Designed specifically for the Highland Bagpipes, the Braw Bagpipe Tuner lets you tune your chanter and drones based on a reference Low A calibrated to your chanter.
The tuner automatically detects which chanter note or drone you are playing, based on what is the loudest/closest to your devices microphone
Thanks to our QuantumNote technology, the Braw Bagpipe Tuner revolutionises tuning with it's ability to quickly and accurately analyse the tuning of all notes on your chanter while you are playing a tune. This is far superior to all other tuning methods, which rely on holding a single note, as even the best players will adjust their blowing slightly when holding a single note.
Our QuantumNote technology allows you to analyse the tuning when it matters the most - when you are playing! Our QuantumNote technology is aware of bagpipe ornamentation, and even uses this knowledge to help build an accurate tuning result.
The Low A on your chanter (or probably your Pipe Major's chanter if you are in band) provides the reference point for the tuning. Before doing anything, you need to calibrate the gauge to this.
The current frequency that the Low A is calibrated to is shown on the Low A button.
Press the Low A button, and a dialog will appear with the following options:
This option listens to the note you are playing and uses this as the reference.You need to do this at least once to set the tuner to your chanter.
This is a good point to strike up your pipes, then press the Calibrate Now option.
The display will change to the Calibrating Low A screen. Play Low A on your chanter, with your chanter about 30cm from the microphone.
You will have a countdown for a few seconds to prepare, do your best to get and hold the Low A steady, then the calibration recording will take place for a few seconds more.
Once the calibration has finished, you will automatically be returned to the main screen, and your Low A will now be used as reference.
This option allows you to use the current Low A rolling average as the calibrated Low A frequency (and will display this frequency beside the option).
This option is useful to make continual adjustments to the Low A frequency as you play.
Premium Users only.
This option allows you to type in a frequency in Hertz that you want to use as the calibrated Low A frequency.
Premium Users only.
The frequency of the Low A (and the rest of the notes) of your chanter will vary as you keep playing due to moisture and heat changes, so for extended tuning sessions make sure you periodically re-calibrate to your Low A
And of course, the same applies if you leave your pipes without playing them for more than a few minutes.
At the top of the tuner screen is the Screen Mode Button.
As well as the main gauge, there are separate bar gauges for each note on the chanter, for tenor drone, bass drone, and one to indicate the live note (Auto).
Using our QuantumNote technology, these averages are calculated and kept automatically as you play. By default the average is calculated over up to the last 4 seconds of the particular note, with only very small durations of the note being required to add to the average.
On the main gauge, the rolling average for the currently playing note is also indicated by the yellow indicator on the gauge (Premium Users only)
The rolling averages can be reset by using the tool button at the top left of the screen.
Premium Users have access to all the rolling averages, and are also able to configure other rolling average parameters, such as the averaging duration.
By selecting one of the average bar gauges, you are able to lock the main gauge to only display that particular note or drone. The currently selected note is highlighted, and also shown in the main gauge.
When you are not currently playing and you select an average bar gauge, the instantaneous frequency on the main gauge displays the average, allowing you to see the numerical value of the rolling average in Hertz (Hz) and in Cents.
When locked, the rolling averages are not updated for the other notes.
When locked, the screen mode button shows "NOTE LOCKED" and a small pulsing padlock appears next to the note name on the main gauge. To unlock, press the screen mode button.
We recommend establishing the tuning of your chanter by playing a tune which covers all the notes of the chanter, then looking at the average bar gauges.
Of course, it is also possible to hold individual notes and watch both the average and instantaneous indicators on the main gauge, but be aware that you need to try hard to keep your pipes at the same pressure as when you play (difficult to do, even for experienced players who may subconsciously adjust their blowing to correct the tuning).
Premium Users are able to set different tuning temperaments for their chanter. There are currently four to choose from - let us know if there are others you would like added.
When tuning another pipers drones, hold the device microphone close to the drone to be tuned, and use the instantaneous and average indicators on the main gauge to guide your tuning.
When tuning your own drones, hold the device microphone close to the drone to be tuned for 5 seconds or so, then look at the average bar gauge for the drone and adjust the drone accordingly. Repeat until tuned. This can be physically tricky, and you may want to consider using an external clip-on microphone (we recommend the InTuneMic) to make this job easier.
When in a noisy environment (such as a pipe band environment) it can be desirable to pause/lock the tuner so that results can be studied without the tuner reacting to other noise. This can be achieved by pressing the green Pause button. Once pressed, the tuner will not respond to any audio until the button is pressed again.
Braw tuner has a standard theme, intended for indoor use, and a high contrast theme intended for outdoor use to make the display more visible in sunlight. Press the theme button to toggle between the two themes.
Upgrade to the Premium version for the following benefits:
Upgrading is managed safely and securely through Google Play/Apple App Store. Select "Upgrade" from the Menu in the main page.
The Braw Tuner uses the default microphone for your device. In a typical phone/tablet this is the inbuilt microphone, and the tuner should work well with this.
Using an external microphone can be useful, as it can allow you more freedom of movement, especially in the case of tuning drones.
In general, if you attach a compatible external microphone to your device, this becomes the default microphone, and the tuner will automatically switch to the using the new mic. This is standard behaviour on Apple/Google devices, and nothing related to the tuner app.
While we don't provide direct customer support for trouble shooting external microphone issues, and cannot guarantee that any particular combination of microphone/device/operating system version will be compatible, here are some general guidelines which we hope may prove useful.
The InTuneMic is a wireless clip-on instrument microphone for smartphones, designed specifically for use with the pipes. It is sold and supported by Jori Chisholm at bagpipelessons.com.
In our tests the InTuneMic performed very well, and we are happy to recommend it as our external mic of choice for use with the Braw Tuner.
