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Thread: Funiculus Guitar Tuner (v 0.02) now on Installer

  1. #1
    Default Funiculus Guitar Tuner (v 0.02) now on Installer
    Funiculus is now on Installer (MMI repository), so I decided to start a new thread to explain how the program works for those who aren't quite familiar with guitar tuners.

    This program functions similar to the typical guitar tuners you buy in stores, and anyone familiar with these shouldn't need to read these instructions. Basically, you play a single string on the guitar, and the program listens to the note and tells you if the note is sharp, flat, or just right.

    Funiculus can only be run on an iPhone (and not an iPod Touch) because the iTouch lacks an internal microphone.


    Oddly enough, every other run will take longer to initialize the microphone, so you will be looking at this screen for about 1 to 5 seconds. "Testing Version" indicates that this is a very early release, so don't expect too much, especially in the user interface department.



    When it loads, you will see this:


    At the bottom is a list of buttons...for standard guitar tuning, it will be E,A,D,G,B,E. These represent the strings. You need to let the program know which one you want to measure (although future versions may detect this automatically) before you play the note, and this is done with these buttons. The buttons are changed whenever the tuning is changed (e.g. to banjo).


    The meter labeled "Amplitude" on the right is just to let you know the microphone is working. You will have to play a guitar string loud enough for it to register. It will also have to reach a threshold for a certain frequency. You know this happens because a number will appear next to "Frequency" and a green or red sphere will appear on the frequency bar.

    The frequency bar is how you know if you are in tune or not. If you play a string, and it registers the center green sphere, then you are in tune (to +/- 5 cents). If you get a red sphere to the right, it means you are too sharp. If one on the left, too flat.

    Different guitars have different acoustic properties. My guitars tend not to register the bottom E on the tuner very well. If I select "High E" on the iPhone and play the bottom E again, I find it registers much better (thanks to all that harmonic stuff). Future versions will probably tackle this automatically.

    When you are done, you should turn the program off immediately...don't leave it on, or it will drain your battery. Future versions may have an auto-shutoff feature, but this one doesn't.

    It is currently pretty accurate for most guitars tested. Future versions may improve on this.

    (If anyone knows about something called a "Constant Q Transform", please let me know. I want to try to get this algorithm into the program.)

    Please post what works and what doesn't... and if you have problems, please let us know what string and what type of guitar/etc. it was.

    JLA
    Last edited by JLA; 2008-01-02 at 09:19 PM.

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    Simtech (2008-01-03)

  3. #2
    Retired Moderator stlcaddie's Avatar
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    be nice if they would consider adding a DB reader...it's a nice program though.

  4. #3
    My iPhone is a Part of Me tsatryan's Avatar
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    Works great! An idea for a future release would be to enable it to select any pitch, not just guitar pitches. This could be a universal tuner for many musical instruments, simply by not limiting it to the 6 guitar strings. If you play a note, have the display read out the letter name of the note, and the meter show how "centered" the note is to the exact pitch, with the center green being in tune, and the red to the left or right being so many cents off pitch.

  5. #4
    JLA,

    Nice update, thanks!

    One idea would be to create a learning mode, where the user could play a note, and tell the program what name to use. After creating a series, the user would then give the tuning a name. This would allow a virtually unlimited number of open tunings & non-concert pitch tunings etc. on almost any stringed instrument.

  6. #5
    be nice if they would consider adding a DB reader...it's a nice program though.
    Do you mean decibel meter or a database reader? I'm not sure how decibel meters work, but if it is how I suspect, then it would require a lot more math every cycle...I don't know if the iphone can pull it off.

    If you play a note, have the display read out the letter name of the note, and the meter show how "centered" the note is to the exact pitch, with the center green being in tune, and the red to the left or right being so many cents off pitch.
    The reason you choose the note beforehand is to narrow down the possibilities. Every musical note has multiple frequencies associated with it, and only one of these is what humans detect as the "pitch"...maybe really fast computers can do it, but you generally have to give some kind of hint for the iPhone. If the instrument is known, the typical behavior of each note could be uploaded beforehand, and then perhaps that could happen...

