Two Pitch Pipes and a Great Link
MGS Development, the creators of forScore, recently added a pitch pipe to the application. In addition to creating the pitch pipe as a feature, they also released the pitch pipe as a stand-alone app called, “Pitch, Please!”
One of the earliest apps I purchased for my iPhone was Pitch Pipe ($2.99) which was one of the first pitch pipes available on the app store. I reviewed in in September of 2008 (Over 3 years ago), and you can read that review here. The app hasn’t changed very much over the past years, and it doesn’t need it: it provides a pitch. That pitch, however is looped. When I reviewed the app in 2008, it was a great resource as there were no other pitch pipes for the iPhone/iPod Touch. The app itself hasn’t been updated since September of 2008. At $2.99, no additional development, and with so many competitors (see the final paragraph), I cannot recommend the app any longer.
Some time after Pitch Pipe was released, Pitch Pro ($0.99) was introduced by Frozen Ape, and I found it to be a better app by a developer that made other great music apps, such as Tempo. Pitch Pro offers pitchers by a Keyboard (which sounds like a sine wave to me), a pitch pipe (a reed sound), and a guitar (multiple tunings). Pitch Pro also featured a “holiday skin” last Christmas, making the pitch pipe into a wreath (that feature has been removed, but I thought it was fun). I apparently never wrote a review of Pitch Pro, even though I used it for over two years.
Pitch, Please! ($0.99), the new app from MGS Development, also sells for $0.99. It is seemingly the same “mini-app” (if there is such a thing) that runs as a part of forScore. Two pitch pipes are offered (C-C or F-F), with various octave settings, and three different tones (clarinet, piano, and tone at 440, 442, or 443). I find that I prefer the clarinet sound (so must the developers, as it is the “default” when you open the app).
There are a number of other pipe applications available on the App Store, such as Pitch Pipe Now (Free), ClearTune (Really a tuner, but it can function as a pitch pipe for $3.99), iPitchPipe ($0.99), KS Chord Pitch Pipe (Free), Pro-Tone Pitch Pipe ($0.99), My Pitch Pipe ($0.99), Virtual Pitch Pipe ($0.99), and Barbershop Pitchpipe ($0.99). I haven’t tried all these apps–so there might be a gem among them–and I’d certainly encourage anyone to try the free apps. Barbershop Pitchpipe allows you to make a playlist of your songs along with the pitch pipe. I used to carry a laminated small card of all the starting pitches of every song for my college choir, so I can see how this would be useful in performance, if the pitch was “blown” by someone other than the director. (Note: I purchased Barbershop Pitchpipe because of the list ability, and have to report that I’m not impressed by the sound…you’re far better served with another option).
If I were asked to recommend a pitch pipe app, specifically as a pitch pipe, I would recommend Pitch, Please! It has the best sound, and if you’re working with forScore already, it will bring a sense of continuity to your iOS experience. I would still be comfortable recommending Pitch Pro, especially if you are working with situations where you need a guitar sound for tuning (at that point, you probably want to work with an app like Guitar Toolkit).
If you made it to this point of the article, here is a special treat for you. I found this summary of the history of the Master Key Pitch Pipe (the silver and black pitch pipe in the red box that most of us are acquainted with) on another website. Did you know that the creator of the pitch pipe worked under Thomas Edison? Or that his grandchildren are the stars of the children’s show Zoboomafoo? You can read the entire article here.