Blair, Fry partner on new iPhone app for bass-section tuning

Published: March 15, 2014
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TyTune_Tuner_March2014_smallMurray Blair, the man who has worked to perfect the tuning of bass and tenor drones, has developed new technology to help tune bass and tenor drums with the release of the new “TyTune” tuner, in partnership with tenor drummer Tyler Fry.

Similar to Blair’s $11.99 Bagpipe Tuner launched in 2011, TyTune is an iPhone and iPad application, but the price is set at $28.99 for those who wish to use the new technology that has been in development for several years.

“It’s a completely different application, still based on the bagpipe scale however dealing with much lower complex frequencies and much harder data crunching,” Blair said. “Achieving an accurate reading on drums is difficult given the overtones produced by the membrane. It was a challenging app to deliver given the complexities, most evident in a real-world environment by the lack of actual hardware drum tuners available.”

Fry promises that the tuner app “makes tuning bass and tenor drums to the bagpipe scale quick and easy.” The application essentially “learns” the frequency of specific chanter notes as set by the band, and then allows the user to match tenor and bass drums to the desired pitch.

“We tested extensively on tuned instruments to record analytical data and applied methods to calculate frequency such as Fast Fourier Transform, which provided far greater detail and understanding of existing published data relating to pipe band drum frequencies,” Fry commented. “Our research produced results accurate to several decimal places which ensure TyTune not only tunes consistently to the desired note every time, but delivers the same results equally as well in challenging indoor and outdoor loud noise environments such as band practices, competitions or music venues.”

TyTune is the latest in hardware and software products developed by Blair, who works professionally as a sound engineer, but the first apparently licensed in partnership with a prominent name in piping and drumming.

When asked about the relatively higher price, Fry said, “It really is a high quality tuning option at a competitive price in comparison with existing standalone products on the market.”

Fry added that the Grade 1 Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band is an early user of the application. The band’s Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick said, “Most of the guys in my bass section have their own iPhones and this app gives them more freedom than ever to keep their instruments constantly in tune.”

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