    One idea would be to create a learning mode, where the user could play a note, and tell the program what name to use. After creating a series, the user would then give the tuning a name. This would allow a virtually unlimited number of open tunings & non-concert pitch tunings etc. on almost any stringed instrument.
    I'm not totally sure I understand this correctly, but assuming I do, don't you think it would be easier for the user to just edit a set of notes in a computer and then upload it to the phone?

    Thanks for the feedback...some of your recommendations will probably be implemented in the near future.
    JLA

  7. #6
    My iPhone is a Part of Me tsatryan's Avatar
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    Thank you for hearing the ideas and interacting. What I was thinking of was the chromatic abilities of something like the Boss Tuner has. I am a musician, and know about acoustics and tuning, etc, but I don't know much about the capabilities of the iPhone in things like this, as compared to the pocket tuners that are available these days.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveiPhone View Post
    JLA,
    One idea would be to create a learning mode, where the user could play a note, and tell the program what name to use. After creating a series, the user would then give the tuning a name. This would allow a virtually unlimited number of open tunings & non-concert pitch tunings etc. on almost any stringed instrument.
    Quote Originally Posted by JLA View Post
    I'm not totally sure I understand this correctly, but assuming I do, don't you think it would be easier for the user to just edit a set of notes in a computer and then upload it to the phone?
    JLA
    What I was thinking is: The user plays a note (say a D2 for dropped D tuning). Funiculus reads the frequency as roughly 73.4162 Hz. The user then Names the note as D and moves on to the next string by pressing a Next button. There would be a Done button, at which time Funiculus would prompt for a tuning name. The resulting plist entry would contain: The number of strings. The name of the tuning. The frequency and note name for each string.

    In that way, it could handle, 4, 5, 6 or even 7 stringed instruments, with a variety of tunings without caring what instrument it actually was or even whether it was tuned to concert pitch.

    I realize this is easier said than done, but it would be very cool and powerful indeed.

  9. #8
    excellent! love the updates. this is definitely one of the most useful apps i have on my iphone. keep up the great work!
    21.5" iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 l 15" MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 l 17" PowerBook 1.67 GHz
    iPhone 4 32 GB l  TV 160 GB l 32 GB iPad

  10. #9
    This app is incredible!
    I'm blown away that you were able to do this.

    CHEERS!!!

  11. #10
    Livin the iPhone Life Simtech's Avatar
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    Nice app! Thanks!

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone luistohe123's Avatar
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    This app doesn't work in my 1.1.1
    when I open it, it shows the first screen,....stays like that for some seconds
    and then it goes back to springboard...
    Any one know why?

  13. #12
    Not sure...it's always worked on my 1.1.1...you are using an iPhone and not an iPod Touch, right? If so, you can see what error message it throws out by running the Terminal app. Type the following commands:

    $ cd /Applications/Funiculus.app
    $ ./funiculus
    Last edited by JLA; 2008-01-04 at 12:48 AM.

  14. #13
    Default Funiculus doesn't work on my 1.1.2
    This is one app that I really wanted for the phone, but for some reason it won't work.
    I'm running version 0.2 on 1.1.2 on a jailbroken phone etc.
    When I go into the app it opens fine and I can click everything fine, but for some reason I don't think my microphone is picking up anything because the Amplitude metre on the right shows nothing. As well as that the red dot that's supposed to show if I'm in tune only shows up when I'm on low E and it doesn't move.

    I did the command in terminal that you mention above and I got this error whcih makes me think it has to be my microphone:
    "-[AVRecorder activate:]: AudioQueueStart failed (1852797029)"

    Any ideas?

