Getting Started with Intonia

Version 1.5


This tutorial assumes you already have Intonia installed on your computer. If you have difficulty with the installation, please consult the Installation Guide.

Setting the Input Level

Using Intonia to analyze live sounds requires a microphone. Many computers have built-in microphones, but if yours doesn't, you will need to connect one to your computer's sound input jack.

Start the program. For most Windows users, that will involve double-clicking the Intonia icon on the desktop.

Use the View menu to select Amplitude. The usual way to do this is to click View, then click Amplitude, but with Intonia, you can accomplish the same thing just by pressing the 'V' key then the 'A' key. Intonia is designed so that most operations can be accessed by pressing a single key on your keyboard. (Using a mouse is difficult when you're holding a fiddle in one hand and a bow in the other.)

Press the space key (which is the same as clicking to release Pause button) to start recording. Play a few notes on your violin. You should see the amplitude envelope (loudness) scroll by as you play.

If all you see is a horizontal line, you may need to do some setup. Check the No Input Sound section of the troubleshooting section in the User's Guide.

Use the microphone volume control in the upper right part of your screen to set the input volume as high as it will go. If that makes the volume envelope almost as large as the height of the display when you play, back it off until the envelope is entirely within the bounds of the window.

If you don't see a microphone volume control, it's probably because you're on MacOS, which doesn't support control of the input volume from the Java Sound interface. You'll have to do the following:

  1. Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences and click Sound.
  2. Click Input.
  3. Select the input device whose volume you want to control.
  4. The input level meter shows you how loud or soft the sound from the selected input device is registering.
  5. Drag the Input Volume slider left or right to lower or raise the input volume.

Touch the spacebar again (or click the Pause button) to stop recording.

Setting the Output Level

Touch F N (File New). Because you've created an empty file for recording, the Pause button and the Record button are already pressed for you. Touch the spacebar to release the Pause button and start recording. Play a few passages on your violin. Touch the spacebar again to stop recording.

Touch P (which is the same as clicking the Play button). Touch the spacebar (which is the same as clicking Pause) to play back what you just recorded. Use the output volume control in the upper right part of your screen to adjust the output volume to where it's comfortable.

If you don't see a volume control, it's probably because you're on MacOS, which doesn't support control of the volume from the app. Instead, use the speaker icon near the upper right of your screen to set the volume.

Choosing Your Instrument Range

Touch T P (opTions Presets) and choose a range of pitches to display. Intonia is initially set to display pitches in a range designated "Violin 3 Octaves", or from G below middle C to a note 3 octaves higher. There are presets for violin, viola, and cello, either for a 3 octave range or a 4 octave range.

If your instrument does not easily fit into one of the preset categories, you'll need to manually assign the low note and the high note of the range. Touch O to bring up the options dialog, use your mouse to select the View tab, set the "Label Piano Keys" option to "Numbers", and click OK. Touch O again, select the Scale tab, and type values for Lowest Note and Highest Note based on the numbers displayed on the piano keyboard at the left edge of your screen. More information is contained in the help file entries for Label Piano Keys and Lowest and Highest Notes.

Playing a Scale

Make sure the View menu is set to Composite (touch V C if necessary).

Touch F N (File New).

Touch the 'K' key to bring up the Key dialog. Touch 'C' to set the key to C. (If the "Minor" box is checked, touch the 'M' key to toggle it.) Touch enter (or click OK).

Notice that the left side of the keyboard resembles a piano keyboard. There's a green dot at A-440. Because you've selected C major, the horizontal lines across the display are brightest at C and G, less bright at E, less bright still on the other white keys, and dimmest on the black keys.

Touch the spacebar to start recording. Play a C major scale. Touch the spacebar to stop recording when you're done. How did you do?

Saving the Sound File

Touch F A (File, save As). Give your recording a name, and save it. Later you can touch F O (File Open) and play back your work of art. You can also play back and analyze any other sound file in .WAV format.