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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Tools for musicians: The Musicians' Swiss Knife and Guitar Tuner Mobile

Mobile phone music - The Musicians' Swiss Knife and Guitar Tuner Mobile
The Musicians' Swiss Knife

The Musicians' Swiss Knife is a metronome, beats per minute counter, and tone generator.

You can set the metronome to beat from 40 to 208 bpm in increments of 4, with measures up to 32 bar. The bpm counter indicates immediate and average beats per minute, and can count as fast as you can hit the keys. It certainly beats using a stopwatch. The tone generator is a nice add-on. You can choose 48 notes over a four octave range, generated by 45 different instruments. Saxophones and trumpets and other members of the horny section, electric and accoustic guitars, pianos and organs, bass with and without frets, and even pan flutes.

There are a few minor things which could be fixed to improve the program. It's easy to forgive the tone generator for not playing didgeridoo. But you can't adjust the metronome settings in mid-play and that's truly inconvenient if you want to change the beat during a song. Maybe this will be addressed in the next version of this program to make this great application even better?

The Musicians' Swiss Knife UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

Guitar Tuner Mobile

Guitar Tuner Mobile is a very simple no-frills program that plays the notes E, A, D, G, B, and E to help you tune your guitar by ear. You can choose between two types of accoustic guitar (steel or nylon strings), and two types of electric guitar.

For very precise tuning the program can record your guitar string sound and display a frequency spectrum of the sound produced by your guitar. Looking at the spectrum is an easy way to check the sound quality of your strings. If you play different notes on a single string the sound spectrum is also a good method to see if your frets perform as they should. Make sure to use this feature if you're about to buy a used guitar, because it may help you to avoid some unpleasant surprises.

Tip: If Guitar Tuner Mobile doesn't make any sound when you try to make it play a note, just choose a phone profile with the warning tones switched on.

Guitar Tuner Mobile UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

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