Operation of Guitar Tuner

The Guitar Tuner program is designed to help you tune your guitar (or your piano, or any other instrument, for that matter), with very high precision, to a desired set of notes. This is how the program works:

Guitar Tuner uses your computer's microphone to listen to what you are playing, and then automatically determines the "true" note closest to the one that you are playing (based on the standard 12-tone scale). It then determines how far the pitch of the n ote you are playing is away from the exact pitch of the "true" note, and displays this value on the various indicators as a "percent error". A zero percent error means that you are exactly in tune with the closest note. A one percent error represents one "cent", i.e, 1/100th of a semitone (sharp or flat). Guitar Tuner uses a very accurate means of determining the pitch of the sounds that it hears, based on Fourier Spectrum Analysis. It displays the actual frequency spectrum of the sound graphically. The display shows not only the fundamental frequency of a given note, but also its overtones (harmonics).

You can choose which notes each of the six strings on the guitar should be tuned to. There are a number of standard tunings that you can choose from (by simply clicking on the desired tuning in the Tunings list box at the top left of the screen), or you can create your own unique tunings (by right-clicking on the appropriate yellow ball on the String Display), and saving them as "Presets".

You can also play each of the six notes that you have chosen to tune to over your computer's sound system, by clicking the little yellow balls on the Sting Display. These tones are generated by the Midi synthesizer chip in your computer's sound card. Sin ce different sound cards support different methods of generating Midi notes, Guitar Tuner allows you to choose the desired method (by selecting the Output Device). You can also select what instrument you want to use to generate these test tones (by choos ing from the Instrument selection). The default instrument Midi is an Acoustic Guitar, with nylon strings. You can set the volume of these test tones with the slider control at the bottom right of the screen. The sound level that the microphone hears is shown next to this control.

Finally, you can adjust the pitch (frequencies) of each of the"true" notes that you want to tune to (by clicking on the Pitch button, then adjusting the frequency). This is useful, for example, if you are accompanying another instrument and it is tuned s harp or flat: you can tune your guitar to that instrument, and all of the strings on your guitar will still be in tune with each other.