Bluetooth microphones should generally work as long as they appear as your default microphone on your device. Be aware though, that any extra noise filtering, automatic volume adjustment, or other audio processing may interfere with the audio the tuner receives. It is advisable to disable these type of features for use with a tuning app.
Some clip on microphones don't have an external microphone, and work partly by transmitting the sound through close contact and vibration. Anecdotally, some users report success with these.
In general it should be possible to use an external microphone by using the 3.5mm headphone port on your device mic (also via the lightning port for more recent Apple devices). No further action is required - just plug and play!
While using a 3.5mm microphone jack, it is important that it is compatible with your particular device. For Apple devices and the vast majority of Android devices, this means the jack must have 3 black rings on it, rather than just 2. In the picture below it is the right hand jack that is compatible, the left and jack will typically not work.
If you have a microphone with a 3.5mm jack with just 2 rings that you wish to use(like the left hand side example above), it is also possible to use an adapter. A couple of examples on Amazon are:
Movo MC3 3.5mm TRS (Female) Microphone Adapter Cable to TRRS (Male) for iPhone & Android Smartphones
StarTech.com Headset adapter for headsets with separate headphone/microphone plugs - 3.5mm 4 position to 2x 3 position 3.5mm M/F
Below are some frequently asked questions. If you are still having problems, please don't hesitate to get in touch directly with us through the feedback menu option inside the app, or through the contact form on our website.
The free version is limited to seeing half of the rolling averages. You can upgrade to the premium version to remove this restriction.
The exact cost depends on your currency and local taxes (managed by the Google / Apple app stores). You are shown the exact price when you start the purchase process within the app. Don't worry, you are shown the price before you actually buy! On Android you have the choice of a yearly subscription, or a permanent purchase. On iOs you have the single option of a permanent purchase.
No, the tuner will work well with the built in microphone on your device. Purchasing a separate microphone is optional.
Typical Low A values for standard modern highland pipes would range from 466 Hz to 490 Hz. For a typical practice chanter, the Low A would normally be around 220 Hz.
Check the following:
You can use the tuner to help you tune various other types of pipes.
For the Scottish Small pipes, you can use the tuner for small pipes in any key. For the chanter tuning, it works as normal - just calibrate the tuner to your low A on your chanter. The drone tuning is a bit different though. On the small pipes the tenor drone is often at the same pitch as the chanter low A, with the bass one octave lower (as opposed to the highland pipes where the tenor is one octave below low A and the bass 2 octaves lower). This means that the tenor will show up as low A, and the bass as the tenor on the tuner. There is no setting on the tuner for the middle drone on the small pipes. Adding more complete support for small pipes is on our list of things to do.
For the Border Pipes, the tuner should work as normal for pipes in any key, just calibrate the tuner to your low A on your chanter
For other types of pipes, it will depend on what notes and type of scale the chanter uses, but generally the key that the pipes are in does not matter - just calibrate the tuner to the Low A (or equivalent) on the chanter.
You can run the app on as many devices you like, as long as you are logged into the device with the Google Play or Apple account you bought the upgrade with.
Google and Apple do not let you move purchases to a different account with them.
However, there is a work around available on both stores by using Family Sharing, see below.
Yes, you can share with your family (or a second account that you have) by using the Family sharing abilities provided by the Google and Apple App stores.
Instructions for setting up the Google Play Family Library can be found here.
Instructions for setting up the Apple App Store Family sharing can be found here.
Sorry, this is a source of frustration for us, but because Google and Apple are in competition, they don't allow us to share purchases between their stores, and we risk being banned if we unlock the apps outside their purchase mechanisms.
For a particular platform you can run it on as many devices as you want.
Sorry, no. Providing the ability to download, manage payments, and deal with licensing of the app ourselves would involve us having to implement a lot of what the app stores do, which is just not feasible.
You need to be logged into the device with the same Google Play/Apple App Store user you purchased the upgrade with. Once you do this, the app will automatically detect this and upgrade.
For Apple Devices, if the app does not automatically upgrade, try selecting the "Restore previous purchase" in the upgrade dialog.
We don't directly support this, but anecdotally it seems that some users have made this work. However, until Google and Microsoft do some sort of deal, it is not currently possible to purchase or unlock the tuner using the Google Play store on the emulator.
It should be possible for users with more modern Macs with Apple Silicon to run the tuner app.
There are good external videos and tutorials out there! Please get in touch if you know of any others.
Jori Chisholm demonstrates using the Braw Tuner with the InTuneMic to tune your chanter and drones. An excellent and thorough video, with some useful general tips, well worth a watch even if you don't have the InTuneMic! The InTuneMic is our recommended external microphone for use with the Braw Tuner.
A great, professional quality video which takes look at using the tuner. Be sure to check out other excellent piping related videos from Matt Willis
A great quick look at using the tuner.
Here are some related apps produced by us or our associates:
Achieve greater control and precision with your playing with The Piper’s Metronome™, an easy to use, one-of-a-kind, totally intuitive metronome packed with powerful tools built for all styles of bagpipe music. The easy to follow, ring style display makes playing along easy and fun.
Do you worry you might miss someone coming into your house when you are playing your pipes and can't hear? Or perhaps you have had one too many frights when someone has entered the room where you are playing without you noticing? The Notifya app can help you with that. It can detect doors opening using only the microphone on your device, even in the presence of loud bagpipes! It's free to try - give it a go and let us know what you think!
The Braw Chromatic Tuner is a separate, more generalised version of the Braw Bagpipe Tuner intended for use with other instruments. It features the same powerful underlying tuning technology, and the easy to use and familiar user interface, and, as with the above apps, is available on the Apple and Google app stores.