Piano Tuning Patch assistance please

May 11, 2011 at 5:32pm

Piano Tuning Patch assistance please

I’m having some trouble creating a Piano tuner in Max MSP using the “ftom” and “ftom~” objects. the problem is the values these objects are returning (which should be a midi value) keep on changing as if it is including harmonics or something. does anyone know how to get past this problem?

May 11, 2011 at 6:43pm

yes thats right, it simply takes a value in Herz and translates this to midi note. To my understanding these objects are not thought for fundamental or pitch detection.
I think there should be at least two on maxobjects.com
good luck!

May 11, 2011 at 6:52pm

Yes, [pitch~] would be a good place to start.

May 11, 2011 at 9:35pm

If you get this done, please post it. It would be very interesting.

Do you think you can make it accurate. Tuning pianos isn’t exactly easy.

Sep 19, 2011 at 8:05pm

It would be interresting to hear how it worked out.


Sep 19, 2011 at 9:35pm

Piano tuning is a very complicated challenge.
It deals with psychoacoustics besides “well tempered scaling” ;-)!
I mean that your ear connected to your brain doesn’t perceives the objective pitch but reelaborates it in function of the context (chords,upper or lower register,…). Furthermore what would be your definition of a pitch ? As notes played on a piano are never strictly harmonic the ‘basic’ definition of pitch cannot be relyied on …

Good work anyway …

Sep 20, 2011 at 2:56pm

My first thought was, “Wow. This *must* be some kind of project assignment. No one who really tunes pianos seriously would be likely to consider some kind of automation (a la guitar tuners) for doing the work…. :-)

Sep 20, 2011 at 2:57pm

Now, a Max patch that you could use to do the temperament bit? That would um… be interesting!

Nov 8, 2011 at 2:35pm

All of the FFT-based frequency estimators [fiddle~], [pitch~], [sigmund~] won’t be accurate enough for tuning (a piano) – especially in the low register.

I’d rather use a time-domain algorithm. For example [gbr.yin] from the FTM lib or [mbc.pitch~] from Mark Cartwright’s LPC Toolkit – both use the Yin algorithm based on autocorrelation.

Or maybe max6′s new wavelet pitch detector – haven’t tried that one yet…

Nov 8, 2011 at 2:44pm

An interesting paper about piano tuning :


Nov 8, 2011 at 3:34pm

fzero~ has fine resolution in the low frequencies, but it might not be great at piano. This would be especially true if some of the strings are detuned.

The Yin algorithm is probably the best bet.

Nov 8, 2011 at 4:09pm

Anyone care to take a bet on how long it will take for the bot formerly known as ndrewoods to spam this thread ;) ?

Nov 8, 2011 at 7:51pm

110 minutes.


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