Cleartune is another iPhone/iPod Touch tuning program, which has characteristics that would make it functional for many instruments. It is available, at the time of writing, for $3.99 at the AppStore. Unlike a competitor’s product, it only has two functions, a tuner and a tone generator.
The interface of Cleartune is attractive, yet old-school. The design screams “analog,” much like a Compact Disc imprinted like an LP. As you play a pitch, Cleartune indicates what pitch you are playing, along with how sharp or flat you are from that particular pitch. The tuner seems to work very well, and it samples infrequently enough that it seems to be “not twitchy” in regards to helping you find your intonation (a competitor’s product, Just Tune, was much more twitchy in comparison). I sampled the tuning abilities of the tuner on a tuba and a string bass, and both were registered by the program.
My only complaint of the visual and functional part of the program is the use of sharps all the time…I wish the option would exist to change all sharps to flats, as brass players (and high school band students) tend to think in terms of flats rather than sharps.
The program also includes a tone generator with four optional waveforms (sine, triangle, saw, and square), as well as options for setting A (440 or otherwise) as well as setting equal temperament (default) or other forms of temperament.
In regards to the tone generator, I’d like to see two other options, so it could be used in my choirs as well as for bands. First, I’d like the ability to switch the tone off without exiting the tone generator mode. You can’t do that at the moment…you can only switch to the tuner mode. Second, I’d like a way to control the volume with a slider bar on the screen, even though the iPhone has volume controls on the side of the device. The same pitches (all accidentals in sharps) is true of the tone generator as well, and I’d like to see the option of flats as well.
In terms of the tuning function itself and the usefulness and layout of the tone generator, Cleartune is worth the $3.99 at the AppStore, and is probably a better investment than Just Tune. If Cleartune would address these other features, as well as consider adding a metronome, this would be a fantastic all-in-one application for music education.