TapNTune 1.3, a combination Tuner and Metronome for Macintosh

Note: TapNTune is currently replaced by TapNTempo

The all-in-one rehearsal tool for musicians.

“This tool is really great,  it’s simple and it does what is needed. I just love it!!!”
– User Review, Jnote.org

“There are very few metronome applications/widgets for Mac, and most have been disappointing. TapNTune is different: it works well, does what you want, and does it well.”
-User review, Macupdate.com

What’s new in this version
Demo and tutorial video (New!)
Known issues
Previous Releases
Visit TapNTune at Apple.comMacUpdate, iUseThis, or Softpedia for more reviews and info. Visit Download.com, or VersionTracker for alternate downloads and reviews.
Submit Feature Request


TapNTune brings to your desktop something that was until now only available in hardware form: namely, a combination tuner and metronome that runs from a single window. TapNTune’s easy-to-use interface includes the best features of both a metronome and a tuner, but feature bloating is avoided in favor of simplicity. Nonetheless, TapNTune possesses a powerful feature set including:


  • Choice of sound production
  • Real-time tempo tapping
  • Global muting
  • Beat and division capability
  • Multiple methods of data input
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Individual volume control
  • Visual interface elements for when sound is muted
  • Ability to mute selected divisions of beat
  • Factory reset
  • Ramped volume and mute control to avoid pops and distorting when changing volume


  • Switchable microphone and sound modes
  • Choice between Sine and Saw waves for Tuner sound
  • Musical keyboard entry
  • Fully chromatic 10-plus octave range for built-in synthesizer
  • “Both” mode: allows users to hear pitches while still enabling the microphone and pitch tracker
  • Live entry of pitches, including note name and octave number
  • Separate buttons to switch both octave and individual pitch
  • Individual volume control
  • Sensitivity adjust for input
  • Calibration between 380 and 480 Hz for A4
  • Slow – Fast adjustment for pitch tracker
  • Metronome and tuner can be shut off individually, in order to save CPU resources without shutting down the application


What’s new in version 1.3
What’s new in version 1.2
What’s new in version 1.1

TapNTune Help [top]

Important note: If you rename TapNTune.app to something else, it probably won’t open. This is a known issue that I hope to fix soon!

1. Requirements
2. Installation
3. Entering data
4. Keyboard shortcuts
5. Metronome
5. Tuner
6. Troubleshooting

1. Requirements: PPC or Intel Macintosh running OS X 10.4 or later

2. Installation: Open the TapNTune.dmg disk image and drag TapNTune to your computer. The application can reside in any accessible directory, but the Applications directory is recommended.

3. Entering data without keyboard shortcuts: Each number box has three ways of entering data without using the keyboard shortcuts below. They are:  1) Clicking in the number box will enable using the mouse to roll digits up or down. 2) In addition, you can manually enter an amount using the keypad of your computer, and then press Enter to confirm the entry. 3) You can also select the number box, then use your keyboard’s up and down arrow keys to change the amount. It should be noted that the note input in the tuner can also be changed in these three ways, although you’ll need to enter in note name, accidentals and octave number.

4. Keyboard shortcuts. (access from the Extras menu, or by using Apple-3).  Different letters of the keyboard will open up access to the left and right arrow keys. After pressing the specified key, you can use the right arrow key to increae the value and the left arrow key to decrease. Functions with only one option, such as “Reset” can be activated with either arrow.  Use the Escape key to suspend the left and right arrow keys.  Please be aware that TapNTune needs to be the front application for these shortcuts to work.  If they do not work, it is possible that clicking anywhere in the TapNTune window will enable them again.  The shortcuts are as follows:


Tempo: T
Tempo x 10: E
Beat: B
Division: D
Mute: M
Sound Color: S
Reset: R
Volume: V
Window State: I explanation: This will change the window from Metronome to Tuner


Calibrate: C
Function: F
Wave Form: W explanation: This adjusts the tuner’s sound production from Sine wave to Saw wave
Note: N
Octave: O
Speed: P explanation: This adjusts the speed of the pitch tracker between slow and fast response
Sensitivity: S
Volume: V
Reset: R
Window State: I

In addition, you can use the Return key to tap a tempo into the metronome, and the Space Bar to turn the metronome on and off. The Escape key will always suspend the left and right arrow capabilities until the next key is pressed.

