Precise Instrument Tweaking for Crispy Harmony - tuner
Version 0.0.4

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A GPL'ed GTK oscilloscope-style musical instrument tuning program
It can also be used to find the frequency of sounds

Principle of operation
The sound is recorded with a microphone, and the digitized sound waves are drawn in the display (this pretty much resembles an oscilloscope). The trick is to draw the sound waves on top of one another so that the periods get aligned (peaks on top of peaks and throughs on top of throughs). So when you play a note, for instance by plunging a string on a guitar, the display seems to be somewhat static. That is, if the guitar is perfectly tuned. If not, the waves in the display will seem to skid to the left or right, depending on whether the guitar's pitch is too high or too low.

Select the note you want to tune the first string to, start the tuner, and play the instrument. Tune the string up and down until the waves in the display no longer skid sideways. Do the same with the next strings, flutes, bottles, etc. Your instrument should now be tuned!
Notice: If the instrument is very badly tuned, you might need to use the coarse tuning mode first, in order to get the instrument back on track.

The display shows the waves and some vertical lines. These lines indicate the wavelength. You might experience that the waves do not skid, but that the wavelength of the tone is different than that indicated by the lines, so make sure the wavelength is correct when you are tuning your instrument.
It should be easy to find out whether to tune upwards or downwards, but here is a table that shows the relation between the skidding and the instrument's tuning:
Too highToo low

The precision should theoretically be infinite for a long-sounding instrument (one whose sound does not fade away after a few seconds) and a good sound card. The longer you can see the wave without noticing movement, the less is it skidding, and the better the clock in the sound card, the more precise does the sampling get.
But remember: The program might be buggy, so it is not quaranteed that your instrument will be better off tuned with pitchtune. No refund for overstrung strings! ;)

pitchtune - an instrument tuner
Copyright (C) 2000 Haakon Andre Hjortland

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

Get the GPL license here:
Possible local copy: /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL
On the Internet: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

Original author: Håkon André Hjortland (Haakon Andre Hjortland) <hahjortland@tande.com>
Current maintainer: Alexandre Bourget < alex at bourget dot cc >

Get the latest version of pitchtune from http://pitchtune.sourceforge.net/ .

As any other program with self respect, pitchtune also has bugs.
If you find one, please go to http://pitchtune.sourceforge.net/ and report it there.
But before reporting the bug, please make sure you have the latest version of the program.

Last updated: 20 Sept 2005