Command line guitar tuner

Mario Lang mlang at
Sat Sep 11 21:20:19 UTC 2004


In case anyone inside this community cares, I'd just like to let you know
that I was annoyed enough by the fact that there are two free software
guitar tuners around which both require X Windows that I just
wrote a text mode (command-line) guitar tuner for Linux which
basically merges the strong points of both graphical programs.

By default, it uses a very simple (Schmitt Trigger based) algorithm
which is so cheap in terms of CPU time that it actually should
run on ARM processors.

Alternatively you can switch over to a FFT phase difference based algorithm
which produces more accurate results, but can be quite CPU intensive.

ALSA and JACK are supported as audio transport mechanisms.

So if you ever felt the need to tune your electronic guitar
exactly without using a tuning fork, have a look at

Some sample output obtained from my guitars A string (it works
with arbitrary notes, no need to only use A):

lexx:/# tuneit -f -l 4 -j
Note A  ( 110.000Hz):  -2 cents ( 109.868Hz)


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