Implementation of a tuner by means of MATLAB

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Gulyás Krisztián
Department of Networked Systems and Services

In music it is essential, that the instruments are properly tuned, they have to sound very clean alone or together with other instruments. For the tuning procedure we need an accurate, real-time and easy-to-handle tuner.

Before the implementation I have examined the attributes of guitars’ and violins’ sound mainly, then I have reviewed the common tempering methods and tuning schemes. For determining the fundamental frequency of the sound, I collected and studied the pitch-detection methods, and by the properties of the selected instruments I have developed a fast and accurate frequency detecting method.

During the task, I implemented a tuner in MATLAB environment, that samples the sound of a musical instrument with an external sound card and with a microphone, if there is an acoustic instrument, then with operations on the taken samples, it detects the frequency and displays the necessary informations for the tuning on a graphical user interface. With the following user-selected parameters: frequency of the Concert pitch, tempering method, and instrument tuning schemes, it generates a frequency scale, compares that to the measured frequency, and displays the measured frequency, the name of the nearest exact pitch and the difference from that in cents, the direction of the difference, and indicates if the detected pitch corresponds with a pitch from the tuning scheme.


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