4. Metronome  metrolabel

  • A. Beat Display: Shows current beat per measure. This display only shows when beat is greater than 1.
  • B. Display: The needle will strike each side of the meter for each beat in the sequence. Changing the beat will also cause a flash of light in the display on each downbeat.
  • C. Divisions Select: Here you can choose which numbered division should sound. Use the mouse to click a number and mute it.  Clicking it again will unmute it. NOTE: you can’t deselect the first division, because you’ll always have a sound on the beat
  • D Tempo: Enter the tempo in beats per minute (BPM). See Entering data for details on how to enter numbers. Note that the tempo is confined within 30 and 300 BPM.
  • E. Tempo description: A word in Italian that describes the tempo range in traditional metronome style.
  • F. Beat: Enter the amount of beats per measure in order to get a highlighted first beat. The first beat is represented with a higher tone, and also by a flash in the metronome’s display.
  • G. Division: Enter in the division that each beat should have.  Each division is represented by a slightly higher tone.
  • H. Tap: Use the Return key (Enter key) or click this button to manually tap in the desired tempo.
  • I. Mute: Mutes all metronome functions.
  • J. Sound color: Choose either Click for a click sound or Pitch for a pitched sound. You can adjust the sound using the sliders: Accented Pitch refers to the first beat of each measure and Unaccented Pitch refers to the ordinary beats, divisions, and the Tap sound.  Set the slider higher for a higher sound, and lower for a lower sound.
  • K. On / Off switch: Turn the metronome on or off. You can also use the Spacebar to toggle metronome on or off. Note that the On/Off switch does not affect the tap function.
  • L. Volume: Turn the metronome’s sound up or down.
  • M. Reset: Reset the metronome to its defaults. Defaults are as follows: Tempo: 120  // Beat: 1 // Division: 1 // Mute: Off // Sound Color: Subtle // Volume: .4 (value does not display)
  • N. Window state chooser: Change to the tuner mode.

5. Tuner [Toc]tunelabel11

  • A. Display: A display measured in cents. Each tone is divided into 100 cents. The dots correspond to -50, -25, 0, +25, and +50 cents.  The center dot (0 cents) represents an “in tune” pitch. If the needle is above 0, the note is sharp and below 0 is flat.  The display is enabled only when Mic or Both is selected from the function menu
  • B. Input meter: This is an input meter for the instrument or voice you are tuning. It will be enabled when using Mic or Both from the function menu.
  • C. Note readout: A display for the currently tracked note. Each note has a note name, accidental label as needed, and octave number. Ex: C#5. Note that C4 is middle C (corresponding to Midi note 60). The readout will work when using the Mic or Both function from the function menu.
  • D. Calibration: You can calibrate the tuner between 380 and 480 Hz for A4.
  • E. Function menu: Here you can select what function the tuner should have. Mic: Input to your computer’s microphone is sent to the tuner where individual pitches are checked and displayed. Sound: You can select a sound to be played using either Note input or the musical keyboard. Change the volume using the volume slider. While sound is enabled, the microphone is disabled. Both: A special function in which both the microphone and the sound playback is enabled. Headphones are strongly recommended, so that feedback loops and input distortion are avoided. Off: Turn all functions off.
  • F. Keyboard input: Choose a note on the musical keyboard for sound playback. You can also change pitch using the octave and pitch changers.
  • G. Wave form: Select which wave form the built-in sound synthesizer should have.  Sine wave is the “normal” sound while saw wave has a more coarse sound, suitable for louder instruments.
  • H. Octave and pitch changer: Use these buttons to change either the octave or the individual note of the current sound.
  • I. Note input: Enter notes to be played with the built-in synthesizer while using either Sound or Both from the function menu. Selection and changing of this value is done according to the instructions of how to enter data. Input is not case sensitive. You could for example jump to C-sharp in the fifth octave by selecting the box, typing c – # – 5 and then pushing Enter.
  • J. Speed (Slow – Fast): Adjust the speed of the pitch tracker’s reaction in the tuner. Useful if the needle jumps too much during the input of your instrument or voice, such as for instruments with quick vibrato.
  • K. Sensitivity: Sensitivity of the input for the tuner. Set the slider to a higher point to get a more sensitive input that captures more sound. Set it lower for less sensitivity. A noisy room, for example, would warrant a lower sensitivity setting to filter out extra noise. You would then need to place your instrument or voice closer to your computer’s microphone.
  • L. Volume: Adjust the volume of the sound synthesizer.
  • M. Reset: Reset the tuner to its defaults. Defaults are as follows: Calibrate: 440 //  Function: Mic // Wave form: Sine Keyboard: C4 // Note input: C4 // Speed: 64 (out of 127) // Sensitivity: .6 // Volume: .6 (values do not display)
  • N. Window state chooser: Change to metronome mod

About TapNTune

6. Troubleshooting [toc]

1) TapNTune does not load.
Make sure you are using the correct operating system as shown in section 1. Check that TapNTune is located in an accessible directory. /Applications is recommended. Do not run TapNTune from the Disk Image it was downloaded with. Check section 2 for details. In addition, renaming TapNTune to something else may prevent it from loading. See here.

2) Every time I re-start my computer or re-login, I get a folder in the Trash called “Recovered Files”. This is a problem with Leopard compatibility with the software used to create the Applications. Future updates will solve this problem. In the meantime, I’m afraid users will have to manually delete these files at some point. They won’t cause any harm if deleted, moved, or left alone.

3) TapNTune does not make sound.
Check that TapNTune’s volume is not too low. Check that the metronome is not muted. Check that your Macintosh’s System Preferences have the correct device chosen and that volume is set properly. Check that you have selected Sound or Both from the tuner’s function menu, if you are using the tuner. Check that you do not have an extremely low or high sound chosen for the tuner. Many computer speakers will not represent extremely low or high tones. For best results, set the sound input between the 2nd and 6th octaves.

