HotPaw Talking Tuner is a hands-off, sound-activated, talking musical instrument tuner. It uses speech synthesis to talk and tell you if a sound is in tune or not, so you don't have to look at your Mac. Talking Tuner does not require that VoiceOver be enabled.

A few years ago, I received a request to develop an iPhone app that could assist a vision-impaired individual with tuning their musical instruments. This is a Mac version of the iOS HotPaw Talking Tuner app.

Talking Tuner will listen for a note to be played, and then, after waiting for the end of the sound (so as not to talk over it), will speak the note name, and how many cents sharp or flat the end of the note is estimated to be.

Using headphones may help make it easier to hear what this app is saying while tuning. Make sure to turn the volume up high enough to hear it.

The pitch estimation algorithm works best for notes between 2 octaves below Middle-C to 2 octaves above Middle-C. It may not work as well for very low notes, very high notes, or with any background noise, harmony, or accompaniment present. The default tuning resolution is about +- 3 cents (3/100ths of the pitch difference between semitones). Optional higher resolution tuning settings available in the app's Preferences may result in a slower tuning response.

Ratings and Reviews

2.6 out of 5
7 Ratings
7 Ratings

Adios la cucaracha!

The Auto Speak button doesn’t work. I found it really annoying to have to take my hands off my guitar and manually click on the "Say Last Pitch" button for it to say the last pitch. It also has a numerical display, but it jumps around inconsistently sometimes without you changing anything and no background noise. This app does not do the only two things it is supposed to do. I am removing it from my computer. Adios la cucaracha!

Sean Cairne

When it works it does

I’ve got it on iPhone and MacBook Pro. They don’t agree as far as tuning. I’m using a Bang and Olufsen mic. Sometimes it doesn’t “hear” the pitch and I have to close the app and open it again and then at the same volume it will hear the pitch.


no frills but does the job

Simple app, easy to use. Not much in the way of design. The voice telling you if the sound is in tune is optional.


Ronald Nicholson
686.7 KB
OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2015 HotPaw Productions


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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