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#3090668 03/08/21 05:30 PM
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I am Frank, a pianist and amateur piano tuner from Frankfurt, Germany. I have been reading this forum for a couple of years. I have learned many practical things from you about the craft but until now I have never written a post. For most of the time I have been using TuneLab and Anthony Willey's fine Pianometer app for tuning my instruments. In March 2020, because of the Covid pandemic we had a strict lockdown here in Germany. Since the mathematics of piano tuning had always fascinated me and I now had some spare time, I started studying this topic a little deeper. After some research, I was electrified by the idea of implementing my own piano tuning software. I always liked the tunings TuneLab and especially Pianometer produced, but I thought I could perhaps achieve a better user experience. Naive as I was, I fancied that with my background in physics and software development this should be an easy task. But as it soon turned out, it was more complicated than I first thought.

Now it's one year later, and despite some new gray hairs I think I've finally managed to solve most of the puzzles around algorithmic piano tuning. I poured everything into an iOS app which is now in the beta testing phase. It uses a similar approach as Pianometer in automatically weighting tuning intervals by measuring partial strengths, but it has a different UI and lots of improvements in details like attack & note detection and noise resilience.
To my amateur ears, it is already on par with the established programs, but I would be very interested in the opinion of you professionals.
I know, that this forum is no place for soliciting. I just want to ask you if you would be interested in playing around with the new software and perhaps share some feedback. If this were the case, I could post a link to the free beta test or send it directly to interested folks.

Last edited by Frank Illenberger; 03/08/21 05:32 PM.

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I would be interested for sure. I own tunelab, pianometer and verituner.

All the best.


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Great, thanks!
I have setup a website which has a red "Public Beta" button in the top right corner: https://www.pianoscope.app/
Or you can use this direct link to the beta: https://testflight.apple.com/join/qIzcnoY8

To install the beta you first need to install Apple's TestFlight app. Don't worry about the pianoscope app asking you to start a trial or make an in-app purchase. In the TestFlight environment no actual money transaction is created. It is just for testing purposes.

Jean, as you are from Québec: If you find any quirky terminology in the French localization, please let me know. My school French is not the best…

Last edited by Frank Illenberger; 03/08/21 06:09 PM.

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Thanks. I just tried now but it seems like I have to download the latest iOS 14.4.1

I’m not sure I want to do that yet as I usually wait before updating.

I’m still interested and will look into it.


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Hi Frank,

So.... how does this app differ from Verituner? I hope that's not a loaded question.


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From a quick look, it seems to be closer to PianoMeter than Verituner.

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You shouldn't need the latest iOS 14.4.1 to run pianoscope. iOS 14.0 should suffice. What iOS version are you running?


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Hi John,

to calculate their tunings, apps like Verituner or TuneLab take an approach which is similar to the procedure of aural tuning. In a first step they start from the given concert pitch and build a temperament octave, like A3-A4. From the notes in the temperament octave they go outwards and minimize the beating of a fixed tuning interval in every region, like 6:3 for A0-A3, 4:1 for A4-C8. You as a tuner have to decide, which tuning intervals are suitable for an individual instrument.

pianoscope on the other hand first builds a model of the inharmonicity and the partial strengths of all notes of an individual instrument. You have to play a sample of 12 notes, each for a second. From this it calculates a tuning by GLOBALLY optimizing a whole set of slow-beating intervals, like fourths 4:3, 8:6, fifths 3:2, 6:4, octaves 2:1, 4:2, 6:3, 8:4, 10:5 - twelfths 3:1, 6:2, 9:3, double octaves 4:1, 8:2, nineteenths and triple octaves. As pianoscope knows the strength of the partials before it constructs a tuning, it can individually adjust the weights for all intervals according to it. You only have to decide, which tuning style you or the customer prefer in principle, if you for example prefer pure twelfths over octaves, or want a compromise of both. You do not need to make decisions for an individual instrument.

