New version and display plugin available

What is Wtune ?
Essentially it is a
  • single track recorder to MIDI file of whatever is captured by your PC soundcard (for instance, when the microphone input is used, what you are singing or what you are playing with an acoustic instrument) so that you can later obtain the relevant score once you import the MIDI file into your usual notation program
  • spectrum analyzer/frequency counter to check your vocal accuracy and/or your instrument intonation

    General information about Wtune and its spectrum analyzer features are available on this page. If you rather are interested in the MIDI features and want to download a demo MIDI plugin so you can test this new feature, please go here

    Please take two minutes to read more about Wtune or jump directly to
  • display plugin to know more about display plugin features or
  • system requirements to run Wtune or to
  • some snapshots of how it looks like or to its
  • features and
  • accuracy results
  • If you have problems, read this section.

    If you already know this software, you may want to check the history page to see what has been added and changed since previous Wtune releases.
  • download Wtune
    download the display plugin
    and then go to the plugin page for the MIDI plugin

    if you have problem with version, you can still
    download version (that does not support display plugin)

    Wtune is a small, easy to install free software that you can use
  • to record to a MIDI file something you are singing or playing with an acoustic instrument so to have the score of what you have sung/played once you will import that MIDI file into your favourite notation program. This feature is deeply described here
  • to verify your intonation (or to tune your instrument). You can also use it to examine your music based material: for instance an audio CD, a MIDI sequence, anything that can be played by the audio board of your PC. If you use your computer microphone as audio input device, just sing/play in front of it and the relevant dominant frequency will be displayed using conventional notation, providing also the amount of cents of mismatch from the nearest standard note (the one displayed).

    A frequency meter like display and a spectrum analyzer are also shown so that you have also the numerical value of the dominant frequency and the visualization of the whole spectrum of what you are singing/playing (or analyzing).
    It is also possible to change the value for the 440Hz A (the reference frequency) so to allow for tuning of instruments that do require having the central A set to a different frequency than usual 440Hz.

    You can record your working session both to standard WAV and text file. Later, you can play the recorded WAV file with your favourite media player and use Wtune to examine over and over again your performance. You can also record another session while you are playing back an older one: the result will be a WAV file containing a mixing of both sessions. Or you can read the text file at your leisure to see which note you sung/played at a certain time.

    Of course you can also play any sound file from your PC and observe the analysis of that file as it is being played; keep in mind, however, that this is not the true scope of the program as it limits the upper frequency analysis to 4kHz that, while it is more than sufficient to tune an instrument or to check a sung note, it is very distant from the highest frequencies you can find, for instance, in a CD that can reach the 20kHz value. Anyway you should be aware that, even for CD quality material, its associated energy is mainly concentrated in the low part of the spectrum and therefore, although limited to 4Khz, a spectrum analysis of such material can equally give a fair indication of the spectrum distribution of what you are listening to.

    The software is easy to install/remove as you just have to put the executable file in any directory you want and run it. If you don't want it anymore, simply delete it. No mess with OS registry entries !!!

    The software has been tested to correctly run on Windows Vista, XP and 2000 with DirectX8; it just needs a very basic sound card installed (needs to sample at 16000 Hz with 16 bit resolution); the program DOES NOT run under WinNT/95. For Windows 98 and ME no compatibility check has been performed and we cannot assure you by no means that it will not give you problems or that it will run at all.

    The part of Wtune relevant to spectrum analysis and the display plugin are completly free: you can download as many copies as you like of wtune main program and display plugin and use them as long as you wish. You may also sell or redistribute them, include it into your own software package and/or your web site as long as you will give us proper credit (at least a link to this site). You don't even need to ask us any permission.
    However while surfing the web looking for other sites with choral music content, we have seen a number of URLs asking for free contributions but then not allowing other people to link to their files. Due to their policy, such sites are not allowed to download/use this software.

    Take a look at the preliminary snapshots of the program; you can also find a short description of the various functionalities.
    At the end of this page, you can find an accuracy table representing the errors obtained measuring pure sinusoidal tones (generated from an digital audio editor and reproduced on the same PC where Wtune was running).

