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#3130284 06/22/21 07:00 AM
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Hello Everyone,

Suggestions? Advice?

Is there a good/dependable pocket meter that can tell you if a Note on your piano is not in 440?
If the note is wobbling out of pitch?
If the note's wave is too wide?

Is there an iPhone App that does this? (I have an iPhone 12pro)

(Oh, if any smart a** says "your ear is the best tuning meter" I'm going to hit them with a piece of wet Sheet Music!)
Hahahahaha LOL


Don't want to spend $200- $400 for a real tuners pitch meter. Was thinking on terms of just a small one?

is this even possible?

brdwyguy

Last edited by brdwyguy; 06/22/21 07:02 AM.

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Not sure about the world of smart phones/iPhones, (I'm an old guy and still use a basic flip phone, while they still exist:-), but there are several apps (what I call programs) that you can download to a small pocket PC or tablet. I'm assuming a smart phone is a computer, but I'm not sure. smile

I downloaded "TuneLabPro" to my laptop (free trial version) years ago, and that is what I use to tune my pianos. Works fantastic! In fact, that is all I use the lap top for.

If what you are wanting is more of a basic tuning app, just to check pitch frequencies, there should be lots of them. I also have Korg Chromatic Tuner CA-30 meter for quick and easy checks, and it works great.

You might check the Piano Technicians Forum too; I see lots of discussions there about tuning apps (what I call programs:-).

Good luck!

Rick


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There isn't going to be a simple app/meter because only one note will be at A440 (or whatever offset from that it has been tuned to). On a piano the other notes are never a perfect mathematical progression from that fundamental note but are 'stretched' to a compromise required due to a pianos inharmonicity. That means that a simple tuning display such as are used for guitars etc. cannot be used (except for that one A440 note) and you must use a full blown piano tuning app that understands stretch to actually check notes.

That said there is no perfect stretch with different piano tuners and different tuning applications calculating the optimal stretch differently, especially as it is not a universal stretch and has to be individually determined for a particular piano, so it is not easy.

The trial verson of Tunelab Pro has been mentioned but it is expensive to purchase fully. Pianometer is my current favourite and can be purchased quite cheaply if you aren't a professional tuner and only want it for a single piano. There is also a new app just released called "Pianoscope" and there has been a Beta trial of this on the technicians forum here - these three options are I think probably the best candidates to look at.

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Agree with gwing but also see https://freeappsforme.com/piano-tuning-apps/


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It sounds like you might be, at least partially, talking about out-of-tune unisons. Are any of the professional tuning apps able to tell if a unison is out? Or is the goal with them to tune one string of a unison to pitch and then tune the others by ear? Of course, the tuning apps are useful in calculating stretch, inharmonicity, etc.

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Could you be more specific on how you are intending to use such an iPhone app?

There is no simple way of tuning a piano or even checking a piano’s tuning state.

It is complicated.

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Originally Posted by violarules
It sounds like you might be, at least partially, talking about out-of-tune unisons. Are any of the professional tuning apps able to tell if a unison is out? Or is the goal with them to tune one string of a unison to pitch and then tune the others by ear? Of course, the tuning apps are useful in calculating stretch, inharmonicity, etc.

You bring up a very good point. Any tuning app is not going to properly measure an out of tune unison. You always measure one string at a time, regardless of whether you are tuning or just checking. If tuning, you tune one string of a bi-chord or trichord and then tune the other string(s) to the one that is tuned at the correct pitch.

So, you would also need to purchase a rubber or felt mute to mute off the other strings when checking the pitch of a single string. There are also some caveats when using the mutes. Always make sure to press the key on the note you are checking (or depress the damper pedal), so the dampers are up when placing the mute between the strings. You don't want the stings moving sideways under the damper because it could damage the delicate damper felt.

Good luck!

Rick


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Originally Posted by Hakki
Could you be more specific on how you are intending to use such an iPhone app?

I was going to ask this as well...

Having said that, back when I was shopping for a used upright to replace a used-er upright (har), a tuner friend recommended ClearTune, which I still have on my current iPhone.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cleartune/id286799607

I used it to help me evaluate how in tune a piano was with itself, how "off" a piano was, and also to evaluate a piano that a seller told me had just been tuned.

Could this app meet your needs?


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As I said on my previous post it is complicated.