So pianoscope should be able to create a fully balanced sound of the full scale, because for every note it is checking the beating across multitude of intervals against many, many other notes, which would be nearly impossible for a human tuner to do. Verituner cannot perform a global optimization of the tuning, as it requires you to tune in a fixed sequence and it measures the inharmonicity as you go.

pianoscope has a chart which shows you how pure all the intervals will be in the resulting tuning for a given instrument. Even before tuning, these deviation curves can show how much potential there is in an instrument for a given style.

pianoscope does not (yet) have the ability to use unequal temperaments like Verituner.

On the UI side, pianoscope guides you through the setup, so that you as a pro should be able to start tuning right away without having to read the manual. For tuning feedback, it uses a straight horizontal scale and strobe instead of circular ones. It makes good use of the screen real estate even on small iPhones and tries to be a good iOS citizen by for example adjusting its appearance to dark mode or by altering the size of its texts for people with weak vision.


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Thanks for the explanation!

So it uses the 8 samples (or so) to create a model of the inharmonicity of the piano scale? It will be interesting to see how well this adapts to poorly scaled pianos - that's where I see most of the tuning challenges at the break and going down into the bass as the inharmonicity data for each note varies from the model.

I'll have a chance to experiment some this weekend at the U, though there aren't any spinets there...

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I have a dedicated iPhone 6 with my apps on it. I am still on iOS 13. I will do a software update today and try the app sometime this week.

I am looking forward to it.

Will it have a pitchraise function?


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Is it an iPhone 6s? If it is only an iPhone 6, you might be out of luck, because iOS 14 requires at least an iPhone 6s.
Yes, pianoscope has a pitch raise function. If you are curious in the meantime, you can check out the user manual: https://www.pianoscope.app/manual/en/pianoscope.html
It also has a section on pitch raising: https://www.pianoscope.app/manual/en/pianoscope.html#_pitch_raise_pro_only

Last edited by Frank Illenberger; 03/09/21 11:45 AM.

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You can sample as many notes as you like. For poorly scaled pianos it is desirable to add more notes around the tenor break to get a better representation of the inharmonicity changes. Twelve notes is only the required default.
You can even simply sample all notes, which only takes about two minutes.

Last edited by Frank Illenberger; 03/09/21 12:15 PM.

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Thanks for the app Frank! I just submitted some feedback. When you highlight an outlier inharmonicity measurement, I don't get the red X to delete it.

Otherwise, it all looks great! BTW, what is used to compute the strobe display? A combination of all the audible partials or just the fundamental?

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I tried to run it today, but it must not have had mic access because I couldn't get the measuring to hear anything. I'll play with it again when I have more time.

Excellent news on the app using as much data as the user wants to input.

I've thought for a long time that there must be a way to figure the stretch first - tuning a ladder of notes to find the optimum for each piano instead of working from the middle outwards...

Thanks!

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pianoscope normally asks for microphone permission when you first start recording. If you somehow rejected this permission, you can enable it later through the iOS settings app via Privacy > Microphone.
If it still does not work you can try to force terminate the app by flicking upwards in the app switcher and then restart it.

Last edited by Frank Illenberger; 03/09/21 06:40 PM.

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I just tried it as well, but have not had a chance to tune with it. Is there any way to change the basic offset?

Thanks


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Thanks - I'll read through the guide before trying again - I can see where I missed a step in the measure - there is another red measure in the upper left after pressing measure in the reminder screen to activate the listening mode.

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Ok, I found where to change the offset. I should explore a bit more the app before asking questions here. Sorry about that.

Thanks


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This seems interesting. I very much prefer a horizontal beat display to a rotating one. I presume display movement to the left is flat and to the right is sharp from reference?

What measurement technique does it employ?

Apple is warning us we need to download IOS14.4.1 now. There is a security risk that has just been discovered and they want to patch it now.


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I spent some time with it today. Measures IH instantaneously, so measuring 88 takes no time. I haven't done a complete tuning. But I can make one suggestion: the horizontal indicator is slightly opaque. Perhaps it can it be made a little easier to see.


Bach, A Sequenced Well-tempered Clavier Books I & II complete
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