  • If you enjoy this program, please consider supporting its development by making a donation
    It's easy, fast and secure with Paypal: just click on the button

    We have put our maximum effort to release a software as accurate and robust as possible; anyway this is an "amatorial" product and malfunctioning or wrong behaviour may happen. With this notice we want to highlight that we can not be considered liable for any damage or injury you may have or cause and that derives from the usage, whether direct or not, of this sofware.
    Please also note that this is not our business, we made this program because we like music and programming and nor we have time neither we can guarantee any kind of support so please, if you have problems, read this section before writing us asking for a solution. We cannot absolutely promise that will answer you, although we'll do our best for helping you.

    Display plugin

    This plugin will add new features to the main program; it will allow you
    • to resize main window
    • to zoom in/out spectrum (4 zoom levels provided) by pressing mouse right button when cursor is into spectrum area
    • to set spectrum displayed range to desidered values
    This plugin can be freely downloaded here ; to work properly it must be saved into the same directory where the main program wtune.exe is placed.

    System requirements

    • Operating system: Windows Vista, XP or 2000 (with directX8 installed)
    • CPU: any that is also required to run the above OS
    • Audio board capabilities: 16000 Hz sampling rate with 16 bit resolution stereo
    Using the maximum FFT size of 8192 points is the most CPU loading case but, even in this situation, Wtune CPU usage does not exceed 25% on a 500MHz PC. Memory usage is always very low and about 4MB.

    Wtune snapshots

    This snapshot show the window that will pop up as soon as you run the program.

    Spectrum: logarithmic view
    (linear view is also available)

    This other snapshot comes from the sound generated by a diapason.

    Wtune Main Features

    Record to single track MIDI file This plugin will allow you to record on a MIDI file your voice or acoustic instrument. It will produce a two tracks MIDI file: first track is for MIDI settings, second one will have the note on MIDI event of the dominant frequencies recorded as you are playing/singing. Then simply import the resultant MIDI file into a notation program to have the score. For further information and to download a demo version go here

    1. Indication of the sung/played nearest note in conventional way
    The dominant frequency relevant to the current captured sound is checked against frequencies belonging to standard notes in the C3-C8 range (65.41-2093 Hz): then the (logarithmically) closest note is displayed in the small staves at the left of the spectrum analyzer window. Just below the staves the cents of mismatch from that note frequency are reported in numerical and bar indicator ways.

    2. Frequency meter
    The value of current dominant frequency is numerically displayed as in a conventional frequency counter. Note that this value may differ from that of the maximum peak you can find into the spectrum as the dominant frequency is computated taking into account that part of the spectrum where the maximun energy is concentrated and not simply searching for the spectrum peak value.

    3. Changing of central A (440Hz) frequency and Special transpose
    The closest note indication take into consideration the actual value at which the central A is set: such value may be changed from 400 to 480Hz. All the other note frequencies will be shifted accordingly.
    Note indication can be furtherly changed to accomodate B-flat and E-flat instruments and also one octave up or down so that notes can be displayed even when played by instruments that can perform at very low or high frequencies (e.g. tuba, liute, etc.)

    4. Spectrum analyzer
    A large area is dedicated to the displaying of the spectrum of the wave being currently captured. A small red cross is drawn on the top of the line relevant to the dominant frequency.

    5. Recording to files
    It is possible to record what is currently being analyzed both to text, standard wave and MIDI file.
    For further information about recording to MIDI file see above or go here.
    Text file can be examined (with a conventional text editor/word processor) to check the list of all the dominant frequencies sung during a previous training session. Or, if the performance has been saved to a wav file, it can be played with a media player and the performance could be analyzed and displayed again by Wtune. Also a previously recorded wav file can be analyzed by Wtune while, at the same time, a new training session is recorded. The result will be a wav file that contains the mixing of the two wav files. During the recording phase, the volume of the previous wav file and that of the current session can be adjusted to the preferred values simply using the Volume Control of the standard Windows recording audio mixer (WAVE and MICROPHONE cursors).
    Both text and wave file can be recorded at the same time.

    6. Snapshot and Freeze buttons
    Click on Snapshot button to save to clipboard Wtune window; it is foreseen in the future to add the capability to save also the snapshot to a BMP file.
    The Freeze/Thaw button can be used to temporarily freeze and then thaw all the meters.

    Other available features

    Menu File Convert a recorded logfile (textfile) to MIDI
    With the MIDI plugin installed, this command will allow you to convert a previous logfile recorded session into a MIDI file. Once you have the MIDI file, you can use it to import it into your favourite sequencer or notation program to look at the score of what you played.
    Go to the plugin page for further details...

