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This is a tiny application I made for my brother (once again) to help him figure out the notes to his favorite songs - a task that is not at all trivial for a mere mortal, particularly when multiple notes are played simultaneously.

The basic idea is that you select a recording source in the system volume settings and then run this program to get a graph of the sound as it is being played. The graph is in the form of piano keys so you can see which notes are being played (assuming the music is "pure" enough that the app can interpret it).
For simple instruments it does a very good job, while for other sounds like human voices it's pretty useless - but it can still be fun to watch in "soft mode", you can often identify slides and certain steady notes by looking at the graph.

The first screenshot is from part of the Kid Icarus intro which is pretty crazy and would be difficult to pick out by ear unless you play it in an NSF player and do each channel separately (but it would still be challenging and time-consuming).

Second shot is from a MOD tune in soft mode, where you see how the melody goes in general without getting exact keys. The melody instrument was too complex for the program to decipher in the regular display mode.
What you can do is to pause the display and play small parts of the recorded buffer as well as experiment with playing individual pure notes (cyan line) to find the correct ones.


fftuner.zip (54 kB)

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Page updated on March 25   2010