For example you would measure different frequencies depending on whether you are measuring attack or decay. Or whether how hard you play the note.

Just leave this to professional tuners or you might get some help from a professional quality tuning app. But yes they are not cheap.

Also pro apps are accurate to within 0.01 cents.

Last edited by Hakki; 06/22/21 10:33 AM.
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The ClearTune for my iPad looks like what I may be looking for!

I had no intention of trying to tune the piano myself.
I want to see if my recently purchased piano is holding it's tune somewhat in this new environment.

and yes I do understand a piano in the new environment of a home will need a good 3 or 4 tunings the 1st year.

I guess i want to make sure the piano is 'Holding' it's tune - the initial tuning was just done 2 weeks ago.
they came back out to adj some stringy/buzz of bass notes
and they are coming back tomorrow because i went to use the Sostenuto Pedal and it is not working and make a rather
clinking noise and even dropping the keys.


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Originally Posted by Hakki
As I said on my previous post it is complicated.

For example you would measure different frequencies depending on whether you are measuring attack or decay. Or whether how hard you play the note.

Just leave this to professional tuners or you might get some help from a professional quality tuning app. But yes they are not cheap.

Also pro apps are accurate to within 0.01 cents.

Hakki, you are right, my friend. What you say sounds super complicated and way beyond me. I thought attack and decay had to do with hammer voicing and the health of the soundboard and not whether a note was actually in tune at the correct pitch or not. For example, an out of tune unison still has attack and decay.

Oh well, back to the simple life... smile

All the best!

Rick


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Let’s say you have a chromatic tuner with +/- 1 cent accuracy.

That means a total of probable 2 cents error for an interval.

Also you would not know whether the tuner who last tuned the piano tuned a specific note to attack, decay or somewhere in between. That would introduce another cent or or even more.

Now if A440 is 3.9 cents flat that means now it is at 439 Hz.

But with all the above considered, you would not know whether it is 3.9 cents flat or not, because of the introduced measuring errors of a simple chromatic tuner or because simply you just did not measure it the way as the last tuner did.

Hence my suggestion to leave it to professional tuners. It is complicated.

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Try https://pianometer.com - there's a free version that should do what you need.
Or try https://www.pianoscope.app/en which has a 14 day free trial.

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Originally Posted by pyropaul
Try https://pianometer.com - there's a free version that should do what you need.
Or try https://www.pianoscope.app/en which has a 14 day free trial.

Paul.

Nope.

Unless the tuner used the same software and you exactly know which app settings he/she used.

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With the extreme limitations noted of using an app to test-tune your piano, I will risk being hit with wet sheet music by saying the simplest solution is this:

Play the piano, enjoy its sound, plan to have it tuned several times during the first year and if it gets out of tune enough to bother you, call your technician.

Do you need a device to tell you that the piano is or is not in tune if you are still enjoying it? And if you are not enjoying it, call your technician.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
With the extreme limitations noted of using an app to test-tune your piano, I will risk being hit with wet sheet music by saying the simplest solution is this:

Play the piano, enjoy its sound, plan to have it tuned several times during the first year and if it gets out of tune enough to bother you, call your technician.

Do you need a device to tell you that the piano is or is not in tune if you are still enjoying it? And if you are not enjoying it, call your technician.

Regards,

Ditto.
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I totally get where you're coming from Bruce, and I'm reminded of a recent poster who seemed to be looking for problems with his piano. Of course that's something we want to avoid.

At the same time, if you have a new piano, get it tuned, use the tuning app after the tuner leaves, and then check to see how much it moves in the coming weeks, not because you're going to try to tune it yourself, but just because you're want to get to know your piano, where's the harm in that?

I have ClearTune (as I said) but I have only ever used it while piano shopping. Now I prefer to go by my own ear. Does my piano sound good to me? If not, then it's time to call my tuner.

To each his/her own, if the OP wants to play with a tuning app, that's their choice, no reason to be so negative about it all.


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Thank You so much ebonyk - that's the one i was looking at on Amazon!
THANKS

JDM
brdwyguy


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I've had a TM-40 for eons. I bought it for guitar tuning, but I like it for setting A4 on the piano (the tone generator is easier for me than also holding a tuning fork). As others noted though, a simple tuning device or app won't work well on the piano if it doesn't consider inharmonicity. If you're not going to tune by ear, then you should use a tuning app that's specifically designed for pianos.


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