to
the main tracking line and make use of the information it gives you,
even if there happen to be some noisy blips. It is a bit like watching
somewhat imperfect TV reception - you still get the overall picture
even if there is a small bit of "snow".
Using separate microphones and input channels, there
is a possibility of tracking the musical lines of a small ensemble.
Exactly how to display this is under development and several choices
The software uses slightly different
terminology and functionality for working with western music, or raga
music, so you can choose from separate paths for this tutorial
how you plan to use Tuning Meister. Of course it is perfectly adaptable
to analyzing other music cultures as well.
You may wish to bookmark this page in your browser;
that way you can access this tutorial without launching Tuning Meister.
This will be especially useful in case you run beyond your free trial
period, as information about setting up the license, should you decide
to buy the software, is contained in a page of this tutorial. In fact,
you might want to read quickly about the licensing
before you continue the actual program tutorial.
While trying out Tuning Meister at first, if you
encounter problems getting a tuning trace yourself, you should consult
the page about the Recording Control right