My iOS Tuner of Choice

August 31, 2015 ☼ Article

During the last few weeks and rehearsals I got frequently asked about the tuner-application that I use on my phone and thought it would be worth a little write-up.

First off, tuner and especially metronome-apps are plenty in the App-Store, sadly though most of them, let’s just say, don’t work for me on many levels. A search in the App-Store for tuner or metronome reveals a collection of sloppy app-design and uninspired icon-artwork. What I am looking for is an app that functions well, is simple to use, after all it’s just a tuner or metronome and last but not least, is no pain to look at[^-361150189].

Luckily there are exceptions and I found a few apps that work for me. The first one I want to talk about today, and the one I was asked about a lot frequently, is Tunable.

Tunable, is you can guess, a tuner, even though it does include a metronome. While many tuners that I ran into seem to be a skeumorphic reproduction of good old hardware tuners, Tunable works more a digital tool and adds interesting and helpful features to the way it displays the tuneing.

First of all it displays the note as vertical line, and the more in tune a note is, the more the line expands over the width of the screen. Additionally a pin-line in the center of the screen displays the steadiness of the played note. The steadier the note, the straighter the line. The latter can also be recorded which adds a layer of gamification to it, if one rolls like this.

Additionally it one can play some pipe-tones for tuning. I have never had a need for this, but it’s good to have[^-361150189].


I use the app mainly as a tuner but the app’s integrated metronome does follow the simple design and supports different measure-types and sub-divisions up to 32th notes. Even though I think the latter is quite an edge case. I’m not much of a fan of the chosen sounds for the beats, but maybe that’s just me.

Other there’s not much else to it, which is a good thing, after all, it’s a tuner. Naturally in the settings one can set hertz-value for concert-A to anything one wants.

I’m quite happily using the application since I got it and like it, as much as one can like a tuner. The app is available for iPhone/iPad and for Android as well.

  1. Yes I know, I’m shallow 

  2. I used it exactly once on purpose to create the screenshot. 

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