Intonation, Tuning, Calibration

What calibration/pitch is used on these backing tracks? They sound wonky and quite out of tune, but I cannot quite put my finger on it.
Is it set to A-440? (I think it is)
Is it equal tempered or pure tempered tuning? (I suspect you are using pure tempered, which makes some chords out of tune, while others are perfect)
If I know what type of tuning is used, it will help me to offset it with my instrument.
Please help! I’m going crazy.

Wow, do you have perfect pitch ear?
I personally do not experience much of any tuning provlems with the app. Maybe your device is under processing the samples, i.e. it is bogged or not powerful enough and the resulting sounds are off tune.
If you can try it on other devices and see if you have the same issue.
If you could make an assessement, how much off is it compared to your standard ear?
1/8 tone, less, more ? Or in cents if you prefer.
I dont have perfect pitch, but a good relative pitch and the tunes sounds very good, surely more in tune than any 20 people jam I have ever been to!


I use SM daily for all of my song list and practicing drills. I have never noticed any problems with SM being out of tune. I wonder if you may have some kind of technical issue going on? Hope it gets worked out for you.

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The audio in Strum Machine is about as bog standard as it gets as far as tuning is concerned:

  • It’s A=440, though that can be adjusted under the right-side Menu > Audio/Mix > Adjust Pitch.
  • Every string was carefully tuned prior to recording, and the recorded samples were checked for accuracy and micro-adjustments were made to ensure each note was as close as possible to the equal-tempered scale.

So I’m pretty confident about the tuning of the audio in Strum Machine. That doesn’t mean you’re hearing something that isn’t there, though. I heard a report of out-of-tune audio a couple years ago that ended up being a device issue – not that it was under-powered, but it was behaving wonky in some way. I think restarting it may have fixed the out-of-tune audio but I can’t remember. It may have also been the speaker they were using.

The suggestion to try Strum Machine on another device is a good one. Another thing that comes to mind that could help narrow down the issue is to listen to some Strum Machine audio that was generated on another computer. For example, this video from 2022 has a bunch of samples of Strum Machine audio starting at 1:30 in.

Please report back @LoralynStaples as I’m very curious to know what ends up being the reason you’re hearing what you’re hearing! Thanks.

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I have an extremely discerning ear and have no complaints. Check your tuner for correct pitch. Many are adjustable and easily out of 440. Or if you don’t use a tuner, get one. How do you tune?

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Hi Jim, Luke, David, and Chris,
THANK YOU for taking the time to reply. I rarely have time to spend with Strum Machine, (although when i do I LOVE it)…so I’ll just say this:
I’m confident in my hearing and confident in my ability to use a tuner and tune my instrument.
But it is possible its some weird tech thing. So I’m gonna play around with it this weekend and see if I can get some specific songs/examples to better define what I’m hearing.
Thank you all very much!

Ok, so here’s the scoop:
Last week my computer developed issues with all my peripheral devices. I discovered that I was missing several critical updates, some involving graphics and my sound card, BIOS, lots of stuff. So I fixed all that. Meanwhile, I had not used SM since I posted about the intonation.

This weekend, I played around on SM for 2 hours, listening for the intonation issues so I could define the problem more specifcally, but the intonation issues were GONE. CRAZY. But I’m glad to know that it was on my end.

THANK YOU ALL! I love SM so much!

That’s great to hear, Lora! Thanks for following up and filling us in on what was actually going on. I’m glad things are working well for you now.

When I was a teenager, I had something happen to my hearing, I believe after I’d had a cold. For some inexplicable reason, everything I heard in one of my ears was about a semitone flat, while the other ear was unaffected. This meant that I heard everything in double, e.g. a D note sounded like a D combined with a C#. Needless to say, this was both very strange and rather troubling for a kid in love with music. Thankfully it resolved itself within a few days. Neural software must have installed a patch update to fix the bug. :wink:

OH MY!! That would be WORSE than double vision. I’m glad to know such a phenomenon exists…and there is a patch update for it! —L

Great to hear you got it figured out. That would have been maddening.