Reel Time Tuning Analysis

(By Graeme)



Downloading and installing

But first, a special message from the authors...

It is tragically easy for software producers to forget or confuse important instructions to their users.  As you go through the instructions below, please keep a note of any departures you are forced to make and communicate them to Graeme or Terry for the benefit of those who follow.


This software is provided free of charge with no warranty that it is fit for any purpose, and if using it you do so at your own risk. Also by downloading it you agree not to publish the results it produces of a living maker's flute or a living player's performance or any information that could lead to identifying them without their permission.

There are 3 parts to the software and all 3 should run on Windows, Mac or Linux. Although these instructions may make it seem a bit complicated it is very quick and easy to use in practice.

Once you get it installed and running please read the page about using it.


The first part is a program called "Tartini" that does the recording (or opens a file of a recording) and the pitch analysis. Tartini is very useful on its own, plus has the ability to export data for further analysis. It can be downloaded from:

Download it and get it running. You can change Options/Preferences/General to "Notes F3 and higher - Flute, Piccolo ..." although this isn't necessary. Record something and then choose Channel/Export to plain text. Check this is working first before moving to the next part.


The second part is a statistical analysis and graphing program called "R". It can be downloaded from:

Look under Getting Started, choose the mirror site to get it from and follow the instructions for setting it up. We've been using version 2.6.2 but other versions should also work. The directory where R is installed is not important (just use the default if possible) but later on you will need to know where it is.

You do not need to know how to use R to use this software. But do start it up once to check it is working.


The third part is a program/script that uses R to process the data exported by Tartini and produce some different graphs.  It can be downloaded from:

Download and Unzip the Polygraph files and follow the instructions below, depending on your operating platform.  Your Unzip utility may warn you of the existence of a "potentially dangerous" .bat file, ignore that warning, it's just Polygraph.bat.

Getting Tartini-R Polygraph running


Create a folder where you want to keep your charts (e.g. ..../Documents/RTTA), and inside it put the unzipped Polygraph files.

Polygraph.bat simply launches R and passes some information to R, telling it to start up and process Polygraph.r
"C:\Program Files\R\R-2.6.2\bin\R.exe" --no-save < Polygraph.r 440 5 boxplot 10 1.5 equal
If you installed R.exe in a different location you'll need to edit Polygraph.bat (Notepad will do) and put in the correct location. You can just try using it as it is, and if it doesn't work then check the location of R.exe and edit if different.

The bits "440 5 boxplot 10 1.5 equal" are not strictly necessary as these will be used as the defaults, but you can change them later if you wish. See customizing the graph if you want to alter these values.

Ready to go!

Run "Tartini", record yourself playing your flute, then export the data (Channel/Export to plain text).  Save the exported data as rtest.txt in the same folder you put Polygraph.r and Polygraph.bat. It won't work with another name in another directory unless you edit Polygraph.r to point to it.

Run Polygraph.bat (double click it). You'll get a file Polygraph.jpg which you can view with your favourite photo viewer. If you want to keep it save it somewhere with a different filename (otherwise it will get overwritten next time you channel Tartini).

And you'll also get a file Polygraph.txt which contains the median values which you might want to cut and paste into something like MSExcel if doing multiple plots. Or you can just ignore Polygraph.txt


Read the stuff on how to get it running on Windows.
Now read this from Bill Cullingford:

I am running Mac OS 10.5.2 on a MacBook. In case it helps anyone else this is what I did...

I downloaded R-2.6.2.dmg and installed in the standard way.

As per the instructions on their "R for Mac OS X FAQ" I ran the following command in Terminal to make the command line version of R work:

sudo ln -s /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Resources/R /usr/local/bin/R

Now if I type 'R' in the terminal, R runs.

Put Polygraph.r in your user home folder.

To use:

  1. Record something in Tartini.
  2. In the Channel menu choose 'Export as plain text' and save as 'rtest.txt' to the same folder Polygraph.r is in.
  3. open Terminal and type 'R --no-save <Polygraph.r' or with some different arguments for example 'R --no-save <Polygraph.r 880 20 boxplot 10 1.5 justD'
  4. Look for the result saved as Polygraph.jpg in your user home folder


If you read the above on how to get it running on Windows and Mac you should be able to get it working on Linux. If you think specific instructions would be helpful to others then let us have them and we'll put them here.



Ready to use it? Read about what it's telling you and some ideas about what to use it for.

Back to McGee-Flutes Home Page

Last updated, 17 April 2008.