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The Snail
$99.00 $79.00
Mac PCAAXAUApplicationVST

Absolute Tuning

The Snail is available as a Standalone application for Mac and Windows OS, and AAX, AU and VST plug-in.

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 intonation!

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.

This process has a dedicated algorithm which exploits the technology in several ways to:

1. Improve the frequency precision at an adjustable rate. Letting you fine-tune the accuracy of the Snail to get you an absolute tuning

2. Go beyond the global stroboscopic techniques used in some high-quality tuners by analyzing all the local spectral components and rendering this information in a convenient visual form. You see all the surrounding frequencies and overtones as well as the basic fundamentals.

3. Exploit the local information to deliver a new notion of tuning (available for slightly or highly inharmonic sounds) and to visualize the harmonicity quality (a “bad string” can be immediately identified or a resonance that is out of tune in your instrument, or resonances that cause some notes to be more present (ringing) than other - which might be desirable or not).

4. Extract those elements that prevent an accurate tuning from being done, like noise or speech from the surroundings which make tuning easier, without interfering with the accuracy. Filtering out unwanted frequencies are not part of the object of the tuning.

When the tuner layout mode is displayed a rotating hexagon the speed of its rotation allows the estimation of the very refined tuning, the slower the rotation the closer you are to being in tune. When it stops completely and changes to a green colour, you are absolutely in tune.


  • Sound source Waveform visualisation
  • 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
  • Hz information display
  • User adjustable colour schemes
  • System Requirements

    • Intel CPU only (we recommend at least 2 GHz)
    • 2 GB RAM
    • Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher
    • An AAX, AU or VST compatbile host/DAW
    • Windows XP or higher (Windows 7 or above recommended for official support)
    • 2 GB RAM
    • An AAX or VST compatbile host/DAW

    Demo Download

    The Demo version of The Snail is a fully functional 15 day trial version without any limitations. Download directly from the bottom of the Product page and install the full ircamLAB "The Snail" software. Welcome to Absolute Tuning!


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