4) The tuner does not respond to my instrument or voice.
Make sure you are close enough to the microphone. Make sure the microphone is on and the correct device is chosen through your Macintosh’s System Preferences. Make sure Sensitivity is correctly set, as well as Volume. If you are using Both from the function menu, it is highly advised that you use headphones.

5) The tuner responds to my instrument or voice, but occasionally it does not pick it up.
Note that TapNTune and many computer microphones do not analyze or pick up extremely low or high tones. in addition, sounds without concrete attacks may not be picked up by TapNTune. Make sure your instrument or voice is close to the microphone and as clear as possible.

6) I just changed audio interfaces, and the tuner isn’t picking up my instrument. Sometimes restarting TapNTune will fix this problem.  You can also use the Audio Preferences window (Apple-2) to choose your interface from within TapNTune.

7) None of the Keyboard shortcuts work, or some of them don’t. In order for the keyboard shortcuts to work, TapNTune needs to have window focus. The easiest way to ensure this is to click anywhere on TapNTune’s main window.

8) I tried to rename TapNTune to something else, and it won’t load. This is a bug. You should rename it back to TapNTune.app.  I’ll be looking into this problem in the future.

9) The input meter flickers wildly even though I’ve set sensitivity to low, and speed to slow. For some built-in microphones, you will need to make sure your instrument is in direct line with the microphone.  Usually, built-in mics on the Macbook or Pro are in the left speaker grill. You can check the documentation for your machine to find out where the microphone is located.

10.) I can’t find the answer to my question.
Please contact me, or use the “Give feedback” function from TapNTune’s extras menu.

Known Issues:

  • Renaming application might make it crash or not open
  • Instruments with “pure” input (such as electric guitar or keyboard using jack input) may notice that octaves lower than 2 may report some distortion around 0.  This is being worked on.
  • Application puts a folder called “Recovered Files” in the Trash on computer restart. This is being worked on. In the meantime, the files can be deleted, moved, or left alone: they don’t serve any purpose.


/ James Howard Young / TapNTune version 1.3. / 25, April 2009.


Previous releases

Download TapNTune 1.2
Download TapNTune 1.1
Download TapNTune 1.0 (unsupported)
Download iTap (unsupported)


  • http://www.mosik.info Roman

    Great app! Some suggestions:

    Apple Remote:
    I have Remote Buddy, but I staill can’t access all features via the Apple Remot. My sugegstion would be: Play button to start/stop the metronome, up/down-keys to adjust volume, left/right-keys to adjust tempo

    Short Cuts:
    Please add a shortcut for start/stop metronome, preferably spacebar!!!
    The shortcut for help should be Cmd-? and CMd-H should be fo “Hide”!!!
    Every function should have a shortcut.

    Sound Output/Input:
    I have attached an Alesis IO 14 FW interface to my mac and I can’t get the sound output through the internal speakers of my mac (output is set to internal speakers in SoundSource!)

    Beside this, really great work, the best so far for a mac metronome! THANKS!

    • http://www.jnote.org Jaems

      Thanks for the requests Roman. They are all good and valid ideas, which will be implemented in version 1.1, due by Valentine’s day (I have to take that day off lol). I still need to test the application with Apple Remote, and I will be including an audio window.

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  • http://phattlippz.blogspot.com/ Tim Clarke

    Great app! Is it possible to enter a mode of operation where the tuner AND metronome are visible?? My daily routine involves both simultaneously – it would be great to have this functionality available.

    • http://www.jnote.org Jaems

      Thank you for your comments. I have not built the app so it can do what you suggest, but I can definitely imagine working towards a single-window interface with no mode change some time in the near future!

  • Carlos

    hey first of all let me tell you that this app is the best thing ever for a mac
    i'm a drummer so i use the metronome all the time and it really made things much easier the way you can change the tempo is amazing but i do have to problems with it
    first, i will love that there will be a way that we could save our personal settings because i use the pitch mode and its a pain to see it restart from 0.
    and the second,
    in between songs sometimes a beat stays sustained for a little bit and then the tempo continues

    • James

      Thanks, Carlos. I've added those suggestions to my list. The held tone in the metronome is a known issue which should be fixed as soon as possible.

  • Dan

    Haven't yet tried the tuner function, but the metronome is the best I've seen yet on the Mac. I find a moving visualization of some kind is much better than a simple flash, and this one's nice and clear.
    My suggestion for added features would first include the option of a larger needle (pendulum) display, and then perhaps some variations in the style of visual beat display, such as the sort of bouncing ball or column I've seen on some electronic metronomes, which imitates the motion of a conductor's baton.

    Thank You!

    • James

      Hi Dan, thanks for the comments. I'll consider making variations to the display and I've added your suggestions. A choice of different visual displays is a great idea.

  • vijay

    bro cn i use it in phone also????

    • James

      Sorry not yet!