Review of EarTest by a User

Below is an unsolicited review of EarTest posted to Usenet by Dick Norton.

I have some trepidation about such a cross posting but I can't imagine a music head who wouldn't like better pitch acuity, so here is my unsolicited positive review of this program.

Summary: A very convenient program that works well. I wish it were available on Linux.

I bought this thing several days ago and I really enjoy it. The GUI isn't as polished in appearance as some progs but the human factors are pretty good - you don't have to use the mouse to run the thing for example, and it has a lot of flexibility in the setup for note durations and such. I have not as yet used it with an external keyboard and that mode is probably the best configuration.

It is fun and easy to use and most important is makes daily practice for ear training convenient. Setup is trivial and quick, and the thing starts quickly. You can download and test the entire thing prior to sending in money.

There is one concern and that is the pitch reference that your machine provides. Presumably the program is handing midi to the sound card/driver and when measured with my 'tronic tuner I got the following results:

NT/Desk top Linux/Desk Top Windows laptop
Eartest 18 cents flat N/A 15 cents flat
Midi file 18 cents flat on pitch 15 cents flat

I blame my sound system. I trust the 'tronic tuner - it is at least on with other tuners of other brands. The only plausible explanation I can come up with here is that the specific "program" (midi instrument) in use in these cases is heard differently by my tuner, since the NT and Linux systems are on the same hardware.

You can get around all of this by running the midi outs to a keyboard and tuning that as desired, but I think 20 cents may still be within the usable range.

Anyway, I have no connection with Mr. Hugh except for having purchased this thing and thought others might wonder how it works.

Dick Norton

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