IrcamLab has announced the release of The Snail, a tuner plugin that shows you the fundamental and all the associated resonances and harmonics of any instrument or sound in an easy to see graphic display.

IrcamLab Snail

The Snail is a very high-precision frequency-domain analyzer that delivers an easy to understand representation of sounds based on the scales and notes aligned in spectrally active zones.

It offers a new way of tuning and analyzing an instrument in an extremely accurate way, displaying intonation and visualizing music and sounds in a way that can help anyone improve their listening and innotation!

Think of a film camera turning at 24 frames per second filming a bicycle wheel turning at 24 revolutions a second, the spokes will appear to be standing still. That means, for a Fourier analysis of frequency at 439Hz compared to a tuning reference of 440Hz, the demodulated phase will turn at 1Hz (as a slightly desynchronised stroboscope makes a rotating object have a slow movement). Think of audio signals ’beating’ as there is a interference between two sounds at slightly different frequencies.

Compared to standard spectrum analyzers based on Fourier-type analysis, the frequency accuracy is enhanced by a process based on the demodulated phase. This system is based on a recent patented technology, conceived at the laboratory of Science and Technology of Music and Sound IRCAM-CNRS-UPMC.

The Snail features

  • Simple intuitive interface.
  • Ultimate accuracy in tuning.
  • Different combinations of views available.
  • Audio player with waveform display to allow analysis of any song or sound.
  • Live input for tuning of external sources.
  • Tuner mode or Music mode.
  • Adjustable Tuning Reference pitch.
  • Transposing feature.
  • Display of phase relationships possible.
  • User adjustable colour schemes.

The Snail is currently available for Mac (VST/AU/AAX), priced at $99 USD. Windows compatability to be announced.

More information: IrcamLab / The Snail