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Bit-Tuner

By Tom Pereira Free Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Jun 26, 2013

Bit-Tuner Retro Guitar Tuner's old-school coolness comes from chiptunes. This portable, open-source freeware generates electronic tones from the dawn of the video game era that help you achieve accurate Standard Tuning on your six-string guitar. You control Bit-Tuner with your keyboard's directional arrows, but you can also configure different key combos if your keyboard lacks directional arrows, or if you just want to. Bit-Tuner is also compatible (and configurable) with most USB gamepads and controllers, too. Bit-Tuner 1.0 only offers Standard Tuning, but developer Tom Pereira calls it a "first edition," so future releases may offer more tunings.

We extracted Bit-Tuner's folder and opened it to start the program and also view the README file, which has basic instructions for using this tool. But the program's title window, which takes up fully half of Bit-Tuner's ultra-compact, ultra-basic user interface, actually explains most of what you need to know about Bit-Tuner with almost haiku-like simplicity: BIT-TUNER, STANDARD TUNING, USE ARROW KEYS TO CHOOSE NOTES. Below that, Bit-Tuner simulates a row of seven red LEDs, labeled with Standard Tuning's two-octave, low-to-high E tuning, EADGBE, plus a "No sign" as a stoplight. The menu bar has two items, a File menu with one entry, exit; and a Settings menu accessing Keyboard and Controller settings for alternative control schemes. The tools for changing keyboard and controller options are flexible and most welcome, but they need some work, like better labeling. But Bit-Tuner is an open-source work-in-progress, and the fact is, it does what it's supposed to do with no fuss.

We pressed the Right arrow, and Bit-Tuner began generating a pulsing low-E tone that played continuously, as long as the tool was on top of the desktop (note to Tom: Always On Top option). Pressing the Right or Left arrow moved the tones up or down the scale (same for the Up and Down arrows). Moving back to the No sign stopped the tone, too. Some audio options might be useful (future upgrade?) but since any steady, accurate tone does the job, why settle for less than Bit-Tuner's 8-bit retro goodness?

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.0

General

Release March 25, 2013
Date Added March 25, 2013
Version 1.0

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows XP
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 272
Downloads Last Week 0
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Developer's Description

Bit-Tuner is created for the sole purpose of tuning guitars with the aid of chiptune instruments. This first edition of the tool is for E standard guitar tuning. Simply use the directional arrow keys on your keyboard to choose notes. Once you have chosen your note, it will repeat until another note is chosen or the mute icon is selected.