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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Interestingly my app no longer erases the old tuning data from the screen when I tap on new tuning. Is that a "thing"?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

I hope not. It shouldn't be. (I just tried to make it do that on my device and couldn't.) You're on Android?


Anthony Willey, RPT
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Yes, Android.

So, I just tried it again and this time it worked correctly. I dunno. Maybe it's a bitflip?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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This is a quote from user TeeBach from the PiaTune app thread. I decided to quote it here because the comments on improving PianoMeter are very valuable in my opinion.
Originally Posted by TeeBach
I get eye fatigue from the erratically moving circles and the many cramped tiny markings. I even get dizzy sometimes while trying to focus in the small area with so much going on and on top of that in the highest contrasting colors, who knows why. The black circles should be in a lighter color such as grey. The area showing 0 to 5 cents should be expanded...
I've already shared with Anthony my thoughts on improving his awesome app. I think it is worth giving up the rotation by placing the stroboscope elements linearly. This will make more efficient use of the display area.

Last edited by Vlad Ants; 10/09/21 01:49 PM.
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And I like it the way it is. Everything is very convenient.

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I like it too. But I must note that I practically do not use a stroboscope, and I focus my gaze only on the needle, and this is quite enough to achieve accurate results.

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I'm ok with discussing this a bit out in the open.

I can think of two apps that have linear strobes with multiple harmonics. Here are what their displays look like:
[Linked Image]
(Entropy)

[Linked Image]
(Peterson)

I have never seriously attempted tuning anything with either of those apps, but from what little I've seen, I personally don't find the displays as helpful as other things I've seen.

There is also the option of only showing one strobe for a single partial (maybe the strongest?) but I'm not as much a fan of that. I like to have more information in front of me.

Adding an option to make the strobes horizontal instead of circular is possible, with some work, but is that really something people want and would use? I still don't consider myself to be a "professional" developer or designer, but in my opinion, it's a murky line between adding options for advanced customization vs. just making the app more bloated and confusing for nearly everybody. For example, I regularly get requests to put a button for this or that function on the main screen for faster access. But I don't want the main screen to look like an airplane cockpit. It shouldn't be overwhelming. The same goes for the menu. I don't want the core features to get buried in less-important customization options.

One request I've gotten from many people is the option to customize the color scheme. Like making the strobes blue and the text red or whatever. If I were to add that, perhaps people annoyed by the strobes could use that as a workaround, choosing a light grey for the strobes instead of black, for example. Or I suppose you could make them invisible by making them the same color as the background. (Not that I endorse that.)


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I like PianoMeter's user interface. The circular strobe display works for me too. I do like the idea of being able to customize colors, beyond just light and dark brown modes. The brown user interface can get a bit tiring. Perhaps a customizable set of subtle earth tones, including greens and blues. I think Anthony's instincts are correct about keeping the user interface simple versus having a bunch of things available with a single tap.

I've used PianoMeter practically every day for the last few years and it's hard for me to see big potential improvements. Screen real estate is limited on a phone and Piano Meter uses it brilliantly, in my opinion.


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I agree with Vlad Ants that the phase data should not be presented as a rotating display. How many of us have actually used an analog stroboscopic tuner? It would be more useful to have the data presented linearly, on a log scale so the high values would not be off the chart. Perhaps the different harmonics could be given progressively lighter grays. Perhaps they could be stacked vertically, like the Peterson does horizontally.

The problem I have with the rotating display is that it creates artifacts of rotation in the wrong direction when the values are very small. I have to remember that the strobe jumping from right to left, for example, is really showing a small sharp (left to right) value.

I agree that color and clutter should be kept out of the display.

Just recently discovered that turning the phone sideways flips the display to landscape and makes the keyboard along the bottom easier to use.

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I like the idea of having options for the display. Different colors and an optional horizontal display would be cool. It's just icing on the cake but hey, I like the icing! I agree with Anthony that part of the "charm" of PM is it's simplicity on the home screen. In fact the option of making it even simpler without the strobe would be a nice option.


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Originally Posted by AWilley
I'm ok with discussing this a bit out in the open.

I can think of two apps that have linear strobes with multiple harmonics. Here are what their displays look like:
[Linked Image]
(Entropy)

[Linked Image]
(Peterson)

I have never seriously attempted tuning anything with either of those apps, but from what little I've seen, I personally don't find the displays as helpful as other things I've seen.

There is also the option of only showing one strobe for a single partial (maybe the strongest?) but I'm not as much a fan of that. I like to have more information in front of me.