    Menu Settings MIDI
    If you have installed the MIDI plugin, this command will open the dialog to setup parameters that will be written into MIDI file
  • Note pitch: to mantain the original sung/played note pitch or to round it to the closest note.
    Please note that not all the MIDI player/notation program/sequencer process this information when a MIDI file is loaded. It might happens that during MIDI reproduction you will hear all the notes perfectly tuned, even if they weren't when you played them and you have selected "Keep original pitch" for the generation of the MIDI file. This is due to the MIDI player/notation program/sequencer you are using to play the MIDI file that is not able to recognize the relevant detuning meta event
  • Accidentals: to setup the number of accidentals that will be shown into your score if you load the generated MIDI file into a notation program
  • Sharps/Flats: to determine if the above accidentals will be sharps or flats
  • Major/minor: together with the two previous settings, this one will let the notation program exactly know what key signature to use
  • Instruments: to establish the instrument to be used during the file reproduction
  • Tempo: to set a tempo into the score and therefore the speed to play it; tempo value is always referred as the number of quarter notes per minute

    Menu Settings FFT Parameters
    It is possible to change FFT parameters to improve precision in the sound analysis; to achieve this the user can change the number of points used to computate the FFT (by default this value is 8192, but can be reduced to 4096 for computer with slow CPU (< 300 MHz) even though precision will be heavily reduced) and the function that is used "to windowize" the spectrum during such computation. Inside this dialog box, it will also be possible to specify the alpha value if the Gaussian windowing function is selected.

    Menu Settings Spectrum View
    You can use this option to change the way spectrum is displayed
  • x axis: linear or logarithmic representation for the frequency
  • y axis: max dynamic range (spectrum values that are below the threshold will not be shown)
  • the frequency range of the displayed spectrum

    Menu Settings Show sharps/flats in note area
    Use this option to display sharps or flats in the note area for those notes that requires an accidental to be shown

    Menu Settings Cent Meter Damping
    Check/Uncheck this option to activate/deactivate damping in the movement of the led representing the cent value

    Menu Settings Snapshot
    Select submenu items to capture Wtune window and save it to clipboard or file (this option is not active yet) Menu View Refresh Rate Select submenu items to change refesh rate of the various meters (3 speed available: low, normal, high) Menu Colors Background
    Use this option to change main window background color

    Menu Colors Spectrum
    Use this option to change color that is used to draw the spectrum line

    Menu Colors Spectrum Area
    Use this option to change background color that is used for the area where spectrum is drawn

    Menu Colors Default Colors
    Use this option to restore default colors


    These are the errors that have been detected during measurement of pure sinusoidal tones at the indicated frequencies and using the Hanning window function with the FFT computed with 4096 and 8192 points. As you can see, much better results are obtained with 8192 points. Because of this, this is the default size when program starts.
    You should also note that current errors are low enough to allow the usage of the program for at least amatorial and semi-professional purposes.

  • Wtune Problems

    Common problems are here reported, please read before asking for help.
    Please also note that this software is provided as is, it is not our business and we cannot guarantee to answer you.
      Access violation/OS errors appear while trying to run the program
      This may happen if you try to run Wtune under WinNT or Win95
      The error "Another instance of Wtune is already running" is displayed but this is not true
      If you are using WinMe this is a known problem and we have no solution for it. If you are using Win2k or XP please tell us.
      The error "The ordinal 12 could not be located in the dynamic link library DSOUND.dll" is displayed
      You do not have DirectX 8.0 or later installed in your system. Please go to Microsoft Website to download and install DirectX last version.
      The error "Cannot create capture buffer" is displayed
      You are trying to use a sound device that has not the capability to sample at 16kHz.
      The error "DirectX - The specified wave format is not supported" is displayed
      You are trying to use a sound device that has not the capability to sample at 16kHz.
      The error "DirectX - Resource already alllocated by another application" is displayed
      Another application that has exclusive access to the audio board is running on your system. Close that application and try starting Wtune again.
      On exiting, the program crashes and an access violation error is reported
      If you are using Win98 or WinMe this is a known problem and we have no solution for it. If you are using Win2k or XP please tell us. However please notice that this will not have any effect on your recorded sessions that will not be lost and absolutely no impact on your system.
      Values change too quickly
      This is the normal behaviour for Wtune; updating is performed 12 times/second. You can select a slower refresh rate using the Menu View Refresh Rate option.

    Last updated on 10 January 2010