    Just in case this made any difference: I tried installing version 0.1 by downloading it when you announced it and using SSH to put it onto my phone. The same thing happened, it opened but the mic didn't work. I decided to wait for the next release, so when v0.2 came out I got it off installer and I still had the problem.

    I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling it; no luck. Oh and my microphone works perfectly in phone calls and that, although I did just try and test Voice Notes just there and it doesn't seem to work with that either. It might be related...

    Well anyway thanks in advance for any help.

  15. #14
    No, that's actually the "good error"...that's expected. It definetly sounds like AVRecorder is being shutout from the mic for some reason...new to me. Essentially, for mic access, Funiculus uses part of the firmware called AVRecorder, and if it doesn't have access, then neither will Funiculus. When you get VNotes working, Funiculis will work too.

    Try rebooting...if that doesn't work, try running other apps with sound..eg Garf, and then try again. And let us know what happens.
    JLA

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  17. #15
    Awesome app! great job..thanks

  18. #16
    Default No luck
    Quote Originally Posted by JLA View Post
    Try rebooting...if that doesn't work, try running other apps with sound..eg Garf, and then try again. And let us know what happens.
    JLA
    Well I tried rebooting... no change. Garf and all the aplications I have which have sound all work perfectly. I couldn't get voice notes to work either.
    (I looked around for a Voice Notes solution, but I only found more people with problems: eg. here and here

    Are you able to access the AVRecorder because maybe it's some setting in that?

    The only other thing I can think of that might be affecting it is the fact I moved all my Applications to var/root/Applications because of the space issue, maybe that's interfering with Funiculus?

  19. #17
    I'm using 1.1.2 firmware, have my apps moved, and Funiculus works great for me, so I don't think that's it.

    It sounds like a conflict with some other piece of software or patch. Here are some ideas:

    Dock has been reported to conflict with numerous things...do you use that?

    Also, there have been several volume hacks released...any chance you installed any of those?

    Just some ideas...

  20. #18
    Before Funiculus, I remember having the same problem, or at least something similar...I didn't think about it too much, and it resolved itself, so I don't know what happened.



    Check your space on your OS partition...I say this to everyone, but running low on space there can have some weird effects. Type "df -h" at the terminal prompt...

    Get the sysinfo app and look at what processes are running in the background. Make sure no one is eavesdropping on you with your microphone...(assuming your battery life is longer than 2 hours, probably not). Do you have an alarm running? Then there's dock, SSH, that screenshot one, MobileRSS...I don't know if any of these affect anything, but it's worth testing it out. (I do know that the screenshot one, if click sounds are on, will cause Funiculus to lose the mic). Do you use bluetooth?




    So basically, you need to get VNotes working...you can check Erica Sadun's website at www.ericasadun.com...she's probably been asked numerous times. Once that works, Funiculus will follow.

    PS And you may want to try my all-time favorite last-ditch effort for any problem whatsoever: reinstall BSD subsystem...


    (Interestingly enough, I just tested out VNotes, the new one, and it rebooted my phone for me...silver apple of death...)
    Last edited by JLA; 2008-01-07 at 01:43 AM.

  21. #19
    Default Help needed
    ==================================
    Hey guys,
    A lot of you have requested automatic note detection...it can probably be done, but I am going to need help. Other developers would be great, also mathematicians, but if you are neither of these, then I would ask you to do this:
    Record yourself with your computer playing each of the strings on your guitar (starting at low E)...play them twice each, with about 3+ seconds between each note. You can use Audacity (free sound editor) to record...try to make sure you play loud enough. And send to the following email: software mauvila.com (be sure to add the 'at' symbol).


    If you are pretty good at audio, try to record/save in the following format: SIGNED 16 bit, 8000 samples/sec (sample rate), mono. This is the iphone input format. I don't know if audacity can do this...you might have to use Goldwave or some other program. If you can't figure this stuff out, I can convert it myself.

    Thanks,
    JLA

  22. #20
    This is a great app for the iPhone. Could you please add a tuning mode for violins in the next release?

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