August 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm

SteadyTune: A Pitch-Perfect Tuner Right in Your Mac Menu Bar

Any string-instrument-wielding muso will tell you that a good tuner is essential. As such, plenty of mobile, desktop, and even web apps can tell you whether an instrument or your voice is in tune, but few developers have looked just a step beyond the straightforward function of a tuner to anticipate where a tuner might be useful.

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Precision, convenience, design: What more could you want from a computer-based tuner?

Well, the days of  fumbling for your Korg pocket chromatic are over. Music app veterans Agile Partners know where to put a tuner: right in the menu bar of your Mac. SteadyTune’s tuning fork-shaped icon sits right up there with the date, time, Twitter, Dropbox, Evernote, AirPlay and whatever else you like to keep there.

This $5 app (steep, but way cheaper than a hardware tuner) itself is nothing groundbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be. You’re just trying to tune an instrument, not land a man on the moon.

The app consists of a box that drops down from the menu bar icon to reveal a sliding bar on a horizontal spectrum. Red means you’re out of tune, while green means good enough for Rock n’ Roll.

In addition to providing a standard chromatic tuner for any instrument, SteadyTune has presets for various guitar and bass configurations, ukelele, mandolin, and anything you can play with a bow. It also recognizes a whole host of alternate tunings, so you can copy the Allman Brothers with your slide guitar without sounding like a dying bovine.

SteadyTune can use your built in computer mic as an input, or whatever line-in audio inputs you prefer. We love practicality, which is why we love SteadyTune. It’s not for everyone, but if you use a Mac and need a tuner, this is it.