Intonation Station offers a comprehensive set of configurations that you can adjust to suit your instrument and playing style. They can be changed at any time: If necessary, Intonation Station will re-compute any charts and analysis affected by the new settings.
Set to your instrument’s key, so the notes you see on the Intonation Profile have the same names as the ones you’ve played.
Flutes, oboes, guitars and violins are all in Concert Pitch, which means that a C played on a flute is the same pitch as a C played on a piano. But many instruments, such as clarinets, trumpets and saxophones play in a different key. For example, a C played on a B♭ clarinet is the same pitch as a B♭ played on the piano. If your instrument is not in Concert Pitch, you’ll want to set the Instrument Key to be the same as your instrument so that the notes you see are the same as the ones you’ve played.
To change the setting, tap Instrument Key, and a drop-down picker will appear so you can choose the correct key:
Tap Instrument Key again to make the picker disappear.
Intonation Station allows you to compare your intonation to either the Equal or Just temperament (also known as Natural Temperament). The default setting is Equal Temperament, which is suitable for most users.
To change the setting, Tap Temperament, and a menu will appear so you can choose between Equal and Just. The just temperament varies according to a piece’s root key, so a picker appears for you to set that too. It’s not required for Equal Temperament, so it’s greyed out when Equal is selected:
For more information on Temperament, see About Intonation.
Exclude From Profile
When you’re trying to get an accurate idea of your instrument’s intonation, you don’t always want the Intonation Profile to contain every note you played, especially when you’re performing naturally, rather than doing specific tests, such as scales. For example, the tuning of individual semiquavers usually isn’t so important as the tuning of longer notes. If it’s hard to play semiquavers in tune on your instrument, it makes sense to exclude them from the Intonation Profile, so it only contains the longer notes you played, where intonation is more important. Likewise, if your instrument is prone to squeaking (eg. clarinet, saxophone) or overblowing partials (eg. flute) when you first attack the note, you don’t want Intonation Station to interpret the squeaks or partials as separate notes and display them in the profile.
Similarly, many pieces and playing styles contain scoops and falls, where you deliberately bend a note upwards or downwards. This is especially common in blues and jazz. Taking the average pitch of such bendy notes would show them as very out of tune, obscuring the Intonation Profile, and making it difficult to assess which pitches you intended to play in tune and which ones you didn’t.
Fortunately, Intonation Station allows you to filter out these types of sound – excluding them from the Intonation Profile so you just see the tuning of the notes that matter.
Exclude Notes shorter than __ seconds
Use this slider to exclude short notes from the Intonation Profile. You can set the length of notes played that you want to exclude up to one second. To include all notes, just set the slider to zero.
Exclude Notes that vary more than __ Cents
Use this slider to exclude bendy notes, scoops and falls. The slider specifies how ‘bendy’ the note must be to be excluded, from 10 cents to 100 cents, which is a full tone. To include all notes, just set the slider to 100. It’s actually very hard to play a note within 10 cents for its duration on most instruments, so 50 is a sensible initial setting.
Keeping track of excluded notes
If you have these sliders set to extreme settings, it’s possible Intonation Station will exclude every note you played, leaving the Intonation Profile blank. In this case, you’ll get a warning that all notes were excluded. Otherwise, Intonation Station lists all excluded notes in the Intonation Details tab, showing their length and how much they varied in pitch. You can change the Exclude Settings at any time, and Intonation will redisplay the Intonation Profile accordingly.
Intonation Station offers three different color schemes for its various charts. You can choose the one you prefer. The Light and Monochrome schemes have a white background, which saves ink or toner if you want to print out your Intonation Profile.
Intonation Station uses a sophisticated Pitch Detection Algorithm that gives accurate tuning measurements over a wide range of pitches. Its default setting detects pitches over the range C1 to C7, and is suitable for most instruments.
In order to make an accurate measurement of a pitch’s tuning, Intonation Station requires a certain number of recorded samples, whose length depends on the Instrument Type set here. This places a limit on how short a note can be played in order to be recognised as a full note. For the default and bass settings, each note should be longer than 0.37 seconds. This means that semiquavers probably won’t contain enough information to be recognised in the Intonation Profile.
If your instrument is capable of playing beyond the default range, you can set the Pitch Detection Algorithm to give optimal performance for extremely low and high ranges.
Use the Bass setting for very low pitched instruments, like the tuba. At this setting, Intonation Station can detect frequencies right down to the limitations of your device’s hardware. Most devices can handle pitches down to G0, but some are capable of E0 or lower.
Note that pitches below E0 (20.6 Hz) are too low for the human ear. What you hear when these notes are played are higher pitched overtones. The intonation of the fundamental tone is no longer relevant, because it can’t be heard.
Use the Soprano setting for very high pitched instruments, like the piccolo.
Using the Soprano setting, Intonation Station can detect notes as short as 0.18 seconds. So if you have a high pitched instrument, this setting will allow notes in faster passages to be included in the Intonation Profile.
You can set the microphone sensitivity according to how loud your instrument is. The default setting of 70 is suitable for most instruments.
It’s wise to set the Sensitivity as low as possible. This prevents any background noise being picked up and measured by Intonation Station in between the notes you play.