I was recently lucky enough to acquire the new UltraTuner app by IKMultimedia. There are plenty of iOS tuning apps out there, but this app allows you to tune your instrument in a few different ways—that alone is unique. Not only that, but you can adjust the app to suit your instrument and your surroundings. That’s just neat!
As with most guitar tuning apps, you can use what IK Multimedia have dubbed Stage Mode. This display gives you a visual representation of how tuned (or not) your guitar is. When the big bar in the middle of the display lights up, you’re in tune. The lights either side of that middle bar let you know if you’re flat (left) or sharp (right).
I should point out now that there are other instruments that can be tuned using UltraTuner. I won’t focus on those because I’m barely a guitar player, but if you want to tune an instrument other than a guitar, make sure you check out the Settings section of this app. In there you can change the Temperament from Equal to Pythagorean, Just Major and a few others. You can also adjust the temperament root key. Transposition can be adjusted here too. On top of all that, you can adjust the sensitivity settings so non-electric instruments can be tuned using your iPhone’s built-in mic. It’s way too advanced for my feeble mind.
What I do know is that this app also comes with Studio Mode which is unlike anything I’ve discovered in a guitar tuning app. I love Studio Mode! Studio Mode has two different styles. There’s the Waveform and the Pitch Over Time. Here’s how they both work (see images below as well).
Waveform shows your current tuning in a waveform that doesn’t flow left or right when perfectly tuned. If your waveform doesn’t look smooth and/or is flowing in a motion left or right, you’re out of tune. Left means you’re flat and right means you’re sharp. There are tiny indicator arrows beside the note you’re tuning to that let you know if you’re tuned as well (two green arrows means you’re tuned).
If you tap on the waveform you get the Pitch Over Time display. The cool thing about this mode is that you can keep an eye on your tuning (important in a studio environment obviously) over time. If you start to drop flat, you can adjust. That’s cool. It’s probably of greater use to other instruments than guitar, but all the same. Cool.
If you haven’t checked it out, take a look at the iTunes page for UltraTuner. This app is definitely worth a try. It’s my new favourite guitar tuner.