A Digital Pitch Pipe Gets You In Tune

Some humans are blessed with perfect pitch, an ability that comes in handy when pursuing the musical arts. For many others though, a little help is often appreciated. A pitch pipe is a handy way to find the starting note of a performance, and [Isaac] decided to build his own in the digital realm.

The project is based on the Adafruit Circuit Playground express, which packs in all the peripherals needed right on board. The buttons are used to select the pitch required, with the LEDs used to display the selected note. Blue means flat, green means natural, and red means sharp. A 3D printed outer ring is clipped on to the board to denote the pitches for the user. To play the note, the user simply blows on the pitch pipe. The onboard MEMS microphone detects this and plays the note on the onboard speaker.

It’s a tidy little project that is a great way to get one’s feet wet with embedded programming and working with audio. We’ve seen the Circuit Express pop up before too, such as in this pizza-box DJ mixer. Video after the break.

4 thoughts on “A Digital Pitch Pipe Gets You In Tune

  1. This is only incidental to the article, but here’s a cute party trick to emulate perfect pitch. Most people have a pretty reliable lowest note they can sing. If you memorize what note that is, you can octave-and-step up to a given pitch and say “oh, that’s high B, isn’t it?” and be really close. Doesn’t work when you have a cold or flu because it totally changes your range.

  2. We all have near perfect pitch from before we are born. Mom’s pitch of voice is recognized to that accuracy. I once messed with a cassette speed control and extended it’s range, lots of fun before digital came along. When I wanted to put it back at the right speed I grabbed a tape of Echoes with it’s host John De Leberto and twiddled till his voice sounded right and later testing with a 2nd deck and a quartz tuned keyboard synth I was off by 25 cents. On the phone a familiar voice will often fail recognition if they have a cold or worse that lowers their pitch by as little as a half step.

    I just use the best free app I have ever found, Tuner Time. It’s loaded with features and none are ads.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.