This is the main screen, where you will
spend most of your
time. A pair of graphs, above and below a moveable
splitter bar, show
the pitch in several magnifications. Consider just the upper
the display as shown in the above image: it gives a picture of the tune
it hears as a heavy black
line against a permanent horizontal array of colored lines. Each
colored line represents the pitch of one note in the scale - the solid
lines correspond to the naturals (labeled on the left) and the dashed
ones the accidentals in between, the white and black keys of the piano.
Their twelve separate colors help you keep your place on the graph
easily. (Imagine trying to distinguish your location amongst several
dozen gray lines). The full range of notes in this piece goes
from CC to eb'. Equal Temperament has been chosen for this example, and
you can see
the lines for the notes are all equally spaced.
In real time tuning, the screen will wrap around - the trace will draw over itself.
A video of the full-length Sarabande discussed above (actually, not the same recording) is available to view below. This can immediately give you an idea of the program in action, without installing it on your computer. [note - to repeat the video, it seems one must first click |< to reset the video, or drag the pointer back to the beginning, before clicking the play button again.]
However, if you have the patience to give your ears a test, you can first just listen to the audio, and see what you yourself can discern about the intonation on this clip. Then you can compare it with the graph on the video, and read my comments on the intonation.
Note - the actual use of Tuning Meister is much smoother than a video can show, as the frame rate is quite a bit slower. This shows 16 frames a second, which captures 5 pixels per frame. The original draws at 80 pixels per second.
These videos are all quite large; with a dial-up connection you will have to wait quite some time for the video to load completely, which you must do before playing it.
When you have time, it can be useful to read a more detailed discussion of the tuning info I gathered from this performance. Read it here.
you are a
singer, read this page about the display for Vocal
In certain modes of practice it is useful to have the graph trace stop when input ceases; similar to a voice-activated recording mode. For instance you may wish to sing or play a short phrase without looking at the graph, then check to see if your sense of intonation corresponds with what the graph drew. To switch between continuous trace or input-activated start and stop, check View | Trace Continuous [or input dependent].Now you can try actually analyzing some sounds. You may need to manipulate the Recording controls to feed whatever music you wish to analyze to the software.
Note this dialog box is made quite wide so it can be as shallow as possible in order to keep most of the tuning screen exposed. [If your screen has enough pixels, the dialog box will be even wider, with a slightly different layout but identical controls]. First adjust the limits of the graph, its upper and lower notes. If too wide a range is displayed, more than you are actually singing, the sensitivity of the upper graph is diminished.
If you desire a particular fixed pitch, set that A either by typing in the edit box or moving the slider, and tune your instrument to the graph. It should already show 440.0 Hz. Alternatively you may wish to accommodate the graph to an existing sound; for instance, the organ might have gone sharp, and you are content to sing at its pitch, or you want to tune to the oboe's A. In that case, play a reference note into the microphone and adjust the slider until that note's pitch on the lower graph moves to the center line.
[It is helpful to know that moving the slider for the pitch of A by one "page" value changes it by 5 Hz, which is very close to 20 cents at 440 Hz. Use that motion to come close, before pressing an end arrow or a left/right arrow key for fine adjustment by 0.1 Hz].
If you have a transposing instrument such as a trumpet, you will want to set the Transposing Key. Shown are the settings (also supplied as a sample Instrument) for a Clarinet in Bb, although one might need a higher range than this. The notes as shown on the tuning graph will now appear named as they would in a score; the Bb clarinet's lowest note appears as e in written music, but its concert pitch is d. Keeping the Transposed Range Constant will allow us to move the Transposing Key to define a clarinet in A, eb, or c, while the written Lowest and Highest notes won't need to be adjusted - they will always remain the same.
Currently you can transpose from a ninth below to a tenth above concert pitch [as of version 1.13]. If there is need for greater transposition, please let me know - it is simple to change.
You won't want to
have to adjust these parameters
of Pitch of A & Range
every time and
so for that we turn to the Instrument menu, where you can save and
later retrieve different settings for your work with Tuning Meister.