The main functions are also
accessible through the right-click menu for
The View menu contains a
variety of options to manipulate the screen appearance:
As mentioned in the Main Functions page, 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]. [more work will be done here, to allow sensitivity relevant to different background noise levels]
You can Pause the trace to
look at something (keyboard - P
or Pause. Press any other key
You can hide the title bar and the menu at the top for a bit more room
on the monitor.- Expand Screen
(Keyboard F11; use F11 or Escape to return to normal
maximized mode).This is very useful for smaller monitors, to give a
larger graph. The menu bar slides down into view if you move the cursor to
the top edge of the screen.
You can keep Tuningmeister Always on Top.
You can have the cursor hide
itself when it is stationary, as it blinks
annoyingly on some monitors.
You can turn on or off the black averaging trace in the lower graph.
The Volume Trace adds a gray
background image of the sound level.
The VU meter can be placed at
the top or at the right side, or hidden
Tune Octave Above Range allows
notes above the highest to be shown, in
red to distinguish them, within the current range. This allows the
upper graph to be less compressed, if desired.
Fine-tune Octave Below Range allows
notes an octave deeper than the lowest note on the upper graph to
appear on the lower graph, without scrunching in another octave in the
upper graph. For example, this allows you to see the tuning of the
lower SA on a tampura, as it usually lies below your lowest note.
Range Display... The upper graph
can show either the Full Range
as selected by the
lower and upper notes, or all the tuning can be reflected into a Single Octave
graph (plus a tone, so activity on the cusp
won't be divided).
This gives a finer scale and is useful especially when the full range
of the instrument is quite a few octaves, for instance for a sitar or a
violin, where the semitones can get quite squeezed together in a Full Range
graph. The disadvantage is that following a melody up or down beyond
the edge of the graph requires the eye to do a "wraparound" movement.
The Trace Speed, in pixels per second, can be
adjusted. At very fast rates you may get vertigo! but it could be useful to help transcribe very rapid passages.
The scale of the lower graph can be magnified or reduced. Ten
cents per division gives the most general use, as the pitch will always
scale in the lower graph. It is designed with enough space being given
so that the trace will move to the adjacent note before going off
scale. If you double the magnification to five cents, you will get more
resolution; however, when the pitch strays too far it will come up
against the edge of the graph. The extra magnification may be more
helpful despite that. At two cents per division you get five times the
resolution, and this
is most useful for
tuning an instrument note by note. I doubt it would have any use in examining a line of music - notes would easily
go way off scale.
Alternatively, for (especially Western) singers with wide vibrato,
the spread of their pitch vibrating on a single note will oscillate
into the space of adjoining semitones, and the information will be
useless. Scaling of the lower graph can in this case be compressed, by
selecting 20, 30 or 40 cents per division, depending on how wide the
vibrato fluctuates. For an example, if a vibrato swings a semitone on either side
of the pitch, the graph at 20 cents per division will encompass it
completely, but only if the note is exactly placed.
Hence 30 cents per division will be the right choice in that instance.
Simple experimentation will find the right scaling for your vibrato.
The plot should eventually settle on the
semitone that is closest to the center of the note, and the black averaging
trace can help you sense how centered your pitch is. Note that this
feature is only partially effective, and more programming needs to be
done. It may take some time to find the note when a new one begins, for
instance (even so, that will always be a bit shaky). This feature will
not work well if there is any interference from other sounds or musical
The lines in the upper graph might look better wider or narrower, to
your taste (and the dot pitch of your monitor).
Compressing the waveform is used to adjust the horizontal scale for the
oscilloscope function, for very low notes. No doubt this should get
moved, and become a button accompanying the 'scope.
Western note names, A B C etc
or Hindustani names are alternative
All the items in the bottom grouping of the View menu relate to a
different display for Western musicians; they aren’t applicable to the
Indian music display. Checking Staff
Notation switches to that other mode.
menu holds most of the main functions. Items not yet discussed:
The input can be mono, or stereo. One can show the
tuning from just the right or left channel of a stereo input - this is
a good choice if a melody instrument is much stronger on one side or
the other in a recording.
