iPhone & Android Pitch Pipe Apps

August 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Resources & Tools

Pitch Pipe App Reviews

Unlike some of you reading this, I do not have perfect pitch, and I depend on a pitch pipe to help with that starting note, or working through a new song.

Unless you have perfect pitch, a Pitch Pipe is critical to starting a song correctly.  I use to carry a Pitch Pipe in my car, I had 2 or 3 stashed away at home which I could never find when I needed one, and I even had one in my Army navigator bag (yes, my man-purse).

I would often borrow one, or use the community Pitch Pipe at the church building, but that brings up some hygiene matters.  However, I always have my phone, so for me this is a great use of an iPhone or Android app.

One of the most important aspects (if not THE most important aspect)

of starting a song, is starting on the correct note.

I have not downloaded and used all of the apps below, but I think you can get a good overview of each app.  This is not a complicated matter, you simply need something to accurately play a note for you.  Some of the apps have many other functions such as metronomes, guitar tuning, and piano keyboards.  However, for the purposes of this review we are strictly looking at the Pitch Pipe functionality.

iPhone Apps

Pitch Pipe by GreenGar Studios ($2.99) – app homepage

  • SUMMARY – Limited functionality for $3 bucks, compared to other apps
  • Perfect pitch pipe for playing notes
  • 13 pitches, each a half step above the previous
  • You play a pitch by tapping the letter of the note itself, which functions as a button. This app uses real pitch pipe samples, recorded from a pitch pipe.

Pitch Pro by Frozen Ape ($.99) – app homepageitunes store

  • SUMMARY – will not play in silent mode – but otherwise a great app for the price
  • “Sustained Note” –  have the note play for 1-6 seconds or indefinitely
  • Choose between C-C or F-F pitch pipes
  • Sounds are recorded from real pipes for a more natural tone

iPitch Pipe by IWC Inc ($.99) – app homepageitunes store

  • SUMMARY – this would be my iPhone choice
  • Plays a true, acoustic tone as produced by a chromatic pitch pipe
  • iPitchPipe is a C-C chromatic pitch pipe app,
  • Easy touch volume control (before, during and after pitch activation)
  • Quick touch start and stop of pitch
  • Default pitch duration of 3 seconds – pitch will not carry on unexpectedly!  (not a selling point for me)
  • Preferred volume level memory
  • Natural pitch pipe exertion-tactful sound

To use iPitchPipe simply select the note you need by tapping one of the full octave pitches on the wheel.  The pitch will automatically stop within 3 seconds or to quickly stop tap the center of the wheel.  This is better than not being able to turn off the pitch, but still not optimum.  The ultimate would be to only play the note for as long as you hold (press) the screen/button.

KS Chord Pitch Pipe by Komono Soft (FREE) – app homepageitunes store

  • SUMMARY – only plays chords, so not the best tool for song leading
  • KS Chord Pitch Pipe is a great tool since it’s free, but it only plays chords
  • I could not find an option to only play a single note
  • Select from various skins
  • Includes a tap tempo and metronome functions.
  • Would be an option if they offered the ability to play a single note, instead of Chords.  But, then again, I guess they would have to change the name of the app:)

Since it’s free, it’s a nice app to download and play with.  For those who are not familiar with musical chords, this app may help train their ear to start hearing various chords.

Android Apps

Musical Lite by Christopher Souvey (FREE) – app homepage

  • SUMMARY – AWESOME, hands down the winner.  Unfortunately, it’s not yet available for the iPhone.
  • Musical Lite – This is the app I use, and love it.
  • Musical for Android is a pocket toolkit for musicians, songwriters, singers, recording artists, and people who just love music.  It includes everything you need to be musical on the go.
  • 2 Versions – Musical Pro is currently available in the Android Market for $1.99 and is updated regularly (at no charge to existing customers).  It has been extremely well received and has over 5000 downloads and 4.5/5 stars.  Musical Lite is available for FREE, including the same metronome & pitch pipe as the Pro version and a limited piano & keyboard.  Musical Lite is also in the Android Market and has been downloaded around 200,000 times (with a ranking of 4/5 stars).
  • Musical Lite has everything you need and PERFECT 10 implementation in my book.  Hands down, none of the iPhone apps can touch it.
    • C Chromatic pitch pipe
    • Note plays for as long as you hold down the middle button  – OR – you can actually BLOW into the microphone
    • Notes play even when phone is in SILENT mode, so you can silence the phone, but still use the pitch pipe
    • FREE – did I mention that it is free?
I do not have another Android App, simply because Musical Lite has everything you need (and more) as a song leader.  I’ve simply not needed to look any further.


2 Responses to “iPhone & Android Pitch Pipe Apps”
  1. Rod Schultz says:

    Hi, There are thousands of barbershop singers around the world who use pitchpipes regularly and would love this app, but we use a pipe that goes from low F to hi F. Do you have a pitchpipe app with that configuaration?

  2. David Poll says:

    Since this article came out, I released a pitch pipe app called “Pitch Perfect” for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. You can find it here: http://apps.depoll.com/barbershop/pitch-perfect/

    I hope it’s useful to folks! I always appreciate getting feedback, too. Like Rod Schultz who posted before me, I’m a barbershopper and a software engineer, so I made it my mission to build a pitch pipe app that would be useful to me.