The rules state that: "The pitch measurement will be the average value during the 5 seconds.". To me that means that the average will be taken from the entirety of the 5 seconds, and not what looks like the average fundamental.
My bad I thought you were asking from a competitors point of view. If you’re just trying to calibrate your own build then doing the crop thing works. From a proctors point of view I don’t think there’s anything they can really do short of taking the average over a time less than 5 seconds, which is clearly against the rules. No app will just magically not record 0 or strange overtones - it’ll be up to students to build a device that does its best to avoid this by sustaining the note for the entire 5 seconds without having to repeat it while keeping it at a volume that the app will register it at consistently.
It's more of a dear of inconsistency between different tournaments. Do you change the instrument to not have 0Hz as part of the average or do you find a fix to the problem and have all tournaments be the same. To me, having 0Hz as part of the average doesn't seem fair because it also depends on how well an Es's microphone pics up the frequency. There are just a lot of factors that should be figured out and be mentioned officially from Science Olympiad.
The rule clarification on 10/11 changing "best" to "average" opened up a whole host of issues. First, it is not specified how the average is calculated, i.e. how frequently should the app be set to take a reading?, should 0 Hz be included as part of the data set?
Second, the official event supervisor guide on soinc.org, refers to 2 suggested apps, the Accord Chromatic tuner (android only) and Google Science Journal. From our team's experience, the accord tuner only picks up sounds made by the instrument, not background noise or silence between "attacks" on the instrument in calculating the average. Google Science Journal picks up all background noise and silence, and in doing so, distorts the average to a point that it is possible for the same instrument to get a perfect pitch score with the Accord chromatic tuner, and a pitch score of 0 with Google Science Journal. For example, with Google Science Journal measuring 10x per second and a C4 note (262 Hz) that plays for 4.8 s with .2 s of silence, this would lead to a cents difference of 67 and a pitch score of 0.
It seems unlikely that the switch from "best" to "average" was made to over-emphasize the playing of sound over the entire 5 s interval, although that seems to be a major issue now.
Has anyone been to any invitationals and can speak of how the average was calculated and what app was used?