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pancelticpiper 08-19-2018 03:12 PM

Braw tuning app
First I have to mention

1) I'm not a tech person.

2) I usually tune by ear.

3) when tuning drones for a band, or having to make sure I'm in tune to Concert Pitch for a church gig, I've always used an ordinary cheap Korg tuner.

4) I've seen people use various expensive bagpipe tuners but none have inspired me to buy them.

This all being said, I was very impressed when my Pipe Major showed up at band practice and demonstrated the Braw tuning app.

It's the first tuner I've seen where you can just play tunes and it creates a diagram of your chanter showing the average pitch of each note. The diagram stays in place after you stop playing, allowing you to refer to it repeatedly as you adjust the tape on the various notes.

It tracks the notes extremely well and is sensitive and accurate.

If I usually tune by ear, why do I need it? My ear can readily hear if B, C, E, High G, or High A are sharp or flat.

Sometimes I can also tell F and D but at other times I can hear that they're out of tune but I'm not sure if they're a hair sharp or a hair flat. The hardest note for my ear is Low G.

The Braw tuner shows me exactly where each note is.

I should mention that there are various ways to set the baseline pitch:

1) My favourite for solo playing, just play tunes and let the tuner set itself to my pitch.

2) Hold Low A so that the tuner can take a pitch reading off it. To me this seems to be contrary to the major strength of the tuner: reading and averaging your notes as you just play tunes.

3) Manually set the pitch by typing in a number. This of course is ideal for Concert Pitch gigs, and also works for a pipe band where the Pipe Major stipulates what pitch he wants the band at.

Here's a video somebody did. It allows you to see how the app tracks the various chanter notes. I don't know why he has his phone tipped sideways.

The one issue I've experienced was once when I was in a very echo-filled room, with tile floor and tiled walls. The Braw tuner had a hard time perceiving the chanter notes, and was mainly reading the drones.

el gaitero 08-19-2018 04:08 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
A,if not the main,reason for a tuner is to establish/confirm your own ( consistent) base pitch ( LA & HA) ...and especially for a band..being set to the master chanter.

Many can fix the notes in between by ear ....tape is our friend.

thevoidboy 08-19-2018 07:36 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
Braw Tuner is a remarkable, intuitive and helpful app. Absolutely worth looking at and using.

-J David Hester, PhD
Alt Pibroch Club

John Bolt 08-19-2018 08:22 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
I have been using it and bought the full version but there is a trial free version without all the bells and whistles. Anyway it works really well and I'm quite satisfied. My expensive tuner will now go in the trinket drawer with the rest of the bagpipe stuff!

CalumII 08-20-2018 03:09 AM

Re: Braw tuning app
It's an excellent app. Another one I've been using is an app called Bee Flat. It doesn't do the pitch averaging thing, but it displays a continuous trace of pitch history, which is surprisingly useful. It's replaced my Saul tuner overnight.

pancelticpiper 09-03-2018 04:17 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
The Braw app has been great in the pipe band: no wondering which chanter has the bad note, no wondering whether it's flat or sharp... you know for certain exactly what each chanter is doing.

Over the weekend I saw some bands wasting precious time in the final tuneup by using time-consuming (and imprecise) methods.

One thing: you have to have your pipers play tunes that contain all the notes of the scale to get readings on all the notes. Captain Obvious yes, but I've seen bands have their pipers play, for example, a tune with no High G's then march out and play a tune with loads of High G's in the circle, with the result you might expect. :doh:

Last week I had a church gig which included playing along with the Pipe Organ. It was my first time using the Braw app for that purpose and it was great. I had the organist hold B flat and I quickly calibrated the tuner. Then I could go off to a private room and get the chanter bang-on to the pipe organ.

In both cases YES I could have used an ordinary Korg tuner or Snark to give me the baseline pitch and successfully tune the chanter scale by ear. The advantage of the Braw app allowing me to do it much faster.

Kevin Palm 09-04-2018 11:40 AM

Re: Braw tuning app
Where it helps me is when I need to tune my A440 chanter. I play that one with the drones corked, so it helps to be able to see where the tuning of each note falls since I don't have drones to bounce against.

Loud-one 09-04-2018 04:54 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
I bought the braw app as well and, I am very happy with it. Veey easy to use and very accurate to me. It has helped tremendously with learning pitch of the chanter. The nice thing is the averaging and being able to see where it was just playing in case you were momentarily distracted once the chanter was pulled out.

pancelticpiper 09-11-2018 07:13 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
Just for yucks I just tried it with my uilleann chanter- it works great!

I didn't know what range of pitches it would recognise as being "low A". So I played Bottom D while the Braw was calibrating pitch and it calibrated to D just fine, and it created the pitch-map of the scale just as it does for a Highland chanter.

I stayed in the Highland pipe scale and range though- I used C natural, and I didn't venture into the 2nd octave.

BTW uilleann pipers tune to the same Just Intonation scale that Highland pipers do, which is the scale built into the Braw app.

I didn't read up on the Braw much. I don't know if it can be set on Equal Temperament.

Steve Law 09-12-2018 02:13 PM

Re: Braw tuning app
Braw will do several temperaments (didnít know such things existed before that!) and I find it extremely helpful in a band setting for speeding up and improving accuracy. For a normal carnival type parade (i.e. non-competitive) I can still whistle around 12 pipers and match their drones by ear as quickly as with the tuner, but the app gives better results when it really matters.

Playing solo when the actual pitch isnít critical then I can tune by ear as always... I was taught that a good ear can match anything electronic and to a degree I think thatís true, unless someone is measuring with an electronic device. In other words, a good ear is as good as another good ear...for hearing whatís pleasing... which may not always be right on the numbers...

But when trying to set a given pitch, or matching a number of chanters & drones together the electronics are invaluable.

Several others in our band have a variety of dedicated devices for tuning but theyíre quite expensive and I think the Braw App easily matches them (and oftens exceeds them) for a low outlay.... but while I appreciate its features I wish theyíd stop messing with the screen layouts when they upgrade the app... I learn my way around a screen then itís Ďupgradedí and I have to learn a new screen all over.... if it ainít broke, donít fix it!

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