Adding an option to make the strobes horizontal instead of circular is possible, with some work, but is that really something people want and would use? I still don't consider myself to be a "professional" developer or designer, but in my opinion, it's a murky line between adding options for advanced customization vs. just making the app more bloated and confusing for nearly everybody. For example, I regularly get requests to put a button for this or that function on the main screen for faster access. But I don't want the main screen to look like an airplane cockpit. It shouldn't be overwhelming. The same goes for the menu. I don't want the core features to get buried in less-important customization options.

One request I've gotten from many people is the option to customize the color scheme. Like making the strobes blue and the text red or whatever. If I were to add that, perhaps people annoyed by the strobes could use that as a workaround, choosing a light grey for the strobes instead of black, for example. Or I suppose you could make them invisible by making them the same color as the background. (Not that I endorse that.)

Anthony,

In the spirit of KISS, what is needed is ONLY what is necessary to produce accuracy. Although cool, I have yet to figure out the relevance of all those moving partials to achieving a spot on (stable) reading. Likely I am missing something (as is typical) but if I were to use a unit regularly I would want to see a "simple" display that gets me where I want to go...quickly with as little monkeying around as possible.

As an aside, you know I am an aural/analog tuner, but I decided to tune the temperament (and a little more through the middle) on a little Wurlitzer console the other day using PM. I was impressed by the results...not enough to incorporate it into my normal routine (I was just fooling around with it), but it produced a very respectable ascension of 3rds and 6ths that I did not have to readjust aurally. On a piano like that I was impressed.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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That's one of the side benefits of using a quality ETD that measures lots of notes. The software is able to do the work of creating decent progressions on scales that might otherwise prove frustrating to tune.

Digging deeper into the controls lets the tech decide which intervals to favor, or to come up with a more even balance between competing progressions.

Ron Koval


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The display is definitely a personal thing.... I guess. All the ETDs allow adjustments, of course. And that can matter.

Personally, I'm wedded to VERITUNER'S "Spinner." My only criticism, if I have one, is that it's almost TOO revealing ... TOO precise. PiaTune is up there, as well. PiaTune takes the NEEDLE approach, which normally I don't like. But combined with a simple "double-arc" spinner (my term) it makes it pretty easy to quickly NAIL the string. Also, he's done something important with the ARC ... the standard setting seems to me to move at an ideal speed for showing tuning shifts as the string decays. Very useful indeed.

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Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
The display is definitely a personal thing.... I guess. All the ETDs allow adjustments, of course. And that can matter.

Personally, I'm wedded to VERITUNER'S "Spinner." My only criticism, if I have one, is that it's almost TOO revealing ... TOO precise. ***snip***

Check under the "verituner" menu to find the smoothing function, as well as the spinner speed adjustment. In addition, it is also possible to disable the spinner until the string is within 5 to 100 cents of the target pitch.

My personal preference is to use a fast spinner speed with smoothing on and only have the spinner engaged when the pitch is within 5 cents of the target. Experiment with different settings until you find favorites for each situation.

Ron Koval


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In case I wasn't clear, what I think should replace the rotating phase-difference display is one horizontal scale with a stationary bar for each harmonic. The position of the bar relative to center would be what is now the angular velocity. Instead of stacking similar values into one blurry bar, you would want to offset them vertically and give them a progressively lighter gray. This could be considered a narrow (say 2 pixel) horizontal scale for each harmonic with the higher-harmonic bars partially on top of the lower ones.

Tuning a note would mean moving bars to the center. Easier to get an best-average result compared to bars whirling both ways now on a noisy note.

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Quote
I do like the idea of being able to customize colors, beyond just light and dark brown modes. The brown user interface can get a bit tiring. Perhaps a customizable set of subtle earth tones, including greens and blues.
I'm looking now into how to allow multiple/custom colors without quadrupling the size of the app (by having to add multiple versions of each asset). It looks like it will be easier to do in Android than iOS.

Quote
It would be more useful to have the data presented linearly, on a log scale so the high values would not be off the chart.
The scale on the dial has always been this way. The distance between 0 and 5 cents is about the same distance as between 50 and 100 cents. It's not a log scale, but it's the same idea. Edit: Rereading this, I see you are talking about the moving bar chart you mentioned in your follow-up post. Yes, it would make sense to use a non-linear scale there too.

