As of December 2015, it appears that this app and developer are not around anymore. Too bad. It’s a handy app. I will update again if I learn more or if I find a similar app.
iPegs is another very useful app for practicing intonation. Especially if you perform using instruments from an earlier time period. Though I can eke by on Baroque bassoon, I use iPegs to generate a sound to play against on my 20th century instrument. The tuner that I use, iStrobosoft, doesn’t generate any sound and as in all things, the more ways that you find to practice a skill, the more solid that skill becomes. I find having a drone pitch especially useful for practicing scales in long tones. This also ensures that you are using your ears and not just your eyes to tune your instrument.
In iPegs, you choose the note that you want, the octave that you want, and how loud you want it to be.
I use a speaker dock whenever possible because it’s easier to hear and an iPhone speaker isn’t stellar at generating the lowest tones and I often need those for my bass clef instrument.
However, the greatest strength of this app comes if you play a period instrument. You can choose the temperament that you want with fourteen of them included in this version. The developer, Hank Heijink, who is also a lutist, is willing to make additional temperaments available in future updates if enough people request them.
There are presets for choosing an A though you can fine tune that easily. I wish that I had had this app and an iPhone when I was first learning Baroque bassoon. The fact that the notes that I was fingering sounded about half step lower than my ears expected was a hard thing to get over…I kept trying to bring the pitch up to what it “should be”. Only time I’ve been glad to not have perfect pitch!
iPegs is native for iPhone/iPod Touch and is free in the app store.
App store link
Hank Heijink, developer and musician
For more information on tuning and historical temperaments, please see:
Wolf at Our Heels: The centuries-old struggle to play in tune.
Musical Temperament on Wikipedia