How to Use the Tuning Fork
The tuning fork simply plays reference notes for you to tune to, in the same way as a physical tuning fork. If you want a tuning meter which tells you what note you are playing, then see the Seventh String Tuner.
The "A = 440Hz" and "Stop" buttons do exactly what they say. To their right is a report of the frequency of the note currently playing.
Click on the piano to play any note. The large "C" is middle C.
The "Preset Instrument Tunings" provide easy access to the notes for some common tunings. Select which instrument, and you get one button for each note on that instrument. You can click the individual buttons, or you can click the "Loop" button to play them all in sequence. In this case the "Timeout" setting determines how long each note is played for. The Bass preset is displayed an octave high as it wouldn't fit on the piano keyboard otherwise.
The Volume and Timbre controls are self explanatory. Note that the volume control is separate from your overall system volume control, which will also affect the tuning fork volume.
The Tuning Origin controls allow you to generate pitches which differ from the standard A=440Hz. The two "A is:" boxes are linked and show deviation from A=440Hz in both Hz and cents. The "Transpose semitones" box is for larger adjustments, for instance if you are a tenor saxophone player then you might transpose -2 semitones so when you click C on the piano keyboard it will play concert Bb, the note you are accustomed to call C. Or if you are playing a guitar with capo on 3 then you might want to transpose +3 semitones.
The Note Duration controls allow you to decide whether notes should be played only as long as the mouse button is pressed, or continuously until you press "Stop", or with a fixed timeout adjustable in seconds. You can also stop a note by clicking it again, after it has started playing.
You can run the Seventh String Tuning Fork and the Seventh String Tuner alongside one another in two windows, so the Tuner will report the note being played by the Tuning Fork. However the Tuner ignores absolutely steady notes after a few seconds have gone by (because they might be hum or other extraneous noise), so you will need to uncheck the Tuner's "Hum cancellation" option if you want the reading to continue.
Tuning adjustments or discrepancies are normally measured in "cents". A cent is a hundredth of a semitone. The difference between tuning to A=440 and A=441 is about 4 cents.
If you are interested then here is a table giving the frequencies of musical notes.
This tuner uses the even tempered (aka equal tempered) scale, where an octave is a frequency ratio of exactly two and a semitone is a frequency ratio of exactly the twelfth root of two. In the real world however many different temperaments may be used - see
- and octaves too can vary in size, see
The accuracy of the pitches generated depends entirely on the accuracy of your sound card clock. If it is not exactly 44100Hz then this will cause inaccuracy, and there is no way the tuner can know. A quick look around the web shows that sound card clock accuracy of 50ppm (parts per million) is considered pretty good and is in fact achieved by many sound cards. This is equivalent to an error of about one tenth of a cent, which is excellent for our purposes. But it is conceivable that a poor quality sound card might have an error big enough to notice. Sound card clock speed can also vary with temperature.
This tuning fork is a Java applet so if it isn't working properly, or isn't displayed at all, then this is most likely to be a problem with running Java in your browser.
First, try simply refreshing this page. If that doesn't work then try closing all browser windows, then relaunch your browser and visit this page again.
If that doesn't fix it then click here for more information and instructions.
Downloading and Running Locally
We do allow you to download the Seventh String Tuning Fork in order to run it locally on your computer without being connected to the internet. You may also freely distribute the downloaded zip file - see "License Terms and Conditions" below.
Unzipping the file will get you a folder containing tuningfork.html (the page which displays the applet - this page in fact), ssf130513132555.jar (the applet itself) and a tuning fork icon. Double-click tuningfork.html to open it in your browser and run the tuning fork. You can bookmark this page in your browser for quick access subsequently - it doesn't make any difference that the page is stored locally on your hard disk rather than on the internet.
If you encounter any problem then click here for more information and more detailed instructions.
License Terms and Conditions
The Seventh String Tuning Fork is Copyright © 2011 Seventh String Limited. All rights reserved. We provide it on the Seventh String website for free use by anyone, subject to the following conditions:
Related Software From Seventh String
Seventh String Software also provide Transcribe!, the world's leading software for helping musicians to figure out music from recordings.
Recommend this page to others, on these social bookmarking sites:
Seventh String Home