Is there an equivilent of guitar tuners for voices?

My dad plays guitar and sings. He recently bought something called a “Vocal Trainer,” which, from how he described it, seems to be something like this. The Vocal Trainer removes vocals from CDs and can slow the speed without altering the pitch. However, that wasn’t exactly what Dad was looking for. What he described as wanting was “a guitar tuner for voices” - that is, a little visual cue that can tell him whether or not he’s singing on key.

Is there such a product? If so, do you have any recommendations? If it isn’t too expensive (I’m a 20-year-old student), I’d like to get him one for Christmas.

Heh. You could use any old (electric/battery power) tuner. Most of them have a little mic in them. They even have software-type thingies that do the same thing.


That tells you whether you’re on pitch or not; you have to make the adjustments yourself. I haven’t been able to locate the tuning pegs for my voice just yet… :smiley:

Something like that will only tell you if a single sustained note is in tune. It will not tell you if a melody is in tune.

True, but I’m not aware of anything that does that. Wouldn’t it have to be preprogrammed to know exactly what you’re supposed to be singing and when?

Antares Autotune could correct the pitch of a monophonic vocal line after the fact.

I think the closest you might get is the good old tuner advised above. A guitar tuner likely won’t have the right pitch range (?) – you’d need a strobe tuner of the sort piano tuners are familiar with, and they’re expensive, even used. However, hook a Shure SM58 up to your computer, load TuneLab software, and you have a pretty good digital approximation. I’ve used this combination (SM57 + Tunelab) to tune my Rhodes, and it worked great for getting a good couple of reference notes (but the ear is the final judge!).

Maybe a tuning fork or chromatic pitchpipe and some combination of ear-training/solfege type materials might work out better in the long run. Or a cheap digital keyboard which can generate pure sine waves. Something tells me that the microphone + strobe or digital tuner isn’t quite going to work as well as one would hope.

Exactly my point. I know of no device that does such a thing.

Isn’t there a Nintendo Karaoke game that can help? No, seriously. I heard (on radio) a reviewer who said that playing the game had actually improved his singing.

Did you then hear him sing? A radio personality can be self delusional when it comes to their vocal talents.

This is what you’re thinking of:

Lisa-go-Blind, it’s exactly what you’re looking for! There’s a line that goes across the screen indicating the tune, and you get scored on how well you follow it (there’s a little arrow showing where you’re singing)

However, I don’t think they make a PC version, so your dad would have to have one of the supported platforms (PlayStation 2, Xbox, or GameCube)

There is at least one PC program that can take somoene singing (humming or whistling works better) into a mike and plots the notes onto a staff. Would that do?

Hmmm, that sounds like it could work. My dad owns a ton of sheet music, so he could even compare it that way. What is the name of the program you’re thinking of?

The one I have is Music@Passport by Passport Designs.

Psst…Lisa…check your mail.

Monophonic audio --> MIDI? Does this actually work now? I remember trying several of these programs a few years ago and being very disappointed, but perhaps the technology is good enough for a single voice/instrument.

I’m going to assume that the program quantizes MIDI data to a subdivision of time (say, a sixteenth-note) that can be adjusted by the user. Is that right?

I’ve had version 1.0.1 of Music@Passport for years. It’s not perfect for plotting via microphone but it works.

Exactly right. I use it to transcribe sheet music by placing notes on the staff with my mouse. It’s the only program I’ve ever seen that can handle 64ths.