Quote
In the spirit of KISS, what is needed is ONLY what is necessary to produce accuracy. Although cool, I have yet to figure out the relevance of all those moving partials to achieving a spot on (stable) reading.
The purpose of having strobe rings in the first place is to give really fast feedback to the user. They respond to changes in pitch faster than the dial, whose motion I have to smooth. The purpose of having multiple rings is so you don't have to blindly trust that a single partial is representative of the whole note. (What if, for example, there's a soundboard resonance or something that is moving the 3rd partial away from where the inharmonicity model expects it to be. You'd want to take that into account if you're not tuning aurally.)

Quote
...Verituner's spinner...
I agree, Verituner does have a nice spinner. I don't remember how it works, but if I did, I still wouldn't be able use it because it's patented. (I realize you're not suggesting I do that, but figured I'd clarify anyway for anyone who might be wondering.)

Quote
...what I think should replace the rotating phase-difference display is one horizontal scale with a stationary bar for each harmonic. The position of the bar relative to center would be what is now the angular velocity.
Ah! That makes more sense. Unfortunately the math behind the strobe tuners is not conducive to that at all. There is no "angular velocity" to convert to position. If you were to try to calculate the angular velocity from the change in position of each wheel between each "frame", you'd end up with something very noisy that jumps all over the place. Trying to smooth it out and extract a meaningful average would introduce a delay, so the displayed result would then lag further behind whatever changes you're making to the pitch as you tune. The magic of the strobe wheel is that when your brain interprets it as a turning wheel it cancels out much of the noise in the underlying data.


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Thanks for PianoMeter 3.3.3 !

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Originally Posted by Vlad Ants
Thanks for PianoMeter 3.3.3 !
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Hi - first post here - please be gentle!
Firstly I'm loving PianoMeter, it's a truly great app and is helping me as a beginner tuner a lot.

The only feature I wish it had was the ability to stop listening! If I want to stop and play the piano a moment to assess progress it would be nice if I didn't have to re-play notes afterwards to regain a visual perspective of the tuning. I currently work around this by moving to A0 and putting step mode onto lock.
I did wonder - could the 3 position switch on the left for auto, step, lock have a fourth position "OFF"?

Anyway, main reason for post is to ask a question : I wonder if anyone is willing to take a moment to explain how to best use the Enharmonicity display and what exactly it is telling me...
I've read and re-read the line in the manual that says 'Inharmonicity is the degree to which the harmonics of a note are “out of tune” with the fundamental (lowest harmonic).'
To take an example, if I measure all notes on a piano and switch to the Inharmonicity view, and see that all the lower notes are sitting close to the line until C2 which is a fair distance under the line, is that telling me that the partials of C2 (as currently tuned) are out of kilter with the tunings of the individual notes that correlate with the partials? Sorry for not quite getting it and thanks a lot for any insight.

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I've often wished for a way to pause the listening while playing my test piece at the end of a tuning without messing up the dots on the tuning curve graph. (I never need to worry about messing up the tuning curve itself because it's always locked by this point.) Locking to A0 is a creative way of doing it that I hadn't thought of. I usually either leave it listening or just turn off the screen on my device. I'm trying to think of an intuitive way to do this it doesn't add any more complexity to the main screen (see my post above).

Inharmonicity is basically the reason you use a specialized tuning app to tune a piano instead of just using a free guitar tuner app. It's a property of strings that are very stiff relative to their length. A guitar string, for instance, is typically a flexible piece of nylon, while a piano string is like a steel bar by comparison. That comes out in the tone when you play or pluck the string. If I pluck a guitar string tuned to 100 Hertz, I will hear a series of harmonics at 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, Hertz, and so on. On a piano string those harmonics might be shifted to 100, 201, 303, 405, and 508 Hertz. Inharmonicity is a measure of that shift.

The tuning app measures inharmonicity so it can calculate a tuning where the harmonics of various intervals will be roughly in tune with each other. For example, when you play a fifth, the third harmonic of the lower note should be very close to the second harmonic of the upper note.

The purpose of having the graph is mostly for a sanity check. So you can see what has been measured, what hasn't, and if what you measured matches what you expect it to be. For example, I often expect a jump in inharmonicity at the transition between plain steel wire strings and copper wound strings. I don't expect large jumps from note to note generally. So if I see one note that is way off from its neighbors, I'll measure that one again, because it's probably a bad reading.


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I recently purchased the app. A pleasure to work with!
However, I do have a question. Is it possible to use PianoMeter simultaneously on iPad and iPhone with data exchange?
If I use the iPhone to tune, I can save the data. Make a backup via Dropbox. If I then switch to iPad, I can open the file via Dropbox, but all data (recording of the notes, type of piano, customer name, ...)is gone.

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