The stereo input shows two traces, if one wanted to
analyze two separate instruments. To use this you
need a preamp plugged in to the
line-in connector of the sound card, as most cards support only a mono
microphone input. If the instruments are not
equal in range, octave shifts are possible to keep them closer together
on the graph. In stereo mode, the lower graph can be either two
separate charts, or one with two traces superimposed, perhaps useful
for instruments trying to play in unison. Toggle this at View | Multiview.
Other, advanced, items in the Options
In Tuning plus Echo mode the
computer plays back to you the note of the
scale nearest to what it hears. You need to inhibit feedback from the
speakers into the microphone; perhaps headphones might be necessary.
Try placing the microphone as close to the mouth or instrument as
possible - a headset might work for singers. Some technical
parameters can be adjusted under Parameters
| Echo but overall, the Windows sound system makes this very
difficult to work properly.
You can record a session to a standard Windows .wav file while you
watch the tuning trace. After you Halt
the tuning trace, or uncheck Save
Input Data to Disk File, you can Save the file name As whatever
you like, to play back later with whatever media player you use on your
You can save the tuning data to a proprietary file.
This saves the
pitch and volume information pixel by pixel. You can then view the
graph information. Again, after you Halt the tuning trace, or uncheck
Save Tuning Data to Disk File;
just enter the file name for saving.
Then you can review the data from Options
| Display Tuning File, which
prompts you to specify which tuning file you wish to view. The
time from the beginning of the
file is shown in the upper left.
interface is very crude at the moment; just move around through the
arrow, paging, home, and end keys.
Home - beginning of file; End - end of file;
Left - back one screen width; Right - forward one screen width;
Up - back 1/4 screen width; Down - forward 1/4 screen width;
Shift/Up - back 1/16 screen width; Shift/Down - forward 1/16 screen
Ctrl/Up - back 1 pixel; Ctrl/Down - forward 1 pixel;
Page Up - back 5 screen widths; Page Down - forward 5 screen widths;
Shift/Page Up - back 25 screen widths; Shift/Page Down - forward 25
Tuning Meister remembers all the settings from the previous session and
closes and opens without changing its current display parameters.
If you want a different color scheme you can create a new palette, add
it to the Palette menu and use that instead of the default. You can
manipulate that menu just as you do the Instrument and Scale menus
through their respective dialogs. Currently the dialog is started from
the Parameters menu. As
monitors differ you will at least want to see that the dark and light
versions of a color are easily distinguished from each other, and yet
not too dark or light to be easily seen for their color. [one prime
example - I found the basic solid yellow (Ga or E) far too light to
stand out strongly against the white background. It appears not nearly
as saturated as all the other colors. The addition of some red makes a
rather golden hue that is much more readable].
The Soundcard menu allows you
to set the parameters for recording, that is, 8 or 16 bit, and 44.1 or
If you have more than one sound card in your system, Soundcard will list them so you can
switch to one that is not the default.
You can calibrate your
soundcard’s data rate against the (supposedly much more accurate)
computer’s internal timer. Because Windows is not a real-time Operating
System, this procedure can give slightly inaccurate readings [and takes
some minutes in order to obtain needed accuracy]. I should try to
automate this, but for the moment, run the calibration 3 times. If all
the readings are the same (or +- 1 or 2), stop and keep that value.
Otherwise continue until you see which is the most common result, as
that should be the most accurate one, then stop. Separate calibrations
need to be done for 48 and 44 kHz, if you use both. Once calibrated,
the absolute pitch should be accurate (that is, 440 Hz for A, for
instance). I have not encountered any tendency for these values to
change, so it need be done only once. Another calibration, very quick,
measures the DC offset of the
soundcard's zero level. Just be sure the line is quiet and with one
measurement is finished.
Most of the other items should be self-explanatory; just
try them out
to see whether they make your screen easier to read.
There are several files that you
should consider backing up. These are TM Scales.dta, TM
also TM palette.dta if you have created any color schemes. They are
small files so just save them someplace else on your hard disk, as well
as in whatever external back-up you make. Back
up both files TM Scales.dta and TM Instruments.dta
together, as they are linked. If the Scales file doesn't correspond to
the arrangement of files that the Instrument file references, you will
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