We review Cleartune, a chromatic tuner app that adds another musical string to your iPhone's bow
When you're in the business of reviewing iPhone applications as part of your profession, you get to see a fair few of them. However such is the iPhone's awesomeness that even after seeing so many you can still be surprised with what comes up in the App Store.
Today we're looking at ClearTune, a chromatic tuner that will help you tune any instrument that can hold a tone long enough for the iPhone's built in mic to allow the app to read it.
The first thing you notice about ClearTune is the interface. It's extremely well-drawn and highly functional. One glance at it and you know exactly what it is you're looking at.
The wheel has musical notes written on it that spin around to a pointer at the top and then hold the position of the note being played into the microphone. When the dial hits a true note, the pointer turns green so you know you're in business. While the initial functionality is immediately obvious, there are some subtle buttons on the interface that bring some features to the table.
For example, a small padlock button at the bottom of the screen makes the dial only turn when a full note is hit rather than flitting about in between. On the right-hand side is a tuning fork symbol that means that the dial reads out the note being played into the microphone. On the left-hand side is a pitch-pipe symbol that allows the app to do the opposite.
You can select any note on the dial, which can then be played over nine octaves . The app displays the frequency (measured in hertz or Hz) as well as the note being played on the dial.
After having our ears hurt by an extremely high pitched C#, we decided to test the app a bit. For this we enlisted the aid of a Takamine G530S, freshly de-tuned so that ClearTune could work its magic. After tuning the guitar up to what the app assured us were correct and full notes, we stuck an E cord to see how she sounded. Low and behold, it was perfect tuning indeed.
During the process the note wheel can be a bit skittish but on the whole it did a damned fine job. This is an app that's definitely worth a look for anyone in the habit of using a tuner or in need of a pitch pipe.